Why is Sage Line 50 so slow?

NB. If you want to know how to make Sage run faster click here for later posts, and read the comments below (there are a lot!).

As regular readers will know, I don’t think much of Sage accounting software, especially Sage Line 50. It’s fatally flawed because it stores its data in disk files, shared across a network using a file server. I suspect these.DTA files are pretty much unchanged since Graham Wylie’s original effort running under CP/M on an Amstrad PCW. There is continual talk that the newer versions will use a proper database, indeed in 2006 they announced a deal to work with mySQL. But the world has been been waiting for the upgrade ever since. It’s always coming in “next year’s” release but “next year” never comes.The latest (as of December 2009) is that they’re ‘testing’ a database version with some customers and it might come out in version seventeen.

In fact it’s in Sage’s interests to keep Line 50 running slower than a slug in treacle. Line 50 is the cheap end of the range – if it ran at a decent speed over a network, multi-user, people wouldn’t buy the expensive Line 200 (aka MMS). The snag is that Line 50 is sold to small companies that do need more than one or two concurrent users and do have a significant number of transactions a day.

So why is Line 50 so slow? The problem with Sage’s strategy of storing data in shared files is that when you have multiple users the files are opened/locked/read/written by multiple users across a network at the same time. It stands to reason. On a non-trivial set of books this will involve a good number of files, some of them very large. Networks are comparatively slow compared to local disks, and certainly not reliable, so you’re bound to end up with locked file conflicts and would be lucky if data wasn’t corrupted from time to time. As the file gets bigger and the number of users grows, the problem gets worse exponentially. The standard Sage solution seems to be to tell people their hardware in inadequate whenever timeouts occur. In a gross abuse of their consultancy position, some independent Sage vendors have been known to sell hapless lusers new high-powered servers, which does make the problem appear to go away. Until, of course, the file gets a bit bigger. Anyone who knows anything about networking will realise this straight away that this is a hopeless situation, but not those selling Sage – at least in public.

One Sage Solution Provider, realising that this system was always going to time-out in such circumstances, persuaded the MD of the company using it to generate all reports by sitting at the server console. To keep up the pretence this was a multi-user system, he even persuaded them to install it on a Windows Terminal Server machine so more than one person could use it by means of a remote session.

If that weren’t bad enough, apparently it didn’t even work when sitting at the console, and they’ve advised the customers to get a faster router. I’m not kidding – this really did happen.

The fact is that Sage Line 50 does not run well over a network due to a fundamental design flaw. It’s fine if it’s basically single-user on one machine, and I have clients using it this way. If you want to run multiple users, especially if your books are non-trivial, you need Sage 200/MMS – or a different accounting package altogether.

94 Replies to “Why is Sage Line 50 so slow?”

  1. Hi, I have been working with people working with Sage since its first release. A few years ago I looked (very, very, very closely!) at issues which a company had with Line 50 (v9) in the usual networked scenario and found that for some simple reports the client had >20,000 file open / read / close cycles – I sent Sage everything showing where the issue was (temporary files for client reporting) here was one of their responses:

    “We were aware of a similar issue whereby ODBC network requests were not cached locally. It was the same symptoms, with a slightly different explanation.

    These help Sage to explain its not strictly a bug in our program, but the way we look at it we try and give fixes/workarounds if possible. I am currently looking at the reg hack and or changes/updates to MDAC.

    I replied a couple of weeks later with:

    “My accounts dept have now placed an abacus on each of their desks and count the days I have (taken) to get their speed issues resolved – they would invoice me, they say, but it takes too long with their current setup… any news on this topic… ”

    Only to be told the support guy had changed jobs and could help no more – and not a lot more back – but did get a free upgrade to V10 which partly (by allowing report generation on server again!) fixed the issue.

    We have some issues with the current version (2010) around 64 bit systems – I was going to try 2011, but now may simply bring back the old Pentium 3 systems and see what an improvemet we get !!

    Seriously – anyone there tried 2011 in anger on 64 bit?



    1. Yep, Tried it, it’s P00

      Customer on Win XP network with no domain on V9, upgraded the network to Win7 and SBS 2008 (64 bit) and they upgraded to 2010. not good, mainly P00, now upgraded to 2011, and guess what that is…. yep. nice Shiny P00.
      Same issues, frequent crashes and Slooowwwwww

      If its not compatible to 64 bit they should say so. If it’s P00 they should not sell it. I wouldn’t even use it in its present state if it was free! Only product i ever have real problems with on win Server 64 bit.

  2. I’ve suffered so much under 2010 that Sage have offered me a free upgrade to 2011, and they’re letting me wait until the inevitable problems with 2011 have been fixed……I hope!

    Sage will blame your network speeds, hardware and amount of data – this is after you’ve resolved the issues with AV software. Then, when you suffer a data corruption, they’ll either go back to network speeds or (as they did with me) patiently and patronisingly explain that everyone’s data gets corrupted all the time and it’s nothing whatever to do with Sage!

    One day, I’ll escape their clutches just like you – good luck!

  3. David H,
    Can you remember when you installed V2011 if there was an update.

    I have been advised (by sage) not to install V2011 until the update was available as V2011 had stability problems. Seeing your post has made me hope that the newer version has some fixes in it for both network speed and reliability.

    Another point – have only just found out that V2010 does not work (correctly) with MS Office 2010, aparently Sage didn’t know Microsoft was going to release office 2010 in 2010??, but these issues (I beleive) are fixed in V2011, again this may assist my customer somewhat..

    1. I installed V2011 as soon as it was available from Sage (2/3 months ago) as we had terrible speed problems in V2010. I kind of assumed V2011 would fix these issues….wrong!!!

      V2011 has been awful and rather than slowing up, it just hangs and crashes!!!

      My network speeds were blamed of course but since last weeks auto update from Sage, all is now well. Speed and stability more than reasonable. Explain that one Sage!

      To be honest, we have recently signed up with Microsoft to move our system to their Dynamics NAV programme so no more Sage issues for us next year…..yippeee!!!!!!

      We don’t have Office 2010 so cannot comment on the integration…sorry!

  4. Has anyone else noticed a vast improvement in Sage V11 since the recent update was released????

    I have gone from having hourly crashes in the system to it being stable and quick!!

    I was told it was my network speed causing problems and nothing has changed on my network. I can only assume the update has caused the improvement!!

    Wonder what Sage would say to that?

    Any thoughts people?

  5. I’m also a long term suffer with Line 50 – since being “encouraged” to upgrade from a 2003 program to 2010 – the whole thing’s been an horrendous experience.
    I hate to chuck a spanner in the works, but my last employer used Sage MMS (2006) with 3 users; I had to use the server for any major jobs such as purchase ledger cheque runs and month end/year end as it would also timeout over the network…..sorry, it may have been the setup in that company but, having been a Sage lover, I’m being converted to a Sage loather.
    Sad news about the MySQL version, I was banking on that to sort out my woes!

  6. Interesting, I noted (after another log conversation with Sage) that the date for the release of the mysql version of sage had changed from late 2010 to early 2011. As Sage have been suggesting that this product is “almost ready” for the last couple of years, I will not be holding my breath.

  7. i have just received this from Sage
    Sage 100: Important News

    Hi everyone,

    As you are aware, we have been working on the concept of Sage 100, which takes our existing Sage 50 Accounts platform to a MySQL database.

    Throughout the course of the project, we have taken a long hard look at future market and customer trends, including demands such as SaaS, on demand delivery and how these impact our technology roadmap. As a result, we have taken the decision not to release Sage 100 in its current form, and development has stopped. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. However, we feel it is the right decision, if we are to meet our long term goals.

    We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for all the time and effort you have given in supporting us throughout the development stages so far, and hope that we can continue to rely on your support in our future plans. Your input and feedback are crucial in making sure we have the right propositions to bring to market.

    We firmly believe that an opportunity still exists within the market for a premium offering for expanding and growing business, that have larger customer and supplier bases, larger transaction volumes and an expanding user base. Some growing Sage 50 Accounts customers need an accounting solution that has the increased capability of growing with their business, without having to move to the additional complexities of the Sage 200 Suite.

    We are currently reviewing the relevant technologies which will allow us to deliver our vision, achieve exceptional customer experience and capitalise on the opportunity.

    We hope to be able to communicate to you in the coming months, how we plan to develop our products against our vision and strategy.

    Kind regards,


    Darren Liddell
    Manager, Sage Developers Programme

    1. Re Darrens comment

      Not the first time Sage have ditched product development is it?

      Seem to remember when they first brought out Sage Soveriegn for Windows in the early 90s they ditched that as well.

      Then there was the time they bought Telemagic and told us that was the future, Then they got rid iof that and bought Act.
      Then they stopped support for their Reportwriter.
      Not to mention the farcial mismanagement of withdrawing of support for the Multisoft products you bought.
      …and then there was Tetra….

      Now that their core product -Sage 50- is being exposed for the flaky out dated product it is, good old Sage is doing what it does best..talking the talk.

      We are currently reviewing the relevant technologies which will allow us to deliver our vision, achieve exceptional customer experience and capitalise on the opportunity.

      We hope to be able to communicate to you in the coming months, how we plan to develop our products against our vision and strategy.

      Darren…it’s a set of basic ledgers we are talking about here…do you honestly believe that your average Sage Line 50 user cares a jot about Sage’s vision and stratgey.

      After all, some more facetious than I, could quite correctly point out that it was your acute absence of vision and strategy which has put you….and far more importantly has caused the grief, anguish and frustration of the many users who experiences are woefully recalled on this blog….that has created these problems.

      Can I suggest that you stop a)drinking your own bath water…and b)get rid of the shallow psuedo jargon…and c)just sell and support products that work.

      PS: Nobody cares about vision and strategy they just want a reliable and robust tool that simplifies the job and gets it done faster…thereby giving them the time to make money and prosper.

  8. Unfortunately we have just upgraded from V12 to V16. Big mistake – machine running really slow now. Is there any way to reconvert our data back to V12 format and restoring V12?

    1. I wouldn’t normally offer an opinion without a detailed inspection but my gut instinct is install the old software and restore the data from a backup – theoretically the one you did just before the upgrade. You’ll have to print out and re-key changes made on the new system, which’ll be painful but finite. Better that painful for the rest of time.

      Even if you decided to “upgrade” to a later version, possibly a different incarnation that works better, reverting to one that did work gives you thinking time.

  9. I just googled ‘sage slow over network’ for an update on the moans (I hadnt checked for a year) and found this blog. Its a disgrace that this issue is still going on and that a company is making so much money on such a poor product. I had the same problems as many and got the same reply from Sage Support that it was my network. I did find a work around by installing a terminal server and putting Sage Line 50 on that. I needed a Terminal Server anyway so that cost was eaten up but there are many Remote Desktop packages for less than £100 that could be put on a decent spec PC and get everyone using Sage at a reasonable speed.

  10. I was about to upgrade my daughter business sage version this weekend from Line 50 v11 to Sage 2011…. via 2010. Having read this blog there is no way I am going to proceed.
    I am no IT professional but have been associated wih IT for many years… from all I have read it is SAGE that seem to owe ‘us’an answer as opposed to ‘tech tips’ sent in from individuals.
    My suggestion is that we establish a list of all our companies who have fallen into this hole and we send a joint letter to Sage inviting them to meet and explain to us what they are going to do for us and/or when they will refund our upgrade fees.
    Like others, my daughter only purchased the upgrade option because of the ‘scare’ publicity of unsupported releases.
    My tel no is 02086604308 if anyone wants to chat and see if we can get a group letter together.
    If anyone thinks I should proceed with the upgarde then equally let me know… maybe I have missed the point here?

  11. For me the problem was our Trend AV solution. The realtime Scanner and Behavioural Monitor were interfereing with the Sage software and making it incredibly slow.

    I guessed the AV was the problem so first proved concept by disabling the AV client on an affected machine and went from there to find the exclusions needed. Some googling gave me the answer

    I added the following paths exclusions to the Real Time Scanner:

    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sage Line50
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sage Report Designer 2007
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sage Shared
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\SageSBD
    C:\Program Files\Sage EBanking
    C:\Program Files\Sage

    and then added the following as an exclusion on the Behavioural monitor

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sage SBD\SBDDesktop.exe

    I didnt need to add any exclusion to the actaul ‘database’ files which reside on the network.

    Obviously this is all very specific for our Trend AV software, but you may be able to apply the same principle for what ever AV solution you are using.

    Hope that helps someone.


  12. Hi all. I an IT Pro with 15 years experience and I have recently upgraded my clients Sage Line 50 from version 9 to 2010. Simple job, or so I thought…….

    I migrated the whole network ( 5 clients ) from a Windows Server 2003 to a Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 setup. Sage ran fast before the upgrade and then as soon the data was moved from the old server to the new it ran so slow it was un-useable!

    The server is a Dell Quad Core Xeon 2.4ghzth, SATA RAID 5, 1TB, 8GB RAM, running Windows Server 2008 R2 x64. 1GB network and Windows 7 clients. We have excluded the data files from the AV package and it still runs like a dog with 3 legs. I tried moving the data away from the server to a Windows 7 workstation and it does run better. If I move it to a Linux NAS box it runs really fast. This is a huge step forward for because they can actually use the system without it hanging or crashing like it does when it is on the Windows 2008 Server.

    I have spoken to Sage and they blame the server. It clearly isn’t because of the spec of the server.

    Does anybody know why it runs much faster on a cheap linux nas box?

    Ben Straw

    1. Im an IT guy of 15+ years experiance.. I too have fallen into the trap of upgrading a customer of mine to sage 2010. Sage v9 ran very well for years until this upgrade. (and about 10 times quicker) Unfortunatly reverting back to sage v9 is not an option for me, So I too sages advice and upgraded all of the PC’s, network and the server. The increase in speed was minimal.

      Sage do not now blame my infrastructure, but they are very short on answers. Has anyone managed to escalate this issue with sage above tech support level ?

      Can I please ask Mr S if Sage has found this to be a “windows caused issue”, what is the change that has been made in windows, .net?, smb3? because that would give some idea as to a work around? and if if is a windows issue, why did v9 work ok, but 2010 didn’t on the same machine and OS?

      I use sage on a Linux server, so I can answer the question by Ben. SBS2008 uses smb3 it has a whole load of “features” that stop flat file databases from working well. To get sage to run at any decent speed, remove oplocks and certificate passing, or disable smb3 on the server an clients. a good google for Access file problems (also a flat file DB) should give some answers.

      1. I have managed to raise my gripe with Sage to a level above Tech Support – they’re very nice and took me seriously but can offer no practical help.
        It’s slow because of the file structure and the number of features Sage have added. They tell me it will run quicker after I’ve archived my data this year, it’s my fault I haven’t done so for a few years, but others (that have archived) tell me not to expect much.
        Have a look at accountingweb.com where there’s a long discussion and tips on speeding it up.
        Good luck!

  13. We have had countless problems with sage data corruption since we upgraded from version 9 to sage 2010. To be fair Sage version 9 though older worked great for us in terms of performance and stability, we never experienced any data corruption whatsoever with the old version We upgraded because sage no longer supported their older version.
    Now we are in a deep hole and there does not seem to be a way out.
    We have already sent data back to sage for repair 4 times. We have followed all good their practices and advise from Sage i.e AV exception for sage App & data and purging data so instead of 7 years data we now only have 1 year. We have a high performance Quad core HP DL380 G5 Server with 8GB RAM, 15K RPM Drives and Cisco 10/100 switch. Sage blamed out network swich saying we need a Gigabyte switch. Having tested large files we saw no performance issues whatsoever. Besides there is not a lot of internal traffic other than sage and basic office docs i.e in KB.
    (Sever OS: Windows 2008 R2) clients HP Elite 8100 i5 PCs with 4GB of RAM, still sage is horribly slow.
    Does anyone know if there is a solution to convert / revert data back to sage version 7?
    Any workable solution would be welcome along with comments about other vendors solutions / migration options and how well they have worked for users who had similar issues and jumped ship. Our referred option would be a strong backend with SQL Server.
    Sage Sucks!
    When confronted all sage try to do is up-sell you their sage line 200 by saying we have too many transactions and have outgrown sage line 50. When we explain their older version 7 worked perfectly and we had 7 years data with no speed issues or corruption they go quiet. We are truly fed up with sage and their hopeless support.
    We are highly proficient with technology and we have hit a wall what about tens of thousands of poor souls who don’t have in house IT expertise?

  14. Upgraded to Sage 2011 from 2007. Experiencing a number of crashes like everyone else. Observation with anti-virus…

    I use ClamAV which has a little icon that blinks when it is checking a file. I have excluded Sage directories both on the server and the local machine – the icon still blinks. I then excluded virus scan on all programs on start up – still blinks to show file checking.

    When I start other programs the icon does not blink. So why does it do it with Sage? It also does it with Act. This may go someway to explaining why running in safe mode speeds things up (I’ve not tried this myself)

  15. Hello Janet

    Three you might want to look at are:


    With the exception of Datafile the other two don’t have a payroll module.

    A popular alternative to Sage payroll is Moneysoft Payroll.
    However unless you’ve got more than 4 employees my advice would be to pay the paltry sum your auditors would charge to do it.

    Re Gav’s comment its great that you share your fix but in the modern world of accounting software only you can decide to make the best of what you have.

    The probelm is that it is the poor user who has got to put up with the slow performance, their machine crashing, and the highly negative frustration of falling behind with their work, having to work nights and sometimes partial weekends…all through no fault of their own own and through software that would make Arthur Negus cringe.

    Nest time Sage ask you to upgrade to what you already have, take the money and spend it on one of the three alternatives above.

    And then come back to the blog and tell us what you have discovered.

  16. Thanks for your thoughts, Darkstar…I must admit I didn’t expect quite such a reply but I’ll take your suggestions on board.
    Our Sage is working pretty well now since I moved the network share so no urgency to replace anything. All this hassle has not earned Sage any friends here, however.
    If anyone can learn anything from what I’ve done to get ours working faster, all the better.
    Sometime we just have to make the best of what we have.

  17. I have spent the last 4 hours uninstalling version 16 and re installing version 12 onto my 5 networked computers at work (I am ok on computers but not IT trained which is why it took so long, an expert probably would have done it in half the time or less). Version 12 is lovely to have back and works perfectly well with our vast data files( we haven’t archived in 7 years).

    We only upgraded because it came free with Sage Cover Extra that we needed because we had some corruption in our data files. I know version 12 won’t be supported forever. But I think I’ll risk it!

    I have to say it was well worth the effort even though I will have to re input about 3 days of work done after the upgrade. I will be writing a strong letter to Sage and request a refund for being sold a “PUP”. Good luck everyone.

  18. I upgraded from Version 12 to version 16 last week and it’s a nightmare, so incredibly slow, and after reading the many many blogs on this issue I am going into work this morning and deleting Sage off all our computers and re instating version 12. I have done it on my computer at home and it works fantastically so hears hoping all will go well. I will lose about a week’s work but it’s fairly quiet at this time of year for our company and I am more than happy to re input all this work in order to get rid of this new version. As a company if we kept in on it would cripple our business come September which is our busiest time of the year because it soooo slooooow, despite Sage saying it’s nothing to do with their program and it’s probably anti virus, server, pc or hardware!!! I have been really cross and frustrated over the last week but have woke up this morning really positive and happy knowing I am going to get rid of it.

  19. It isn’t about money. Its about using and running software that performs. If it is runnning slow and if people are frustrated using it, then there comes a time where the balnce of grief outweighs the investment.

    Sage is an accounting package and if you actually look at the market place you will discover that there is no massive learning curve to master accountancy software. They all do the same thing and have easy to use intuitive interfaces.

    For heavens sake what is complicated about maintaining a sales, purchase or even a nominal ledger using todays feature rich packages. They all do the same. Pegasus, Datafile, QuickBooks. There is nothing to differientate them, because ultimately at the end of the day they are all do the same basic tasks.

    All of these packages I mention have the ability to import the financials from third party software, so there would be no rewriting of your business critical software. That is unless it that old it cannot output a simple csv or txt file.

    Are you saying that your auditors wouldn’t have you as a client if you swapped to another package?

    Plenty users are like our company where we supply our auditors with csv files of all the sales, purchases and nominal transactions. Any charterted accountant worth their salt will have incomplete records software capable of accepting csv from clients data.

    I would suggest you take the blinkers off and investigate the market.

    Finally if you don’t use Sage you are in no position to comment upon either its functionality or robustness. Maybe if you took the time and effort to learn and use the software you would be able to offer some worthwhile criticism.

    Alas the metaphor about the mother in law was obviously above the comprehension of someone whose premise for defending Sage is illuminating expressed in the comment “I don’t use Sage within my job but from what I gather…”

    Can I suggest that you take the blinkers off.

    Sage 50 is old and tired. Every software manuafcturer in the UK knows this….even Sage.

    If they went bust tomorrow you would have to find an alternative.

    As a 33 year veteran of the accounting software market all I can say is that you would have no difficulty finding one….and once installed like a lot of ex Sage users you would ask yourself “why did I put up with it, and all these rip off upgrades for so long?”

    PS: If you would like a list of easy to transfer to alternatives, please ask.

  20. Here’s quite a few reasons not to move. We’ve already paid for Sage, and don’t want to invest money in another solution. Our Accounts Manager has used Sage for the past 14 years and knows it inside-out and a new package would mean a steep learning curve before she reached anywhere near the proficiency she is now. We have ties to sage within our other business-critical software so would have to factor in the cost to getting those re-written for another package. Also our Account Auditors prefer Sage as they can just import our backups and have instant access to our accounts. These are probably Sages biggest weapons for retaining customers.
    I don’t use Sage within my job but from what I gather, it does it’s job very well but is not without it flaws. My job, as IT Administrator, is to get that package working as best as I can – if the Management decide to replace it, then I’ll get that package working as best as I can. In short. it would cost the company a pretty sizable chunk of time, effort and money to move away.
    And nothing to do with my mother-in-law….

    1. Gav, you are not suffering from the problems that other sage users experience every day. How you found this blog is a mystery to me. Rest assured, the less software, staff and accountants you have that are unwilling to move from sage when the need arises, the better off you will be.

      1. Hi Mark,
        Not checked on here for a while but saw your reply and though I’d respond.
        We did have exactly the same problem as other people were experiencing and I overcame them to a reasonable extent. If you read my entry a little further up the blog you’ll see what I did to help speed up Sage.
        I found this blog by searching “Sage” & “slow” nearly a year ago and I hoped my entries would be some help to people with the same issues.
        Perhaps I was mistaken, judging by the responses I’ve receive so far.

        1. Hi, I think your solution was to run on XP – which may well work but isn’t really a long term supported solution. Apart from RDPing did you suggest anything else? I did get Sage to fix some issues many years ago as they were reading (check for / open / read / close) same file for each line of a ledger entry) – but they have just reverted and is now worse than ever :( J

  21. Everyone

    Why oh why do you put up with this and suffer the grief?

    The most effective way to show to Sage that your’e no longer prepared to put up with sub standard, poor QA released products is to ditch it and move to another offering.

    There is no shortage of options and most come with easy data import capabilities.

    Moaning about Sage can probably be likened to complaining to your mother in law about your wife!!

  22. We’re running Sage Line 50 2008 V and I’ve seen the same problems as everyone else here – for each upgrade, Sage gets slower. I’ve also come across the same responses from Sage – “It’s your network” & “It’s your PC”.
    We hosted the Sage data on a shared folder on a Windows SBS Server 2003 running on a good spec PC (2.4Ghz dual core with 4Gb of memory) and were experiencing report times in excess of half an hour! A good example of our speed was Cheques. Clicking this would hang the system for 45 minutes. I have tried everything – taking all users off the system and running only Sage, making sure the Op Locks are set correctly on the server and client and ensuring the client was running on gigabit ethernet but nothing improved performance. I had, like some others here, resorted to “Remote Desktop”ing into the server and running the problematic reports directly. Recently I stumbled upon an excellent utility written by a company called Adept and available free (google “Adept” and “sage”). “Health check” will check for common problems like Ops Lock and SMB singing and benchmark your network. I discovered that my data read levels were way below what they should be (Adept suggest an ideal level of between 3000-4000 files per second, we were experiencing more like 300!). On Vista, these levels dropped even further (down to around 250). The utility is also handy to see the impact Antivirus changes have on the speed as well. In desperation, I moved the Sage data to another XP PC (still within a network share) and tested again. Now my file read levels are up in the 4000+ region and the Cheque report takes 2 minutes instead of 45! I’m looking into exactly why our Server couldn’t give these kind of read speeds, but can now relax a little as our user is a happy bunny.
    If you need a troubleshooting tool, the Adept app is fantastic. It gave me something to measure, whereas before I could only go on speed of generation of specific reports, which wasted a lot of time.
    I hope this is of some use to all those out there who are suffering as I have over the last year.

  23. I have received my new Sage Line 50 2011 version after months of serious slowdowns after upgrading to 2010 from V12!!!! With a great deal of hope, I have installed the new version but it is even worse!!!! Crashes many times a day for all of our six users and it is only a matter of time before our data corrupts (AGAIN)!!!! It’s slow and the crashes do not repair themselves……you have to go to task manager to get out of the program!!! This is now beyond a joke and Sage should be made to pay for this as it is causing our business a great deal of problems!!!! We have a brand new network so I find it insulting that the Sage tekki’s try and blame our hardware!!! Aarrrggghhhhhhhh!!!!

  24. I’m beginning to wonder whether we should put Sage Line 50 2010 onto just one machine and use hot desking! A retrograde step but with the data on the C drive we can at least get some work done instead of waiting for the system to work or rebooting as it has crashed. It is about time Sage resolved the problem!

  25. the honest reason for it being called sage line 100 is because obviously sage have spent alot of time and alot of money on producing sage 100 so it will do more and when its realeased it will cost more so that the company can make money back from all the money they’ve spent, with regards to compatability theres no need to wrry about that as it will all be sorted at the point of purchase eventually line 50 will use an sql data base but it wont be for a couple more years, becasue sage 50 is a small program it would be impossible for sage to make there money back on it by just putting it straigh into line 50, but compatabillity will not be an issue this i can promise you :)

  26. Thanks for your note Mr S. There are several follow-ups to this blog that include more details of the SQL version:


    For some reason everyone adds Sage-related comments to this post only. You’re right about the SQL version taking a long time arriving – it’s been promised every year since 2006. I’ve met people who’ve used Alpha and Beta versions in the mean time.

    I’m concerned about the idea of the SQL version being called Sage 100 – what’s been promised is a client-server version of Line 50 to get existing users out of the hole they’re in. It’s not a simple matter of migrating from Sage Financials – larger installations use add-in modules based on a Line 50 base, and if Sage 100 isn’t compatible with Line 50 then it’s no solution at all. If it *was* compatible, why not call it Line 50 2011 version?

  27. hi all i am a sage employee i understand that there a lot of problems with the spped over a network and these are down to the dta files however safe mode is a very good alternative to this windows induced problem, with regards to the original blog sage are developing and sql database version of sage it will be called sage 100 the reason its taking so long is because the accounts program is a big program theres a lot to do and we are doing everything to make sure that the first release is as bug free as possible but sage 100 will no longer give you issues with speed or data corruption but to make these promises we need to get it right, the choice we had was do it quickly or do it right which would you prefer? p.s. have no fear line 100 will soon be here.

    1. Mr S,

      Sage has been happy to take our money for all the “wrong” versions we bought. Please don’t pretend they have suddenly developed a conscience. If I worked for sage, I too would with-hold my name from public viewing.

  28. Just to correct comment on Mamut. It was not intended as a plug for Mamut. It is best out of a raft of accounting packages and the company’s management has more ethics than most.

    In general terms I am not a fan of Windows based applications in general. I prefer open source accounting platforms which are platform independent with advent of the internet and need for closer integration between online activities and accounting back office.

    Wikipedia list of free open-source software

    and there are many if you go to link above.

  29. Fantastic website: Do you agree that one of the best accounting programs on the market is Quick Books Pro for everyday use. I am searching for some input on what to buy. Thanks again!

    [Ed: Intuit Quicken was excellent when it first appeared, and up until version 98 it was still pretty good, although starting to lose its way. From 2000 onwards it became very annoying. Intuit has now dropped it and left its customers in a right mess with no upgrade path. Quickbooks is another matter. Having written Rave Reviews of Quicken in the 1990’s I can’t say I’ve ever warmed to Quickbooks, and it’s hard to look beyond the contempt Intuit has treated it’s customers with over the Quicken business. So no – I really couldn’t recommend it. I’ve got some clients that use it and upgrades are a nightmare – lots of money and hassle. They’re also not optional, as it’s written in a way that seems to need an update before it’ll run on newer versions of Windoze]

  30. I believe that Sage have a strategy to maximise revenue from SME’s because of their virtual monopoly in the UK with Sage Line 50. Sage plc own much better accounting software solutions for SME’s which easily outperform Sage 50 in other countries. I know one called Simply Accounting which used to be sold in other countries but when Sage bought the holding company ACCPAC Simply Accounting only became available in Canada and the US.Simply Accounting is also very well priced relative to Sage Line 50.
    My suggestion is that companies dissatisfied with Sage should look at Mamut as a suitable alternative. It comes with a built in CRM which means you do not have to buy ACT also it uses a SQL database.

    [Ed: Some of this looks a bit like a plug for Mamut but I’m letting it through anyway]

  31. Fouad :- thanks for posting such an interesting observation, and I hope you post a follow up if you find anything else. As you suggest, there’s clearly something being loaded as part of the normal boot that “disagrees” with Line 50, and this is omitted in Safe Mode.

    With only three users you shouldn’t have too much of a problem anyway – having it actually slow down AFTER upgrading is taking things to a new low.

    The first explanation that comes in to my head about your situation is that the new workstations have an on-line virus scanner (as opposed to a periodic virus scanner that’s not always active), and that booting it in Windows Safe Mode disables it. Sage’s data file access is not efficient at the best of times, and with a virus scanner checking each block read for three million viruses would cause it to go from bad to much worse.

    The second thing that comes to mind is that I must try your suggestion and see if it makes a difference on other installations. If it’s not a virus scanner I’d be really interested to discover what it was.

  32. I disagree with some of what is said about sage being the main reason why line 50 is slugish, and this is why.

    I have been working on resolving this very issue for weeks now.

    We were using sage line 50 in a multi-user (3 users) environment smoothly on windows 2003 server and hp desktops with XP.

    We decided to virtualize the IT infrastructure to a SAN and Vmware architecture with windows 2008 OS. This was a huge performace boost for the entire IT infratracutre.

    However – After the migration line 50 slowed down a great deal, loging in takes 2 minutes and when clicking on stauff takes 1 to 2 minutes between every option.

    I tried everything – analyzed the issue from all layers of the OSI and followed all instructions provided by sage to resolve the issue with no luck.

    Then i decided to boot the pc’s running line 50 into safe mode, loging in took 10 seconds and using the software was 100 times faster – It seems the issue is not really with sage because if it was it would have still been slow in safe mode, there must be a service or component in windows that causes sage to slow down, as of yet i have not determined this but i am still working on it.

    I could be wrong about sage, but to all the posters who disagree please try loging into safe mode on the desktop pc’s and log into sage and see what the results are.

  33. Hi all,

    In reference to the newer versions of Sage. My client is running Sage Line 50 2010 and it won’t do most of the things it could in the past. Does anyone know if it is possible to restore version 12 and the data revert back to this version? I know it is a long shot but they didn’t need to upgrade in the first place, everything worked fine before.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you

  34. Mike – account.dta is, as far as I can figure out, the accounts control file – contains VAT rates and suchlike. It’s not something that’s regularly written to, so why locking it is a problem is a mystery. Can you take a look at the modification timestamp and see if something is writing to it? Could it be being locked by some backup process?

    As there’s no good guide to what these data files are, I’ve just posted a bad one. Click the “Sage” tag link immediately after the main body of the article to get this and other musings on the Sage issue – for some reason Google sends people to this article only.

  35. Hi,
    we have recently been experiencing problems in sage line 50 version 12.01.0070. Keeps coming up with a box saying “waiting to lock account.dta” whenever we try to amend records.
    It has me flummoxed, I don’t know if it has any connection to the other problems described here, but we have happily had anything up to 10 people using it and it was fine. All of a sudden it has the problem I’ve described above. Would the size of the database have anything to do with it?
    Luckily we are moving to another account/manufacturing package but we are still using sage at present. If the only way we can modify records is by rebooting our server it is rapidly going to become annoying!


  36. I am glad I have found this blog, not least because I now know there is no point me spending any more time trying to get Version 2009 Sage to work at an acceptable speed.
    We were using Version 11 and were advised by Sage to upgrade as that version is no longer supported. We were suckered in to paying the £600 or whatever it was for the software and maintenance and upgraded. We are a small company and this is not an insignificant cost to us in time and money.
    Now version 11 wasn’t the fastest, but it worked. We used Actinic Link software to feed csv files into Sage using Sage Data Objects and it would take about 30 seconds per order to get the customer details and order details into Sage Line 50 (now dubbed in the office as “Rage”!) After spending a whole day getting the financial data upgraded to version 2009, the connection via SDO is, well, to quote Rowan Atckinson, like an astmatic ant carrying some heavy shopping. It’s unuseable. And I mean unuseable. I tranferred 3 orders and it took over 30 minutes.
    I note one of the other posts here mentions NOD32. Well I excluded all the Sage directories from being checked and even disabled the anti virus software and it made NO difference.
    I tried mucking around with privileges and security and network share configurations and nothing but nothing would improve the performance.
    I was going to put Rage Line 50 on our SBS 2003 server instead of the XP machine it currently sits on, but after reading the posts on the net I know I will be wasting my time.
    Others posts I have read have upgraded hardware etc. but to no avail.
    I have been in software support for about 20 years and know when a problem occurs you ask yourself what has changed. For us, the change in performance was caused by upgrading to a later version of Rage Line 50. End of.
    I have just spent another day restoring our systems back to Version 11 and we will stay on this until such times as Sage sort this out. Presumably this will mean them using something like SQL when they finally drag their application into the 21st century.
    I am surprised that Sage haven’t made some response to this issue and I am thinking of starting a Facebook group if anyone is interested. If sufficient numbers join perhaps they will take note. Post something here if you are.

  37. It’s about time I posted some old academic papers on the futility of host-PC based anti-virus scanners – I discourage their use on sites I look after because of the instability they cause. They’re not effective; other measures work better.

    But I strongly agree with Darrin about the need to exclude Sage data files from on-line scanners if you are going to use one.

    You might want to check newer posts: Click the “Sage” tag at the bottom of the article to get more. Basically, make sure you’re using a genuinely good network switch.

    This slow-down is a new one on me. The resource usage on the server is the problem (stating the obvious) but what’s eating them? Any ideas?

  38. Imagine my surprise when I Googled “Sage 2010 slow network” and came up with loads and loads of other folks with the same problems with Sage 2010. At this stage I have 2 customers that have upgraded to Sage 2010 and had nothing but problems with speed.

    On one site I have just kitted them out completely with new Core 2 computers and converted them from a wireless network to a gigabit wired LAN.

    The second customer already had good computers but the network was one that was cobbled together – a mix of wireless and 100mbit wired LAN. Converted them over to a gigabit LAN and gave all the computers a really good clean-up, optimisation and defrag.

    Now, both sites start off OK. But over a period of a few days, Sage slows right down and eventually we see many of afore mentioned problems come to a head. Only solution is to restart the server which gets everything running faster again.

    I have done a fair bit of research on this problem with Sage 2010 and tried loads of different things. One thing that a website was very critical of was anti-virus software – even went as far as to say that you should not run anti-virus software with Sage. Well, not using antivirus software on a network??? Despite all my training and experience, I tried to run sage without any anti-virus software at all at the site where I installed the new computers. It made no difference at all to the three day slow down. This still happened without antivirus software installed. What I will say though is that you must make sure that anything to do with Sage is excluded from any antivirus scanning or protection.
    So, I join the ever growing list of frustrated people finding Sage 2010 a complete nightmare.

  39. Just installed Eset Nod32 onto some PCs. Normally eset, ace program, never fails. This time, conflict with sage Line 50. So I excluded the S:, the Line50 folder, and any local Sage folders.

    Reports are still running slow. Any suggestions? Have I missed a folder for reports?

    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\*.*
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sage Line50\*.*
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sage SBD\*.*
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sage Shared\*.*
    C:\Program Files\Sage\*.*

    1. We finally have resolved our issues With Sage 2009 and “waiting to open account.dta” messages and general slowness.

      We are also using Eset nod32 and excluded everything as you have. This didn’t work but what I did finally do was to go to advanced setup, realtime file system protection / threatsense engine parameter setup click setup, and then got to extensions and add dta files. These are then excluded and Sage has been marvellous since. No problems and runs faster too.

      We did this on server and clients and so glad that we did.

  40. I have the same problem as Frank.
    We have been runnig sage for about 13 years, and at the moment we use version 11, just because of it’s simple layout. we create about 400 invoices per-day, and we have about 30,000 products, and all the data goes back to 2005. Even like so, over the network using remote desktop, on a AMD fx64 processor,2gb ram and 2x sata1 raptor hdd’s in stripe , we can search the 300,000 invoice for the name smith in less than 7 secs.

    I am trying to upgrade to a new server with twin quad core xeon’s, 8gb ram, and 6x 15000rpm SAS drives in a raid10 with spare drives. The tests on the new server show that it is 5x faster than the old server and this one even has gigabit LAN.
    Upon installing Line50 2009, the same operation as Line50 v11, takes a total of 26sec’s.
    Not only it is 4x slower, sage line50 2009, makes our backup file to be 320mb bigger than in the old program.

    To add more insults, i have asked sage if any of their versions of sage can be used 100% in windows 64bit enviroment. Their answer was “We always had big issues with 64bit and we cannot be botthered to sort it out. People will have to use 32bit instead”.
    At the time of their answer i wanted to punch them, but since my boss was right next to me, i decided not to, and instead i accepted their free software package they gave me and sold it on ebay

  41. This is getting beyond a joke, isn’t it? This entry is getting a huge number of hits (hmm I’ll have to see if anyone from Sage is reading it). You might want to click on the ‘Sage’ tag underneath the main article to find more here about the problem, and there’s a specific update here.

    Earlier on I suggested someone got in touch if they wanted to work on the problem together. In the interests of humanity in general, the offer still stands. I’d specifically like to know exactly what people have tried as it may be possible to work out an answer. I’ll put up a new post based on what I’ve done (which has actually helped). If things still don’t work out we can set up an emotional support group, at the very least.

    My original post was an exasperated rant – it seems to have struck a chord.

  42. We are fortunate enough to have 5 top of the range PC’s networked to a top of the range server……and fortunate enough to have the services of a top IT Guy, who is a good friend and always gives the best unbiased advice ……even so I am so glad I found this Blog ! Just like everyone else we upgraded to Sage line 50 – 2010 only to find that it was slower then before !
    Our IT Guy tried everything ….and worked very patiently with Sage to try & resolve the problem …….but no luck …..he to came to the same conclusion as Frank …..the database is the problem. Having had exactly the same issues three years ago with Quickbooks I am not going to make the same mistake again and wait for the SQL version to come out ….neither am I going to tolerate Sage anymore . There is a software remedy out there …and I intend to find it .
    * One final note ….don’t bother downloading the very latest Sage Pdf driver fix …..it done nothing for us !

  43. Like Peter we have upgraded from version 12 to 2010 line 50 and it’s so slow, I just can’t believe how slow, it takes 6 minutes to do a bank reconcilation, 2 minutes to open a report , 1 1/2 hours to print 95 invoices, after a number of phone calls to Sage the network as been constanly blamed to the point where I have had specialist people in to check the network and contact Sage directly, they won’t have it they are still blaming the network, things are so bad now that we were considering having all new computers throughout but the network specialist as said this might not improve things and could potenially end up costing us even more for no further gain. When is Sage going to accept responsibility?

    1. Hi Claire,

      Hope i’m not too late with this advise. Our company has spent well in excess of 25grand on upgrading our hardware + server. We also moved into a new building and had a new data-cable wiring job done. Things with sage have only gotten worse. Twice we have been tricked into upgrading teh sage program which has only worsened things further.

      Sage is the problem and nothing else.


  44. Hi Peter. Are you saying that Sage didn’t reckon it could be their software? What a surprise!

    Thanks for the feedback on the 2010 version – very useful for anything hoping that an upgrade will help them.

    I haven’t actually tried the 2010 version anywhere. Given that historically, each new version has been slower that the last, “upgrading” has never looked that attractive.

    There is probably some sort of “truth” in what they say. The Line 50 shares data over the network is fundamentally inefficient (to put it mildly). Therefore having the fastest network possible, and a fast file server, is going to reduce the problem. Perhaps you could get someone who really knows about networks to take a look, as a lot of small office LANs are quite dodgy. I hate the idea of throwing money and hardware at Sage’s design problem, but it can be the most pragmatic short-term solution.

    If anyone’s around Harrow, Watford, Hillingdon or central London and wouldn’t mind me poking around their Sage network with an analyser in the interests of research, please get in touch.

  45. We upgraded to Sage 2010 Accounts and within 3 days the invoicing module was running very slow. It was taking 3 minutes to get in to it. We are also unable to do a check data as it takes so long. Despite contacting Sage on numerous occasions they say they are 100% sure it is our server or network. Any advice appreciated.

  46. We’re just one such company. Only 5 of us but over 100,000 products. Just upgraded to 2010 -having left it months for ‘issues’ to be resolved – & its awful. Sooo slow, its virtually unusable.
    Are there any other accounting programs that will work properly over a network?

    1. Hi Shelley, you have my commiserations. I wrote this in exasperation at the near-conspiracy of silence around Sage accounting. Those who should know most about it have a commercial interest in not rocking the boat. Jumping ship to another system isn’t always a practical option, and I’m not well up on current accounting systems so I’m not the best person to ask. From what I’ve seen of its major competitors, I’m not convinced they’re built on solid technology either.

      Since I had that rant I’ve been asked to take the matter in hand, and I made a start last week. I’m doing some detailed analysis on the network activity and I hope to figure out a way to optimise that. This won’t cure the underlying problem, but it could go some way to mitigating it.

      One ‘solution’ to ridiculously long report generation is to export the data from Sage and put it into a ‘proper’ database – something like mySQL. You can then use a report generator of your choice to extract this and generate whatever reports you wish to create. If you export the data overnight you can spend the following day looking at yesterdays snapshot in whatever way you like. I’ve only recently started experimenting with this, before you ask anything specific!

      What version of Sage are you using? Is it the basic Sage Line 50 accounting, or are you using Line 50 Manufacturing for your 100,000 products? I believe that this only works with 2008 anyway.

      Thanks for the comment on the 2010 version. Is it noticeably slower than the previous version (which was?) or simply a disappointment for not delivering the improved performance promised?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *