Software needs to be as flexible as the businesses it serves. Just as companies can’t afford to stand still, so too must applications remain sufficiently dynamic to continue acting as business enablers.

Softline Enterprise has taken this challenge seriously, releasing new versions of its products that incorporate customer-requested features. Ashley Ellington, MD: Softline Enterprise, says Sage Line 500 v7 is one such release, and one that will impact significantly on users and business.
Ellington says that Sage Line 500 v7 features a number of improvements designed to improve the usability of the software and make it work even harder for a business.
“Key themes we focused on during development were usability, integration, international support, platform support and the creation of a customer wish list. In practical terms, v7 is that much more flexible and efficient, with common functions easier and faster to use. It also enables even better integration having additional tools to assist in the process.”
He comments that because customer feedback and wishes are so important to Sage’s product development, it made use of an online voting system to gather feedback about v6 – clearly reflected in the features of v7. “Sage Line 500 v7 delivers that much more than its predecessors. The software works even harder for your business,” says Ellington.
Significant improvements clients can expect in finance alone include enhancement of the credit management module thereby supporting more efficient management of the credit control process. This translates into improved enquiries, tailored call lists, support for group working and better management of statement/order point customer relationships.
“Each credit controller can now tailor their call lists to their own specific requirements for example,” says Ellington. “They also have direct access to all necessary credit control information and functionality from the call entry option. This makes it that much easier for staff to do their jobs – and do them well.”
The finance department can also look forward to an automated general ledger year-end journal (that allows the system to automatically post the balance of all profit and loss accounts to one account at the General Ledger year-end, with a contra entry to the balance sheet account), and the reallocation of cash – where a cash payment can be re-allocated to a different invoice.
The new look v7 also assists in distribution and manufacturing with enhanced back to back orders (allowing you to create purchase orders directly from a sales order) and stock “hold” and “obsolete” controls.
“This means that individual products can now be marked as ‘obsolete’ or ‘held’; with obsolete stock able to be sold but unable to be purchased, and held stock unable to be sold or purchased,” says Ellington.
Other modules that have been overhauled in this sector include credit notes, alternate routes and bills of materials, bill of materials drill down, inventory batch queue sequencing and multi-company batch queue cleardown.
Ellington explains that because customers have increasingly sophisticated requirements in terms of creating a single integrated software environment, Sage Line 500 v7 is that much easier to integrate with other software – whether Sage or third-party.
“We’ve added a large number of new APIs, allowing integration with more of the Sage Line 500 system, particularly around the sales order to cash process. We’ve additionally migrated the API server and tools to .Net2 in line with industry norms.”
Perhaps the best feature of Sage Line 500 v7, however, is its support for newer technology – keeping the software compatible with changing Unix and Microsoft Windows operating systems, databases and other software in use in customer businesses. Version 7 has an updated Universal Client, providing support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.