Multi-user Cloud based rivals for Sage 50
I am a Sage 50 Developer, supplying and installing mainly Sage 50 to small businesses with custom add-ons in VB if required. I know, love and hate Sage 50 with all its limitations and the workarounds but now I'm looking at the web-based solutions, particularly for a new client with 3 PCs and 2 Macs, computerising his accounts for the first time. My usual solution would be a separate terminal server (he already has a main server for e-mail, file sharing etc) for the two Macs and remote working. This will work but not cheap with the software costs too.
Other alternatives would be extra PCs for the Mac users, hosted Sage 50 (such as Online 50) - again not cheap long-term - or VirtualBox/Parallels etc to run Windows on the Macs - a bit messy.
The cheaper and easier alternative would be a web-based system but they seem a bit too basic. I don't need stock at the moment (they are service-based but do have stocks of raw materials) but I do need:
1. User access control so different users with different passwords can have restricted access.
2. Special customer pricing so when he's raising an invoice it looks to see if this customer has a special price rather than just list price or list less discount.
3. Order Processing not vital but would be useful.
4. Then what if he wants something extra in the future - custom reports or even something that reads and writes like the Sage Developer toolkit. In my dreams, I'd like this or at least something like ODBC to read the data tables - do any of the packages use MySQL or MS SQL Server as their databases? ODBC works great with those on web servers.
Kashflow looks good but doesn't have the above. Security is a concern and Kashflow ticks the boxes there but as for Xero, I'm sure some of you use it but someone asked me to have a look at it recently...hmmm. It looks good but I asked myself: what if your data gets corrupt and you can't get in or run reports; what if their servers go down or they go bust and your data is on their server. There is not even an address or telephone number on the web site - just UK "advisors". Not much use if the server or your data on it has a problem and not reassuring.
I'd be very interested in anyone's comments - even some not-too-blatant advertising.
Tony Bayliss FCCA
Senator System Consultants Ltd