Notes from Insights 2009: Sage MAS90 Version 4.4 Preview

This is my first ever blog, so forgive me if I’m a little stiff at this. We attended Insights 2009, the annual Sage Software conference that brings together VAR’s and Resellers, Vendors, and Sage Employees for a week-long education, networking, and information gathering event. My first few blogs will be my notes from the various sessions that I attended.

Insights 2009: MAS90/200 Version 4.4 Preview 

Presented by Roberta Vigil, Erika Jelovsek, and Steve Malmgren 

  • Announced that version 4.4 was the completion of the Business Framework conversion for 3.x modules. What this means for Job Cost, Payroll, and manufacturing was not addressed.
    • Some reference was made to a possible Project Management module in development using the business framework as a replacement for job cost
  • For all versions after V4.4, a parallel migration will be required. New Parallel Migration tool included in v4.4.
    • Allow migration from any version of MAS90 3.71 and above
    • Removed time constraints as clients can remain on current version while consultant converts data, reports, etc. and provides training. Re-migrating current data for Go-Live will not affect customizations, reports, etc.
    • Can migrate to same or different server
    • Parallel Migration Wizard moves data files and Images
    • Link Maintenance Utility assists with move of Memo Attachments, Paperless Office PDFs, Office templates
  • Along with movement of I/M, P/O, and BOM to Business Framework, expansion of Customer Number (AR, SO) and Item Number (IM and related modules) were the big improvements in v4.4
    • Division (AR) remains two characters
    • Customer Number expands to 20 characters
      • Option for existing users in A/R Options – by company
      • New installations  will be 20 characters – no choice
    • Item Code expands to 30 characters
      • Includes IM Item, Miscellaneous Item, and Bill Number
      • Implemented from Common Information Setup > Options
      • Option for existing users
      • New installs will be 30 characters – no option
  • Inventory, Purchase Order, and Bill of Materials move to Business Framework
    • Dual Grid Entry
    • Memo and Batch Managers
    • Customizer Enhancements
    • All reports and forms – Crystal
    • Right-click menu enhancements
    • PTD/YTD from Record Detail
  • Common Information
    • Item No. field is now Item Code – all modules
    • New Miscellaneous Item Detail Transaction Report
    • Relocated:
      • Number of Decimal Places from I/M Options
      • Purge Item History
      • PO & BOM Miscellaneous Charge Maintenance tasks
        • Purchase and Quantity History
        • GL Accounts
  • I/M Enhancements
    • Standard Cost Adjustment Register and Update allow for historical reporting on Standard Cost items
      • Inventory Valuation Report by Period will actually work for Standard items when using option for Historical report
      • Inventory Trial Balance will reflect correct standard cost
      • Modeled after Automatic Cost/Price Change
      • Removes ability to adjust Standard Cost in IM Maintenance
        • Items with zero QOH may still be adjusted in IM Maintenance
        • System Activity Log will include Start, Finish, and number of Items updated
    • Extended Description now one field
      • Easy to import
      • Easy to add to forms/reports
    • Memo Manager just as in A/R and A/P – popup memos now available for Inventory Items
    • New Quantity Tab in I/M Maintenance
      • Simplify ability to view quantity information
      • New Shipping column
      • Qty Recap button toggles to all Warehouses
      • Delete Warehouse button to remove warehouse associated with an item
        • No history or quantities for selected item/warehouse combination
        • Reorder Button – define reorder info for item in each warehouse. Ability to affect all warehouses from a single screen.
    • New History Tab in I/M Maintenance
      • View quantity, sales, and receipt history for a single warehouse or for all warehouses
      • Access Customer Sales and Vendor Receipt History
    • Price Lookup in I/M Maintenance – new task to view all standard or custom prices for an item by customer and price level
    • Physical Count Entry
      • Print current quantity on worksheet
      • Pre-populate expected quantities in Physical Count Data Entry with current quantity
    • Reports available in either Landscape or portrait – Landscape reports feature larger font size
      • Inventory Detail Transaction Report
      • Valuation Report by Period
      • Inventory Trial Balance
    • Standard Cost items can be valued at 0.00
      • Relieved from inventory at zero cost
      • Purchase cost offset by GL entry; IM account untouched while cost is zero
  • P/O Enhancements
    • Drop Ship enhancements
      • Receipt history included in PO Purchase History
      • Lines populate PO regardless of primary vendor or Item Vendor Maintenance
      • Optionally include Drop Ship lines from SO if PO Vendor matches any vendor assigned to that item
      • Auto-generate a single order for Multiple Items to Same customer
    • Auto-Generate Orders – changes to task
      • Select Expired Orders
      • Summarize Drop Ships by Primary Vendor
      • Add SO Main Comment to PO Main Comment
      • Add SO Customer Detail as a Comment Line
    • Back Order Fill Report – PO Receipt of Goods
      • Can be sorted by Sales Order, Customer Number, Bill to Name
      • Option to print only items received
      • Will include All S/O Lines with demand for items received
    • PO Variance Register and Update will occur before Receipts update, allowing for user to double-check entry if variance occurs
    • Report Changes
      • Purchases Clearing Report and Purchase Clearing in Open PO Format added to Reports menu
      • Open PO Report will include original cost entered on the PO
    • New fields in Ship-To Address Maintenance to allow for Telephone, Fax, E-mail Address and Contact information.
  • Bill of Materials Enhancements
    • Allowing new items now controlled by module option
    • More relevant information displayed in BOM Inquiry and Where-used Inquiry
    • Picking Sheet printing enhancements
      • Print Comments and/or Include Misc Charges now selected at time of printing
  • Global Enhancements
    • V4.4 will use Crystal Reports v. 11
    • Setup wizards now available in Common Information, I/M, P/O, and BOM
    • New Link Maintenance Utility on the Library Master > Utilities menu provides the ability to quickly and easily search, view, copy, move, delete, and Relink memo and custom template attachments
      • One place to manage all documents attached to memos, no matter where the attachment resides
    • Miscellaneous Item Maintenance modified to work with Purchase Order and Bill of Materials as well as to incorporate new features added to Item Maintenance in I/M
    • Business Desktop changes
      • Direct links to Sage User Forum
      • Direct Link to IdeaScope – Realtime feedback on enhancement requests
    • Persistent Zoom on previewed reports
    • View Alias Item info throughout MAS90
      • Data Entry Screens and Inquiry Screens
    • Decimal precision for Quantity fields increased to 4
  • Customizer Enhancements
    • MAS90 Events will be able to run without user intervention
    • Ability to automatically total Detail Numeric UDFs to a Header UDF
    • Cumulative Calculations on Multiple Records
    • No ProvideX programming skills – VB Scripting
    • Customizations will survive upgrades because they are VB
  • Business Insights Explorer includes new and updated views for IM, PO, and BOM

Some additional notes from another session where we actually had a hands-on look at version 4.4:

  • User ID visible on the main screen in SO and PO entry – a request that I’ve heard for years now
  • Drop Ship Purchase Orders can include all items from a sales order or just those for the item’s primary vendor
  • New security features for purging of Item audit
  • Inventory items will have separate Sales / Purchase tax classes – GREAT IDEA!

Of course, the usual disclaimer regarding any Insights announcements applies: All information above is subject to change.

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