The xTupler #4 (January 2009)

Change has come!

The xTupler #4 Open Source ERP News
  January 2009
 
BC WilsonChange has come!

OK, we admit it.  That's a pretty shameless attempt to ride the coattails of all the energy and excitement around the new U.S. President.  Even for those who didn't support him (and the xTuple staff, like the rest of America, was split right down the middle), it's inspiring to think about starting fresh - learning from both best practices and past mistakes, but not being afraid to chart a new course when the situation calls for it.

We believe 2009 is going to be that kind of year.  The global economic uncertainty isn't going away; it's during times like these that smart companies make the kind of decisions that can help them put some distance between them and their peers.  Decisions like putting the world's most powerful open source ERP system to work :)   If you're having those thoughts, you're not alone - we're seeing strong interest from companies of all sizes in turning the page on proprietary vendor lock-in, brittle old legacy systems, and underpowered desktop software.  Companies ranging from adventurous startups using PostBooks on day one, to Fortune 500 leaders in manufacturing and distribution leveraging our commercial open source Editions.

xTuple ERP - and our global community of customers, partners, and other users - just keeps getting better.  We've just released version 3.2 of the software - PostBooks, Standard, and Manufacturing Editions - and there's a lot more exciting news below.  Read on, and thanks as always for your interest in xTuple!

Hopefully yours,
BC Wilson

Director of Internet Communications
xTuple ERP Version 3.2 Released!
Great new features in CRM, Accounting, Manufacturing, and developer tools

download from sf.netAfter our most comprehensive quality-assurance cycle to date, we're happy to announce the general availability of xTuple ERP version 3.2.0. 

The new release includes over 300 enhancements, including major usability improvements to the CRM module (graphical calendar of To-Do items, email and alarm notifications of system Events), time-saving consolidated workbenches in the Accounting modules, and much-anticipated enhancements to Manufacturing, including Disassembly Work Orders, Manufacturers' Part Numbers, and Reference Designators on Bills of Materials. 

Version 3.2 also includes major upgrades to the integrated OpenRPT report writer, and an embedded copy of Qt/Designer to make building custom screens even easier (read more Qt news below!)

Click here to read more about enhancements in version 3.2.
Training Dates Reminder
Intro to xTuple ERP in February

Our most popular training class, Introduction to xTuple ERP, returns to our Norfolk, Virginia classroom the week of February 23, 2009.  The class begins Monday morning and runs through Friday afternoon.

We hope you'll join us for this next intro class or for one in the future. Please reply for more information or to sign up now.

The intro class, remember, is a prerequisite for our in-depth developer training class, tentatively planned for three days starting March 25.
Exciting News:  Qt is now LGPL!
Move should strengthen community of Qt developers
Qt Logo

Some of you might remember that almost exactly a year ago, our partner Trolltech AS - the Norway-based creator of the Qt tools with which the xTuple client is built - was acquired by Nokia, the wireless phone company.  The open source world drew in its breath nervously.  Would this be another example of a big company killing something wonderful?

A year later, it's looking like this might be the rare exception to the lessons some of us battle-hardened cynics have learned in the technology world.  Qt continues to develop at an impressive pace, and Nokia has recently announced that the new release, version 4.5, will be made available under the Lesser GNU Public License (LGPL), in addition to the existing options of the "regular" GPL and the commercial license.

What does this mean?  There's a very good article at Ars Technica explaining it all, and Qt's own FAQ is pretty thorough.  But the short answer is, it's now easier than ever to use Qt - including using it to contribute to PostBooks - and you don't have to worry about purchasing a commercial license.  For any platform - Windows, Linux, Mac, or even any of the embedded platforms.

As some of you may know, we did the exact same thing with our OpenRPT report writer several years ago - and not coincidentally, community engagement and contributions to the code picked up dramatically.  We expect that Qt will see the same thing happen on an even larger scale, and we congratulate them on this bold move!
Community Corner
What we're hearing from friends in the open source world


Eugene J. Markow, writing from Poland:  "Your software just made it possible for a sizable business to run their entire accounting system on Linux. This is a huge boost to the Linux community, and I applaud your firm. Congratulations on developing a fine product. I'm now a user as of yesterday, and learning more about it each day. I plan to contribute as much as I can to your forums, wiki, and website."

Phil Hughes, Linux Journal blogger and owner of the "Geek Ranch" in Nicaragua:  "Far from being 'crippleware,' PostBooks will do more than most non-manufacturing businesses need for accounting.... Besides being a solid product that seems very well designed, I find the business model interesting. Because the client is the same for all versions, what we contribute (bug fixes and translations, for example) decreases their expenses related to their commercial offering. In return, we get to take advantage of various things from the commercial offering... To me, this is a perfect example of how Open Source can be a win-win for a commercial enterprise."

And US-based Linux/Unix consultant Arthur Knight Hammer:  "PostBooks is the first comprehensive business application in my experience that brought to fruit the lofty, idealistic goals of high quality open source software developed collaboratively with end users... Like Linux itself, it is a model of what humans can do when they work together to accomplish a common end."

Thanks, Eugene, Phil, and Arthur!  Part of what makes this job so great is the people we meet, and your kind words mean a lot.
Employee Showcase
Perry Clark, Software Engineer

Perry ClarkEvery office has the guy who, when he's not there, everything starts to make funny rattling noises.  At xTuple, that guy is Perry Clark.

Without any fuss, and only the occasional grumble, he makes sure that our servers serve, our phones phone, and our high-tech door locks actually open and close when we press the right buttons.

More importantly, for our customers, he provides the hands-on operational support that keeps customer databases finely tuned.  If you're replacing a legacy system with xTuple ERP, or if you're one of our many xTuple Network (XTN) service customers, Perry's down in the weeds with you - cleaning up less-than-pristine data, and optimizing system performace. 

He's also a whiz with custom reports, and serves as an expert troubleshooter to help diagnose and resolve the thorny problems that can arise in complex server/software environments.

On his one day off each year, Perry lavishes his attention on his 1965 Ford Mustang.


 Perry's 1965 Mustang

He also collects guitars, which he vows that some day he will learn to play again.
Help Spread the Word

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And for extra credit:
 
xTuple ERP
Attention PostBooks Users!

Now you can purchase bundles of prepaid support directly from xTuple, in increments of as little as five hours.  The more you buy, the more you save.


5 hours - $1500
10 hours - $2500
20 hours - $4500
30 hours - $6000
40 hours - $7500
Contact sales@xtuple.com or +1-757-461-3022 for more information.

 

mead