There has been quite a bit of confusion in the Sage customer base as well as for us Partners as to what components are necessary to make the Sage MAS Intelligence (Sage MI) tool functional. By functional I mean to be able to do something with it other than look at it and run extremely basic reports that are delivered with the product.
Sage MI comes natively with a Container. This Container includes tables and fields that are used on the native reports. If these native tables and fields that are defined in this Container are sufficient for you to create your own report layouts then you do not need to purchase the Sage MI Connector module.
To quote one Sage client who has been working with the Sage MI module and has been very active in the Sage Community Forum on this subject, “Personally, I can’t imagine a scenario in which an organization using Sage MI would not want to purchase the Connector module so that they would have the ability to create their own Containers.”
So when looking at what you will will need with Sage MI we will break this into two scenarios. The first is if you do not purchase the Sage MI Connector module and the second as if you did purchase the Sage MI Connector module.
Scenario #1 – You do not purchase the Sage MI Container module
That means you’ll be limited to using the native Containers that come with the product at no additional charge. The Sage MI product comes with canned financial reports that you can modify.
1. Create a folder, in Report Manager, right-click Home and click Add Folder.
2. Create a report, right-click the folder created in step 1 and click Add Report. Choose Standard and click OK.
3. Name your report.
4. Choose a Container. (Again you are not able to create any new Containers in this scenario)
5. Choose some fields to include on your report, and click OK.
6. Run run the report. The report will open an Excel spreadsheet and export data into it based on what you have designed.
7. Design the report layout in the spreadsheet.
8. Link the spreadsheet back to the report as a template.
Additional options still exist for you in this scenario. You can use the Properties, Columns, Filters, Parameters, Sort Fields, and Aggregate Filters tabs to configure and adjust the report to fit your needs.
Scenario #2 – You purchase the Sage MI Connector module
That means you will have the ability to create your own Containers in addition to the having the same functionality as explained in Scenario #1. The Sage MI Connector module allows you to create your own Containers as well as edit existing Containers.
So what is a Container? Containers are the objects that link to data sources. This can be a Sage MAS database, or some other database. Sage MI reports then use Containers to retrieve data from the defined database. A Container is the links definition between your reports and your data source(s).