Sage MAS 90 and 200 version 4.4 includes the following global enhancements:
• Inventory Management, Purchase Order, and Bill of Materials modules rewritten in the Business Framework
• Common Information Setup Wizard
• Customer Number and Item Code Expansion
• Business Insights Explorer
• Batch Processing enhancements
• Report and Form changes
• Period End Processing changes
The addition of the I/M, P/O, and BOM modules to the Business Framework completes the Business Framework modules in MAS 90 and 200, according to Sage. What this means for users of the Job Cost, Payroll, MRP and Work Order modules remains to be seen; Sage is not forthcoming with news on those modules, other than to say that they have not completely ruled out moving those modules to the framework at some time in the future.
Of course, with the move to the Business Framework, users of the I/M, P/O, and BOM modules will now enjoy the same functionality present in the other Framework modules, including Setup Wizards, Grid Entry, Hyperlinks to setup and maintenance Tasks, and a functional Right-Click menu from within module applications. In addition, there are also changes to Role Security that must be enabled for the users to have access to the modules’ tasks.
The Common Information module is now the repository for all items that are either bought or sold by your company. Inventory items, Miscellaneous Items, Charges, and Special Items are all controlled by the information entered in the Common Information Setup options. Good news here is that User Defined Fields for Inventory Items have been stored in the Common Information CI_Item field since version 4.1, so any UDF’s that you’ve created for Inventory Items will be migrated during your migration and data conversion. You will, however, have to recreate the UDF’s on the Inventory Maintenance and Inquiry screen elements, since those elements are new in this version.
Along with the Business Framework additions, probably the biggest and most anticipated enhancement in this version is the option to expand the Customer Number and Item Number. The Customer Number can be increased from 7 characters to 20 characters, and the Inventory Item Code can be increased from its current 15 characters to 30. Expansion of these fields automatically carries over into all integrated modules and to all graphical reports and forms on which the fields are reported. It is important to note that once you select to use the expanded item or customer code, you cannot change the setting. A warning message does display indicating that the change cannot be undone.
The Business Insights Explorer was updated to include new views for the Inventory Management, Purchase Order, and Bill of Materials modules, and also contains changes to existing views in these modules and modules such as Sales Order and General Ledger. In Inventory Management, a new Item Quantities by Warehouse View was added, allowing you to view the quantity on hand, on Sales Order, Purchase Order, Back Order, or Work Order, the quantity required for work order, and the quantity in shipping for each item/warehouse combination. The Item view was updated to include the ability to view item quantities by warehouse from the Preview and Explore options in the Navigation Pane.
Purchase Order includes two new views – Open PO by Vendor Name and Vendor History Purchases. The Open PO by Vendor Name view displays information based on the Vendor Purchase Name. From this view, you can also access tasks such as Vendor Maintenance, Item Maintenance, Enter Purchase Orders, and Enter Receipt of Goods/Invoice. These tasks are also available from the Vendor History Purchases view, which displays information such as item code, product line, posting date, receipt date, order date, and dollars and quantity purchased.
Two new views were also added for Bill of Materials: Bill of Materials View and Component Where-Used View. The Bill of Materials view displays all information based on the bill number, including revisions, dates last used, and options information. The Component Where-Used View, unlike other views, is automatically set up to group information by the component item code. For each component item code, the bill number, component revision, quantity per bill, unit cost, and bill type of the component are listed.
Batch processing windows associated with entry and update tasks in the I/M, P/O, and BOM modules have been updated to include enhancements previously introduced in modules such as A/R, A/P, and Sales Order. In addition, the option to enable batch processing is available now for Inventory Transaction tasks, where previously an Extended Solution was necessary to enable batch processing.
Reports and forms in the Inventory Management, Purchase Order, and Bill of Materials modules were updated to include features introduced in versions 4.0 through 4.3. These changes include the ability to define and save report settings, setting options, the printer field, and the ability to keep the report window open after printing or previewing the report. Changes to the Printer field include the ability to easily export your report to a number of formats, including Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel or Work, and data-only exports to Microsoft Excel. In addition, the Paperless Office option allows you to print reports and forms in a PDF format and e-mail forms such as a Purchase Order directly from the application.
Period End Processing was modified for the new Business Framework modules and a new task, Period End Report Selection, was added to the Period End menu in both Inventory Management and Purchase Order. In addition, the Period End Processing task no longer includes options for such tasks as purging data in the I/M and P/O modules; those tasks have been moved to the new Utilities menu in each module.
Coming next: Library Master (system administration) Enhancements