Simple Stock Description (string) comparison on Syspro data, using MS SQL Server

When bringing companies’ systems together, ‘duplications’ in master data are likely to occur.

Take for example the following three StockCodes and Descriptions:

StockCode Description
001 LG TV 42 inch LCD
ABC TV LG (42 lcd)
A01 LG TV 32″ LED 32LJ500D

For a human it is easy to see that the first two products refer to the same thing.  A simple ‘exact’ comparison (WHERE InvMaster.Description = #InvMaster.Description) will fail, so one will have to use a method to show ‘most likely’ matches.

I’ve chosen a ‘word match and score’ technique because of the programming simplicity and (small) size of my data set (+-2000 lines).
(Machine learning algorithms are more suited for much larger data sets)

Using the example above, I create the following ‘base’ table:

StockCode Word
001 LG
001 TV
001 42
001 INCH
001 LCD
ABC 42
A01 LG
A01 TV
A01 32
A01 32LJ500D

Note the standardisation, using a nested REPLACE containing
– elimination of sequential spaces (delimiter in this case)
– removing of ‘special’ characters and punctuation: ‘&’, ‘-‘, ‘.’, ‘”‘, ‘/’, ‘\’, ‘(‘ and ‘)’.

I break up each string into words by looping the following insert into my (say) ‘StockCodeWordList’ table:

SELECT StockCode,
SUBSTRING(Description, 1, CASE WHEN CHARINDEX(‘ ‘, Description) = 0 THEN 100 ELSE CHARINDEX(‘ ‘, Description) END) AS [Word]

The next step is to ‘score’ StockCodes based on the amount of ‘word matches’ with a specific (Source) Description.

I do this by looping the following statement:

UPDATE dbo.StockCodeWordList SET Score =0; — Reset for a new match exercise
DECLARE @DescString VARCHAR(100) = (SELECT REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(UPPER(Description),’-‘,”),’&’,”),’ ‘,’ ‘),’ ‘,’ ‘),’ ‘,’ ‘),’ ‘,’ ‘) FROM dbo.InvMaster WHERE StockCode = @SourceStockCode);

DECLARE @Counter INT = 0;
WHILE @Counter < 10 — Assuming there’s a maximum of 10 ‘words’ in a Description
UPDATE dbo.StockCodeWordList SET Score = Score+1
WHERE [Word] = (SELECT REPLACE(REPLACE(SUBSTRING(@DescString, 1, CASE WHEN CHARINDEX(‘ ‘, @DescString) = 0 THEN 100 ELSE CHARINDEX(‘ ‘, @DescString) END),'(‘,”),’)’,”))

SET @DescString = (SELECT CASE WHEN CHARINDEX(‘ ‘, @DescString) = 0 THEN NULL
ELSE LTRIM(SUBSTRING(@DescString, CHARINDEX(‘ ‘, @DescString)+1, 100)) END);
SET @Counter = @Counter+1

Using StockCode: 001 Description: ‘LG TV 42 inch LCD’ as Source, will produce the following result:

StockCode: ABC Description: TV LG (42 lcd) Score: 4

StockCode: A01 Description: LG TV 32″ LED 32LJ500D Score: 2

Migration and consolidation of Pastel Evolution to Syspro (v7)

I was tasked to project manage the incorporation of a newly acquired company into our group.

Apart from arranging the infrastructure changes, systems setups and training required, I wrote the SQL (Jobs) to migrate data from Pastel Evolution to Syspro.

Herewith a link between some of the main Syspro tables and their counterparts in Pastel Evolution:

Syspro Evolution
ApBank BankMain
ApInvoice InvNum, PostAP
ApSupplier Vendor
ArCustomer Client
ArInvoice InvNum, PostAR
ArMasterSub Client.MainAccLink
ArTrnDetail _btblInvoiceLines
GenMaster Accounts
InvMaster StkItem, _etblUnits
InvWarehouse WhseStk
InvWhControl WhseMst
LotDetail _etblLotTracking
SalArea Areas
SalSalesperson SalesRep
TblCurrency Currency

A very handy Evolution table worth mentioning is TrCodes. Link this with PostAP and PostAR to provide you with the whole spectrum of AP and AR postings.

How to flatten (or ‘explode’) a Syspro Bill Of Material (BOM): recursive loop vs. simple temp table method

Presenting Syspro’s BOMs in a ‘flattened’ (or ‘exploded’) format in Excel or in SQL Server is very handy for doing/checking Costings or doing Advanced Trail Kits.

My initial attempt at flattening BOMs was to use the TSQL recursive loop method:

WITH FlatBom(ParentPart, Component, BomLevel, RequiredQty)
AS (
— Anchor
SELECT StockCode AS ‘ParentPart’,
StockCode AS ‘Component’,
FROM dbo.InvMaster
WHERE StockCode = ‘YourParentStockCode’ — Insert your Parent item – or list of Parent items – in here


— Recursive call
SELECT BOM.ParentPart AS ‘ParentPart’,
BOM.Component AS ‘Component’,
BomLevel + 1,
ParentPart AS ‘ParentPart’,
Component AS ‘Component’,
FROM dbo.BomStructure
WHERE Route = ‘1’ AND ParentPart IS NOT NULL AND ParentPart <> ‘ ‘ –Note Route
ON CTE.Component = BOM.ParentPart



But I found this method to be extremely slow – especially when one has thousands of multilevel BOMs.  A whole lot of articles on the Net confirms this – and discourages the use of recursive loops.


As simple (and much faster) alternative is to use a (temp) table with an insert for each of your BOM levels:

SELECT ParentPart AS [Parent], 1 AS [BomLevel], ParentPart, Component, QtyPer AS [RequiredQty]
INTO #FlatBom
FROM dbo.BomStructure
WHERE ParentPart = ‘YourParentStockCode’ — Insert your Parent item – or list of Parent items – in here
AND Route = ‘1’;

INSERT INTO #FlatBom(Parent, BomLevel, ParentPart, Component, RequiredQty)
SELECT t.Parent, 2, b.ParentPart, b.Component, b.QtyPer
FROM dbo.BomStructure b
INNER JOIN #FlatBom t ON t.Component = b.ParentPart
WHERE Route = ‘1’;

INSERT INTO #FlatBom(Parent, BomLevel, ParentPart, Component, RequiredQty)
SELECT t.Parent, 3, b.ParentPart, b.Component, b.QtyPer
FROM dbo.BomStructure b
INNER JOIN #FlatBom t ON t.Component = b.ParentPart AND t.BomLevel = 2
WHERE Route = ‘1’
AND t.BomLevel = 2;

INSERT INTO #FlatBom(Parent, BomLevel, ParentPart, Component, RequiredQty)
SELECT t.Parent, 4, b.ParentPart, b.Component, b.QtyPer
FROM dbo.BomStructure b
INNER JOIN #FlatBom t ON t.Component = b.ParentPart AND t.BomLevel = 3
WHERE Route = ‘1’
AND t.BomLevel = 3;

…                                             — Repeat, for your MAX BomLevel times



I would suggest including the ScrapPercentage and other attributes in your flattening script to make (e.g.) Costings and Trail Kits more accurate.



Simple way to monitor Rack and/or Bin progress in Excel during a Syspro Stock Take

Generally, I found that it is difficult to answer the question:  “How far are we with the stock take?”

The most commonly used, quick-and-dirty measures are to

  1.   Look at the bottom-line value (or unit) variance on your Syspro or custom report.  (Least accurate method)
  2.   Count the number of StockCodes counted (captured) vs. Total number of StockCodes (in the stock take file)
  3.   Count the number of Bins counted (captured) vs. Total number of Bins in the Stock Take file (or at least, the ones with QtyOnHand > 0)

But none of these measures provide an indication of how much of the physical warehouse (space) has been covered.

The following method might be helpful, assuming you make use of Syspro’s MultiBin functionality:

For the purpose of explanation, let’s assume you have (as shown in Figure 1 below):

  •  2 x Racks, numbered ‘1’ and ‘2’
  •  each Rack is 3 x levels high, numbered (level) ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’
  •  each Rack is 2 x Bins ‘deep’, numbered ‘A’ and ‘B’
Example of Warehouse Rack and Bin layout

Figure 1:  Example of Warehouse Rack and Bin layout











So you have 12 x Bins in total, numbered (say) <Rack number><Level number><Depth>:  11A, 12A, 13A, 11B, 12B, 13B and 21A, 22A, 23A, 21B, 22B, 23B

Import data from Syspro into Excel using the following Query:

SELECT Bin, MAX(NumTimesCaptured) AS [Count] FROM dbo.InvStockTake

(one can add filters for specific Warehouses, etc.)

Use Excel’s VLOOKUP function – and Conditional Formatting – to set up the simple visualization below (Figure 2, query data in column A and B).

Excel example of monitoring Racks /Bins

Figure 2:  Excel example of monitoring Racks /Bins











The formula in (say) Cell F3 – which can be copied to the rest of the ‘Bin’ cells (columns F to H):


The visualization tells us the following:

  •  (At least one) StockCode in Bin ’11A’ has been counted once.  I used Conditional formatting to show these Bins as ‘green’ or ‘ok’.
  • Level 2 of Rack 1 has not been counted yet – or these bins are empty.
  • (At least one) StockCode in Bin ’13A’ has been counted twice.  This is handy if you’d like to see if a Bin was ‘double checked’ or if everything has to be double counted (e.g. two separate teams).
  • ‘Column’ or Depth ‘B’ of Rack 2 has not been counted – or the whole ‘Column’ in Rack 2 is empty.
  • Additionally, the Excel formula also caters for instances where the Bin does not exist in Syspro – these calls will be empty (blank). (Not shown in this example)

Hope it helps!

Syspro 7 Assets: Tips and tricks

I’ve recently implemented Assets in Syspro 7 and would like to share some of what I learnt:


Start with Branches, Cost Centers and Asset Groups

If you need to produce financial statements for various Branches to Cost Center level, make sure your (structured) GlCodes cater for this level of granularity.  You’ll use these GlCodes in the integration setup.


Bulk create GlCodes

I used the  AssetIntegDet table, which I designed in Excel first, as the basis to see which (new) GlCodes were required.  Since I had to create over 860 new GlCodes, I uploaded the GlCode and Description into a SQL Server temp table and bulk inserted the GlCodes using a ‘standard’ Expense GlCode as template.


Coding of Assets

Of the various Asset numbering/coding methodologies available, I decided to use:  Asset Type  + Acquisition year + Acquisition month + a sequential number.   e.g. ‘PM201703001’ for the 1st ‘Plant and Machinery’ item acquired in March 2017.  This way, one may move an asset to any Branch and/or Cost Center and/or Location – without changing the asset number.


Excel Asset master and acquisition book

Initially I thought I’d write SQL code to ‘transfer’ asset master data (including acquisitions) from the ‘test’ to ‘live’ environment (ensuring a quick take-on) – but since a whole set of tables are touched during asset creation and acquisition, I decided to rather use the Syspro V7 ‘copy-and-paste’ method.  It turned out to be a very quick and audit-able method.   Even if you’re doing over 2500 assets in one go.  (It took me around 40 minutes from start to end, basically just waiting for Syspro to write amendment journals, etc.)  I suggest keeping the asset master and acquisition sheets in exactly the same (sorted by Asset number) order.


Method to ‘reset’ Assets

During the test phase, it helped a lot to have a method to ‘reset’ everything and start from scratch.  I used a SQL SP that deletes the relevant Asset and GL tables.


Use SQL SPs for reporting

I had to report (in Excel) asset transactions and values on around 35 x Branches, 38 x Cost Centers and 242 Locations.  Instead of ‘hard coding’ these, using a parameterised SP saved several hours.


Best time:  start of new financial year

Its just best for balances and change management.


Getting the first day of the next six months – using DATEFROMPARTS

It is always tempting just to MONTH(GETDATE())+1 – but then there’s the end of the year to consider.




WHEN MONTH(@NextMonth1) = 12 THEN (SELECT DATEFROMPARTS(YEAR(@NextMonth1)+1,1,1))

WHEN MONTH(@NextMonth2) = 12 THEN (SELECT DATEFROMPARTS(YEAR(@NextMonth2)+1,1,1))

WHEN MONTH(@NextMonth3) = 12 THEN (SELECT DATEFROMPARTS(YEAR(@NextMonth3)+1,1,1))

SELECT @ThisMonth
SELECT @NextMonth
SELECT @NextMonth1
SELECT @NextMonth2
SELECT @NextMonth3
SELECT @NextMonth4

Consolidating several Syspro (V6) companies into one Syspro (V7) company.

I was tasked to project manage the consolidation of 13 x Syspro (V6) companies into one Syspro (V7) company in 2015.

The first phase was a master file cleanup, standardisation and setup check.  The following areas were covered:

Inventory Master  (InvMaster)

I had to ensure each (unique) StockCode had the same description, Unit of Measure, Alternate Unit Of Measure and conversion factor, etc. – and that it represented the same item in reality – for all companies.  I found the easiest way to do this, was to create a single ‘consolidated’ InvMaster – and compare each companies’ data to it.

Customer and Supplier Master (ArCustomer and ApSupplier)

Each companies’ Customer and Supplier accounts remained unique – but Area, Class, Branch, Terms Codes, etc. had to be standardised across all companies.  Price lists and Contracts were also made unique.

General Ledger (GenMaster)

There was no time for a complete re-code of all GlCodes – so I prefixed each companies’ GlCodes to make it unique.

Other data and setup

Banks, Tax Codes, Gl Integration, Document Numbering, additional fields*, were just some of the list of areas that were covered.

*V6 uses AdmFormData, whereas V7 makes use of the (MUCH more convenient) ‘plus’ tables.  e.g. [InvMaster+], [ArCustomer+], etc.


A staggered approach was used for implementation (as opposed to a ‘big bang’) – and this proved to be very wise.  Learnings from each go-live were incorporated for the next consolidation run.

I wrote SQL Server 2014 scripts to handle the extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) of each companies’ Syspro data into the Consolidated environment.  For the very first implementation, I ran the (list of 70!) manually – but the rest was done via SQL Server Jobs.

How to make a string out of a list (or a set of rows) MS SQL

You’ve got table #t1:

InvoiceNumber StockCode
Inv001 Stk001
Inv001 Stk002
Inv001 Stk003
Inv002 Stk001
Inv002 Stk003

But you want:

InvoiceNumber StockList
Inv001 Stk001,Stk002,Stk003
Inv002 Stk001,Stk003


Then use:


DISTINCT t2.InvoiceNumber,


FROM #t1 t1

WHERE t1.InvoiceNumber = t2.InvoiceNumber

ORDER BY t1.InvoiceNumber,StockCode

For XML PATH ()),2, 1000)[StockList]

FROM  #t1 t2;