Here, "free" does not simply mean "might be available free of charge," but rather looks to the definitions of free software.
One slightly novel thing: various documents may be submitted via email; if those that you do business with have email, as is almost universal, now, you may send invoices and such via email and avoid some paper. It's not quite EDI, but it may save some envelope-stuffing...
Billing / Invoicing
Purchase and Sales Orders
Assemblies (BOM, kits)
Chart of Accounts
Other notable features of the system include:
Foreign Currency support
(Menus have been translated into quite a large number of languages.)
SQL server backend
(I'll bet this comes as a surprise!)
These may be customized using a templating system
Backup to file/email
For a while, the main author of SQL-Ledger tried to shift the license to some custom license, on the basis of the claim that the GPL was permitting people to "steal other peoples' work and circulate it as theirs." Of course, the ability to "fork" software projects was always an expressly intended feature of the GPL.
The upshot of the attempts to relicense SQL-Ledger has been to coalesce a set of interested developers around a code fork called LedgerSMB . I have to recommend that people interested in something like SQL-Ledger instead look at LedgerSMB; it has a community around it that are more interested in, well, supporting the community.
A German "fork" of SQL-Ledger
Another fork of SQL-Ledger, initially based on concerns about reaction time to a security threat. The effort acquired new interest when other issues were observed, such as:
Use of floating point values, with the resultant contagious loss of precision over use of fixed point numeric values
A paucity of use of foreign keys and other constraints for data validation
A habit of permitting NULL values in places where valuse should not be NULL.
Ongoing usage of OIDs, a deprecated PostgreSQL feature.
Concerns surrounding the "duel licensing" approach, where there is a desire to keep the code base proprietary to one owner, as opposed to it belonging to a supportive community
The project has a public shared Subversion repository rather than this being controlled privately
SQL-Ledger has no "open" documentation; that is evidently the primary profit centre for the owner, with the unfortunate result that decent "open" documentation would undercut the owner's profit model
Unlike some forks, where participants lose interest after the initial cause of irritation has been forgotten, this one has attracted interest from core members of the PostgreSQL project, with the result that they have some reasonably heady expertise to call on...
There has traditionally been very limited usage of extended Perl modules; LedgerSMB folk intend to adopt Perl-based extensions such as the Template Toolkit, and take advantage of third party functionality rather than reinventing things partially from scratch.
The plans for LedgerSMB include rearchitecture; it will eventualy have a financial API that exists as a set of PostgreSQL stored functions that will be usable both by a web interface (the present main way that the software works) as well as providing a language-agnostic way to support clients that might assortedly be written as shell scripts (useful for automating event processing such as injecting financial transactions), Web interface (for usual administrative interactions), as well as offering the ability to implement extensions or alternative interfaces in Java or other languages, if desired.
It does not usually make sense to introduce additional languages "just because someone wants to", but if someone needs to integrate with some POS hardware which comes with a Java "driver", this makes that easier.
There seems to be a "Linux Enterprise Accounting" system project on the go; see Linux-Kontor
Some portions of the site have been translated to English;
The architecture is a "3 tier" client/server system;
Comparisons keep getting drawn between their system and SAP's R/3 system;
There are also plans for Kontor to work with PostgreSQL and Oracle 8. These efforts are somewhat more experimental.
They use Java and JDBC to build platform-independent client and server software;
Kontor is presently GPLed; there are intentions to use the LGPL;
Mention is made of Year 2000 and the "Euro" currency harmonization issue.
Actually, that's quite a lot of information, and, comparing somewhat with SAP's R/3 application, the "Kontor" system sounds like what you would get if you designed a GPLed R/3-like system without having a legacy of mainframe support to worry about.
They make use of the transaction facilities that are built into the relational databases, rather than making use of a Transaction Processing Monitor. This suggests to me that they may have some surprises somewhere along the way if they try to scale up. (SAP doesn't talk much about TP monitors, although they have definitely folded one into their system.)
In any case, Kontor certainly looks more "serious" than many of the other "free" business accounting system projects.
GnuCash is commonly considered a "personal finance" package, but does include invoicing and contact management functionality to support business management.
The Dallas Independent School District's records are being publicly provided as per Texas law on Linux systems using PostgreSQL.
At this point BANAL has what might be called a "primitive" user interface, thus far eschewing anything that might be called a "graphical user interface." If someone creates one, of course, that would change...
Source code is also available via anonymous FTP from Sunsite in the Financial/Accounting hierarchy. It should also be available at mirror sites.
There is quite a variety of Linux-based spreadsheet packages, commonly used to construct financial worksheets, useful for both personal and business financial analysis as well as various other sorts of analysis.
<email@example.com> PDS - Pizza
A system for managing pizza sale operations. Written in Java, with GPLed code.
CK-ERP is modelled somewhat after SQL-Ledger, but runs atop a large set of groupware packages (eGroupWare, XOOPS, Zencart, CRELoaded, osCommerce, Xaraya, Horde, TikiWiki, phpBB), and is mainly written in PHP rather than Perl . It comprises over 20 modules including Administration, i18n, Contact Management, Customer Relationship, Customer Self Service, Vendor Relationship, Ledger, Bank Reconciliation, Inventory, Service, AP, AR, PO, SO, Quotation, POS for Cashier, POS for Manager, HR, Staff Self Service and Payroll, and manages data using PostgreSQL or MySQL™ .
The vendor considers it superseded by NolaPro, which is presumably more featureful, after additional years of development, but which is no longer strictly "open source" as it is only redistributable without charge.
FISTERRA is a project that aims to provide a generic open-source ERP (Enterprise Resource Planner). Nowadays it supports invoicing, stock and payment management, POS (Point-Of-Sale), distributed work and offline replication. It uses Gnome SDK and PostgreSQL (libgda).
Only usable if you speak German, at this point...
Compiere - Smart Open Source ERP and CRM Business Solution for the Small Medium Enterprise
A GPLed cross-platform small business management system including G/L, Inventory, Order Entry, and Sales/Distribution.
jPOS is a Java based financial transaction library/framework that can be customized and extended in order to implement any particular financial interchange.
Calamar is a multiple client general ledger accounting program for small companies. Written in Java , supports VAT calculations, cost centers, and English/French/German locales.
Custom provides small to medium sized businesses, that buy and sell goods, with: - an e-commerce front-end for their customers - access to anti-fraud protected credit card verification - a Point-of-Sale front-end for the shop floor - Account reports.
MRP-server is a manufacturing industry application. It runs the algorithm known as MRP (Materials Requirements Planning) very fast, in memory. It takes its data from any ODBC-compliant DB. Written in C++
Jasmine is a web-based application for managing computer assets. It should work fine in any of the more popular browsers. Facilities are provided for searching, adding, deleting and editing asset records.
The Jasmine application is distributed as a collection of JSPs (Java Servlet Pages) and supporting Java classes. There is also an alternative CGI script for those who don't want to muck with Java, however the Java classes provide much more in the way of extensibility for those who want that.
PHP-based Web-based asset and problem tracking system built for IT departments and helpdesks. It keeps detailed information, both hardware and software, about each computer, as well as a complete history of all work requests ever placed.
GestiONG is a managerial program for NGO's, Non-Governmental Organizations and other kinds of non-profit associations. It was first developed in Spain, and most of the documentation is in Spanish, but could surely be adapted for use in other countries.
Since this requires Java , it is not likely to be able to be meaningfully considered a " totally free" system; it uses numerous Java-based XML processing components:
A double-entry ledger application, written in C++, using a text-based file format that reads rather reasonably like a ledger. Includes an Emacs mode to help edit the ledger.
Written in Haskell , this is compatible with the text file format of similar program, ledger.
This is an project underway by OM to "provide an easy to use software system for the administration of non-profit organisations."
Technical components include:
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