Sage Line 50 and its network speed issues….

I find Sage to be a very frustrating company to deal with.  For 10 years or so this issue has never improved, so I am venting here…

My initial networking background was when I worked for a couple of Sage Solutions Centres.   I went through the pain of Sage Line 100 4GL crappieness on NT Networks.  (Which still exists today, though MMS is finally going to move to SQL Databases).

Anyway, about 85% of my clients run Sage Line 50.   It has to be said, that for the price, it really is a fantastic accounts package.   But it falls down in a huge way in one area.   Speed.

If you are a network administrator, and you have got to this post via google by typing “Sage Line 50 Slow”, let me tell you a secret….     No matter what the Sage Support person tells you on the phone, it does not matter how much you tweak your network, Sage Line 50 is always going to be slow.  

The main problem as I see it is that the .DTA data files are essentially still the same proprietary Microsoft DOS data files from the Sage Sterling for DOS days.   The ODBC Driver is a huge joke and runs slower than a fat bloke with one leg.

What is really frustrating is that Sages answer to every question is to blame the speed of the network.   They never admit that they have speed issues with the data access, yet it is obvious to anyone with a clue that this is the case.  

We have a load of clients that produce about 50 – 100 invoices per day, and are VERY happy with Line 50 apart from the speed of reports.    To get around this, we have got to the stage where we have to export all the Sage Tables, via the slow ODBC / SDO link to an Access database overnight.   We then run Crystal custom reports against this database.   To give you an idea, a report that takes 35 minutes if you link directly using the ODBC, takes about 10 seconds if you link to the access database.

Maybe I am oversimplifying, but maybe Sage should really consider portalling Line 50 to SQL / MSDE….

Oh, but wait…     then no one would buy MMS.