How Open Source Works

Why is a license key required for PostBooks®, even for the free version? Isn't it an open source product?

xTuple provides a complimentary (that's right, FREE) generic 1-year license key for single-users of our core offering — PostBooks® — upon submitting a simple registration form. You're also provided instructions for updating the license in order to log into your xTuple database. Effective Tuesday, September 1, 2015, qualified companies who need two to four (2-4) concurrent users will still receive a free license key with our compliments, whether or not they choose to engage commercially with us.

How do custom reports and scripts work?

xTuple includes powerful tools to help you deploy an ERP solution that meets the exact requirements of your business. For most major functionality, we prefer to include the solution in the main, supported product, so no one has to worry about maintaining custom software. But sometimes an extremely narrow requirement exists, perhaps a unique business process that needs to be mirrored in the software.

How can xTuple be localized for my market, if I'm not in the United States?

Many elements go into localizing an ERP system. First is language. Each xTuple ERP client loads a translation file at runtime, so one user can see the application in US English, for example, while others see it in Mexican Spanish, Simplified Chinese, etc. Please visit our Translation and Localization webpage to see the current status of the many xTuple ERP international translation efforts.The other major element of localization is the accounting, tax, or other local business requirements of a particular market.

How do I get new features added into the product?

This is our favorite question. There are lots of ways, and the most important is working collaboratively. If you've got the technical expertise, you can write new functionality yourself. You can pay one of our development partners to do it. Or you can sponsor new features directly with us. Sometimes, it makes sense to put together a consortium, where several customers split the cost of developing something new. This worked extremely well for the CRM module in version 2, and the Returns and Service functionality in version 3.

Why should I pay for a commercial Edition when PostBooks® is available for free, and there's an open source community working on it? Won't the child surpass the parent at some point?

Part of what a vendor has to be comfortable with in the open source software world, especially if they're pursuing a dual-licensing model such as xTuple, is competition between the free and commercial versions. Fundamentally, we believe it will come down to how well we do our jobs managing the PostBooks® community. If we're unresponsive, don't give a good sense of overall roadmap and guidance, or needlessly antagonize community members, there's a good chance the project will be "forked" — and maybe someone will start a PostPostBooks project.