Sage have recently ventured into the virtual data room arena with their new Sage Drive feature for Sage 50 Accounts. This constantly updates a copy of your accounts database to Sage Drive servers so that remote workers and mobile devices can access, view and edit things and syncs changes made remotely back to your main locally stored master copy.
However, they’ve had more than their fair share of teething problems with their servers being offline/down for some time. This shouldn’t cause a huge problem because your main accounts database is actually stored locally on your local computer (or server in a multi-user network setup) but it seems like Sage didn’t allow for Sage Drive failures or program a clean failover into Sage Accounts should Sage Drive be unavailable. Inevitably, when Sage Drive goes down, your Sage 50 Accounts program will freeze and become unresponsive, if you are lucky you might be present with a warning saying:
The Sage Drive Service is currently unavailable and may be unavailable for some time.
To check again to see if Sage Drive is available, click Retry.
To stop accessing your data on Sage Drive, click Disconnect.
To discard your changes and close Sage 50 Accounts, click Close.
This error message is very misleading, OK so the click to Rety is quite obvious but as long as Sage Drive is down you just end up with the same error message. You probably won’t be brave enough to try the Disconnect option nor the Close button, especially if you have been entering transactions all day into Sage along with several other team members. Instead you’ll probably do the sensible thing and pick up the phone to Sage for support (you all pay for Sage Support right!?), but since Sage Drive has gone down for all users globally, you’ll be on hold for over an hour in most cases.
So for those who have staff members twiddling their thumbs because they can’t get into Sage 50 Accounts to carry on working locally, let me reassure you that clicking Disconnect is the option you want to carry on working on your local copy of your data. This isn’t clear from the error message shown but since I had a backup of my sage from 5 mins prior to the downtime I had nothing to lose so thought I’d take the risk and try the disconnect option. Effectively what happens is you disconnect from Sage Drive and continue working on your local copy of the data (assuming you are the host for your data on your local network) and then when Sage Drive comes back online you will need to reconnnect and it will push a new copy of your entire local database to Sage Drive. It will NOT just push the most recent transactions to Sage Drive since you last connected, you would think this is logically but it doesn’t work like that. As you have disconnected, when you reconnect to Sage Drive it will have to push an entirely fresh copy of your data to Sage Drive. This might not be a problem for some with small databases, but if you have a slow connection and a huge Sage backup file it may take a while.
WARNING: If you are working remotely and accessing your accounts via Sage Drive then do not click disconnect or close, wait and wait and wait clicking retry every now and again. The above suggestions to click disconnect is only useful for those working locally with their Sage 50 accounts on a local or networked computer.
- data service unavailable sage