DBA Sales Model

How can I get product questions answered?

When you evaluate a typical ERP system, product questions are handled by technical salespeople as part of a “high-touch” sales process that involves presentations and proposals. Our sales model is completely different and, in our opinion, is a superior way to assess our type of software.

We do not hire technical sales people to handle inbound phone calls or make presentations or proposals, all of which drive up costs. Instead, we give you the tools to explore the product on your own, and we pass the savings to you with lower product prices. We do ask that all product questions are initiated in written form via our Ask DBA service, and we will do our best to get you prompt answers.

Start with our self-help resources

You should begin by reviewing the DBA Feature Page on our website, which contains many videos that give you a good overview of the product and how it addresses core business issues. There are also key feature points and FAQs for each of the respective Workflow elements of the system.

We also encourage you to download our free single-user demo system. This is our real software and contains a demo sample company that helps you explore the functions of our software along with the demo videos contained within. From any screen in the program, you can press F1 for online Help to learn more about the system.

Submit an “Ask DBA” ticket

If you still cannot find your answer, you are welcome to submit an “Ask DBA” ticket to our support staff for assistance.

Submit Ask DBA Ticket

Do you furnish references?

We maintain a strict privacy policy and do not furnish contact information to prospects or third parties.

We let our product speak for itself with our free demo system, guided tours, FAQ, “Ask DBA” service, and 180-day return policy, all of which make DBA far and away the most open and accessible manufacturing system on the market.

Can I use the demo system as a trial by entering my own data?

The free demo system is not intended or designed to be used as a trial system. It is a demonstration system with sample data that enables you to assess the “Total Control” process workflow screens and reports with the aid of video presentations and education links to workflow guides and video guidelines.

The only way to properly enter your data is to perform the tasks in our Startup Wizard, which includes extensive use of our data import utility. The Startup Wizard and data import utility are not included with the demo system because they are only practical for use during implementation, when appropriate time can be devoted and support is available.

DBA is backed by a 180-day return policy, so if at any point during the Startup Wizard process you feel DBA is not for you, you can return the software and get a full refund. As you advance through the Startup Wizard, you will learn how much easier and more efficient it is to use software to actively manage all your workflow processes instead of manual planning and expediting. By the time you get to Startup Day, your system will be properly set up and users fully rehearsed for live operations.

In what countries is DBA sold and supported?

DBA is used in a long list of countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Our web-based direct sales and support model does not rely on local resellers or consultants, so DBA can be used anywhere in the world.

DBA’s manufacturing efficiency benefits, ability to update any local accounting system, and support for VAT/GST style taxation and multi-currency invoicing makes us the ideal international solution for small business.

Licensing and Support

How is DBA licensed?

DBA is licensed and priced on a per-user basis and has a capacity of 5-50+ users. Additional users can be added at any time to accommodate your company’s growth.

An annual license fee is due each year on your initial system purchase anniversary date. This fee renews your license and entitles you to all product updates at no extra charge. The fee is $90 per user applied to your total user count at time of renewal.

licensing

How many users will I need?

Our “Total Control” process workflow means that each person involved with engineering, inventory control, order entry, production planning, purchasing, shop control, shipping, invoicing, and accounting needs access to a computer workstation to make real-time transactions. Each user is assigned a unique User ID, which allows them to log into the system from any computer workstation on the network.

Named User Licensing

Multiple users are licensed on a “named user” basis. This means that if your license is for 10 users, in the User Setup screen you can select the Active checkbox against any 10 specific User IDs. There is no limit to the number of User IDs that can be created, but the number of User IDs designated as active is limited by your license key.

How is support provided?

9 months free support is included with your initial system purchase.  Ongoing support is provided via a flat-fee subscription, which is automatically renewed every 6 months at the $295 continuous rate. If you let your subscription expire, a $495 restart rate applies on a one-time basis if you start a new subscription.

Support is delivered through our online support center, which includes a ticketing system, knowledge base, and other online resources.

What will be my ongoing costs?

There are two ongoing costs associated with operating the system — an optional support subscription, which is $295 every six months, and an annual license fee of $90 per user, which renews your license and includes product updates. The annual license fee is due each year on your original purchase anniversary date.

Pricing

Can DBA handle multiple production facilities or multiple companies?

DBA is ideally suited for handling multiple production facilities, multiple companies, or remote shipping warehouses. Each operating entity has its own DBA system, and each system uses the financial transfer capabilities to update a central general ledger in your financial accounting system for consolidated financial reporting. If production facilities supply each other with subassemblies or finished items, purchase orders are used to make inter-facility transfers.

Each operating entity must be furnished with its own DBA system and license so that it has its own users, items, BOMs, customers, suppliers, MRP, and shop control. This enables the “Total Control” process workflow to be managed efficiently without being compromised with conflicting data from other entities.

Each operating entity uses the standard chart of accounts, but accounts can be cross-referenced to destination accounts in the central general ledger as needed to differentiate the different entities within consolidated financial reports.

Installation and Networking

System Requirements

Before you install the software, carefully review our system requirements to make sure your hardware and network meet our minimum standards.

Firebird™ SQL Database

The DBA system includes the Firebird™ relational SQL database. Firebird only works properly under these conditions:

  • The Firebird database must be installed on the same file server as the DBA software.
  • Only use DBA with the version of Firebird supplied with the system.

High-Speed Internet Access

Your company must be equipped with high-speed Internet access to use the DBA system. Our software, product updates, documentation, training videos, and online support are all delivered over the Internet.

Power Protection System (UPS)

An abrupt power loss or crash from unclean power is the most common cause of data corruption. Your file server requires clean and continuous power to function properly. Factories are especially subject to power fluctuations. It is imperative that you protect your server with a power protection system that includes surge suppression, power conditioning, and battery backup.

Database Backups

Your data is your most valuable asset and must be protected from day one. Accordingly, you must devise a database backup strategy and have the storage devices and a backup plan in place.

  • Daily backups should be scheduled to run during off hours.
  • Typical database sizes can be 200 MB – 2 GB.
  • Backups should not be made on the same physical storage as your DBA database. To protect against fire, theft, or loss of local copies, it is imperative to store copies of your database off-site.
  • We advise a combination backup strategy where you make local backups as well as off-site backups online using a service such as Mozy Pro or Carbonite. Do not use the continuous backup options for the DBA database.

Network Type

DBA can be installed on most any Windows-based client/server or peer-to-peer network.

Network Server

  • Operating System: Windows Server 2012/2012 R2, Windows 2011, Windows 2008/2008 R2.. Essentials, Small Business Server, and Standard supported on all versions listed.
    • NOTE: 64-bit and 32-bit versions of these server products are both supported
  • RAM: as required by the operating system
  • Free Disk Space: at least 2 Gigabytes (GB)
  • Network Card: 10/100 Mbps or greater
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 or greater

Hosting Cloud

DBA can be installed on a hosted server. Workstation access is provided via Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS – formerly Terminal Services). Microsoft RDS CALs (client access licenses) are required.

Client Workstations

Client workstations access DBA through your local area network. A DBA Manufacturing Client gets installed on each client workstation to provide start menu access, desktop icons, a database engine, and online help.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 (Pro or Ultimate)
    • NOTE: 64-bit and 32-bit versions of these products are both supported
  • RAM: as required by the operating system
  • Network Card: 10/100 Mbps or greater
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 or greater
  • Wired Ethernet connection

WARNING: Do not use wireless connections

Do not use wireless connections because client workstations will experience disconnections, access violation errors, and potential data corruption.

NOTE: If you wish to furnish a PC with a wireless connection, it must be set up as a remote desktop workstation (see next).

Remote Desktop Workstations

Remote desktop workstations access DBA remotely by accessing the the server’s desktop (using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services) or a client workstation’s desktop (using Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection).

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 (Pro or Ultimate)
    • NOTE: 64-bit and 32-bit versions of these products are both supported
  • RAM: as required by the operating system
  • Use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) for remote access to client workstation’s desktop.
  • Use Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS – formerly Terminal Services) for remote access to the server’s desktop. A Microsoft RDS CAL (client access license) is required.
  • NOTE: RDS is not available with Microsoft Small Business Server

Tablets, Notebooks, Handhelds, Phones, etc.

Mobile devices are useful for shop floor processes such as material issues, job labor updating, job receipts, and stock counts.

  • The device can access DBA via MS Remote Desktop App (Android, iOS, and Windows)
  • Use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) for remote access to a client workstation’s desktop.
  • Use Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS – formerly Terminal Services) for remote access to the server’s desktop. A Microsoft RDS CAL (client access license) is required.
    • NOTE: RDS is not available with Microsoft Small Business Server.
    • SERVER SETUP: Provide users with access to the server desktop. Do not publish DBA as an App.

Printers

All reports and forms print in graphical format on any Windows-compatible laser or inkjet printer.

The standard labels supplied with the system are designed to print on a continuous roll label printer with four-inch wide labels. The default label sizes are 4×2 and 4×4.

How do I setup DBA on a Client Server or Peer-to-Peer network?

DBA can be installed on most Windows based networks, either on a central server, or, in the case of a peer-to-peer network, on a shared workstation. The following guide and video provide more details.

Installation Guide

Can DBA be accessed from remote locations?

If you have satellite operations or field salespeople, they can be connected to your file server using the Microsoft Remote Desktop Services® utility that is included with Windows.

Remote users can access the system over the Internet either through a client program installed on the remote computer or through a web browser. Any experienced network integrator will be able to help you install this technology.

If you only need occasional access to your PC from a remote location, we recommend using the Remote Desktop utility that is included with most versions of Windows.

Does DBA include an SQL database?

You do not have to purchase a Microsoft SQL Server® or any other database. The DBA software is bundled with the Firebird™ database, which is included in the package price. Firebird™ is a robust, full-featured SQL relational database that has a small footprint, is self-maintaining, and can be used without requiring IT skills.

Can DBA run on SQL Server®?

No, DBA cannot physically run on Microsoft SQL Server® or any other database other than the Firebird™ database that comes with the product.

Implementation, Training, and System Setup

Can I implement DBA on my own?

Absolutely. Any company willing to put in time and effort can follow the steps in our product Startup Wizard to get the system up and running, using our support for help with questions. The overwhelming majority of the 1000+ companies currently under license have implemented the system on their own without outside help.

Getting Implemented

Startup Guide

If you get outside help…

If you choose to get some outside help, that person can save time by following the steps and recommendations in the Startup Wizard so that you get more value for your service dollar.

Does implementation require special expertise?

You do not have to be a DBA “expert” to implement the system. We have created a highly specific, step-by-step process in our Startup Wizard that can be used by anyone.

No accounting conversion necessary

Self-implementation is further facilitated because no accounting system conversion is required. DBA includes a standard chart of accounts that eliminates the need for special accounting and manufacturing knowledge to set up the general ledger.

Our financial transfer capability enables you to continue using your existing accounting system without interruption for all financial processes, including receivables, payables, banking, payroll, and financial reporting.

Your major master tables will be imported

Your major master tables — customers, suppliers, items, prices, bill of materials (BOM), and routings — will be imported using our data import utility. Data import can be done by anyone having a basic familiarity with Excel spreadsheets. The data import steps are precisely documented and success is achieved by taking your time and faithfully following the directions.

Data Import Guide

The “Training” phase instills confidence in your staff

The Startup Wizard has a very structured “Training” phase where your employees are all exposed to the functions of the system. There are written conceptual materials and extensive training videos covering all aspects of the system. All of your employees will be well versed and comfortable in using DBA prior to official Startup Day.

“Startup Day” is when you turn the key

In the final phase of implementation, a set of tasks will be performed on system startup day prior to activating the system for live use, including initial stock quantities, open sales orders, open purchase orders, and open jobs. A clean Startup Day is the key to a successful implementation.

Self-implementation does not mean you go it alone

Not only does the Startup Wizard put you through a highly structured process, but it is augmented by our online training videos, online help, and user guides. If you have any questions or issues along the way, you can submit support tickets to our staff and we will help you.

Don’t turn the key until you are ready

Self-implementation is more about “perspiration” than “expertise.” Take your time and follow the steps and recommendations in the Startup Wizard to the letter. Do not skip the most important phase of implementation – the “Training” phase.

Do not rush into Startup Day until you are confident that all procedures and processes are fully rehearsed and in place.

Does DBA provide onsite training or support?

All training and support are handled by our web-based resources. We have a wealth of training videos and conceptual User Guides that provide all of the tools needed to succeed with DBA. If you run into a question not covered by our materials, submit a support ticket and one of our team members would be glad to assist.

For new customers, our Startup Wizard provides a proven, step-by-step building block methodology for system setup. As you progress through the tasks there are extensive written materials and training videos covering all aspects of the system. By the time your company progresses through the Training phase and reaches Startup Day, all of your employees will be well versed and comfortable with the software.

Getting Implemented

On an ongoing basis, we have an Online Training Guide that provides a structured training experience for your personnel. Customers with a support subscription also have access to a Training Company installation. The Training Company allows you to perform “what-if” scenarios on a copy of your own data without compromising your main live database.

Online Training Guide 

Can I import data from my current system?

Our data import utility is used to import the following master tables from Excel spreadsheets during Startup Wizard tasks and for ongoing maintenance after system startup day:

  • Customers
  • Customer Contacts
  • Delivery Addresses
  • Stock Items
  • Suppliers
  • Supplier Contacts
  • Supplier Prices
  • Manufacturers
  • Manufacturer Part Numbers
  • Base Prices
  • Qty Break Prices
  • BOM Routings
  • BOM Components
  • Initial Stock Qty’s

The spreadsheet format enables you to edit your data as needed to conform to the requirements of each DBA table. You map each column in your spreadsheet to its corresponding field in DBA and then you click a button to import the data.

Data Import Guide

What does DBA offer for custom reporting?

Our Data View reporting tool provides you with a powerful custom reporting capability that does not require programming skills to use. It includes the following features:

  • Selection screen with various filtering options
  • Data in a spreadsheet style format
  • Use one of our standard layouts or design your own
  • Add or remove fields as needed
  • Sub-grouping capability, including groups within groups
  • Output to Excel, HTML file, text file, or printer
  • Ideal for exporting data to outside applications
  • Can be used without programming skills
Data View Reporting Tool

Will I need custom programming?

Some companies have the perception that an “off the shelf” product like DBA must be augmented with custom programming to tailor it to special requirements. This is absolutely not the case with DBA.

Our “Total Control” workflow eliminates all the manual processes used with light manufacturing systems and therefore custom programming is not needed to compensate for the lack of essential manufacturing features. Furthermore, the workflow consists of standard processes that can be applied universally to any manufacturing company.

DBA includes a variety of customization tools that enable you to tailor the system to suit your preferences without the need for custom programming. These tools include our data view reporting tool, customizable output grids, default settings, customizable forms and labels, and job traveler layouts. Attached documents and notes throughout the system can also creatively handle many custom documentation needs.

WARNING – Do not write to or alter our database

Our software license does not permit outside applications to directly update or alter our data tables. The only acceptable method of data input is via our Data Import Utility within the product.

Avoid any programmer who proposes a project that violates this policy. In particular, avoid any custom programming proposals related to labor data collection, EDI import, or web store import. Writing directly to our database can cause irreparable harm to your system and invalidates your user license.

External Applications and Custom Reporting

ODBC compliant reporting tools and databases can be used to query data from DBA for use in external applications or reports.

Your industry may require a specialized application that is external to our core modules. For example, you may have a product that requires an estimating program with complex calculations. You would run it as an outside program and manually enter the results into DBA.

Custom programming can play a role in such external applications. If you have any programming done for you, be sure your programmer creates a standalone database that is separate from the DBA database. The golden rule remains that reading from our database is acceptable, but writing to or altering our data structure is forbidden.

DBA Classic FAQs

DBA Classic FAQs

DBA Classic was our first product and was originally named “DBA Manufacturing.” It was introduced in 1992 as a DOS-based product and was converted to run on Windows in 1997.

When we introduced our current product, “DBA Manufacturing Next-Generation” in 2003, the original product was renamed “DBA Classic” so that it would not be confused with our new product.

DBA Classic FAQs