Sage Data in the Cloud – Q & A
An important takeaway from Sage Summit 2013 was learning more about the Sage Data Cloud (SDC). The SDC is a cloud database that will store a portion of every Sage user’s data so that it can be accessed quickly by a variety of useful connected services, such as Sage Mobile Invoices or Sage Mobile Service.
In its current tests, the SDC has successfully stored billions of bytes of information and many millions of records. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the SDC.
What happens when Sage enables the SDC?
When Sage places the SDC into general service, all users who are on a current maintenance plan will have their vendor, customer, inventory item and invoice records stored in the cloud in a multi-tenant database. All the records will look alike, no matter which Sage ERP product they came from.
This is important because when all records are in the same format they can all be used by sophisticated cloud (connected) services that examine those records to display them on mobile devices, to allow users to add new records, and to search and report on existing records.
Can the SDC be used as cloud backup?
The SDC will not store the entire user’s raw data for backup purposes. Its main purpose is to allow connected services such as Sage Mobile Invoices or Sage Mobile Service to use that data and to allow the user to change it, and to add new records or delete existing ones from their mobile devices.
But it is not beyond the realm of possibility that some clever developer may create a utility that will restore lost vendor, customer, item or invoice records from the SDC, if they are lost catastrophically.
If all records are in the same format, how do they get back to the user’s local Sage ERP database?
That’s a great question. The answer is three letters – API. This is tech speak for “Application Programming Interface” and it is, in essence, a translator that speaks two different languages. It speaks SDC and it also speaks Sage 100 (in the case of a Sage 100 end-user).
There are four Sage ERP products that will be connected to the SDC – Sage 100 ERP, Sage 300 ERP, Sage 500 ERP and Sage ERP X3. That means that there will be four unique API’s created by the Sage development team, each one speaking SDC, and the language of the Sage ERP package for which it was developed. Your data in the SDC is always perfectly synchronized to your local data, and it’s all done seamlessly in the background.
If you’d like to learn more about these API’s, and about Sage’s innovative SData standards which were created to facilitate data transmittal and storage, you can check this webpage out: https://sdata.sage.com/sdata11/sdatacore_covers.html.
What makes the SDC valuable to my business?
Sage has already developed some very powerful connected services that will be of great benefit to many of you. For example, if you stock inventory, have staff who needs mobile invoice processing or item inquiry capabilities, if you have mobile service staff who need to write service tickets, or if your remote staff needs mobile access to customer or vendor account information, then the SDC will benefit you greatly.
Let’s say that you’re a distributor on current maintenance using Sage 300 and you’d like to start allowing your field sales staff to write invoices. You simply have Sage add that service to your account, and the software will work almost instantly. All your items and customer accounts are already in the SDC, so there’s no conversion process, or data upload, etc. Your data is already in the form that the connected service needs it to be in, so you’re off and running.
It is most likely that Sage will use a large commercial datacenter like Amazon or Google for its data storage and this data will be as secure and reliable as it could possibly be. Your data will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality, and only you and your authorized users will have access to it.
How much does it cost?
The best thing about the SDC, other than the fact that it allows you to access world-class Sage connected services, is that it’s free. If you’re on a current maintenance plan, you get up to 1 terabyte of data storage at no charge. The data is backed-up automatically, and it’s available for up to 6 months after you cancel your Sage maintenance plan.
Written by Doug Deane, President & CEO of DSD Business Systems.