The big white package of Sage’s latest MAS90 (or MAS200) version arrives in your office. You’re not keen on installing this stuff right away — so you file it away for the next few months. Suddenly one day you come across this white plastic envelope of upgrade disks and wonder why you never installed the upgrade.
Several thoughts probably race through your mind including – should you install the software, what benefits are there to installing it and lastly who should install it. Can the Sage MAS 90 or MAS 200 upgrades be installed yourself?
Should You Install Your Upgrade?
Several things must occur before you are ready to install any MAS90 or MAS200 upgrade.
- You must have any enhancements upgraded to your current version – this includes any Extended Solutions or other third party add-ons such as Job Ops or Service Management.
- You must meet the current minimum hardware requirements
(Sage refreshes this document periodically and I’ve included below their 8-29-08 versions for MAS90 and MAS200 as well as Integrated Solutions – but check their site to see if there is a more current version because I do my best to keep this list current but periodically Sage issues an update that gets by us)
- MAS 90 Supported Hardware & Software Platforms – 8/29/08
- MAS 200 Supported Hardware & Software Platforms – 8/29/08
- Integrated Solutions (FRX, Crystal, F9, FAS) Compatibility Checklist
- Moving from level 4.x to 4.x is generally faster and easier than going from 3.x to 4.x
- Moving from 3.x to 4.x requires that your MAS 90 or MAS 200 system be at level 3.71. If you are not at level 3.71 you’ll need to first do an upgrade to 3.71.
- Remember that custom forms and reports will not be automatically converted during your upgrade (the use of MASCRCW in the \mas90\home folder may automatically conver some custom forms and reports but it is not guaranteed).
- When moving from level 3.x you must do a parallel install (meaning you install the 4.x upgrade to a separate location on the hard drive)
- When moving from 4.x to 4.x you can do an in-place install (meaning you install over the copy of MAS90 or MAS200 already on your system)
- Always backup your entire folder (\mas90) including all subfolder prior to attempting an upgrade.
- The new 4.x version of MAS90 or MAS200 requires all new unlocking keys. Be sure you look on the packing list that came with your original 4.0 software or call Sage Software (800-854-3415) to obtain a copy of the unlock codes prior to starting the upgrade.
What Benefits Are There To Installing The Upgrade?
- Version 4.3 introducest Paperless Office which allows for printing all journals and registers to PDF
- Version 4.3 allows you to keep the report printing dialog box open after printing a report so you save time when printing multiple copies of reports.
- Version 4.2 upgraded Accounts Payable, did away with those terrible bucket driven totals (Totals are now accumulated via detail transactions)
- Version 4.1 upgraded Accounts Receivable, Sales Order, and RMA – it made creating custom screens in Sales Order significantly easier, modified data tables to make storing user defined fields better and resulted in a more streamlined order entry screen.
Who Should Install My Upgrade?
My general rule of thumb about installing upgrades:
- If you are at all uneasy with installing computer upgrades, have your Sage Business Partner manage the process. They’ve done this (hopefully) dozens of times so they have the “learning curve” experience of knowing exactly the steps to follow to upgrade your system
- If you are very comfortable with MAS90 and have computer experience and are upgrading from a version 4.x to verison 4.x then you can probably install this yourself (Though most clients still have their consultant do it because it’s ultimately faster).
- If you are moving from version 3.x to 4.x, then I recommend you talk with your Sage Business Partner. It’s possible for users to upgrade themselves at this level, but if the conversion is more complicated than you anticipated you’ll save lots of time by biting the bullet and having an expert come on-site to assist you.
How Long Should It Take?
Every company upgrade is different. Generally speaking here are my observations about the time it takes from start to finish to install the upgrade, test, and follow up with any changes or tweaks:
- Under 5 users – on version 4.x+ with less than 5 custom forms or reports and no other data imports or reporting needs – 4 to 8 hours.
- Over 5 users – on version 4.x+ with more than 5 custom forms or reports and some data imports – 8 to 16 hours (varies depending on number of integrated items that also need to be upgraded)
- If a conversion from version 3.x to version 4.x is required - figure on 8 additional hours for under 5 user sites and 8 to 16 hours for sites with 5+ users.
Important: These time guidelines are estimates only. There are situations where the time required is significantly more or less depending upon a company’s individual circumstances. Most Sage Business Partners can provide a no cost estimate based on a more detailed explanation of your company’s MAS90 or MAS200 usage.
ALWAYS MAKE A COMPLETE BACKUP of your Sage MAS 90 or MAS 200 system prior to any upgrade. When in doubt, perform the upgrade on a test version of MAS90 or MAS200. We strongly advise your consult with your Sage Business Partner prior to implementing any of these concepts. This article is general in nature and not meant to definitively cover every MAS90 or MAS200 user’s situation.