Fishbowl for Mac

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Fishbowl has provided a Mac installer for the Fishbowl Client for many years. Starting with Fishbowl 2015.8, the Mac installer can also install the Fishbowl Server, which simplifies the process of running the Fishbowl Server on a Mac. Fishbowl integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero, making it possible to run Fishbowl and an accounting package entirely on Apple computers, or on any combination of supported operating systems. The Fishbowl Server on a Mac can also integrate with QuickBooks Desktop running on a Windows computer.

Install Fishbowl Template:Top

The Fishbowl installer includes a copy of Java, so in most cases, it is not necessary to install Java separately.

  1. NOTE: If the Fishbowl Server 2017.1 or higher is being installed for the first time on a Mac, MySQL will need to be configured by following the steps here. MySQL does not need to be installed if only the Fishbowl Client is being installed.
  2. Download the Mac installer for Fishbowl by clicking here.
  3. Select 14 Day Fishbowl Trial or Current Fishbowl User and then complete the installation wizard.
    Current Fishbowl User.png
  4. Start Fishbowl using the shortcuts created on the desktop. Fishbowl can also be opened with Applications/Fishbowl/server/bin/Fishbowl Server and Applications/Fishbowl/client/bin/Fishbowl Client.

Install MySQL for Fishbowl Server Template:Top

NOTE: If the Fishbowl Server 2017.1 or higher is being installed for the first time on a Mac, MySQL will need to be configured by following the steps below. MySQL does not need to be installed if only the Fishbowl Client is being installed.

Follow the steps below to install MySQL on the Fishbowl Server for the first time. Alternatively, MySQL can be installed from Terminal using Homebrew.

  1. Complete the Fishbowl installation for Mac.
  2. Have your IT administrator install and configure MySQL 5.7 or higher on the Mac that will be running the Fishbowl Server. The MySQL 5.7 installer can be opened from Applications/Fishbowl/database/mysql-5.7.17-macos10.12-x86_64.pkg
  3. During installation, a temporary password will be created. Save this password for use in later steps.
    MySQL temporary password.png
  4. Open System Preferences, click MySQL, and then click Start MySQL Server.
    Start MySQL Mac.png
  5. Download MySQLWorkbench from here.
  6. Open the downloaded .dmg file and double-click MySQLWorkbench. Moving the application to the Applications folder is optional.
  7. Click Local Instance 3306, enter the temporary password, and then create a new secure password.
    New MySQL password.png
  8. Copy the my.cnf file from Applications/Fishbowl/server/bin/my.cnf
  9. Open Finder and press command + shift + g (Go menu > Go to Folder). Type /etc and then click Go. Paste the my.cnf file that was copied in the previous step.
  10. Right-click the /etc/my.cnf file, click Get Info, and then change the permissions to Read Only for everything but System.
  11. Create a new MySQL database or migrate a Firebird database.

NOTE: The MySQL installer will set the port to 3306. Whenever a database window is displayed on a Mac, verify that the port has been changed to 3306 and the secure password has been entered.

Migrate a Firebird database to a Mac Template:Top

The migration tool does not currently work on macOS and will need to be done on a Windows computer. Follow the steps below to complete this process.

  1. Transfer the .FDB database file to a Windows computer running Fishbowl 2017.1 or greater.
  2. Open C:\Program Files\Fishbowl\server\bin\Database Migration.exe and select the .FDB database file that was transferred.
    Data Migration.png
  3. Verify the database name and then click OK.
    File:Migration Complete.png
  4. Double-click the Fishbowl Server icon in the system tray and then click the Stop button.
  5. Click the Tools menu and then select Options.
    Server options stop.png
  6. Right-click the migrated database and select Backup Database.
    MySQL backup.png
  7. Browse to C:\Program Files\Fishbowl\data\backups and copy the most recent .sql file to the Mac.
  8. Open the Fishbowl Server Administration (/Applications/Fishbowl/server/bin/Fishbowl Server on the Mac and click the Restore tab. If the Restore tab is not visible, download and reinstall the most recent version of Fishbowl.
  9. Change the port number to 3306 and enter the secure password that was created earlier.
  10. Select the .sql file and enter a database name. If the database name already exists, it will be overwritten by the restore.
    File:MySQL Mac restore.png
  11. Click the Restore button.
  12. Click OK and then start the Fishbowl Server on the Mac.

Create a new database Template:Top

Template:New Mac database

Database backup Template:Top

A database backup can be created in the Icon.Schedule.png Schedule module or by right-clicking the database name in the Fishbowl Server options.

File:MySQL backup Mac.png

The .sql file created during the backup can then be restored on the Restore tab.

File:MySQL Mac restore.png

Troubleshooting Template:Top

Because there are many version combinations for Mac OS X, Fishbowl, and Java, Fishbowl recommends installing the latest version of Fishbowl on the latest version of Mac OS X. If Fishbowl isn't running correctly, some of the steps below may be helpful in troubleshooting.

  • FIX PERMISSIONS - If Fishbowl is running, but some aspects aren't working, for example, plugins aren't downloading, right-click the Fishbowl application folder and select Get Info. Click the lock icon and then assign the Read & Write privilege to all users listed. Then click the gear icon and select Apply to enclosed items.
    Fishbowl Permissions for Mac.png
  • INSTALL JAVA - If Fishbowl isn't running at all, it may be necessary to install Java 8 which can be downloaded by clicking here and selecting jre-8u121-macosx-x64.dmg
  • FISHBOWL ANYWHERE - To use Fishbowl Anywhere, replace Applications/Fishbowl/webclient/bin/ with the file in this zip file. Follow the instructions above for fixing permissions. Open the Fishbowl Client to enable Fishbowl Anywhere, and set the password. Open the terminal and execute using the commands below.
cd /Applications/Fishbowl/webclient/bin
sh /Applications/Fishbowl/webclient/bin/

Integrate with QuickBooks Template:Top

QuickBooks Desktop only runs on Windows computers. The Mac version of the Fishbowl Server can integrate with QuickBooks on a Windows computer, or a Mac running Windows as a virtual machine. NOTE: If the Fishbowl Server is running on a Windows computer, these steps are not necessary. Alternatively, Fishbowl can integrate with QuickBooks Online or Xero, which don't require a Windows computer.

Complete the steps below to allow the Fishbowl Server on a Mac to communicate with a Windows QuickBooks installation.

  1. Copy Fishbowl Nexus.exe from the Mac (Applications/Fishbowl/server/bin/) to a folder located on the Windows computer. Fishbowl Nexus must be running for the export to work. Placing the program in the Startup folder will allow the program to start automatically when the computer reboots.
  2. Run Fishbowl Nexus.exe on the Windows computer. The Fishbowl Nexus icon will appear on the taskbar.
  3. Open the Fishbowl Server and the Fishbowl Client on the Mac.
  4. Open the Icon.Property.png Property module in the Fishbowl Client and double-click FBNexusURL in the search pane.
  5. Change the Value of the property from localhost to the IP address of the Windows computer (for example, and then click Save.
  6. Open the Icon.Accounting Integration.png Accounting module and run the QuickBooks Integration Wizard.

You should now be able to export from the Fishbowl Server on Mac to the QuickBooks installation on Windows.

Integrate with QuickBooks Online Template:Top

Because QuickBooks Online is web-based, integration is not dependent on the operating system. Simply open the Icon.Accounting Integration.png Accounting module and run the QuickBooks Online Integration Wizard.

Integrate with Xero Template:Top

Because Xero is web-based, integration is not dependent on the operating system. Simply open the Icon.Accounting Integration.png Accounting module and run the Xero Integration Wizard.