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xTuple Web Client: It's not just for mobile devices

One of the great  misunderstandings about the new xTuple web client is that its primary purpose in life is to provide an interface for mobile devices. This may surprise people, but that was never the primary reason for its creation. In fact, we expect more people to use it on laptop and PC environments than on mobile devices. It has been labeled the “Mobile” client entirely for marketing reasons to differentiate it from the Qt based “Desktop” client. There were actually several goals we were attempting to achieve in development by creating this technology including:

  • A user interface that could run in any modern browser.

  • Cloud-ready architecture.

  • An object oriented paradigm for defining business objects and their corresponding functions.

  • Improved performance on large data sets.

  • Unit of Work commit transactions.

  • Inline editing.

  • System wide support for locking.

  • More consistent user interface.

  • More modular design.

  • Web services support for easier system to system integration.

  • Native support for column and row level security.

  • Mobile ready interface that will work on any device including touch devices such as tablets and phones.

 

That's a lot of goals! Some of them may not make sense to you, so I will describe each of them in more depth.

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To free or not too free, that is the question

To be more specific ... the question we would like help answering is would xTuple be better off changing the CPAL license on its core PostBooks project to the GPL license, or an extremely permissive license like BSD or MIT?

Anyone who works with open source software knows that one of the most-discussed aspects of an open source project is its license. The license of a project you incorporate into your own can impact the licensing of your own software. This is because licensing can dictate not only the legal terms under which the code you are incorporating must be distributed, but the legal terms under which the entire body of code into which it was merged must be distributed.

There is something of a religious debate about what the "free" in free and open source software (FOSS) means.  Let's dive in...

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We've moved!

Well, we've moved our code anyway. Over the course of the last couple months we've been consolidating our code base, which was scattered in a variety of places, into GitHub. You can now find the code for all of xTuple's projects here: https://github.com/xtuple

This change means  Read more »

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JavaScript, JavaScript, JS all the way!

As many of you know we have been working hard on our next generation Mobile Web client platform that will enable xTuple users to use the application through a browser on both desktop and mobile devices. What you may not know is that this is the first business management system written that uses JavaScript in all layers including the database, the data service and at the application layer. You may be asking yourself a couple questions: First, "Are you crazy?" and second "Why is this a good thing?"

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A Shorter Letter

Enyo, Hewlett-PackardA couple years ago I learned of what is now one of my favorite quotes from one of our senior developers, Gil Moskowitz. I asked him why a particular development resulted in so much code and complexity. He referred to a quote from Blaise Pascal: "I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time."
 
As many of you know, we've been hard at work on our new Mobile Web client. For much of this year the plan has been to base the client on Blossom, a fork of SproutCore, that we sponsored to evolve that framework to a mobile-ready platform. We debuted our new client running on Blossom at the OSBC and FluentJS conferences in May. A funny thing happened on the way to fame and fortune at those conferences. We discovered a better framework called Enyo.
 
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New Super Powers for Developers in 3.8

Right after every major release I like to draw attention to new features that may not be immediately evident or even included on the product roadmap. Now that 3.8 has been published as a release candidate I'd like to point out that the new Display class that was introduced in 3.7 has been exposed to our JavaScript interface in 3.8 so that creating new table-style reports is easier than ever. Read more »

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It's Official: Lion gets the xTuple Stamp of Approval

The title says it all. We ran the xTuple client through our test battery on the lastest Apple operating system and it has passed with flying colors. As of today we officially support running our published xTuple 3.7.4 distribution on Macintosh Lion.*

*Note however, that PostgreSQL 9 that ships with Lion is not currently supported. xTuple 3.7.4 must connect to an 8.3 or 8.4 database. If you use the xTuple installer it will install an 8.4 PostgreSQL database. Support for PostgreSQL 9 is coming in xTuple 3.8.0 which is currently in beta.

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Codeless customizations in 3.7

While open source projects are widely acknowledged to have strong technological underpinnings by both proponents and detractors, the latter will point out that the problem with open source software is you have to be a programmer to really get the benefits of open source. That has traditionally meant that 99.9% of the potential user base doesn't really get the biggest benefits. However, as open source projects like Apple's Mac/iPad operating systems (based on BSD) and Google's Android operating system (based on Linux) have become mainstream the old axiom that open source is only for geeks and hackers is becoming old school. The interfaces for products that use these projects have not only caught up to, but surpassed proprietary systems.

xTuple is no exception. In our 3.7 we have added features that make it a piece of cake to add custom fields to documents and reports. No programming required. Read more »

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Email Integration is Here!

The much anticipated mail integration functionality in xTuple Connect is now available for Beta testing.  Please click here to learn how it works and how to get started.

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The Pristine General Ledger

I've worked with several accountants over the years and one thing I've noticed about them is that they generally like things neat and orderly. Unfortunately the real world is often messy and chaotic. Transactions get entered for the wrong accounts, quantities, or dates, which leads to reversal transactions, then yet another set of corrected transactions. Even with a flawless transaction record a company of even a moderate size can end up with thousands of general ledger entries that make finding the source transaction of any questionable trial balance number like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Several features are being introduced in 3.6.0 to make life cleaner and more manageable for our accountants in the real world including a smarter G/L account search widget, the ability to modify erroneous general entries and a new optional Journal system. Read more »