Data-Sage - Data/Software Services

Last update: 22nd September, 2018

Contact:   Geoff Barnard, 4 Thirlby Way, GUISBOROUGH, TS14 6GN   (prev: 39A Mill Street, GUISBOROUGH, TS14 6AG (1979 - 2014))

Tel:   01287 637189   mob: 07824 355 833

Clipper Programming/Software Maintenance

I have been working with Clipper software for 28+ years, including systems designed and implemented by myself and systems originally by other programmers. Mainly small business systems based around accounting processes, leading onto blinds mfg systems, dental practice management, Tote for Clubs and various others. Some of my software is still in use and is currently supported.

I have written some routines to help find my way around large systems, especially useful when I've taken over software written by others. The main routine works equally well for various languages, Clipper as well as C and BASIC. Another routine is specific to xBASE data files (and Indexes). Similar help processes could be written as required, for just about any language/data type.

C Programming and Btrieve

Alongside Clipper systems, I began using C for greater performance, especially using Sequiter's CodeBase for accessing dBase, Clipper and FoxPro databases and indexes. I have created a number of extra facilities for browsing data to allow friendly access to the data. Again, my software is still in use today. I have also worked with BTRIEVE based data, including a recent project exporting data from BTRIEVE to import into a new patient database, and I have C routines to manipulate BTRIEVE files.

Bespoke Software - Sage Data

I design and implement programmes to support Sage (R) Line 50 or 100 installations, usually to do things that the standard system will NOT do, or will do in a cumbersome manner. This includes creating report options that take data from two or more file-sets (i.e. SL and SO). One example presented a detailed Sales Analysis from Stock Transactions, but arranged by Rep Code in the SL. Another provides on-screen listing of all outstanding SO that include a given Stock Code, showing Qty. I have also worked with at least two variants of EDI data, inserted into Line100 Sales Orders.

A recent example for a local Community organisation required an analysis from Line 50 of selected transactions based on date PAID - an ODBC solution involving importing data into EXCEL and then a lot of manual cut-and-paste took half a day. My program takes about 5 seconds to produce a better finished report viewable on the screen.

Please note that in the case of Line100, my external programme/process does not constitute a Sage 'user'. Operators who need to make limited access, say to a single part of the system for viewing ONLY, could therefore use a separate program within an installation that is already 'full'.

Sage Data Recovery

Sage files do get damaged from time to time, and it's not always convenient to restore from backup. Often, the problem in the file will be quite minor, and can easily be fixed. For example, both systems use 'linked lists' for transactions, and if the links are broken blocks of transactions will vanish! The 'fix' options within the system will NOT recover the data. I have been able to easily find the break, fix it, and so bring the transactions back. Specifically for Line100, there are problems with Checksum errors, which cause Sage to fail to access a record. I have had cases where the actual data was still useable, once my program had re-set the Checksums.

Bulk Data Input/Output

I have regularly written one-off utilities to get selected data out of Sage files (for use by another system), or to put data into Sage. Examples of the latter include global change of default Nominal codes in SL/PL, mass changes of price in Stock File. Similar processes can be used for other data systems

Bar Code Scanners/CipherLab Programming

I have recently been working with Hand Held Scanners and BarCodes, involving programming the CipherLab device, transferring data to the scanner for lookup and Order Pick or Stock Take data back to the PC. Transfers using both serial link and radio (the latter using a host program written by me). I have also done some investigation into methods of using BarCodes with SAGE. A current CipherLab unit (8200) can also make effective use of SD card storage, to allow substantial datafiles to be stored and accessed regradless of WiFi links, with supporting processes allowing data to be linked to the main system.

Remote Support

Since 2004 I have been involved in maintenance of some large CBasic systems in the USA (Baltimore, Maryland) working via a local business. Systems have been accounting processes, one for a large retail business and another for the State Courts system. Work has involved software updates/additions and fixing problems in data files.

Background:   After graduating in 1972 I worked in Local Government admin for 15 years. Then I joined a local company (Stockton Computer Services/Mowbrays) as a programmer, dealing with accounting/payroll systems. This progressed from our own software (installations of which are still supported) to a substantial proportion of Sage. I was made redundant at the end of 2002, but as by that time I was the totality of the software dept I have retained all the software and the support of longstanding customers.

My software base has been gradually shrinking, from 2007 to 2012 I was working for Hillarys Blinds selling and installing window blinds.

Supported:   Current systems include Warehouse Invoicing/Stock Control/ BarCode Scanning, Blinds Manufacturer Calculate/Stock/Orders, Work Ticket and Job card processing, Club Tote, general Accounts and Payroll installations. Most of my work revolves around .DBF (dBase, Clipper, Fox) type databases.

Any questions, please   contact me