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Xero Practice Manager – Xero connection speed bumps

Posted 4 months ago in Xero news by Anesh Budhabhai
Posted by Anesh Budhabhai

At the beginning of July, users will have noticed a few issues happening with Xero Practice Manager and the way it connects with Xero. We think it’s only fair to give you an update on what is causing some of the pain you have been experiencing, and what we are doing to fix it and to let you know that we have been working around the clock to resolve.

The issue in a nutshell:

From Sunday 1 July, for just over a week, users might have seen an error message which looks like the below image.

When users reconnected Xero Practice Manager to Xero, you will have likely got the same error shortly afterwards when one of the background processes ran.

This meant that several parts of Xero Practice Manager stopped syncing with Xero.

Here’s a list of the impacted areas:

  • Sending invoices and purchase order receipts to Xero wasn’t impacted, however importing payments against those invoices was  
  • Importing invoices for Xero Practice Manager Premium customers also stopped importing
  • Any changes to clients were also not synced across to Xero

The cause

There were several causes of this issue which is why it was complex for our team to uncover and to understand.

Recently security standards have changed for communication between internet applications, and globally all internet applications were required to upgrade to the latest or previous version.

We took the opportunity to upgrade all components to the newest version (TLS version 1.2) to ensure the highest level of protection of our users data.  Parts of this upgrade were unsuccessful.This subsequently caused a couple of things to not work as intended such as third party app’s that connect with Xero Practice Manager, as well as some challenges with  anyone using Xero Tax in Australia & New Zealand.

The resolution

We resolved the issue on Thursday 12 July.

It’s important to note that there wasn’t any data loss.  All data was still queued and will be processed once the connections have been refreshed. We expect that the backlog of data to process will take around 24-48 hours once the majority of users have reconnected.

We are changing the way that the connection is refreshed in the background so that in future we won’t have similar failures.  We are also investigating the points of failure to see what changes we can implement to our systems to prevent this in future.

Why did the issue take so long to fix?

This issue had a few moving parts, and we had several teams working around the clock to get systems humming. Once we identified the causes and what needed to be changed to resolve the issue, we also needed to ensure that in fixing it, there would be no data loss.  

On 10 July we released a fix which unfortunately didn’t work as intended. Despite our best efforts to fix this, we took the decision to remove the release and revert to the previous version.

#Ownership is one of our values

Lastly, we can’t apologise enough for the inconvenience this has caused some businesses, we understand that Xero Practice Manager is integral to the operation of your business and that when technology fails it can be extremely frustrating. We completely #own the fact this has been far from ideal, and appreciate the support we have got from many of our customers.

Needless to say, we will also be conducting a full investigation to understand what changes we need to make to prevent this issue from happening in future.

If you would like the opportunity to give us more feedback please do so by emailing wfm.feedback@xero.com  

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