For many years Sage Line 100 was Sage’s primary product for businesses in the UK with turnovers between roughly £2 and £20M. It is still used, but the great majority of users have moved to other products such as Sage 50 or Sage 200, as Sage made it end of life and so stopped supporting it a good number of years ago.
Sage Line 100 was originally written in the 1980s by a company called Sky Software, which Sage acquired in the late 1980s. It was written in a proprietary programming language called Retrieve 4GL, which allowed simple customisation and extension of Sage Line 100.
The business logic in and technology used by Sage Line 100 today has not changed much since the 1993, and arguably not since the late 1980s. This means that the product is now dated, but more positively it has meant that for many years Line 100 has been a very stable and very well understood and so supported product.
There are some significant exceptions, most notably that Sage Line 100 has been “ported” to Windows, and that Sage Line 100 data is accessible for reporting purposes in Microsoft Excel and Access through an “odbc” driver.
Why stay with Sage Line 100
Where users stayed with Sage Line 100 after Sage stopped supporting it, there were a range of reasons, the appropriate ones included:
- An entirely proper conservatism when faced with potentially significant costs and disruption to core business functions, particularly given Sage Line 100’s stability
- Important customisations or third party industry specific software that would be expensive to recreate for Sage 200 or other possible replacement products
- Lack of reason to move, where Line 100 continues to fully meet a business’ accounting and reporting needs
Stretching Sage Line 100
Prior to the release of Sage MMS v3 (Sage MMS has been renamed, and is the finance part of the Sage 200 suite), Protronics found ways to deal with some of the more obvious limitations of Line 100. These included:
- Improved reporting via Microsoft Excel, Access and SQL Server
- Better print management, including laser printing to plain paper with document specific overlays, and email delivery of documents
- Web integration, including web sales order entry
Continued support or help upgrading
While choosing to remain using Sage Line 100 now means accepting a very unusual level of risk, for those users that feel they have little choice but to accept that risk Protronics continues to offer support to Sage Line 100 sites and intends to do so for a little while yet. We also offer advice and assistance regarding current Sage products, whether downgrading to Sage 50cloud or upgrading to Sage 200cloud.
Companies which are part of international groups may need to be aware that Sage market unrelated and quite different products as “Line 100” in other countries. Examples of which we’re aware include Sage 100 in Belgium and Germany