Sage ERP Pro - DGG Consulting Review

As of 2011, DGG is eliminating Sage ERP Pro from the Top 10 ERP listings.

Sage ERP Pro Issue: Visual FoxPro Support Ended in 2010

Visual Foxpro, the language in which Sage ERP Pro is written, was discontinued by Microsoft in 2007. Normally, we would consider this an evolution in the industry and expect FoxPro support to be continued by some company in the industry. Microsoft has a clearly stated end-of-life support policy for all products. Under this policy, Mainstream support ended 1/12/10, and extended support will be available until 2015.

Sage ERP Pro Development Status

Sage has released both 2010 and 2011 versions of Pro. The 2011 version contains a reasonable number of new features (see release guide attached), and the 2010 version also included several enhancements. The history of recent enhancements is on the Sage site.

Sage ERP Pro History

Sage ERP Pro (previously ACCPAC Pro) was purchased from SBT Software by ACCPAC. Originally, many speculated that ACCPAC was simply purchasing the client base of SBT and planned to move the SBT users to the mainline ACCPAC product (then called Advantage). When ACCPAC was purchased by Sage, the products were renamed to Sage ERP Pro (SBT/Pro Series) and Sage ERP ACCPAC. As noted above, Pro was written in FoxPro, and had been a choice for those businesses needing customization since both SBT and ACCPAC made the product source code available.

Future of Sage ERP Pro

With FoxPro's end of life, it is difficult to say when Sage will discontinue support entirely. Sage is offering customers with current Support Agreements the opportunity to switch to another product, and those not current on Support Agreements may transition under a special transition agreement that results in significant savings. No end date has been announced for support on Pro as of this date (7/17/11) as far as we can determine. In addition, no end date has been announced for the transition agreement.

Recommendations for Clients on Sage Pro

At this point, businesses with Sage Pro should contact a business parter for assistance in evaluating their alternatives. Pro will remain supportable for some period of time in the future, but will be increasingly risky as support for FoxPro is dropped from newer versions of Microsoft operating systems.

I continue to read blog posts and position papers claiming that there will continue to be a market for FoxPro applications. Many developers who began in dBase (xBase) will remember the transition from dBase to FoxBase to FoxPro (and others). (Note from Bob Palmer: As a developer that began using dBase in college, then FoxBase, and finally FoxPro, I moved away from the platform over ten years ago when Microsoft began to signal clearly that ACCESS and not FoxPro was the future direction.) Conspiracy theories abound (Microsoft didn't invent FoxPro; FoxPro didn't generate enough revenue for Microsoft; Microsoft couldn't control it).

Realisticly, the only developers still clinging to FoxPro are those that can't or won't learn anything else. It was a good environment. So was the BetaMax. Times have changed. Move on. Get a life.

All of this is to say that eventually, you'll want to move to something else if you're currently on Sage Pro. If you chose Pro because of its customization, you need to be extremely careful in moving to another product. Contact Bob Palmer at DGG for assistance in evaluating your position (877-306-3994 x 118).