Even state-of-the-art software grows old and is replaced by something newer and more powerful. That’s what’s happening to Sage Abra Suite. Once the go-to for Sage Payroll customers, Abra Suite is being retired. September 2020 will be its final release, and as of December 28 of that year, Sage will end all support through the Sage Support Center.
Sage HRMS Payroll is the something new, and moving to it is the needed change. Sage HRMS Payroll and Sage Abra Suite run on different databases. Understanding what sets them apart provides some insight into why Abra Suite’s days are numbered.
Abra Suite, introduced in the 1980’s, is built on Microsoft Visual FoxPro, a flat-file database. As you probably know, Microsoft ended their extended support for Visual FoxPro in 2015, and Sage hasn’t sold Abra Suite since 2014 (Read more).
In 2005 Sage introduced Sage HRMS based on Microsoft’s SQL Server, a transactional database system. (For three straight years, Gartner positioned Microsoft farthest in Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute in its Operational Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant. SQL Server is the reason.) Sage HRMS Payroll followed shortly after in 2007.
There are lots of features that give peace of mind when moving to Sage HRMS. Knowing it’s based on an industry-leading database technology is one. Here are some advantages to SQL:
Built-in file corruption protection provides the best in data reliability. Should an error occur during processing, the system stops the processing, allowing you to clear the error and being processing again.
SQL Server includes an automatic backup feature that helps ensure the safety of your workforce data. When using Abra Suite, a database administrator must remember to manually backup FoxPro databases.
In addition to Sage HRMS security features, SQL prevents unauthorized database access with user-level security. With FoxPro, since data is stored in flat files on a file server, network security is all or nothing. Once a user has access to the data, they can add, modify, delete, or copy the information.
Migrating to Sage HRMS
You’ll have to make a change. We recommend moving to Sage HRMS. Migrations take time and planning, so the time to start is now. Delphia Consulting developed the only tool for migrating payroll from Abra Suite to Sage HRMS—Automated SQL Migration (ASM). Sage endorsed it in 2015. Its many features include these:
Mary van Balen is based out of Columbus, Ohio and is a writer for Delphia Consulting. Mary contributes to the Delphia blog on Human Resources issues and Delphia Consulting and Sage product related updates.