Skyewright -> Win-32 Products -> Upgrading from DOS or Windows

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Enhancement through Synergy

What's Different?

This section provides an overview of 32-bit Synergy applications for people upgrading from our earlier DOS or 16-bit Windows applications, concentrating on some of the features that have changed.

Overview

The Synergy applications have been re-written from the ground up as a 32-bit Windows program. We have taken the opportunity to modify the design with the aim of making it even more robust to unforeseen future changes and to provide more integration between our range of add-ons for Sage Line 50.

Data Location

Synergy DOS applications and the earlier 16-bit Windows applications maintained their data alongside Sage's own data; this had advantages and disadvantages. The new applications replace this with a system in which there is a clear distinction between the two types of data. Synergy now maintains its own separate folders for its own data, with each Synergy Dataset folder being associated with a particular set of Sage data. For more about Datasets see the Datasets Pages.

User Access Control

Synergy DOS applications used and recognised Sage passwords and the user access rights in Sage were reflected in the Synergy applications. 16-bit Synergy applications used a much simpler, single, "all or nothing" password that was independent of Sage. The new Synergy applications maintain User Profiles separate to those maintained by Sage. These User Profiles, with a user name and optional password, apply to actions within and carried out from the Synergy application. When connecting to Sage data, the application uses the real Sage user name and password that has been associated with the current Synergy user. If you want, it's quite possible to provide a User with an identity and password that allows them to use Synergy features, without them knowing a user name and password that would allow them to use the Sage application directly.

One advantage of the new system is that it allows finer control over the displayed data - for example it allows re-introduction of the Profile DOS feature whereby cost and profit data in the Profile Customers archive can be hidden from users who do not have Supplier access rights.

For more about users and access rights see the Users Pages.

Reporting

The DOS applications used fixed report formats plus an extended syntax for Sage document layouts. The 16-bit Windows products provided an extended syntax for the Sage report designer. The new 32-bit applications use an entirely independent report designer. Among the possibilities that the new report designer introduces are the inclusion of images and barcodes on report and document layouts.

Selection Criteria

The DOS applications provided a selection feature called Filters to allow fine tuning of some reports using a number of special options such as matching text patterns in account analysis fields. The 16-bit Windows products included Advanced selection that provided text pattern matching for certain data fields. The new 32-bit applications provide a more flexible system of advanced selection criteria. You can select on a much wider range of data fields (for reports, the range is pretty much everything that can be shown on the equivalent report) and use a wider range tests (ranges as well as pattern matching). The new selection criteria also allow OR joins, so you can select records that match condition A or condition B.

Account & Product Notes

The DOS applications provided a feature called Memos that allowed short, dated text notes to be attached to accounts and products. Memos also provided a react date that could be used as a reminder. The 16-bit Windows products didn't have an equivalent of this feature. The new 32-bit applications re-introduce the feature as Notes (Sage for Windows already uses the term Memo to mean something else). Enhancements to the original DOS Memos include a lifting of the old 60 character size limit (Notes can be multi line and of substantial length) and the addition of a status data field that allows Notes to be further classified - so you might run a report on all Notes with react dates in the next week and with a status not equal to Complete. Naturally, Memos can be imported into the new system from your old DOS data.

Licence Keys

Synergy DOS applications and the earlier 16-bit Windows applications used a licensing scheme that involved a licence key that was unique to a given combination of licensee, product and product version. Each installed copy of the program needed to be registered using the key even if they were accessing the same data across a network. The new applications use a centralised licensing system, so you only need to install the licence key on one computer in a connected group - workstation copies of the application pick up the licensing details from the main database.

When you first run the application on your system no licence key has been installed, so the application offers you the opportunity to request or install one. The older product licences were either single user or multi-user, the new licence key informs the application how many concurrent Users and Datasets it should allow and what, if any, other restrictions it should place on the available features.

As well as being linked to licensee, product and product version the new licence keys are also specific to the system they are installed on, i.e. the same licence key won't work for a separate installation that can't "see" the central database. We recognise that many companies like to maintain a full copy of their data on a separate computer - often the MD's laptop - as a backup and for out of hours reference. To accommodate such use we will usually, at our discretion and on request, provide one free additional, single user, "Laptop Licence" to users who have purchased an equivalent full licence key for two users or more.

For more about application licences see the Licensing Pages.

On-line Help

The DOS applications used a "home grown" version of context sensitive help. The 16-bit Windows products used standard 16-bit Windows style context sensitive help files. The new applications provide help at three levels. Many data fields and controls have brief "ToolTips" which just popup if the mouse cursor pauses over the control, so they are just "there" when you need them (they can be turned off!). If you want a little more information about a window or control, "What's This" help is available - for example the "What's This" help about a data input field will tell you the purpose of the field and the type and range of data that is acceptable. If you want more of an overview, the [F1] key or the Help button will load a page of context sensitive help. The help pages are written in HTML, so they can also be accessed using your browser at any time.

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