First Look at Sage MAS 90 Version 4.4 – The Upgrade Process

Sage MAS 90 and 200 version 4.4 is on the streets, and probably in your offices by now. We have lots to discuss about the new release, which brings Inventory Management, Purchase Order, and the Bill of Materials modules to the Business Framework (version 4.x) standards, along with other global enhancements and ease of use enhancements. But first, I’d like to cover the upgrade process.

Beginning with this release, all upgrades of MAS 90 and 200 must be installed in a parallel upgrade mode. This means that we will no longer be able to upgrade a MAS installation within the program’s directory. The upgrade must be installed to a separate directory as a new installation, and then data from the current version will be migrated and converted to version 4.4. Users can upgrade in one step provided they are at least on version 3.71; users at a level prior to version 3.71 must upgrade first to 3.71, and then their data can be migrated into version 4.4.

Performing a parallel upgrade will mean less down time for the client during an upgrade. Previously, users would be out of the MAS program for the entire time it took to install the program, update the data, update forms and reports, update custom fields and screens, update security, etc. With version 4.4, the initial migration and conversion will be used as a test system, allowing the client to continue working in MAS90 while we convert forms, reports, customizations and security. Once all of that work is complete, the company data can be migrated once again, and the system will be ready to go once that data is converted.

Sage includes a Migration Help document that covers the steps for migrating from each version – 3.71 to 4.30. Pre- and Post-Migration steps are covered for the migration from each version. The Pre-Migration utilities include a tool that compares your Inventory files and validates the Warehouse Detail, Item Costing, and Transaction Detail files against the Inventory Item Masterfile, looking for missing item codes in the data files. Any missing item codes in the detail files must be recreated in Inventory Maintenance prior to migration. There is also a utility that compares item quantity records, and a utility that balances the warehouses if a discrepancy is found. If migrating from version 3.71, similar utilities exist for the General Ledger module.

The Post-Migration steps include useful reminders about reinstalling bar code fonts (if necessary), testing printers, recreating Task folders, and modifying Security Roles. It should be noted that your Security Roles, Users, and other System Configuration settings are migrated during the initial parallel migration. Roles must be updated to include the changes made in the new version.

After Migration, your data must be converted to version 4.4. The length of time required for the conversion will vary, based on the size of your data files. The Inventory, Bill of Materials, and Purchase Order modules are completely rewritten during the conversion, and significant changes are made to the Common Information, Accounts Receivable, and Sales Order modules to accommodate increase customer number and inventory code sizes.

After data has been converted, there is a new Crystal Form Comparison Report utility that compares your customized forms to a standard form from version 4.4. This utility assists us in making necessary modifications to custom forms from the previous version. The Crystal Reports Conversion tool must be run to convert any custom reports that you migrated from your prior version.

So, there is much work involved in upgrading to MAS 90 and 200 version 4.4. Good news? There’s plenty of help. There is a clear-cut, defined migration/conversion path, and the necessary tools are built into the system.

Next up: Global Enhancements

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