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Sage 200 Professional - Deployed via Sage Provisioning Portal: FAQs

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Summary

Frequently Asked Questions around the Sage 200 Professional deployment via the Sage Provisioning Portal.

Description

This article applies to Sage 200 Professional deployments via Azure Partner Cloud and details how to publish applications to users in the Azure Virtual Desktop application. For further information relating to the Sage Partner Cloud Program please review our Overview & FAQ document, available in the Partner Hub.

On System Setup
  1. What components of Sage 200 Professional are installed on the virtual machine?
    The entire Sage 200 Professional product is deployed, including modules they may not be licenced for. This allows the addition of the licence simply from within the Sage Provisioning Portal, which in turn will update the Sage Licence service and enable that functionality to be activated within the software without the need for further installation.  
  2. Can the internal site name be changed?
    The internal site name is set up by the Sage Provisioning Portal, at the point you ‘add site’ you will be given the option to change this. The internal name will be used as part of the tagging in the Azure portal which can support cost analysis. If you do not change the internal name during the add site wizard stage, you will not be able to change it later.
  3. The portal has different virtual machines available to the material for the system specification, why?
    This is a configuration issue which will be addressed as part of our Sage Provisioning Portal 2022.0 product update in October. 
    The virtual machines specified in our document are as follows: 
    • Small - B2S: 1-2 Users
    • Medium - B4MS: 3-5
    • Large - B8MS: 6-50 users
  4. Which scripts are run during the provisioning of the virtual machine.
    We don’t run a series of PowerShell scripts for the virtual machine set up, it’s a combination of activity including scripts, ARM templates and API calls. These are the automation steps:
    1. Create a VM based on an existing image
    2. Create a data disk
    3. Attach data disk to the VM
    4. Configure AVD for both desktop and streaming as appropriate
    5. Configure Azure SQL Database
    6. Create and configure elastic pool for the databases.
    7. Create or import a database
    8. Add the database to the elastic pool
    9. Add firewall rules to access the database
    10. Create users and logins in the database
    11. Create users in the VM
    12. Install updates if the image has not got the latest updates
    13. Configure backups
    14. Configure the application
    15. User’s mapping (VM-DB-Application)
    16. Virtual network configuration
    17. Securitize all the infrastructure
    18. Customer receives an email saying that the site is up and running
  5. Do you have any information on publishing applications in Azure Virtual Desktop?
    Yes, we’ve created this article, additionally there is a wealth of information also on the Microsoft site.
  6. Do you have information on how to upgrade customers to this deployment, if they have used another Sage 200 variant?
    Yes, we’ve created this article to give you a full overview of all migration options including how to move to deployments of Professional through the Sage Provisioning Portal.
  7. Are we able to change the VM setup within the Sage Provisioning Portal?
    Yes, you can change the VM size and select one of the other 2 available sizes. If you wish to change component elements of the virtual machine this will need to be done via the Azure Portal.
  8. Is the virtual machine a standard size?
    Yes, this is triggered based on the users you select during the site wizard, they are as follows.

    • Small - B2S: 1-2 Users
    • Medium - B4MS: 3-5
    • Large - B8MS: 6-50 users
      You can find more information on how the sites are set up by using this document.
On System Access
  1. Will only partner colleagues who have undertaken the training be able to access the new Sage 200 Professional? 
    Yes, Sage 200 Professional is a separate product to those we already provision within the Sage Provisioning Portal. All necessary accreditations will need to be completed before access is granted. All colleagues wishing to use the portal should be accredited in the necessary courses, minimum is 2 colleagues.  
  2. Is terminal services needed for users? 
    No, Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is used to gain access to the system. If the customer does not need access to the full system they can use the new Web form functionality within the Sage Professional, in which case this can be done via a browser where external access is set up.
  3. How will a customer access the Sage 200 Professional Client?
    By default, a customer will access Sage 200 via Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) app streaming. AVD also offer full desktop access to the Virtual Machine to enable Business Partners to install third party add-ons.
  4. Is the client hosted on Azure or installed locally?
    The program is installed on a virtual machine, hosted on Azure. You access the virtual machine through the Azure Virtual Desktop application.   
  5. Is the product like Sage 200 Standard, in that the client runs locally and the data hosted centrally? 
    No. The Sage 200 client is hosted on a Virtual Machine and the data is hosted on SQL Azure both of which run on Azure. 
  6. Can customers using this deployment access the software on an Apple Mac operating system?
    Yes, you can access the Apple compatible virtual desktop app here and you can find out more information about this deployment here.
  7. Can partners suspend these sites for non-payment?
    No, only the Sage Loyalty team can lock a site. Please contact them to discuss further.
  8. Can Sage’s technical support team access sites as they do for Standard and Sage for Education?
    No, as this deployment doesn’t solely use the Sage Account credentials and is not on Sage’s Azure subscription our technical support team are unable to add themselves to these sites for the purpose of troubleshooting. Instead, they will use connection methods as they do today for other Sage 200 Professional deployments.
  9. If a customer wants to access the Sage 200 Client via AVD will they need to use the new AAD credentials provided by partners?
    Yes, even if the customer has their own set of AAD credentials they must use the ones provided by the partner as part of the deployment via the portal.
  10. If a customer wants to access the Sage 200 web forms not using an AVD connection, what credentials will they use?
    If a customer has the relevant AAD entitlement on their own tenant, then the tunnel can be set up using the customer AAD credentials, when they log into the actual Sage 200 product it would be customer credentials via the partners AAD. Further information is available in this article.
  11. If the administration user, who signs the product terms does not need access to the actual environment will they be charged for an AVD licence?
    No, only individuals who access the software using AVD will be charged for an AVD licence via your CSP. The AVD licences are a flexible licence that bills on an individual user basis, based on their use during the month, you can find out more here.
  12. Can a customer administration user be changed?
    Yes, this can be requested by emailing the contracts team via [email protected].
  13. Should users be set up through the Sage Provisioning Portal?
    Yes, as the portal automates the user setup in the relevant group.
  14. Will each Azure Virtual Desktop deployment be VLAN apart?
    You can find out more about the system architecture using our diagram.  
    Each customer’s virtual machine is separate. As it’s a shared Active directory we've also taken additional steps with the deployment so that the customers cannot see other users in the AD group. This is why it’s important that additional users are set up through the Sage Provisioning Portal and it adds them into the relevant AD group. 
  15. Adding additional customer users to the Provisioning Portal, how does that work with System Admin?
    Setting up new users in the portal will also add in them into the relevant AD group. This means when System Administration is opened it will look for new users and prompt to add them.

On Customisation
  1. Can Developers have a test copy? 
    Yes, please refer to this article for more information. 
  2. Can Partners have a test copy? 
    Yes, please refer to this article for more information. 
  3. How will customisations work for this deployment? 
    The Sage Development Kit (SDK) will operate as it does today. 
    Please note, as per our end user licence agreement, direct changes to the database are not supported. 
  4. Can customers with bespoke development be migrated to this deployment? 
    If the development has been done using the SDK, then yes.  
  5. How do we know if an ISV solution is compatible with Sage 200 Professional deployed via the Sage Provisioning Portal. 
    You will need to contact the ISVs to understand readiness. For an ISVs who have informed us we’ve shared the status on our dedicated Sage City site.  
  6. Can I access Sage 200 resources from an external machine via the Sage 200 SDK? 
    It is possible to create an application that runs on an external machine using the Sage 200 SDK. A web service could be defined on the VM which would in turn access the SDK. Please not however that this would require the opening of a port and may have security implications. explored or something we'd recommend. 
  7. What user will be used if I define a web service to access Sage 200 resource? 
    If you publish a web service through Azure, it will be running in the context of that service in IIS. Should you require a different user then please refer to the documented samples.  
On SQL and SQL Databases
  1. Can we access SQL Server Management Studio? 
    Yes, we propose you add it to your AVD, so you can access the SQL Management Studio whenever you need it. Instructioins on how to do this can be found in our knowledge base article.
  2. Can customers have access to SQL? 
    That is for partners to decide, by default customer users only have access to a streamed version of Sage 200 but you can add additional applications to the set of streamed applications a customer can access (such as SQL Server Management Studio). Alternatively you can grant a customer full desktop access via WVD. Please note Microsoft have a different charging mode for full desktop access vs streamed applications. 
    You can see find out more using the links below: 
  3. What is the difference between a SQL Server and an Azure SQL Server? 
    You can find out more in this Microsoft Article
  4. How do you access an individual customers' databases? 
    Please see our knowledgebase article for more information. 
  5. How do you run custom script?
    Please see our knowledgebase article for more information.  
  6. What is the trigger point for a new SQL elastic pool to be created? 
    Each elastic pool is pre-configured to accommodate 60 databases, the creation of the 61st database will initiate the creation of a new elastic pool. 
    NOTE: Partners should pro-actively monitor elastic pools, should the storage limit be reached before the trigger point of 61 databases then the database creation will fail. Partners can separately increase the elastic pool capacity via the Azure Portal. 
  7. If a customer makes an SQL query, within the shared infrastructure how is it ensured that they can only see and access their own databases? 
    Each customer has their own Config database and as many company databases as they need, they are all separate and not shared. Current setup is that only partner logins have the database credentials, a partner can opt to give customers access to the relevant SQL database as with on prem if they choose to.  
    You can find out more about the system architecture using our diagram.  
  8. Are stored procedures or triggers supported with SQL Azure? 
    There are differences in the functionality with SQL Azure, you can find out more in this Microsoft Article. In line with our product terms, direct changes to the database including triggers are not supported.  
  9. When the Sage 200 software is installed, it creates a standard “Sage 200 Configuration” database per customer, how will this work with multi customers into one Azure SQL Server? 
    Each customer has a configuration database, the customer only has permissions to access their own databases. They are all named individually with the internal site name (shown in SPP).  
  10. What information can you share about the specification and costs associated with additional servers and databases for use with third party solutions?
    The Sage Provisioning portal allows the creation of   additional SQL servers for those circumstances where an additional SQL database is required for third-party solutions (ISVs). In these circumstances SPP creates a SQL server and these currently have no cost implications, it is the creation of a logical server to group databases.  
    This deployment uses Azure SQL as a Service, the provisioning portal does not create the additional SQL Server in a hosted Virtual Machines so the inherent costs are associated when you create databases and/or elastic pools. 3rd party databases not associated with new companies in Sage 200 are created outside of the elastic pool and therefore this will lead to additional costs, refer to the relevant part of the Microsoft pricing calculator for an indication of costs (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/azure-sql-database/single). These databases can be relocated into the elastic pool, however these will not form part of the Sage Provisioning portal backup routines – separate backup routines from the Azure portal will need to be initiated. 
    NOTE: Please also refer to the backups section for further information.
On Azure
  1. If I have access to the UK and Irish Sage Provisioning Portal, can I use the same Azure ID for both? 
    No, you need to have different IDs for the different regions you cannot use the same one for as it will cause issues. 
  2. Is there a maximum amount of subscriptions that can be connected into the portal? 
    Yes, currently you can set 10 subscriptions per partner portal account. This is something we will monitor and we can increase if required, however such a change would need to be added to our roadmap so isn’t something we can give an exact date for.  
  3. If we add additional tags to the Azure Portal will that cause any issues? 
    No, however they will not be reflected in the Sage Provisioning Portal 
  4. Can a customer’s Azure subscription ID be used in the portal? 
    No, this would be a breach of a variety of terms including both the Partner Cloud Agreement and Microsoft terms. You can see more in our article and our whitepaper
On Performance
  1. Are the VM sizes, sufficient for the Sage 200 Professional Product? 
    Extensive testing has been performed by our Product Engineering team in line with the user count on our VM sizes document. The sizing only takes into account the core Sage 200 Professional product, Partners will need to validate usage and ISV requirements and can amend the VM size using those available in the Sage Provisioning Portal. Should a customer require a VM that is not available via the Sage Provisioning Portal then alternative VM's are available via the Azure Portal. 
  2. Are the Burstable (B Series) Virtual Machines suitable for use with Sage 200? 
    Yes, these have been included in our product testing and the performance is suitable, however the VM recommendations do not factor in any ISV solution requirements. Burstable VMs are ideal for sites where the full performance of the CPU is not required on a continuous basis – you can find out more about this VM type here.  
  3. Is the 2Vcore instance on the SQL elastic pool sufficient?  
    Yes, these have been included as part of our product testing and the performance is suitable, however the VM recommendations do not factor in use for other applications including third party solutions.  
    This is the same model that Sage use for Sage 200 deployments on Sage’s Azure subscription. Ultimately as partners own the subscription, they can fully manage it and change the performance if/where required via the Azure portal.  
  4. Do you have a user limit for this deployment?  
    No, however we have only performed concurrent testing up to 50 users. Appropriate resources will need to be set to accommodate increased user numbers. 
On Sage Licencing
  1. Does the Sage 200 Professional Product, self-licence through this deployment? 
    The product will install the full solution into the Virtual Machine, the software will contact the Sage Licencing Service to identify the modules & user count applicable to the customer’s licence. Should partners increase or decrease entitlement through the Sage Provisioning portal the licence service will adjust the product accordingly. Please pay attention to prompt that appear in the portal when making licence changes to ensure elements are processed correctly for customers migration from old licencing models.  
  2. Do customers need a Test & Recovery licence for this deployment? 
    We are currently investigating upgrades and test licences for this deployment. At present there is no Test & recover licences available for this deployment. You cannot purchase the current Test & recovery licences for Sage 200 Professional (On Premise) and use them with the provisioning portal deployment.  
  3. Do Sage 200 Connected users need an AVD licence? 
    Only if the user intends to connect to the functionality via a browser in the virtual desktop. If set up to access externally via the web forms, then AVD is not required. 
  4. Does the user of the Sage 200 web forms need an AVD licence? 
    Only if the user intends to connect to the functionality via a browser in the virtual desktop. If set up to access externally via a browser, then AVD is not required. 
On Backups
  1. How long are point in time backups kept for? 
    Point in time backups are kept for between 7 and 35 days, this is depending on your database settings. For sites provisioned via the Sage Provisioning Portal this by default is 35 days. You can find out more about point in time backups here and about restoring point in time backups here.   
  2. How do the backups in the Sage Provisioning Portal work? 
    The Sage Provisioning Portal will perform rolling daily, monthly and yearly backups.  So, it will retain the last 7 days, the last day of the previous month and the last day of the previous year. 
    Additional on-demand backups can be set up if required.  
  3. Are the backups for the SQL elastics pools different to the VM backups? 
    The elastic pools aren’t backed up, it’s the databases within them. However, these and VMs follow the same backup plan from the perspective of the SPP portal. You can run on demand backups separately. 
    1. Virtual Machine. For the VM, they are stored in a Recovery Services Vault. Each partner subscription will have its own vault. 
    2. Database. There is no physical backup of the databases. SPP lets you recover any snapshot in the last 30 days. Only yearly and on demand backups are physically stored in the storage of the partner subscription. 
  4. Are backups automatically setup during the creation of the SQL elastic pool and the customers individual Virtual Machine? 
    Yes, the Sage Provisioning Portal automatically provides a rolling backup cycle for each customer VM, using Azure Backup.  
  5. Once a site is set up when is the first backup initiated? 
    Just after midnight, at the end of the first day following deployment.  
  6. How do the backups for additional database servers work? 
    Additional database servers can be set up via the Sage Partner Portal. These serves will be included as part of the automated backups.  
    Please note that database servers created via the Sage Partner Portal are not included as part of the SQL Elastic Pool. A database server can be moved to the Elastic Pool, to take advantage of cost savings but will then no longer be covered via the Partner Portal automated backup process.  Sage are looking into new functionality for additional database server to be created as part of the Azure Elastic Pool and be covered by the Portal automated backup process. 
On Upgrades
  1. Do you have any guidance/ guides on how upgrades will be performed of the Sage 200 Professional application?
    Not currently, we are working on this at the moment and will share in due course.