xTupler #7 — It wouldn't be summer without bugs

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

xTupler #7  | July 2009

Dear Community —

It's summer time in the northern hemisphere, and while it's a little cooler in Virginia than usual for this time of year, it wouldn't be summer without bugs.

The climate-controlled offices at xTuple are 99.9% bug-free, but we'll freely admit that's not the case with software - ours, or anyone else's. In the last six months we've cranked out three well-received releases in the 3.2.x cycle, and we're currently in beta testing of version 3.3.0. All the new feature development in 3.3 is complete, and it's time to swat some bugs.

We see this as an opportunity, and so should you. For us it's a chance to resolve issues with the beta that our users and testers have reported. For you, it's a chance to win free stuff! We know a lot of you want help just because it's a good cause, but we're hoping the chance to win a t-shirt or even, for one lucky overachiever, a netbook, will spur you to greater feats of bug-smashing awesomeness. Read on below for details of the first annual xTuple Bug Derby.

Soon after the end of the Bug Derby we'll be releasing xTuple ERP 3.3, a version with significant enhancements including Distribution Resource Planning (DRP), improved VAT and international tax support, improved email capabilities and more.

We're also excited to report on new products in the xChange, including the Yellow Dog Executive Summary, a new packaged "dashboard" that displays all your key business performance indicators on a single screen. With this report, we've established a standard that everything released on the xChange should be installable via the Updater application (see details below). Look for the first xChange newsletter in the next few weeks, which will feature updates about new products and our download of the month!

Thanks everyone, and we'll see you at the Bug Derby!

Best regards,

BC Wilson
Director of Internet Communications

xTuple Bug Derby

Swat xTuple Bugs, Win a Netbook!

xTuple is proud to announce our first annual xTuple Bug Derby.

From July 13th to July 21st we will be obsessively fixated on resolving as many bugs as possible for the 3.3 release and we are inviting the greater xTuple community to join in.

There will be prizes for participating contributors. Anyone who submits code to resolve 3 or more bugs will receive an xTuple Bug Derby T-Shirt. The highest contributor outside xTuple that submits code to resolve 10 or more bugs will win a Dell Netbook. All participants will be publicly credited for their contributions.

Visit xTuple.org to read the full Bug Derby Rules.

We will announce the Grand Prize winner of the Netbook on or before the final release of 3.3. We look forward to working with you all helping to make xTuple the most bug free ERP system available.

Get Used to Easy

We're Making the Updater a Standard for the xChange.

We admit it: before we launched the xChange some of our report definitions were less than easy to use. We'd been distributing report definitions as .xml files, which was fine for the command-line jockeys who could pass parameters to RPTrender from a manually-installed custom menu option - but maybe a little much to ask of the rest of us.

Time for a change! On the xChange, all files, except for stand-alone applications, will be distributed as Updater packages. You'll download the package and install it in xTuple ERP using the Updater application. The report will appear as a new Custom item in the xTuple menus, where it will be easy to find and use.

It's all part of the ongoing effort to make xTuple easy to use--and easy to enhance.

If you've got a report or utility you want to distribute via the xChange, just hop on over to the submission form and get started. We recommend you wrap it up as an updater package first; if you're having trouble we can probably help. We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Customer Corner

Wes Jacobs, General Manager of Creamer Metals, recently shared his thoughts on the benefits of using xTuple ERP at his company:

  • The open community from the CEO down through the organization provides a new kind of user support that really helped us through our implementation process.
  • Software updates are much more frequent and the software is constantly evolving, unlike traditional support.
  • As users solve problems or discover other ways to utilize their software they post it out in the community and we often venture out to discover these things so we do not have to reinvent the wheel.
  • Cost of the solution is a real plus for the value received.
  • We have saved 20 to 30% in our cost to manufacture.

Thanks for the comments, Wes! We love to hear from customers and users who are seeing the benefits of xTuple ERP.

Look for a full case study on Creamer Metals shortly; meanwhile, please read up on other xTuple customer experiences.

Employee Showcase

Wally Tonra, VP of Sales

If you've called xTuple and hit button #3 for "more information on xTuple solutions", you've probably spoken to Wally, who works directly with prospective customers, and in support of our partners around the world.

Wally has been in ERP Software Sales for 15+ years, here at xTuple for the last five. He's worked with customers ranging from two-person startups to Global 1000 giants.

Says Wally, "My favorite prospective customer is some one who has been though an ERP project once or twice. They know what they want, what they need, and they really appreciate all that we bring to the table with our functionality and openness. It's fun to work with all kinds of customers, but I always have a good time swapping stories people that have been through the ERP wringer before. Sometimes it takes them a while to believe we're for real!"

Wally is a big supporter of Little League Baseball and the biggest fan of the Boston Red Sox south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Partner Profile

Dan Means, DKMeans Consulting

Dan has been providing ERP and MFG solutions to clients as an independent consultant for over 25 years, after a successful corporate accounting career.

He has been an xTuple systems consultant since 2004, specializing in complex manufacturing and integrating various open source solutions with xTuple systems (even before the APIs were built!).

He is a very hands-on consultant, always willing to get his "hands dirty" to get a job done, and done right.

His rare combination of both operational and technical skills allows Dan to bring solid, reliable and practical solutions to his clients.

When he's not playing "open source geek", he's out riding a bike somewhere -- the MS Society is his favorite charity -- or backpacking somewhere that cell phones and computers don't work. But don't worry, he gets all his messages!

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Attention PostBooks Users!

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Contact sales@xtuple.com or +1-757-461-3022 for more information.