• Performance and the Sage 300 Views Part 1


    The Sage 300 ERP Views (Business Logic) give you a great deal of power to perform Accounting operations through our various APIs. However as in any programming, performance must always be taken into account. The Sage 300 ERP Views have a lot of features to help you perform operations with good performance, but like anything if they are used incorrectly, performance can be miserable.

    This article is going…

  • Drilldown in Sage 300 ERP


    Much accounting detail is entered in one application and passed on to another for recording. Drilldown is the ability to reverse the audit trail and display, application by application, the document back to its original entry into the Sage 300 ERP system. For example, in Sage 300 General Ledger (G/L), you can drilldown from General Ledger Transaction History to the Journal Entry, from the Journal Entry to…

  • On Calculating Dashboards


    Most modern business applications have some sort of dashboard that displays a number of KPIs when you first sign-in. For instance here area a couple of KPIs from Sage 300 ERP:

    To be useful, these KPIs can involve quite sophisticated calculations to display relevant information. However users need to have their home page start extremely quickly so they can get on with their work. This article describes…

  • CSQRY from the .Net API


    Generally in these blog posts I talk about how to access the Sage 300 ERP data through our various APIs that go through our Business Logic Views. This is the only way to update the data in a supported manner, but often for reporting needs something more is hoped for. We store our data in standard databases which are accessible via various APIs like Entity Framework, ADO.Net or ODBC. The downside is that…

  • Dabble in Startups But Keep Your Blue Chip Job


    Over the last little while we’ve lost some people to startups and we’ve hired a number of people away from startups, so what factors are causing this movement? Desire for greater autonomy and more flexibility? Or is it today’s version of a Klondike gold rush where hordes set out on the treacherous journey but few strike it rich?

    I’ve spent most of my career with the Sage 300 product whether…

  • The Sage 300 SDLC


    A lot of my blog posts are to answer questions that I frequently receive. Then I have a ready answer of a blog posting link, or perhaps people read my blog and it saves me receiving an e-mail. This blog posting is along the same lines as I get asked quite frequently about our SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle). Usually this is in regards to someone trying to fill out a giant RFP full of questions that…

  • Problems with Branching by Feature


    Back in January I wrote a blog on Branching by Feature. In this article I want to talk about some problems with branching by feature as well as talk about some other approaches. We’ve been doing branching by feature since a bit before the...

  • Sage 300 ERP 2016 SQL Server Only


    If you were able to attend the Sage 300 ERP roadmap sessions at Sage Summit you would have heard that the next major release of Sage 300 ERP (named 2016 but released in 2015) will be dropping support for Pervasive.SQL and Oracle as database servers. This means the only supported database will be Microsoft SQL Server. Although we will support several versions of SQL Server long with the Azure SQL flavor.

  • Troubleshooting Problems in the Cloud


    Imagine that you are managing a large cloud based solution with lots of moving parts, thousands of users and fairly complicated business logic going on all the time. Now an irate customer phones into support complaining that something bad happened. Sometimes from the explanation you can figure out what happened quite easily. Sometimes what the user described sounds completely inexplicable and impossible…

  • Evicting Users from Sage 300 ERP


    Generally Sage 300 ERP is used in a multi-user environment where users could be distributed across a large building or located in many different sites. Further Sage 300 ERP uses a concurrent licensing model for users, so if you have 10 Lanpaks then 10 people can login at once; however, it doesn’t matter which ten people it is.

    Often companies save a bit of money by buying fewer Lanpaks than users…

  • More Thoughts on Security


    Last week I blogged on some security topics that were prompted by the Heartbleed security hole. Heartbleed was hot while it lasted, but in the end most servers were quickly patched and not a lot of damage was reported. Now this last week Heartbleed was completely pushed aside by the latest Internet Explorer security vulnerability. A lot of the drama of this problem was caused by speculation on whether Microsoft…

  • Some Thoughts on Security


    With the recent Heartbleed security exploit in the OpenSSL library a lot of attention has been focused on how vulnerable our computer systems have become to data theft. With so much data travelling the Internet as well as travelling wireless networks, this has brought home the importance of how secure these systems are. With a general direction towards an Internet of Things this makes all our devices whether…

  • Elastic Search


    We’ve been working on an interesting POC recently that involved Google like search. After evaluating a few alternatives we chose Elastic Search. Search is an interesting topic, often associated with Big Data, NoSQL and all sorts of other interesting technologies. In this article I’m going to look at a few interesting aspects of Elastic Search and how you might use it.

    Elastic Search is an…

  • On Accelerating Projects


    Usually projects start with a POC (Proof of Concept) and then move on to a real project using some subset of existing resources and then if the project looks exciting, senior management will want it done faster and is willing to throw more resources at it.

    In this article I’m looking at some of the problems this causes and some of the solutions to the problem.

    Just Ship the POC

    In the interest of…

  • On Retaining Employees


    In a few previous blog posts I’ve been talking about attracting new employees whether through office design, advice for someone starting their career or corporate mobility. In this article I’ll be looking at some ideas on how to keep existing employees. Generally the value of a high tech company largely depends on the IP contained in the heads of the employees and growth prospects depend on their…

  • The Umbrella Ceiling


    My wife, Cathalynn, and I were recently discussing issues with people moving to other cities to pursue their careers and the hard decisions that were involved in doing this. My nephew, Ian Smith, is just starting his career and when choosing where to work has to consider what it takes to grow in the role he eventually accepts. When I started at Computer Associates, if you wanted to move up in the organization…

  • Unstructured Time at Sage


    Unstructured time is becoming a common way to stimulate innovation and creativity in organizations. Basically you give employees a number of hours each week to work on any project they like. They do need to make a proposal and at the end give a demo of working software. The idea is to work on projects that developers feel are important and are passionate about, but perhaps the business in general doesn’t…

  • Multi-Threading in Sage 300


    In the early days of computing you could only run one program at a time on a PC. This meant if you wanted to run 10 programs at once you needed 10 computers. Then bit by bit multitasking made its way from mainframes and Unix to PCs, which allowed you to run quite a few programs at a time. Doing this meant you could run all 10 programs on one computer and this worked quite well. However it was still quite…

  • The Sage 300 System Manager Core DLLs


    We hold a developer’s exchange (DevEx) every couple of weeks where one of our developers volunteers to present to all the other developers in our office. This past week I presented at the DevEx on what all the core DLLs in our Sage 300 runtime folder do. I thought this might be of interest for a wider audience so here are the gory details.


    Our marketing supplied architecture diagram…

  • Data Entry Through the Ages


    Last weekend I visited my parents in Victoria and my mom mentioned that she had finally used up all the computer punch cards I had left her when I graduated U-Vic. She likes them because they are more solid than paper but lighter than cardboard and are ideal for using as shopping lists and such. To have lasted this long shows how many cards I needed to do all my first and second year Computer Science courses…

  • Sage 300 ERP Optional Fields


    Optional Fields were added to Sage 300 ERP as the major feature for version 5.3A. They are a great way to add custom data fields to many master and transaction screens in Sage 300. They also have the benefit that we can flow them with the transactions through the system, for instance from an O/E Order to the corresponding A/R Invoice to the G/L Batch. This opens up a lot of power for tracking extra data…

  • Sage 300 ERP Metadata


    For the past few weeks we’ve been playing around with the Sage 300 ERP .Net API and we’ve progress from working with WinForms projects to ASP.Net MVC projects. In this article we are going to look at the metadata that is available from the Sage 300 .Net API and we are going to build a simple ASP.Net MVC project to create a program similar to the SDK’s ViewDoc program to dump out this metadata…

  • Error Reporting in Sage 300 ERP


    A very important aspect of all applications is how they handle errors and how they inform the end user about these errors. When everything is entered properly and people take what is called the “happy path” through the program then there is no issue. But end users will stray from the “happy path” and other circumstances can conspire to cause the need for informing the user of unusual circumstances…

  • Using the Sage 300 .Net API from ASP.Net MVC


    In this blog posting we are going to switch from using WinForms projects to an ASP.Net MVC project. ASP.Net MVC is Microsoft’s newest Web Development Platform. Be careful not to confuse ASP.Net MVC with ASP.Net. Both are still available and have similar version numbers, both are still part of Visual Studio, but they are quite different. The main problem with ASP.Net is that it doesn’t handle HTML5…