We do not currently recommend the Remote Database Version that is described on this page for new users. Detailed reasons are in the rest of this page.
In the Remote Database Version of DONATION, the program is installed onto one or more Windows computers, while the database is on our server, and can be accessed with an appropriate login from any computer on which the Remote Database Version is installed. Multiple users can access the same database simultaneously.
Other versions of DONATION that also allow sharing a database between multiple users are:
Whether you use the Remote Database, OnDemand, Local Network or Standard version, pricing does not depend on the number of computers on which you install DONATION.
For complete details on this version, please see the online copy of the Help pages about it, starting here.
Because the OnDemand version has basically all of the same advantages as the Remote Database version, but is much faster, we instead recommend it to virtually all users who are considering the Remote Database version, and we recommend that users currently using the Remote Database switch to it. Another option is using or switching to the Standard version with the Cloud Storage Service, which is also much faster, and also cheaper.
The Remote Database version of DONATION is still not what is normally considered as being web-based, because it is still installed on your Windows computer. That computer does need to have fast, reliable Internet access, to access the database on our server in Canada, and you can use multiple computers to access the same database, from anywhere at all with a fast Internet connection and the Remote Database Version of DONATION installed.
The Remote Database Version will not run on anything other than a computer running Microsoft Windows. So for instance it will not run on a Chromebook, a Mac (but see exceptions here), any phone, or an Android tablet or iPad.
The major disadvantage of the Remote Database Version is that because you are accessing your data over the Internet, rather than from a local computer (or one on your local network) it will of course be much slower. That is why we recommend that users instead use either the OnDemand version, which is much faster, or the even faster Standard version with the Cloud Storage Service instead.
Both the Remote Database and OnDemand versions can have multiple users accessing the same database simultaneously (at the same time). With the Standard version with the Cloud Storage Service, only one user can be making changes at a time, while other users can still connect read-only at the same time.
See also the DONATION Version Comparison page for a comparison between the versions, and the Multiple User Options Help page for pros and cons of all of the ways to share a database between multiple users or computers.
With the Remote Database version, you can install it on as many computers as you want, and have as many different user logins as you want. You can also have multiple users (up to 5) using it simultaneously (at exactly the same time), although very few users actually need to do that. Partly because of that, it is priced higher than the Standard version.
Because with the Remote Database Version you are now paying for a service, you must keep up your annual payments to be allowed continued access to your Remote Database Version database. In addition, if you have multiple databases for multiple organizations, you have to register each one separately - with a different email address - and pay for them separately. With all other versions, additional databases are free (up to 5 databases for the Standard version, after which you can pay at the Local Network Version price to allow more databases).
Pricing for the OnDemand version is the same, except that users of OnDemand may have additional databases as no extra charge.
Users of the Standard version whose support is paid up need to pay to upgrade to the Remote Database Version. The upgrade pricing for that is here.
If you have an existing installation of the Standard version on one or more computers, you start by downloading and installing the Remote Database Version on the computer that has the most up-to-date copy of your database on it, from the DOWNLOAD page on the website. Install that on top of your existing Standard version.
When you run a Remote Database Version on a computer for the first time, after installing it, you will be prompted to register the program. Unless you have already registered the Remote Database Version through the program, or you know that an Administrator for your organization has already assigned you a login, you need to register it at this point.
After the registration, you will be informed that Software4Nonprofits will set up your remote database and login for you, and email you with your login information when that is ready. The program will then exit, since you cannot proceed until we send you that information. We will always get back to you in at most 24 hours, but usually much sooner.
Once you receive that login information, run DONATION again, and log in. If this is the first login, and you have a previous database from the Standard or Network Server version on this computer, you will be prompted to convert the data from the local database from that previous version of DONATION into your remote database. That action is also referred to as an "upload". Choose to do that, unless there is some reason you want to skip this and either start with an empty database, or restore a backup from a previous version of DONATION. The upload is quite quick.
After that, you will be able to set up individual logins for other users, and they can then also install the Remote Database Version and log in to the same database. If one user is using the Remote Database Version, all users have to, or you will not be accessing the same copy of the database!
Of course, if you try the Remote Database Version and wish to switch back to another version like Standard, you can always download your remote database back to a local database and then reinstall that other version to switch to it.
All access to your database and other aspects of the server on which it is stored are encrypted, using the same types of secure protocols used for online banking etc.
Your data is protected by many levels of secret techniques and strong encryption, but ultimately the final level of security will always depend on securing the login email address and password you use to access the database through the program. (Anyone with that information could install the Remote Database Version of the program and access your database. Virtually any web-based software has exactly this same problem!)
The server is in Canada.
Free 60-day Evaluation! Download and evaluate DONATION on your Windows computer for free. (Mac users should select the OnDemand version that has an OnDemand Client program for Macs.) Do not pay until you decide to use the program for your organization.Download Remote