I was recently hired by a small importer to help them repair a severely botched Sage Mas 200 installation. They initially wanted me to repair the faulty customization on my own. I have some experience with database software development so the prospect of learning to work with a new format (providex) sounded right up my alley. After copious amounts of research it became glaringly evident that there are zero resources for the DIY developer looking to customize (or repair a botched customization of) Mas. Sage, unfortunately, holds all the cards, cards that are carefully handed out to those that pay the price (partners). At least that was the brick wall my research led me to.

So rather than utilizing my coding experience/wisdom to help this company directly. I have been asked to both help them choose a new Sage Partner AND be the liaison between the partner and the company to make sure the myriad number of problems are solved as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. They spent an obscene amount of money on the rollout a couple of months ago and are in a tight budgetary pinch.

Needless to say, this is not a position I like to be in. Not only am I/my company at the mercy of any developer I choose with no DIY solution anywhere in sight, there is no such thing as bargain MAS 200 customization/repair.

As far as my failure to find training materials, am I missing something? There is no book available to the general public that covers the mechanics of MAS customization... is there?

I was debating whether or not I might be able to get a new partner to:

1. Share training materials (not end user materials, but developer training materials)
2. Farm out some of the simpler coding to me (with an appropriate reduction in billing)

Is this a pipe dream? Should I forget about any DIY approach completely and just bide my time until I can talk the company into migrating into another more customizable program? Or can I wheedle the 'keys of the kingdom' out of a potential new Sage Partner? ("You get my company's business if..." sort of thing)

Does anyone have any advice on choosing a partner? It seems like I have one partner that's super expensive but completely qualified to repair our botched install and another that's slightly less expensive but without quite as much experience. The smaller partner, though, might be more open to supporting my company's goals for self sufficiency. I'm not sure.

And, to add insult to injury and make my life that much harder, my company left their old Sage Partner under extremely bad terms and have zero documentation as to the customization the partner did for them. All they know is that none of it works.

If it were up to me, I'd start from scratch coding something in MySQL/PHP right away. With the amount of money they spent on MAS, though, that's not going to happen.