Stephen Smith's Blog

All things Sage 300…

Sage 300 Moves into the Browser

with 49 comments


Introduction

Probably one of Sage’s worst kept secrets is that we’ve been working on a true Web version of Sage 300. Now finally at Sage Summit 2015 the cat is out of the bag and the product is officially announced as Sage 300c. You can see the announcement in this video.

We will be including Web UIs for G/L, A/P, A/R, Bank, Tax, C/S and A/S screens in the upcoming Sage 300 2016 release which is slated for October 2015 (where the year in the product roughly matches car model years).

These are true web screens that run in all the main browsers including IE, Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. There are no plug-ins required, everything is pure HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This means you can access these screens from all sorts of devices like Macs, Windows Desktops and Laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, Android Tablets, Linux Workstations, Raspberry Pi’s and many other devices.

The operations modules including I/C, O/E and P/O will follow shortly after early in 2016 as part of a Product Update.

New PDX Treatment

We have a new Home Page (like the traditional desktop) and all redesigned screens.

Sage300Home

There are 12 KPIs that you can choose from to put on your home page. You run all the screens from the menu and can move between open screens using the little Windows widget on the right.

People familiar with Sage 300 ERP will pick up this new treatment very easily since it is still the same application, just re-imagined to fit into a modern Web environment.

cna2arinv

All the familiar elements are there including finders, import, export and printing via Crystal Reports. There are a lot of extra visual cues to help make the screens easier to learn and use. For instance you don’t have to know to hit tab when in a key field to get it processed, you can just hit the little go button next to it (but of course hitting tab still works as well). In the grid you don’t need to know to hit the Insert key to create a new line, there is an explicit “Add Line” button at the top of the grid.

The controls aren’t as packed together as they were in the classic VB UIs. This is to make it easier to use the screens on touch devices like tablets. Now it’s much easier to touch buttons and controls with your fingers when you don’t have the fine control of a mouse. Although these screens work quite well on tablets, it isn’t recommended you use them on a phone since this then involves a painful amount of scrolling and having a more responsive design for phones is still a version or two away.

Hybrid Offering

If you upgrade to this release, you don’t need to run the Web UIs. You can still run all the classic VB UIs. In fact you can have some users running the new Web UIs and some users running the classic VB UIs. Since everything goes through the same business logic (Views) you can mix and match as you like. Of course for modules like PJC where there aren’t any Web UIs yet, then you must run the VB UIs.

There isn’t a full Web based Financial Reporter yet, so Financial Reporting is still done though the usual built in F/R that is included with G/L or via Sage Intelligence. Both of these are based on the on-premise version of Excel.

Many customers rely on customized versions of the Sage 300 screens. There won’t be a customization toolkit with the first release, it will be provided later. Even if it was available with the initial release, not everyone would want to immediately port their customizations to the new technology. It takes time overcome the learning curve and become proficient in the new technologies. To help with this scenario we provide a tool that lets you hide any UIs in the Web home page, so that users won’t accidentally run the Web UI when you want them running the VB UI (probably due to customizations).

New Technology Stack

This new architecture is based on using standard ASP.Net MVC along with re-using the standard Sage 300 Business Logic. Below is an architectural block diagram of the new components that sit on top of our traditional business logic.

cna2arch

To speed bringing the product to market we were careful to stick to standard off the shelf technology components rather than creating out own. For instance the UI widgets like the editable grid, the graphical charts and the date picker are from the Kendo UI toolkit. We use knockout.js for databinding. We make extensive use of jQuery and leverage quite a number of other standard technologies that are all tried and true in many large scale web applications. All the server code is written in C# and all the Browser code is written in JavaScript.

You can see that there is a Wrapper layer than translates the world of Sage 300 Business Logic into the world of ASP.Net MVC. This way our application is a very standard implementation where the Wrapper layer exposes the standard Sage 300 business logic in more modern interfaces allowing the usage of newer languages and technologies like LINQ in the higher layers.

Lots of Questions

I imagine many people have lots of questions on everything that is going on. This is the first of many articles on the new Sage 300 Web UIs where I’ll be going into much more technical detail. But if you leave questions in the comments of this article, I will endeavor to either answer them or make them the topic of a future posting.

Summary

We are really excited to finally be launching our Web UIs for Sage 300 into the real world. This is a first step in fully modernizing the product and providing a strong foundation for future development.

Our R&D department has been operating using Agile development methodologies and a continuous delivery process. After the first release we are looking to release upates very frequently to add value very quickly to this rather large base release.

Written by smist08

July 29, 2015 at 12:40 am

49 Responses

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  1. […] Introduction Probably one of Sage’s worst kept secrets is that we’ve been working on a true Web version of Sage 300. Now finally at Sage Summit 2015 the cat is out of the bag and the product is off…  […]

  2. Congratulations to you and the rest of the staff who created this product.

    Free Polazzo

    July 29, 2015 at 1:07 am

  3. I am in Sage partner heaven and my prayers are being answered, if only slowly. What technology is the web-based financial reporter going to be using? Also, are we going to be able to write automation and other “macros” in ASP.NET?

    Aeona (@AeonaServices)

    July 29, 2015 at 1:19 am

    • The long term vision for automation and macros would be RESTful web services. There are a lot of great tools for orchestrating web services that we want to naturally support. In the mean time the COM, .Net and all the other APIs are still present. If the macro or automation doesn’t involve UIs then what you have should be quite acceptable. For screen customization there will be a separate toolkit for accomplishing this.

      The decision on F/R isn’t finalized yet, but I would bet it will be based on Sage Intelligence (either the full or Go version).

      smist08

      July 29, 2015 at 3:48 am

      • This is all fantastic stuff and many congratulations. However, please, please don’t abandon FR. Refere to any BP or forums/discussions elsewhere. Whatever guides, suggestions come from the Intelligence people, you really can’t use Intelligence for many or most of the FR reports that users end up creating. Even when it is possible the time and complexity of Intelligence far exceeds FR in achieving a similar result. I know we are not alone in FR selling systems for us.

        Steve Bagnall

        August 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm

  4. Glad to see the cat is finally out of the bag! I am looking forward to more partner and channel communication from Sage to the Sage 300 partners as well as roadmaps.

    Do you have a time frame for an SDK and/or DPP training?
    Will beta releases and partner collaboration return again as part of the development process?

    KG

    July 29, 2015 at 3:37 am

    • Yes to the beta release. We are just preparing this for release now. If you haven’t been invited send me an e-mail and I’ll get you added to the list (it might be due to the person doing the organizing being at Summit now).

      I don’t have a timeframe for the SDK release or DPP training yet, but it shouldn’t be too different than the first release. Then you know we are committed and it won’t be changing much after that.

      smist08

      July 29, 2015 at 3:50 am

      • Smith,

        Thanks. This has been a long waited item and should redefine many corners for the product. By the way, how do I get the invite for beta?

        Sundar

        July 30, 2015 at 2:33 am

      • Send me an e-mail with all your contact information and I’ll forward it to the right people.

        smist08

        July 30, 2015 at 3:04 am

  5. Awesome!
    Can we bring our own framework like AngularJS and Bootstrap? With ASP.NET MVC being implemented, are SPA’s possible?
    Finally, could I get an invite to the beta? 🙂

    SergeBailes

    July 29, 2015 at 9:05 am

    • Send me an e-mail with all your contact information and I’ll forward it to the right people. We do use Bootstrap already. The main thing is that our existing framework uses knockout and you can just use our framework for a lot of things. But nothing is stopping you using AngularJS, it just means you will need to duplicate some of the functionality that we provide and then we don’t have expertise in AngularJS if you need help. We are basically implementing each screen as an SPA. Then the home page just provides navigation to that page and an iFrame to host it.

      smist08

      July 30, 2015 at 3:08 am

      • Very cool.
        What is your preferred email to send details through?

        SergeBailes

        August 3, 2015 at 11:08 pm

  6. This is exciting! Has there been any performance testing on larger databases, say 100 gig?

    kimberlymkyle

    July 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    • I’m not sure if we’ve tested with 100 gig, but I can check. We’ve certainly tested with quite a few databases in the 10 gig range.

      smist08

      July 30, 2015 at 3:09 am

  7. Nice to hear about this great news, hopefully this attempt will much more successful 🙂 How can we get an invite to the beta?

    Sergey

    July 30, 2015 at 5:03 am

    • Send me an e-mail with all your contact information and I’ll forward it to the right people.

      smist08

      July 30, 2015 at 10:26 pm

  8. Exciting to see these changes, however sad to see on the AR Invoice screen sage have still not listened and you have to click to assign a tax class(i think thats what the pencil is on taxes to click into). Makes for a frustrating user experience. Please put on the list for change, there should be no reason to go into another screen please 🙂

    stacey

    July 30, 2015 at 12:15 pm

  9. […] my last post I introduced the new Web UIs for Sage 300. This blog post is on installing the new Web UIs for Sage […]

  10. Fantastic !
    When will PJC be available ?

    Cliff

    August 4, 2015 at 1:34 am

  11. […] 300 2016 comes with new Web UIs. With beta release I talked about how to install these, but I didn’t get into the details of […]

  12. Will custom Crystal reports be available in the web screens?

    Paul Young

    August 10, 2015 at 8:58 am

    • You can select custom reports from form UIs just like VB and if custom reports are in customization directories they will be used instead of the original report. However you can’t just add an arbitrary report to the home page (yet).

      smist08

      August 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      • Thanks for the response Steve.

        Yep, I should have qualified what I meant by ‘custom’. I didn’t mean an edited ARDINVO (for example). I meant if you created a new report and added it to the Win32 application desktop via New>Report, will that icon be available in the web UI?

        I guess from your response the answer is ‘not yet’.

        Any idea on ETA for on that?

        Also, how is Sage Intelligence being wrapped in to this?

        Paul Young

        August 10, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      • Not sure on the ETA yet. Sage Intelligence hasn’t changed, so you still run it the same way from the classic Windows desktop.

        smist08

        August 10, 2015 at 2:13 pm

  13. What are the plans for core Sage CRM integration, especially replacing the existing and limited Tomcat based OE Web screens?

    Stacy D

    August 10, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    • For the Sage 300 2016 release the CRM integration will be the same as previously. We will be looking to update this at some point down the road.

      smist08

      August 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

  14. I am especially interested in the “Service – Web API” portion of the new tech stack diagram. Is this sdata or something else?

    We’re keen on moving to Sage 300 but we have to integrate w/ existing linux software preferably via HTTP. But finding details about which features of different sage editions have been exposed via sdata has been very difficult. We really don’t want to have to write and maintain our own Windows HTTP server to .NET gateway.

    Can any operation that can be done via the html web interface also be done via the web api?

    bkcsfi sfi

    August 14, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    • The RESTFul web services won’t be until a following release. But you might want to mention what you are looking for since we are still prioritizing the order of rolling these out.

      smist08

      August 16, 2015 at 12:48 am

  15. […] introduced our new Sage 300 Web UIs, talked about installing them and then discussed security implications. Now the question is that […]

  16. […] Sage 300 Moves into the Browser […]

  17. […] this article I’m going into a bit more detail on the features in the Home Page for our new Sage 300 Web UIs. This is basically the launching point for our web accounting screens as well as provides a number […]

  18. Dear Smith, This is a long awaited change to the system. Could you please assist me to get a beta of this product.

    Nuwan

    September 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    • Send an email to sage300beta@sage.com with all your contact details. Not sure if they are accepting new people as we are getting to the end of beta now.

      smist08

      September 2, 2015 at 1:52 pm

  19. […] part of developing all the Web Screens for our upcoming Sage 300 2016 release, we worked with quite a few contractors at Sonata in […]

  20. […] the Web UIs in Sage 300c rolling out in a couple of weeks, there is a lot of interest in the SDK and how to […]

  21. […] like dates and having flexible configurations for things like sales taxes. As part of the new Web UIs we’ve also carried through all these features into the world of the Web browser. This article […]

  22. […] I’ve blogged quite a bit on the new Web UIs, but in this article we cover all areas of the […]

  23. […] are just rolling out Sage 300 2016 which includes Web versions of Common Services, Bank Services, Tax Services, General Ledger, Accounts Receivables and Accounts […]

  24. […] Sage Summit 2015 we introduced our new Web UIs for Sage 300. I’ve blogged a bit on the various user facing parts and a bit on the technologies […]

  25. […] According to Smith, These are true web screens that run in all the main browsers including IE, Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. There are no plug-ins required, everything is pure HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This means you can access these screens from all sorts of devices like Macs, Windows Desktops and Laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, Android Tablets, Linux Workstations, Raspberry Pi’s and many other devices. The operations modules including I/C, O/E and P/O will follow shortly after early in 2016 as part of a Product Update. […]

  26. […] recently released Sage 300 2016 with Web UIs for C/S, Bank, Tax, G/L, A/R and A/P. Now we have released our first beta of the operations modules […]

  27. […] new Web Screens will have the same ability to create custom accounting applications and to easily add them to one […]

  28. […] been talking about how to develop Web UIs using our beta SDK. But so far we’ve only been running these in Visual Studio, we haven’t […]

  29. […] Sage 300c Web UIs use both stateless and stateful technology. This article will talk about when we use each, how to […]

  30. […] in hand with true HTML/JavaScript/CSS Web UI’s you also want to access the same logic from other general programs using RESTful Web Services. This […]


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