Many Pies

Many Pies

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Crystal Reports is another not-blogged-about application. I suppose reports aren't leading edge like, say, XML. I've been using it since v2 I think, and now it's on v11.

Despite being great for paper layout, it's pretty poor at Excel output, which is where we need to use it. The trouble is it's stuck in a paper page metaphor, which doesn't work when you want to put reports out into a grid like Excel. They've tweaked the export capababilities over the various versions, but haven't overcome the shortcomings of the page metaphor.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Sage Line 100 is, according to someone in the know, a "screen-scrape" version of the DOS Line 100. Sage MMS is an all new rewrite (though the helpfile still calls it Line 100). Despite it being based on .NET the backend is still a (shock, horror) file database. No relational database engine, just files on a network drive.

The good news is that v3 will be based on SQL server. The system is full of functionality to save space - transactions can be purged or summarised - which I've not come across. Financial data isn't that huge, but if you're using file based methods to index it then I'm sure it must matter how big your data is getting.

Friday, July 22, 2005

OK, despite the cutting edge sounding title of this blog I'd like to talk about Sage MMS. Sage MMS is a mid-level Accounting system from Sage UK.

I can't find much on the internet about it from users. Maybe the type of people who use it or support it aren't the geeky types. It's a pretty bread and butter product, installed and set up by resellers, talking to the accountants, with the IT people just used to provide the PCs and servers.

However because we're a charity we have special requirements, and also because of some of the ways we do our accounting we have other requirements that stretch the product.

So there are some things to write about, but another time...