Custom Reports and Upgrading to Master Builder 16

Sage Master Builder version 16 was released late last Fall. This release included changes to the database structure to allow more contacts for Jobs, Clients, and Employees. Significant changes were made to the Report Writer impacting custom reports within Master Builder (reports that end in a two-digit number less than 21) and reports in the 13-4 screen. Another important change was to the Query functionality and structure.

In January 2011, Sage released the revised Federal Tax Tables in version 16 only. Just last week, another updated tax table for the IL Income tax change was made available (version 16.2.42, Payroll tax table 2011.2), but again, only in version 16.

These two most recent changes make it pressing to upgrade to SMB version 16, but making this change may cause critical reports to be unusable in their current form. So how do you know what reports are at risk?

Prior to the upgrade:

  • Print all critical reports for the week/month. This should include SMB reports numbered 20 or less, as well as any custom integrations that are run through a separate icon.
  • Run any queries used on a regular basis, so you have current reports.
  • Look through the various SMB reports for information that originates from the Job Contact field, or one of the three Client Contact fields. This would include name, title, phone numbers, etc. These reports may or may not have issues following the upgrade.
  • Having just run the week’s/month’s critical reports, plan the day of the upgrade as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for any required adjustments before the reports will be needed again. Leave sufficient time to test following the upgrade, since adjustments and/or changes may be needed in order for these reports to work under the new version.

Following the upgrade:

  • Go back to the reports and queries that were run prior to the upgrade and regenerate them.
  • Make a list of any that fail to run or have garbled or missing data.
  • Run the custom reports from the icons. If the report fails, note the name of the report.
  • If you are familiar with the SMB Report Writer, modifications can be made to any reports that are not working correctly. Remember to use a different number to avoid over-writing the original in case the changes are not successful.
  • For any Custom Syscon icon reports that are failing, contact Syscon with the name of the report, the version if available, and when you anticipate needing the report again.

Testing all of these reports prior to the update would be ideal, but unrealistic given the need to have the updated tax tables installed as soon as possible. Given this limitation, it is possible that some reports or custom programs may not work properly and will need changes. Sharing this information with your staff and talking through the key information and reporting prior to the upgrade will provide some structure with a fairly clear order of priority for any reports that may fail.

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