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Type Private
Industry Software
Founded 2001
Founders Jeffrey Lyon, Ned Lilly
Headquarters Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Products ERP
Website www.xtuple.com

xTuple is an enterprise software company that develops and markets open source software under the brand name xTuple ERP.

The company was originally formed in 2000 as OpenMFG' and rebranded as xTuple in 2007. The company is privately held.[1]


xTuple began under the name OpenMFG, developing its product of the same name beginning in the year 2001. Jeffrey Lyon, the original developer of OpenMFG, contacted Ned Lilly, then of Great Bridge, a company incubated within Landmark Media Enterprises (formerly Landmark Communications), whose owner, Frank Batten Jr., had heavily invested in Red Hat. Lilly left Great Bridge in April 2001 and cofounded OpenMFG with Jeffrey Lyon in October 2001.

xTuple headquarters, Norfolk, Virginia

OpenMFG was a commercially licensed ERP system targeted toward small to midsize manufacturers. 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.

OpenMFG spent several years building its product, and settled into a release cycle of roughly one major release every twelve months. The version 2.0 of OpenMFG (released in 2006) added Master Production Schedule, multi-currency, and CRM, filling the most obvious gaps in its claim on true mid-tier ERP functionality.

Jeffrey Lyon departed OpenMFG in 2004 to eventually found SabeSoft to continue development of its mid-range ERP system, initially based on licensed OpenMFG functionality but, since, progressing to become a wholly unique product.

In 2007, the product received a 5 star rating from the Channel Web Network,[2] specifically for integrating Customer relationship management (CRM) functionality into its generally manufacturing oriented ERP package, and also when it became a finalist in the eWEEK Excellence awards.[3] The company further gained attention in July 2007 when it 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.[4] 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.[5] 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 licenses which is the licenses in use today.

In 2008 xTuple extended its business model to include ERP database services, marketed as XTN[6] which include remote backup, upgrade and optimization of user-hosted xTuple ERP databases.


The PostBooks Edition of xTuple ERP is a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) application, available for download from SourceForge on the PostBooks project page. PostBooks was the SourceForge Project of the Month in March 2013.[7] The Standard, Manufacturing, and Enterprise Editions are commercially licensed Enterprise resource planning solutions. All three products are built on the same Open source technology foundation, and share the same code base. The commercial Editions have more functionality for larger companies and those companies needing more manufacturing capabilities.[8]


xTuple ERP provides multiple interface options including a locally installable GUI client application, a web client, and a web services API for third party application integration.

GUI Client[edit]

The GUI client is written in Qt, a C++ toolkit for application development. It lets application developers target all major operating systems (Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac) with a single application source code. Qt provides a platform-independent API to all central platform functionality: GUI, database access, networking, file handling, etc. The Qt library encapsulates the different APIs of different operating systems, providing the application programmer with a single, common API for all operating systems. The native C APIs are encapsulated in a set of object-oriented C++ classes.

Web Client[edit]

The web client is built entirely in JavaScript using the Enyo framework for presentation and Backbone.js for model handling. The web client is designed to operate on all modern browsers and all devices, including mobile devices such as iOS, Android and Windows 8. Reporting and Business Intelligence functionality are provided by a Pentaho server.

Web Services[edit]

The web client application is served by a NodeJS server, which also provides a REST based web services API that can be used for third party integration. The web services API uses Google's Discovery Service model to provide a self documenting interface.


xTuple uses the PostgreSQL database exclusively for storing and managing data. All three interfaces feed into the same database schemas and are therefore interoperable. The GUI client relies heavily on PostgreSQL's native procedural language (PL/pgSQL) functions to process business logic, while the web client and node layers leverage additional capability made possible by the integration of Google's V8 JavaScript engine into the database using an extension known as PLV8. xTuple has written an Object-relational mapping system embedded in the database using JavaScript that processes all reads and transaction requests made via the NodeJS server.


  1. ^ "Deal Radar 2009: xTuple". Sramanamitra.com, Sramana Mitra. 
  2. ^ Morejon, Mario (2007-07-23). "Review: Open-Source ERP Scores". Channel Web Network. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  3. ^ eWeek Labs (2007-06-21). "The 7th Annual eWEEK Excellence Awards: The Winners". eWEEK.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  4. ^ Kerner, Sean (2007-07-27). "OpenMFG Takes on QuickBooks With PostBooks". internetnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  5. ^ Asay, Matt (2007-07-25). "OpenMFG transforms into xTuple, but misses the open-source train". CNET. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  6. ^ Boucher Ferguson, Renee (2008-01-02). "xTuple Network Aims to Ease Open-Source ERP Concerns". eweek.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  7. ^ http://sourceforge.net/blog/potm-201303/
  8. ^ http://www.xtuple.com/comparison

External links[edit]