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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Developer(s) xTuple
Stable release 3.3.0 / 2009-9-9; 4 months ago
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Accounting/ERP
License CPAL

PostBooks is an open source accounting and enterprise resource planning business system geared toward small to medium sized businesses. It is released under a CPAL license and is thus free software. PostBooks is maintained as an open source project on but is based on the commercially licensed xTuple ERP system created by xTuple, a private software company based in Norfolk, VA.

The name PostBooks is derived from three aspects of the project. First "Post" alludes to the common concept of posting journals in accounting. Second, the name refers to the project's technological roots as it runs exclusively on the PostgreSQL database. Finally, the name suggests PostBooks as a logical step of progression for businesses that have outgrown the popular QuickBooks small business accounting product by Intuit.

Translations: Chinese (Simplified), French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish



PostBooks is the foundation of the xTuple ERP software solution developed and marketed by the company of the same name beginning in the year 2000. All of the xTuple ERP Editions are targeted toward small to midsize companies. PostBooks is the Free and Open Source Edition; Commercial offerings are the Standard Edition and the Manufacturing Edition. The company adopted a "community code" model, meaning that customers who purchase or subscribe to licenses for the product have access to view and modify the source code. Unlike open source software, however, the code was not made publicly available.

In July 2007 the company formally known as OpenMFG simultaneously announced the change of their corporate name from OpenMFG to xTuple and the launch of the PostBooks open source project at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon.[1] The project was originally to be released under the "xTuple License," a derivative of the Mozilla Public License, but xTuple was quickly criticized for introducing "yet another" open source license variant[2] However, at that very same conference SocialText announced the release of the new Open Source Initiative approved Common Public Attribution License (CPAL). Two days later xTuple switched PostBooks to CPAL and became the second company to adopt this license[3] which is currently the license in use today.

The first stable release of PostBooks was version 2.2.0 announced in September 2007.[4] Since then PostBooks has quickly catapulted to and stayed in the top 20 most active projects on SourceForge.


PostBooks is based on a client-server platform using a front end Graphical client written in C++ using the Qt by Trolltech, with PostgreSQL providing the back end database. The use of Qt and PostgreSQL allows both the client and the server to be run on Windows, Macintosh, or Linux operating systems. The strategy behind this technology platform is to avoid the number of "moving parts" and complexity that accompanies interpreted language based solutions such as the Java or .NET framework that require a runtime library to be installed and kept up to date on every client machine. This approach allows the client software to be run from a server with no installation requirements at the client machine, which is presumably helpful to smaller businesses that do not have the in-house technical resources to support a complex deployment. As a general rule, as much business logic is stored and maintained in the database as possible to reduce the size and complexity of the client.

PostBooks is divided into 7 functional modules: Accounting, Sales, CRM, Manufacture, Purchase, Inventory and Products. It supports multi-currency and multi-language capability and is therefore suited for international deployment. All modules are integrated into a single common code base in the client, and reside in a single database schema on the server. The client for both PostBooks and its older and more comprehensive commercial brethren, OpenMFG, is identical. The difference between the two is completely managed in the database schema where the OpenMFG database includes additional tables and functions to support larger enterprises. At login the client checks to see whether it is logging into a PostBooks, Standard, or Manufacturing database, and changes its menu structure accordingly.

PostBooks uses the OpenRPT report writer and renderer as its embedded reporting engine. OpenRPT is an LGPL licensed open source project also administered by xTuple and hosted on Source Forge.


PostBooks has a young but growing community. While the project is technically maintained on Source Forge, most community activity is initiated at the xTuple hosted community website where additional forums and technical documents are available.

PostBooks is written using English as the base language but has been or is being translated into several languages by the community at large including Spanish, French, German, Russian, Turkish, Chinese and Portuguese.

A dedicated Russian community website being maintained independently of xTuple has been created.


External links


Postbooks documentation


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