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Monthly Archives: March 2011

#3 Sage Accpac Reporting and Crystal Report


Date: 27/03/2011

Sage Accpac ERP uses crystal report and excel to do the reporting. By using Business object’s crystal report and Microsoft’s excel, Sage Accpac represent its data on report. Where Financial Reporter using excel to generate financial reports like balance sheet and profit and loss statement, wide tools of crystal report is used to render the ERP data for different modules in the reporting format.

In this article focus in manly on crystal report and its deployment in Accpac. Sage makes it very simple to customize existing report or to generate a new report form Accpac database and deliver it to the end users. With Accpac there are different ways that we can deliver the required report to the user. Either we can directly put the report designed report icon to the sage Accpac desktop or we can call the report through a VBA or VB program and put the short cut on the Accpac Desktop. When we are writing report in crystal for Accpac we need to keep few points in our mind.

Since Sage Accpac comes with the crystal report viewer we can directly put the report on the Accpac desktop and view it. When we run the report crystal parameter screen ask for the parameters user in the report if any. The important thing that we need to consider in that our report should work for all the companies and should pick the correct companies data from where it is running. For ex. if there are two companies set up in a client’s side one is ABC and other is XYZ, then Same report should pick the ABC company data when run from ABC company and XYZ data when run from XYZ company. Accpac provide mechanism for it. Sage Accpac pass “CMPNAME” Parameter that will have the name of the company from which the report been called and will also change the DSN of the report at the runtime to have the database for the company it is running from.

We can also record a macro or create a report UI to integrate our reports to Accpac Desktop. In either case, we must define our report in corresponding application’s report initialization file, xxrpt.ini. The report descriptor file is an ASCII file, structured in the

Windows “.INI” format. It includes the names and parameters of all the reports in our application. The command-level interface uses the report descriptor file. The report descriptor file is xxvvv\xxRPT.INI, where xx is the two-letter application id, and vvv is the program version. For example, the report descriptor file for General Ledger version 5.6A would be GL56A\GLRPT.INI. 

When we record a macro to display and print a Crystal report, the resultant macro code is only valid for displaying and printing the report locally, from the Sage Accpac ERP Desktop. To display the report from the Sage Accpac ERP Web Desktop, the macro code must be modified to use the AccpacPrintReport control, and the Crystal ActiveX Report Viewer must exist on the client.

Aggyey

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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in Accpac & Crystal Report

 

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#2 Steps to upgrade Sage Accpac successfully


Date: 20/03/2011

It’s always good to keep all our clients to the latest version of Sage Accpac with latest service pack to avoid any technical problem. It is also useful at the time when one need third level of support since Sage will only support for last two versions. It also becomes important to check the latest service packs if any technical problem is there. Many times I have seen customer facing problem only because latest service pack is not there.
Upgrading Sage Accpac from its older version to new version is not a rocket science. But we need to follow proper steps and take care of the key point some of them I will list here. If we do not follow instructed ways then the things can go worse. Some Key points that we need to take care are as follows:
a. Most important of all is taking “proper” backup. When I say proper it means not only Accpac Database dump. We need to take the Accpac application and database backup. It is recommendable that before planning any updating we must have a brief study about the Accpac System running at the site. We have to list all the customized reports that is used by client. Also we must document the customization done at the application level, i.e. VB and VBA Programs. I experienced companies not going for up- gradation only because of too much customization on application and database level. If this is the case then we must take backup from the database side as well because if there are new tables created for the purpose of customization then Accpac dump will not take those tables into database dump. So it is safe to take database backup from backend. Take the backup of all the Accpac directories and customized directory if any. That involves the backup of all Macros, applications, Reports (default and customized) and Accpac default directory.
b. Export the users there rights and permission, customized directory and user profile if any. Since Accpac is not maintaining these details in database therefore we need to take this data separately. Later it is useful to create the same structure of Accpac users and there rights.
c. Before upgrade it is very important to check the database changes that new version have to make sure that in all the customization the changed fields will not have any effect. If we found any database field used by Report, VBA or VB application that is changed in new version, we need to change that report, VBA or VB application before upgrade to make sure it will run after we do the upgrade.
d. Check the CRM Integration as well with the CRM consultant if any.
Once we took proper back up, it is recommendable to do the test upgrade before performing the live upgrade. It is helpful if any issues are there with upgrade. Further we need to follow predefined steps to upgrade Accpac from its earlier version. We need to do all these steps one by one in the sequential order. In brief we can say there are following steps:
• Prepare the current Sage Accpac Database for upgrade.
• Install the latest version of Accpac.
• Restore user profile and check customized reports and Applications.
Upgrade workstations.
Let’s discuss all these points in detail:
1. Prepare the current Sage Accpac Database for upgrade : – At the time of upgrade Accpac do not allow the process to complete if some Batch are un-posted or some process are not completed. So before proceeding we must complete all the following process.
a. Post all the transactions from Accpac PJC module.
b. Run Accpac Inventory Day End process.
c. Perform the reconciliation for all the banks used by company. Clear all the Returns as well. Some time we face an Error: “Requested receipt was returned previously”. It is a known error and the hot fix is available for it i.e. HF26222_BK55A_PU2 Run it to resolve the issue and proceed with the Bank reconciliation.
d. Post all the AR and AP transaction. Run Cerate GL Batch in AR and AP to make sure that there is no un-posted batch.
e. Your Accpac Database is ready to upgrade.
f. Take the Database backup.
g. Take the Application and customized directory backup.
h. Export user profiles and there rights. Also export the customized directory if any in administrative services.
2. Install the latest version of Accpac: – After you prepare Accpac Data to do the upgrade you can prepare the server on which you are going to do the upgrade. So we can install the Accpac’s latest version on the machine. After setting things up and putting the Accpac Keys in place we are ready to upgrade it. Just restore the database and activate all modules. At the time of activation Accpac automatically do all the required changes in to the database. If you got any issue in this step you need to go back to the previous version and rectify it before you proceed. So make sure you follow the step 1 correctly.
3. Restore user profile and check customized reports and Applications: – After all the modules have been upgraded to the latest version you need to restore the user profile, there rights and customized directories. Also you need to restore all the Customized reports and VBA, VB applications if any and check it with the new data base.
For all VBA and VB application if it is using Accpac controls or code then it need to be refresh accordingly. Old Accpac controls need to be replaced by the new one also code need to be refresh according to the new version.
4. Upgrade workstations: – Last and important task is to upgrade the workstation as well. To do so we need to uninstall the old version of workstation at the client PC and new version of Accpac workstation need to be installed.
Above is a brief summary how to upgrade Accpac version. Accpac also releases product update to resolve some technical problems in the Accpac. These Service packs also need to be install very carefully specially when there is lots of customization involved. When we are installing Service pack of any version it replace the reports or Dlls in the Accpac directory So before installing any service pack or Hotfix it is recommended to take the back up of database and Application directory.

Aggyey

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Accpac Upgrade

 

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#1 Sage Accpac ERP Implementation success tips


Date: 13/03/2011

Technology is changing day by day and improving itself, making itself better then yesterday. The penetration of technology into Commerce and Economics changing the face of the business in the global village. Sage Accpac ERP is also one such attempt and it has left its impact wherever it puts its step. I have seen companies very closely growing and expanding themselves after they implemented Accpac. Apart from eliminating paper work and centralizing all the organizational data it provides the strength, time and tools for deciding and laying business decision and policies.
But it became very important for the implementation team to map the business process correctly and efficiently with the Accpac. It does not take long to become a nightmare for company if the Accpac or any other system not implemented properly. According to me there should be “System Implementation Life Cycle” (SILC) that needs to be followed by each implementation team. They should lay down there point before even starting the implementation project. It is also recommendable to educate the users about the importance of proper plan and SILC so that they can also keep the check on the implementation team.
Even if it is not a complete new development of the system it is only a implementation but it is very important to put all the requirement in a document. Let’s called it “Functional Specification Document” (FSD). This FSD will contain data flows, Structures of different system related entities (Account number, Item number), Special and complex practices if any. FSD should be self-explanatory and should contain detail about business process, flow charts and diagrams. With FSD, project plan should also be included to make implementation fruitful and finish on time.
The process of implementation not only finish here training to the user is also equally important. Each user of company that is going to use the ERP System need to be tanned well enough to do his part of job on new system in his company. According to me the tanning of data entry people are as important as the training of top level management. Also we need to give tips and shortcuts to the users and have to convince them (especially data entry people) that this new system is better than there old system. As far as Accpac is concern I fell that it is easier for a new user to learn and use it very easily. I got the comments and feedback from some oracle apps and SAP users that Accpac is far easier to learn and use. Further the user friendliness of Accpac is better than other big names in the ERP Market.
Accpac having lots of sort cuts that reduce work load and increasy efficiency for sure. It is as follows:

Sort Cut Key Description
F1 Display online Help, available anywhere in Accpac
F5 Displays a Finder window to select records from
F7 Display Information for a record
F9 Enlarge the selected record to display more info
“+” To open the calculator while in a field that accepts numeric values, press the plus key (+) on numeric keypad
“Space Bar” Press the spacebar to select and activate the highlighted button

Also to increase the efficiency and reduce complexity for the user (although there is none) we can create a folder on the Accpac Desktop of the users that contain all the forms and Report that related to that user. It Will allow the users to get all the forms and reports that they use.

Aggyey

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Accpac Hot Fix

 

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