Getting Started

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Getting Started
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Welcome to Fishbowl! This article will guide you through the process of installing, starting, and setting up Fishbowl.

Click the image below to jump to a section, or scroll down to read through the article.

Install FishbowlStart FishbowlIntegrate with QuickBooksAdd data to FishbowlLearn how to use FishbowlGetting Started.png

1. Install Fishbowl
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The Fishbowl software has three components. The Fishbowl Client is the visible program that users interact with. The Fishbowl Server runs behind the scenes, processing and storing all of the data. Fishbowl Nexus is a separate application on the server computer that automatically runs when needed and allows communication with QuickBooks.

All the pieces of software can be run on a single computer, or Clients can be installed on workstations that communicate with the Server over a network.

Server and Client.png

The hardware requirements for the Fishbowl Server are higher than for the Fishbowl Client. See System Hardware Recommendations for more information.

If you are a new Fishbowl user, you will need to run the installer on each computer that will use Fishbowl. After the initial install, all the Clients will automatically update whenever the Fishbowl Server is updated to a new version.

Follow the steps below to install Fishbowl.

  1. Download the latest version of the Fishbowl installer. Physical copies of the installer can be shipped by request. An installer is also available for Fishbowl Canada. Once the download is complete, open the Fishbowl installer.
    Fishbowl Installer.png
  2. Click Next to advance to the Installation Mode step and select one of the installation options.
    • TRIAL INSTALL - If you are installing a trial to test out Fishbowl, select a 14 day trial and click Next to automatically install the Server and Client on the same computer, using the default settings. A Fishbowl Trial icon will be placed on the desktop that will launch both the Server and the Client.
      Installation Mode.png
    • CLIENT INSTALL - If you are installing the Fishbowl Client on a workstation, select Current Fishbowl User and then choose Client Only.
    • SERVER INSTALL - The Fishbowl Server only needs to be installed on one computer (the same computer as QuickBooks if you plan on integrating). To install the Fishbowl Server, select Current Fishbowl User and then choose Server with Client. Click Next to advance to the License Key step. Select a trial license key or enter the permanent license key you received when you purchased Fishbowl.
      Enter License Key.png
  3. Click Next to complete the installation wizard.

The following links contain more information about installing Fishbowl.



2. Start Fishbowl
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Once the Fishbowl install has been completed, it's time to start Fishbowl. Because a Fishbowl Client only works when there is a Fishbowl Server to connect to, it is important to make sure the Server is running first.

If you chose the TRIAL INSTALL during installation above, the Fishbowl Trial icon on the desktop will automatically start the Server and the Client. Otherwise, follow the steps below.

Follow the steps below to start Fishbowl.

  1. If a desktop icon was created during the install, this can be used to start the Fishbowl Server. Otherwise, click the Windows Start Menu | All Programs | Fishbowl | Fishbowl Server.
    FB install Program Files.png
  2. The orange Fishbowl logo should appear in the system tray by the clock. It may be necessary to click the arrow in the system tray to see all icons. A red or yellow circle on top of the Fishbowl logo indicates that the server is in the process of starting up.
    Server Icon.png
  3. Once the Fishbowl Server is running, start the Fishbowl Client using the desktop icon or the Windows Program menu. The Fishbowl Client can be run on the same computer as the Fishbowl Server, or on any workstations that the Fishbowl Client was installed on.

If you are a new customer, the Fishbowl Server will be running an example database called Bicycles Unlimited. It is recommended that you login to this database to experiment and learn before creating your own database. If the Fishbowl Server can be found running the example database, the Client may automatically login. Otherwise, follow the steps below.

Follow the steps below to login to Fishbowl.

  1. When the Fishbowl Client starts, you will be presented with a login window.
    Login client.png
  2. Click the Details button, and then the binoculars button next to the Server Address field to search for your Fishbowl Server.
  3. Select your Fishbowl Server in the Server Address dropdown. If the Server is not found, enter the IP address, or computer name of the Server.
  4. If you are connecting to the Bicycle Unlimited example database, enter admin as the username and admin for the password and then click Login.

Once you are logged in you may want to take a moment to become familiar with the layout and organization of the Fishbowl Client.

Parts of the Screen.png

Fishbowl is organized into modules. To open a module, select a Module Group on the left and then click a Module. For example, to open the Sales Order module, click the Sales group on the left and then choose Sales Order. Each module can also be opened from the corresponding module group menu in the menu bar at the top.

The following links contain more information about running Fishbowl.



3. Integrate with QuickBooks
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In addition to functioning as a standalone application, Fishbowl has the ability to integrate with QuickBooks. Data can be imported from QuickBooks and when actions are performed in Fishbowl, the corresponding entries can be exported to QuickBooks.

Before integrating with QuickBooks, you may want to create a copy of your QuickBooks file while you experiment and learn about the QuickBooks integration.

The following steps outline the basic process of integrating with QuickBooks.

  1. Login to the Fishbowl Client on the server computer. Open the QuickBooks file you will integrate with and login as admin in single user mode.
  2. In Fishbowl, open the Accounting module group, select the Accounting module, click on the Configure tab, and then click the Accounting Configuration Wizard button.
    Accounting Configuration Panel.png
  3. Read the information on the first step of the wizard and click Next.
  4. Follow the instructions on the second step of the wizard to create a user in QuickBooks called Fishbowl and click Next.
  5. Proceed to the QuickBooks File step, select Use file currently opened in QuickBooks, and click Next.
    QuickBooks Integ 1.png
  6. Integrating with QuickBooks requires .NET 4.0 or later which is included on most computers or can be installed by running Windows Update.
  7. Go to the QuickBooks application and choose Yes, always; allow access even if QuickBooks is not running and select the Fishbowl user that was previously created in QuickBooks. If QuickBooks is not open on the server computer at the time that Fishbowl exports data, this user will be used to automatically login to QuickBooks. Click Continue.
    QuickBooks Approval With User.png
  8. Return to the Fishbowl application and select if you will be using Fishbowl created accounts or choosing from existing QuickBooks accounts and click Next.
    Default Accounts.png
  9. Choose which items you would like to import from QuickBooks into Fishbowl and click Next. After the import is complete click Finish.
    Accounting integration import items.png

Now that you are integrated with QuickBooks, you can export data from Fishbowl into QuickBooks by clicking the Export button located in the module toolbar of the Accounting module. You may notice an additional icon in the system tray for Fishbowl Nexus. Fishbowl Nexus is a separate application that will run automatically when exporting to QuickBooks.

The following links contain more information about integrating with QuickBooks.



4. Add data to Fishbowl
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There are several ways to get your company data into Fishbowl.

The following steps outline the basic process of exporting a template and then importing the CSV.

  1. Click the File Menu at the top-left of the Fishbowl Client and choose Export.
    Export Menu.png
  2. Select an export. Click Next to read the instructions and then complete the Export Wizard.
    Export Instructions.png
  3. Open the exported file in your spreadsheet application or text editor. Following the format of the file, enter your data into the fields.
  4. Click the File Menu at the top-left of the Fishbowl Client and choose Import.
  5. Select the corresponding import. Click Next and choose the file you previously exported.
    Import File.png
  6. Click Finish to complete the import.

The following links contain more information about adding data to Fishbowl.



5. Learn how to use Fishbowl
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Congratulations! Now that Fishbowl is installed and running, it's time to learn about the specific features of Fishbowl. Each module in Fishbowl has a corresponding article on the wiki that describes specific functions. Below are a few of the ways you can find articles on the wiki.

The following links may also be helpful in learning more about Fishbowl.

The image below will give you an overview of the major modules in Fishbowl, and how they interact. Click any area of the image to jump to the corresponding article.

Purchase OrderManufacture OrderSales OrderReceive/ReconcilePickInventoryPack/ShipTransfer OrderConsignmentBill of MaterialsRMABill to QuickBooksInvoice to QuickBooksFinal Flow Chart.JPG


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