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How to get the most out of your xTuple Free Trial in the cloud

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You have a good reason for starting a Free Trial of xTuple. Perhaps your company has been running QuickBooks, and now you need something more powerful to handle the complexities of your business. Or you are running on a moribund ERP or accounting package (Sage, anyone?), and you need to find a new platform with a brighter future. You've heard that xTuple offers greater extensibility and control, and now you're ready to take a look at the product.

So you follow the instructions to apply for a Free Trial. When your welcome email comes, you see that you have options. Lots of options. Two different clients? Two databases? Online guides. Videos. Webinars!? Why so much? Can't I just look at the dang software, you wonder.

Well, of course you can. You can download the xTuple Desktop client and login to your demo database on xtuplecloud.com. You can click around and look at sample data on various screens. You can view reports, create customers, place orders, and dig around all you want. Exploring on your own can give you an impression of how the software looks and feels.

Take the time to use the guides

But if you are considering xTuple as a business solution for your company, you'll want to do more than than just look around. ERP value comes from the processes that it handles, the management of the flow of information from one part of the system to another. The value is in how well it models the real-world business processes of your company, connecting departments and functions in ways that make your business more transparent and more efficient. To appreciate that value, it's best to actually perform those functions inside of xTuple.

The Free Trial comes with a number of online demo guides that provide step-by-step instructions for executing critical business processes using xTuple. The topics in the Demo Guide include:

  • How to enter sales orders
  • Plan for demand with MRP
  • Purchase materials
  • Pay vendors
  • Manage work orders
  • Track labor
  • Ship and receive
  • Collect cash
  • Run financial reports
  • Generate sales forecasts
  • And more ...

Yes, it takes a little time. But when you introduce an ERP system into your company, you and your co-workers are going to be looking at these screens every day, for years. We hope you'll agree it's worth it to take your time to do a thorough evaluation and really understand what you are getting into before you make such an important decision.

Three ways to use the xTuple F​ree Trial

There is no faster and easier way to get into the xTuple software than to request a Free Trial. We do the work of creating your databases and we host them for you on xtuplecloud.com where you can access them with both the Desktop and the Mobile Web client.

There are a number of different directions you can take your Trial, once you have it.

  1. Try the software in the cloud before installing PostBooks® or a commercial edition locally
  2. Try new features before installing an update
  3. Set up for free and then stay in the cloud

Even if you plan to eventually set up PostBooks® (our free open source edition) and run it locally, you might still want to try the software in the cloud first. If you decide it's for you, you can follow these instructions for on-site Installation of xTuple PostBooks® Edition, client and server.

If you require a commercial edition and want to host it yourself, then Free Trial gives you a way to sample all the features of the full Enterprise Edition for 30 days. You can verify that xTuple has the features you need before investing your time and money in licenses and implementation. If 30 days isn't enough time to finish your evaluation, you can even purchase a single license to keep your trial going month-to-month, and then cancel when you are ready to go on-site.

Existing xTuple users have another way to use the Free Trial. We release regular updates to the software about once a quarter, and the Free Trial always provides access to the latest current major version. You can sign up for a trial to preview any new features before installing a software update in your own database.

Finally, the Free Trial is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to get started with xTuple. We provide you with both a Demo database (Enterprise Edition) and a Quickstart database to use once you're ready to set up your own company's information. If you'd like to keep your database in the cloud rather than hosting it yourself, when your trial period ends you can subscribe to the xTuple Cloud Service and and keep hosting your Quickstart on xtuplecloud.com.

The Quickstart starts as xTuple PostBooks®, but when you subscribe, you can upgrade it to any other xTuple edition, such as Standard (now Distribution), Manufacturing, or Enterprise. Any data you've entered will be preserved. For pricing information, see our Pricing page.

BC Wilson

Director Cloud Services
With the explosive movement of cloud strategies, BC was promoted to director of cloud services in 2014. Previously, he oversaw operations and hiring of managers for critical lines of business for the Product Management Group, driving return on investment (ROI) for all xTuple products and managed ongoing engineering and development of the xTuple Classic GUI product, including all customer-sponsored enhancements, as well as the xTuple Web Portal product. Prior to xTuple, BC was a senior product manager for Trader Electronic Media, where he directed the development of websites for the classified advertising market. He has also worked as a partner in a web design agency, and a content producer for the Road Runner and Starband broadband service providers. BC began his career as a writer and editor for the Ziff Davis computer magazines. He holds a B.A. in Theology from Georgetown University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. In 2012, BC was appointed as a commissioner of Bicycle and Pedestrian Trails in Norfolk, Virginia.