"Nola is a free business accounting package, released
under the GPL by the Ohio based-firm Noguska . Noguska has produced
a variety of software for business since 1973. When you check out
its site or call Noguska the company presents a comfortable, folksy
image. Noguska's people are pleasant and helpful.
I don't know about you, but I always wonder how a software firm
can break with tradition and give away software. I asked, and got a
plausible answer: Noguska's profit has always been in customization
and long-term support. By giving the software away under the GPL,
Noguska reaches more potential customers. It's fine with Noguska if
many, or even most, can use it as-is and without support because
businesses grow and evolve. When they do, Noguska intends to be
there, for a fee, with skills necessary to enhance its core for
free accounting system. Free, if I can handle it. Fee, if I can't.
I like that.
Yes, that is fair enough -- everybody has to eat -- and it is a
conventional business model applied by many companies plying the
open source waters. We shall see if it works for Noguska. If it
does, great! If not, well, Nola is GPL'd software. We are free to
hire our own guru if we ever need one and Noguska's gone under. I
like that too."