VRP’s Database folder (Vrpdata) can be shared on a local network drive or from a shared folder on one of your computers. This allows multiple users to access and update the same data simultaneously. All of the required record locking logic and user security features are built in to the software.
Please note: It is recommended that your networked computers are “wired” to the router and NOT connected wirelessly. This is because, database applications such as Vacation RentPro require a constant connection to the database while being used. Wireless routers can (and often do) drop wireless connections temporarily. If this happens while someone is in the application, you could risk data loss or corruption. Also, wired network connections are faster, more stable and recommended for applications sharing a centralized database.
Depending on the amount of data you eventually have within VRP, a router (or switch) with “Gigabit” Ethernet ports is recommended. Gigabit routers and switches are inexpensive and recommended for a local network. You can find several to choose from on Amazon. Some of our customers are using the Netgear Nighthawk switch with good results. Click here to see it on Amazon.
The information below will help you install and set up VRP on a shared network for multiple PCs. These are standard network installation procedures, however, we have explained the process in detail in case you are not familiar with it.
Designating a Shared Folder and Mapping a Drive Letter on Secondary PC’s
Please note, these instructions are slightly different on different versions of Windows.
Sharing a Folder
The first thing you will want to do, is decide which PC will physically “Host” the application’s shared Data folder (Vrpdata).
If your Host PC or server is running Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista, you can easily share the “C:\Users\Public\” folder, since this folder is designed for sharing under Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista. You can easily designate the folder as being “shared” by Right-clicking on the folder in My Computer, and selecting “Share…“. Set the permissions to Full Control.
Mapping a Drive Letter
After you have “shared” the folder on the Host PC, you will need to Map a Drive Letter to this folder from each of the Secondary PC’s. (Do NOT map a drive letter on the Host PC).
The standard Windows procedure for mapping drive letters is as follows:
- In the Windows Start menu, open up “Computer” (or My Computer). Or run Windows File Explorer.
- Select the Tools menu. (If you do not see the Tools menu, press ALT).
- Select Map Network Drive.
- Choose a Drive letter to use (for example: Z:). Typically, just choose the default drive letter. Note: The drive letters do not have to be the same on each PC.
- Click Browse and locate the folder on the shared computer you wish to map to. (ex. \Users\Public\). If you cannot connect to the network computer or shared folder, you may not have the correct permissions. Contact your network administrator.
- Be sure to select the checkbox option: Reconnect at Logon.
Note: Do Not map a drive letter on the Host PC since it is already using an existing drive.
Installing the Application
Please read these topics before proceeding to the Steps outlined below.
To summarize, you will simply install the application locally on each PC into the default location (ie. C:\Program Files (x86)\Vacation RentPro\). Note: You do not need to install the program into a shared network folder (see instructions below). Start with the PC that will physically host (contain) the Database.
The first time you run the installed application, it will ask for your Name, company and Serial number. When you click “Next“, it will prompt for the location for the Database folder (Vrpdata) on your PC or local network. If the Database is not on the current PC (ie. C: Drive), then use the Mapped Drive letter (explained above) and select the “Vrpdata” folder within the shared folder, and press “Finish”.
The Data Folder Location
After the application is installed and run for the first time, you will be prompted for the shared Data folder (Vrpdata) location as part of the registration process. If the “Vrpdata” folder does not already exist in the location you specify, it will be created, along with the sample data. Be sure the location includes a Drive Letter, (not the network computer name). You will be prompted for this one-time registration process on each PC.
Note: The Database Location must be specified on each PC. You can change the Database Location on any PC at any time by using the “Change Database Location” option in the “File” menu within VRP. Note that this does not change the remembered Database Location on any other PC’s. If you are moving the Database to a different location, you must specify the new Database Location on each PC, since it may be a different mapping/path on different PC’s.
Steps for installing VRP on a shared network
Now that you have an overview of the network installation procedure, here are the steps to follow.
- Decide which folder on the main (host) PC or Network server, will be used as the Shared folder for the Database. (On Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista, it is recommended to use: C:\Users\Public\). Make this folder “Shareable” with “Full Control” read/write access.
Do NOT use the “Vrpdata” folder (which is created by the software) as the Shared folder. Use a folder at least one level higher as the Shared folder. Normally, you should share the “C:\Users\Public\” folder, which will share all files and sub-folders within the Public folder.
- On each other “secondary” PC, (not the Host PC), Map a Drive Letter (between “N” and “Z”) to your designated shared folder located on the host PC. (For example: Map drive letter “Z” to the shared folder\Users\Public\ located on the host PC or Network server). Mapped drive letters do not need to be the same on each PC.
- Now you can begin installing the software. On each PC, download the VRP Evaluation program fromwww.VacationRentPro.com (go to the Download page) and install it to the default C:\Program Files (x86)\ folder. (Normally, install it on the Host PC first, although not required).
- After installation, run the application from the Desktop shortcut. You will be prompted to enter the Registration information and serial number, and to specify the Data Folder location. Specify the shared folder location used in the first step, such as the “C:\Users\Public” folder, or the mapped drive such as “Z:\” (if it’s a secondary PC). A sub-folder named “Vrpdata” will be created, which contains the database.Note: The Data Folder location specified must include a Drive Letter (not a network computer name).
- Do the same for each remaining PC.
Important: When installing program updates in the future (using the VRP Tools menu), you should always install the update and then run the application on the main (host) PC first. This is because some of the software updates also include a “Database update“, which is always faster when performed on the host PC where the data does not have to be accessed across your network.
If necessary, the “remembered” Data Folder Location can be changed on each PC by using the Change Database Location option in the VRP “File” menu. You need to specify on each PC where the Vrpdata folder is located, since the path can be different depending on how the drive letters are mapped on each PC.
If you are using a peer to peer network, it is recommended to enable NETBIOS over TCP/IP at each workstation. You can find this setting under the Network Connection Properties > TCP/IP Properties > Advanced > WINS settings. This will avoid intermittent connection problems.
You CANNOT use file “Synchronization” software (such as Dropbox) to sync the database (Vrpdata folder) between multiple computers. This can cause the database files to get out of sync and also interfere with access by the application. Please see the VRP Help topic on Database and Backups for more info and a discussion on using automatic Backup type software.