IRIS Accountancy Suite - Performance issues

Identifying the cause: 

When investigating reports of performance issues with the IRIS Accountancy Suite (IAS) we need to understand the extent of the performance problem and how it is being experienced, whether all users are experiencing the issues and it can be replicated on all machines including the machine hosting the Full Install of IRIS Accountany Suite.  

To start off with we need to understand the following,

  • How is the IRIS Installation deployed?
    Is it a standalone install on one machine?
    Is it an application server with workstation installs on a local network?
    Is it an application server with terminal servers running the Local Programs only client install?

    If you are unsure of the install type or version installed you can confirm this in Control Panel | Programs and Features section of Windows.
    Below are screenshot examples of the entries you might see.
Control Panel | Programs and Features entry for a Full Install of IAS
Control Panel | Programs and Features entry for a Local Program Files Only install of IAS
Control Panel | Programs and Features entry for a Workstation install of IAS
  • What slowness is being reported? 
    Is it a general slowness across the IAS application or a slowness during specific processes/for certain clients?
  • When did the issues start?
    Was there an update to IAS, the machine's operating system or the introduction of a third-party program like Anti-Virus?  
  • Is the issue replicable?
    Is the issue replicable on the Full install of IRIS?
    What are the replication steps?

Troubleshooting performance issues

If the performance issues are occurring on client installs and not the Full install, we ask that you check the version of IRIS installed first.

We advise that terminal server environments use the Local Programs Only installation instead of a workstation setup.
If you go to Control Panel | Programs and Features, you should see IRIS listed as IRIS Accountancy Suite (Local Programs Only).
If that is not the case, click here for the steps on how to install an LPO. 

If you have Anti-Virus installed on your workstations, then you will need to ensure that the Anti-Virus has exceptions in place for the IRIS folder on the application server.
Click here for an intro to Anti-Virus Exclusions.

If the workstation install is present, then it is likely to be a result of the network or a third-party program interfering with the function of the IAS client install.  

In order to understand if this is the cause please try the following, 

  • To troubleshoot issues with a workstation install, on one client machine, in Control Panel | Programs and Features locate the IRIS Accountancy Suite Workstation entry and uninstall it.
    Once complete, install the Local Programs Only setup (LPO).
    Click here for the steps on how to install an LPO. 
    Once complete try running IRIS again on that client machine and see if the performance improves.
    If it does, this suggests that the issue may be network related as the Local Programs Only install reduces the amount of data transferred across network and indicates the network is acting as a bottleneck for the workstation install which your IT will have to investigate.

If the Local Programs Install is present, please try the following,

  • Check the permissions of the IRIS folder that is created by the LPO install on the client machine. Users require full control permissions on IRIS folder.
    To troubleshoot we recommend you apply the Everyone group with Full Control.

    To view and amend the permissions follow the steps below,
    (With a default LPO installation the IRIS folder will be located on the C:\ drive)
    Navigate to to IRIS folder, right-click and select properties
    In the 'Properties' window select the 'Security' tab. 
    Click 'Edit' and then 'Add'. 
    In the "Enter the object names" box, type 'Everyone'. 
    Click 'OK' and select the 'Full Control' option under 'Allow'. 
    Click 'Apply' and 'OK', then 'OK' again. 
  • If the installation and permissions have been confirmed, check the resource usage of the terminal server. 
    In Task Manager | Performance check the CPU and Memory usage to see if it isn’t under load.
    If it is at 90% + Usage this could cause a slowdown in the program as it is struggling for the resources it needs to run the processes. 

If performance issues can be replicated on a full install the cause of the performance issues could be the lack of availability of resources for IRIS and SQL.

In order to identify this then please check the following: 

  • Running both IRIS and SQL can be resource intensive, does the machine hosting the Full install of IRIS also host the SQL Server instance containing the IRIS database?

In Task Manager | Performance or your resource monitoring application, what is the current CPU load percentage and your memory?
If these are at 90% + usage this indicates that the server is under a heavy load and if users are accesssing the software, running reports and accessing data screens etc. they may experience waits due to the resource bottleneck.
In order to best understand what resources are required then please see our System Requirements page here.  


  • Does the SQL Server instance IRIS is connected to only host the IRIS Database?
    We recommend that the SQL Server instance the IRIS install is connected to only host the IRIS database

If the IRIS database is the sole database and resource monitoring doesn’t indicate any heavy load usage then the licence of SQL Server should be checked.
If the instance hosting the IRIS database is using an SQL Express licence then it is limited to 1410MB of RAM usage and can only host databases under 10GB in size.
We recommended SQL Express is only used for 6 users, if you have more than 6 users then you may need to consider upgrading to SQL Standard.
See the comparisons between an SQL standard licence and SQL express here  

If you are using SQL Express, in Task Manager | Details/Process, you should see the SQL Server process (sqlservr.exe), if this has reached or is near the 1410MB limit then this could be the cause of performance issues. 

Restarting the instance will clear the memory usage and you should see an initail abatement of performance issues. 
Click here for a guide on how to start/stop the SQL Service. 

If performance improves significantly after a restart and then issues occur in conjunction with the sqlservr.exe process using more and more memory, then you may need to upgrade the instance to a standard licence if it continues.

To discuss purchasing SQL Standard contact IRIS Sales on 0344 2251525 or email sales@iris.co.uk

If you do have SQL Standard the performance issues could be as a result of an upper memory limit being set. You can usually observe if a Maxium Server Memory amount has been set while experiencing performance problems.
In Task Manager | Details/Processes, if the sqlservr.exe process is at a steady usage amount but the server still has RAM available then this can indicate the SQL Server instance has had a limit set.

To check the SQL Memory settings, launch SQL Server Management Studio | Right-Click the server details under Object Explorer and select Properties
In Properties select Memory and review the Server Memory Options.
A minium server memory amount can be set taking into consideration the specifications of the machine. We recommend that a Maxium Server Memory setting not be set as it can impact performance drastically and often requires trial and error testing to get right.

Further Support. 

If you have gone through all the above and the issues are occurring, then please email technicalsupport@iris.co.uk with the following. 

  • Answers from the identifying cause section. 
  • Troubleshooting steps attempted and their results. 

If the above troubleshooting has been exhausted, we have a specialist team that can investigate further, please email IRISITSCHEDULING@IRIS.CO.UK to arrange this