When Sage releases version 4.4 of MAS 90 and MAS 200 on February 15, 2010 (pre-release guide for MAS90 4.4) not only will they be updating their Inventory, Bill of Materials and Purchase Order modules but their end user programming interface – BOI or Business Objects Interface will get a bump up too.
Sage has always offered a much praised (but poorly supported) BOI interface. One of the most frequently requested items has been a copy of the BOI product manual which was only delivered to those who took a class and even then was primarily decipherable by the truly hard core programmer types.
Thankfully Sage has finally seen the light and a copy of the BOI user guide is now included in the help files of all MAS 90 and MAS 200 version 4.4+ systems!
Users of the BOI interface have always been able to use Visual Basic scripting to modify the actions of the MAS 90 or MAS 200 program without touching the underlying source code. Sage has upgraded the BOI interface so that some actions can take place without having to click on any button.
In the past in order to make changes to something like an order expiration date the programmer would have to custom code a specific task to occur during the time that a button such as “Accept” was clicked. Version 4.4 does away with that requirement and actions can now happen without the user clicking any buttons.
Leaving the source code alone and steering users and consultants toward the BOI interface is highly desirable since it makes future upgrade more seamless. In fact Sage has moved away from selling any third party enhancements for their MAS 90 & MAS 200 in favor of bundling in their most popular enhancements to the product and allowing third party developers free access to the rest.
While on the surface it may appear that Sage have abandoned these customizations – known as Extended Solutions of which well over 500 were available at one point – in fact they’ve taken the first steps toward making their product easier and faster for everyone to upgrade.
In the past when a client installed more than one or two enhancements to their system they were shipwrecked at older levels until their enhancement was upgraded. Until that vital piece of programming was upgraded their entire company was frozen at an older MAS version.
Access to the BOI interface in version 4.4 will be via Custom Office where a new menu option will allow authorized users to access and maintain scripts.
One type of script demonstrated by Sage is a situation where a quote date may automatically be set to expire 90 days in the future. In the past this type of change might have required expensive programming. The script also would have required the user to do something – usually click a button or use the Accept button (which the consultant had to add custom program cod to).
With MAS 90 and MAS 200 version 4.4 the user – or more likely their consultant – can maintain this code without having to modify the source program or use a third party developer. And the code can “fire off” without any user intervention or button clicks.
Once the code has been maintained (via User Defined Script Maintenance) the resulting MAS 90 or MAS 200 screens will automatically modify a quote expiration date.
Here’s where you’ll maintain the code in Custom Office (which is an included component of all Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200 installations).
Here’s the code in action when a user enters a quote into MAS 90 Sales Order. Notice that the expiration date is automatically set with no intervention by the user: