SQL for Sage 100 V20 Upgrade: Recommendations and Requirements

What you need to know!

by Pam Schulz, Sage Certified Consultant (excerpted from LAI July and August newsletters).

No doubt you have heard about the recently released Sage 100 Contractor SQL Version 20. You may have received an upgrade notice from Sage. And you may be wondering — what should I do?

This is much more than the “usual” update — in fact it is one of the biggest program updates I have seen in my 23 years working with this software. Because of its significance it is worth spending a little extra time planning your upgrade. First, a few basic “thoughts.”

Why would I want this upgrade?

The new SQL version is a major advance. The old structure was “old” — there are new tools available, and this upgrade is taking advantage of the more modern technology. Just a few perks:

  • Better performance; more reliable (transactions will post more reliably)
  • Enhanced security
  • SQL report designer
  • Ability to schedule maintenance tasks (like backups)

Even with these major changes the “learning curve” for the day to day processes will be minimal. While there are some very cool “additional features”— (such as the ability to add a vendor name to the AP invoice lookup window instead of just seeing the vendor number- yeah!); most of the procedures, steps, and screens you now use will still be there and look much the same as they now do.

You can install v20 “side-by-side” with your current v19 version- this will allow time to see, learn, and test data and reports prior to a “final” conversion.

Need help planning and implementing your upgrade to v20? Call 480.423.8300 or click below:

How do I get the upgrade?

Sage is “phasing” the upgrades in order to ensure that support and consultant resources are available to assist. “Groups” of clients are receiving the notice each month. If you have received a notice you can use the information in that notice to download your software. If you have NOT received a notice, but want to upgrade now, contact our office — there are procedures for getting your company involved earlier than the random selection.

Recommendations:

  1. Check your Hardware/Systems requirements NOW. Know what you have and need.
  2. Engage your consultant early. Don’t mess it up first, then call. Hook up with resources that can make this transition smooth.
  3. Get your “IT” people involved early. Many of the changes affect them. There are very specific instructions and loading requirements. Make sure they obtain and follow the installation guide.
  4. READ the documentation provided by Sage. The guides and checklists are some of the best materials I have seen in a long time.
  5. PLAN the upgrade. Make sure you allow time to test and fix data. If you have custom reports or third party add-ons you need to allow time to trial convert and test.
  6. FOLLOW instructions.

System Requirements:

  1. Make sure your hardware and operating systems comply with the requirements. Here is a link to the most recent Knowledgebase Article:
  2. You MUST be on version 19.7 of Sage in order to upgrade. If you are on an older version, now is the time to update so that your data can convert to v20
  3. Some of the most significant changes have to do with company security. Highlights include:
    • Users will be required to sign in with their “own” user name and password. Specifically, no one will be able to log in as the “Supervisor” in the future. Passwords will also be required. So, if you are logging in as Supervisor, OR if you do not have passwords currently, you will need to fix this.
    • HOWEVER, you do need to give this careful consideration in light of the options provided. Specifically, you will set users up to log into the SQL Server. In this step a choice is made to either use the “Windows Authentication” (how that user logs into their computer), or establish a separate SQL login. This will affect your users setup in Sage. So, this is one time I STRONGLY recommend you study the process and get help if needed.
    • The “Supervisor” functions are being moved out of the program itself and into the NEW “Database Administrator.” As part of your review of the user names, password, log ins and security, you will need to understand this. Allow time to learn the new processes so you can incorporate this into your security setup.
  4. Do you have third party add-ons? Make sure they are compliant with v20. Some are, some are not, and the list is changing as more third-party developers report compliance. Just CONFIRM.
  5. Do you have custom reports? The reports that have been written using the built in Sage report writer SHOULD convert. A tool is provided to convert and move them to the appropriate folders. However, it is only smart to do that conversion and test your reports before you plan on being “live.” If you have a report written in an “outside” report writer (Crystal reports, etc) you will need to have some work done to them for the upgrade.
  6. Allow time to perform a test migration of your data. The data migration tool will provide “error” reports when migrating your data. You will need to decide which errors need to be fixed, and then fix them in your 19.7 data prior to your FINAL conversion/go-live. The two most important ideas you need to remember about this:
    • Allow sufficient time to do this
    • Get help from your consultant or tech support – we have special tools available to fix errors if they are not fixable through your normal screens (or in some cases, they are but there are too many to do manually.)
  7. If you have more than one company, plan which to migrate and when. (This is a really good time to review the security changes, and what happens when you set up the Users/Authentication.) While it may seem practical to convert a smaller company first, this may affect the User log ins for other companies. Ask questions before you convert so that you get the results you want.
  8. What month is it? Do NOT plan to upgrade at your busiest time. While it might sound like a good idea to upgrade “January 1st”- this is probably NOT a good time to do so. Make sure the timing makes sense- will you have your own time and outside resources to help?

The program changes are exciting! Sage has provided excellent tools and documentation, and trained Consultant and Support resources to make the conversion go smoothly. Plan it, and ENJOY!