Many new users wish to test Tradebox in a safe test environment whilst becoming familiar with it. Assuming you're already up and running with Sage and don't want this test to interfere with your day-to-day processing, then the best way to do this is to point Tradebox at either your Sage practice data or a copy of your live company.
If you're brand new to Sage, it's easier to set up the live company and then use Sage's rebuild tool to remove anything you don't want to retain when you go live.
If you have a multi-company version of Sage - creating a duplicate dataset from a backup
If you're using a multi-company version of Sage and you have a spare company slot available on your licence, then the easiest way to replicate your live data is as follows:
- Take a back up of your live Sage data. Data files only is fine
- Go to File > New > Company and enter your password if required
- Choose the option to Restore Data from a Backup File
- Select the backup you've just taken
- Click Next, then Restore
- Login to the company, which will accept the same logons as your live company
- Go to Settings > Company Preferences and rename the company to ensure that you can distinguish it from your live company.
Please note this will not affect your existing company data. The duplicate company should be used only for testing.
The duplicate dataset will be as your live Sage data was at the point where you took the backup. To save duplicating work, you might want to follow our guide to configuring Sage for use with Tradebox prior to following the above steps.
If you have a single Sage company licence - using Sage's Practice data
Every Sage installation comes with a set of Practice Data which is held locally in a folder on the computer's C: drive. Tradebox can be pointed to this and anything that is posted from Tradebox will have no effect on your live Sage data.
By default, when you launch Sage you'll be given the option of which set of data to open. To start in Practice data, highlight this option and click OK.
If you've chosen at any point to hide this screen then your Sage will automatically open into your live data every time. An alternative method of getting into Practice data is to log into the live Sage company and then go to File > Open > Open Practice data.
Whichever way you've done it, the next step is to log in to Practice data. The default logon is Manager and has no password.
Unlike normal Sage data, Practice data will always display this screen on startup.
The first time you see it, the options will look slightly different. Every time thereafter, Sage will ask whether you're continuing the existing practice dataset, or whether you want to start again from scratch. Do not choose Start Again unless you wish to lose any setup you've done in the Practice data.
Once you're in Practice data, for the most part it'll behave like a normal Sage company. Some options, like the ability to backup and restore, are greyed out.
To set up a test environment where you can see Tradebox working, you will need to create some accounts in Sage. Our Configuring Sage for use with Tradebox One article covers this in depth.
Full stock control in the Practice data
Following the steps in the above article will allow you to get Tradebox set up to connect with Sage. When it comes to products, you may just want to set up a handful of products manually in your product list for testing purposes.
However, if you're going to be using stock control in Sage and wish to use your full product list while you're testing, the easiest way to do this is to export from your live company and import into the practice company. If your products have a mixture of VAT treatments, this may be worth doing as Tradebox uses the Sage product tax code to determine the tax code of a sale.
To export: In the live Sage company, go to the Products and Services section and click on Reports (this might be condensed under Document and Reports). Select Product Details, and then the Product Records CSV. Use the Export button at the top of the screen and you'll get the Save As window. Browse to a location to save the product export e.g. your Desktop. You'll also need to change the file type from the dropdown to CSV Files. Change the filename if you like. Click Save.
Once that's done, log into the practice company and choose File > Import. Click Next and select Product Records then click Next. Set the Data Source Comma-Separated (*.csv) and click Browse to choose the file you exported. Clicking next will allow you to map the fields from the exported file. The only mandatory field is stock code (column A), however we also recommend mapping description (B) and tax code (C). Mapping prices isn't necessary as Tradebox doesn't use the price from the Sage product record. Click Next and then Import.
After your product records are imported, you now have a complete set of Sage data to start testing Tradebox.