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Industry Software
Founded 2001
Founder Jeffrey Lyon, Ned Lilly
Headquarters Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Products ERP
Revenue DecreaseDecrease
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 2001 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 cofounded OpenMFG with Ned Lilly 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.

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 licenses which is the licenses in use today.


The PostBooks Edition of xTuple ERP is a Free (for up to four users, five or more users requires a commercial license[3]) and Open Source Software (FOSS) application, available for download from SourceForge on the PostBooks project page. The Distribution, 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.


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. 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. 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. ^ Asay, Matt (2007-07-25). "OpenMFG transforms into xTuple, but misses the open-source train". CNET. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  3. ^ Using xTuple PostBooks® Edition requires a software license key. It's FREE — for up to four (4) users — or you can explore commercial options for five (5) or more users. https://xtuple.com/products/postbooks/get-started-with-postbooks

External links[edit]