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Open System Accounting [Project Announcement]

Oct 12, 2000, 08:05 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Poet)


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

[ Thanks to Poet for this announcement: ]

Open System Accounting


Project Document & Announcement


To provide a client-server open-source based accounting system. The system will initially be competitive to the functionality of the Intuit QuickBooks product.


For those interested in participating we encourage you to subscribe to the mailing list. You may subscribe by sending and email to openacct-request@linuxports.com with the words Subscribe in the subject field. This is a low traffic list. We are expecting development to start within the next 30 days. This project will initially be a SourceForge project. You can see more information about the project at http://sourceforge.net/projects/openacct/ .


Linux is the fastest growing operating system. It is outpacing Microsoft and Apple in growth. Unfortunately for the business world Linux lacks three things.

  • *A solid, stable, feature-rich office suite.
  • *A solid, stable, feature-rich groupware application.
  • *A solid, stable, feature-rich financial/accounting application.

The office suite and groupware application are currently under heavy development with other projects. The only decent financial Open Source application is GnuCash. GnuCash is a Intuit Quicken like program. It is excellent for a single person to track their finances.

Intuit QuickBooks is the most widely used small business accounting application. It is excellent for independent contractors, companies with a minium of product or companies that do not do electronic quoting.

It does not scale, and has only basic multi-user access. Open Accounting will provide a fully enterprise capable platform for the small business. It will provide several key functions that no other small business financial application does.

  • It will be free.
  • It will built on proven, non-proprietary technology.
  • It will be truly multi-user. The only limitation will be the hardware the server is residing on.
  • It will be truly interoperable. It will interface tightly with each native platform. Initially Linux/KDE and Linux/ncurses.
  • It will be developed in a client-server model. The clients will be designed for information display and retrieval only. All transactions will take place on the server.

Technology Overview:

The project will be broken in to three primary sub-projects.

1. Server

The server will be developed using PostgreSQL. The initial version will be 7.0.2.

2. Web

Their will be a web based client available for the system. This does not fall under the client sub-project due to its limited nature. The web project will consist of the ability to view and update customer contact information and run stored reports from the server. A security paradigm will be in implemented.

3. Client

The long-term goal of this project is to provide clients for the three major operating systems.

1. Linux - The Linux interface will be written in QT and Kparts to allow full interaction with the Koffice suite and KDE2.We will also include a curses based interface.

2. Windows - The Windows interface will be written in Delphi and will integrate with Microsoft Office.

3. Apple - The apple interface will be written in a native apple tool kit.

The short-term goal will be to provide the Linux and Web based clients only.

Server Overview:

We will rely heavily on SQL. The basic rule is the server does all the work. Clients are utilized for data display only.

If SQL is not capable of providing an efficient means of delivering the data to the client we will utilize a language binding to the server itself.

Language usage:

This is in discussion. It looks like it will be C++ or Python. Possibly both depending on the task. We want to be able to write server side reports that are more sophisticated than standard SQL but we don't want people to have to learn C/C++ to do so.

Toolkit usage:

Initially we will write for QT and KDE2. We will write the interfaces in such a way that they can easily be migrated to Gnome and GTK.

Client Overview:

We will use the clients to interact with the server. The purpose of the client will be to display or transfer data only. Computation will take place on the server side or via and external application such as Kspread.


Data Entry

Stored Report Viewer

Stored Report Writer

Project Scope:

The initial release will be to provide a proof-of-concept only. The proof-of-concept should be able to perform the following functions.


1. Customer management.

2. Basic Invoicing.

3. Basic AR/AP.

4. Basic financial account management.

5. Include the basic reports, overdue invoices, profit and loss, total sales, balance sheet.

6. Basic inventory.

Developers and Resources:

Hardware, Net:

Command Prompt, Inc. will provide computing, development and testing facilities. Initially through SourceForge.

Project Leader:

Command Prompt, Inc. will lead the project.

Additional needs:

Below is an example of actual additional needs. We are looking for feedback for the amount of people and hardware resources that will be needed. Please provide feedback.

CVS Manager:

We will need someone to be the CVS master. This could be a dual role.

KDE Client Developer:

This person will be in charge of overall design and implementation of the KDE client interface.

Web Client Developer:

This person will be in charge of the overall design and implementation of the PHP based web interface.

Curses Client Developer:

This person will be in charge of the overall design and implementation of the VT100, curses based interface.

Postgresql Developer: