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Screen Improvements in Sage 300 ERP 2014

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In a previous posting I talked about some improvements to the look of the Sage 300 ERP Desktop, in this article I’ll be looking at a number of improvements we’ve made in our document entry screens. The last major screen refresh was when we re-wrote our screens from CA-Realizer to VB6 for version 5.0A. This was a major technology upgrade that enabled much of the new technologies in our screens. This allowed them to be customizable and enabled things like screen resizing. Back then we designed the screens for a maximum display resolution of 800×600 and designed the screens accordingly. Since then over several versions we’ve added many new features and this has tended to clutter up the screens.

With this version, we aren’t performing a major technology refresh but we are revisiting many of the screen design decisions made back in the 5.0A days and making small but significant changes to make the screens look more modern. We don’t want to disrupt current customers with this release, we want the screens to still be familiar and we want people to work the way they have always worked. As a result we haven’t rearranged fields or moved fields around. Everything should be where you remember it, just laid out a bit better using some extra space.

First we’ll look at the new O/E Order Entry Screen so we can refer to it as we go through the various changes.


New Minimum Resolution

When we released 5.0A 800×600 was a pretty good super-VGA resolution that could be handled by most good laptop and desktop computers. Now it’s pretty easy to get multiple banks of 27 inch monitors with terrific resolution. If you want to spend a lot of money you can even get 4K resolution. However we now live in a world with quite small ultra-notebooks as well as a plethora of tablet computers. So we can’t greatly change our minimum resolution, but we can at least increase it to 1024×768.

This then gives us a bit of room to unpack fields, to get better column alignment and to add a bit of white space back to the forms. Some fields where quite squished in, and now we can get back to everything having a bit of room to breathe. This is then much easier on the eyes and makes using the screen a bit easier on the concentration.

New Graphics

If you look at the form, you might notice that we’ve updated most of the little bitmaps, for instance, to create a new record or to drill down to further information. Some of the graphics are a little larger than they used to be, taking advantage of the extra screen real estate. They are also a little more modern looking with the current prevailing styles. Notice that everything is a bit flatter looking as this is the trend.

Required Fields

We’ve added an asterisk to all the required fields. You can see this on the Order Entry screen next to the Customer Number along with a little legend over on the right. This has been a long time requested feature for the product. Order Entry doesn’t have many required fields, but some other functions have quite a few. These just give you a visual cue of which fields to enter, so you can avoid annoying error messages when you save or post a document.

Notes for Developers

All of these features are “opt-in”. If you don’t do anything to your screens, they will look and behave exactly as before. We don’t want to effect screens generically, since if we just put in the new graphics, they could cause fields on screens to overlap and such. Besides remaining compatible with third parties, we also need to remain compatible with older versions of our applications for before they are activated to the new version. Some of the old graphics are quite small and didn’t want to limit ourselves to those sizes since it restricted the graphics designers too much.

Of course resizing the form is up to you and just done in VB. I suspect many ISVs have already adopted larger screen sizes, so this may not be such a big deal.

For the other items they are all options in the field edit control that must be turned on. Below is the new FEC configuration dialog for the customer number field in Order Entry:


Note the checkboxes for “Load Modernized Icon” and “Required Fields” that have been added to allow you to enable these features.


With each release of Sage 300 ERP we are striving to take steps to improve the look and usability of the product. Since the 2014 version isn’t a major technology release we want make sure the changes aren’t disruptive. As a result we’ve analyzed a number of improvements that are useful, but won’t cause any retraining burden on our customers. Combined with the changes to the Desktop, these changes give the product a fresher look. Then we’ll keep on adding a few improvements of this nature in each product update and release.

Written by smist08

September 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm

9 Responses

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  1. […] Introduction In a previous posting I talked about some improvements to the look of the Sage 300 ERP Desktop, in this article I’ll be looking at a number of improvements we’ve made in our document e…  […]

  2. Stephen, besides adding the Asterisk to Required Fields, have you added functionality to have customer decide which fields they want as required? For example, PO field required on ALL OE Orders….

    Jaime Schmulson

    September 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    • No, this just marks the fields that are required by the standard business logic. There is no new functionality to configure which fields you want required.


      September 16, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      • Stephen, the much requested feature you refer to was to allow user-defined required fields. This is clear from the requests on the Ideas site and has been promoted to customers given it’s marked as ‘planned’, and is on the roadmaps. What is the status of the requested feature please?

        Steve Bagnall

        September 17, 2013 at 10:16 am

      • This is just a first step. The user setting required fields is still being planned. One possibility is to have a screen where you can set a number of field attributes like required, hidden, read-only, min-lenght, max-length, etc to provide all these codelessly.


        September 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

  3. With regards to optional fields could you meet us half way and allow the user to select up to 5 optional fields to be displayed on the main document tab and up to 5 fields on the detail line. If screen space is an issue then the user simply doesn’t select any fields and just uses the optional field tab.

    Dick Boorsma

    September 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm

  4. Any update as to when Sage 2014 will be released?

    Rene Jule

    September 30, 2013 at 12:42 am

  5. Updating the standard to allow for larger screens is long overdue, but just stretching them with little other change seems like quite a bit of activity with not much gain. Admittedly they may be easier to read but the larger screens will obscure more of the desktop, reducing what can be seen of background windows.

    Is there an equivalent to the global CRM contracts that provide a target for the different entities supported in the mobile solutions? If so then extending the ERP systems to move towards these targets would provide gain for both the existing ERP users as well as current/future mobile users. My 2 cents worth 🙂

    Keith Schenkeveld

    October 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm

  6. […] Screen Improvements in Sage 300 ERP 2014 […]

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