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Developer(s) xTuple
Stable release 4.5.0 / June 9, 2014; 8 months ago (2014-06-09)
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 GitHub but is based on the commercially licensed xTuple ERP system created by xTuple, a private software company based in Norfolk, VA.

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


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.


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 when its code was first made publicly available on SourceForge.[4] PostBooks was voted project of the month on Source Forge in March 2013. Since then source code management has been moved to GitHub.[5]


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 sibling, 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.

The PostBooks project includes three application interface options: a locally installed Graphical User Interface (GUI) client, a mobile enabled web client, and a REST based web services API for integration with third party applications, all of which feed into the same PostgreSQL back end database. The GUI client is uses a client–server methodology written in C++ using the Qt framework. Both the Qt client and PostgreSQL database server may be run on Windows, Macintosh, or Linux operating systems. The GUI client also 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 GitHub. The web client is written entirely in JavaScript using Enyo to the mange the presentation layer and Backbone for the model layer. It communicates with a NodeJS server which provides the REST web services interface. The web client uses Pentaho to provide reporting and business intelligence functions.


PostBooks has a mature and established community. While the project is technically maintained on GitHub, 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.


  1. ^ Sean Kerner (2007-07-27). "OpenMFG Takes on QuickBooks With PostBooks". Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  2. ^ Matt Asay (2007-07-25). "OpenMFG transforms into xTuple, but misses the open-source train". CNET. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  3. ^ Matthew Aslett (2007-08-03). "Open source ERP firm second CPAL licensee". Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  4. ^ Ned Lilly (2007-09-06). "xTuple releases OpenMFG and PostBooks 2.2". Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  5. ^ John Rogelstad (2013-07-18) We've Moved! Retrieved 2013-07-18.

External links[edit]

Postbooks documentation[edit]