Open source accounting software Gnuaccounting enters round 0.8.0
and new features in cross-platform invoicing
Alzey, 2011-09-07. “For this latest version of Gnuaccounting some of the changes really were very fundamental, reaching right down into the architecture of the program,” explains Jochen Stärk, who wrote this accounting software. “This did have its advantages, for example, a simplified program structure and sustainability. The disadvantages included a lengthy development time, the fact that it was not possible to transfer data from previous versions and a long and intensive test phase.”
In fact, the way that data is stored was not changed completely but a new basis has been provided for it, amongst other things, in technical terms. The main advantage of the switch from Hibernate/HSQLDB to Eclipselink/Derby is that it will allow for any future extensions. The other databases compatible with Eclipselink, particularly MySQL and PostgreSQL, will, however, continue to be supported.
The program’s own proprietary Open Business Data Exchange (OBDX) format has been completely abandoned in favor of “openTRANS” (http://www.opentrans.de/). This switchover makes it possible to exchange data with other programs, as well. openTRANS is an open and independent standard for electronic invoices and is being developed under the management of Fraunhofer Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation.
If so desired, Gnuaccounting can now send out invoices to customers, including the relevant openTRANS files, by e-mail. In addition to this, the osCommerce online shop link has been switched to openTRANS. In order to guarantee better openTRANS support, in the new version article descriptions and supply units such as hour, meter or quantity have been introduced for the first time.
Also with the aim of being able to better transmit data, Gnuaccounting has now introduced a credit/debit indicator into the staggered set of accounts and can be exported into a new format for the “Addison” software that is popular with accountants.
Nonetheless, Stärk does still think that there is room for improvement. “There are still errors in how the libraries interact with their environment. Owing to a feature of OpenOffice.org that has not yet been ported, a Mac version is not yet possible and with Linux text input does not always function properly in the template design. In these areas, we have to rely on the OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice, Java and Gnome communities,” explains Stärk.
Stärk also admits that the program’s user interface “still looks ghastly,” adding that this is a good starting point for new programmers who want to make a contribution to Gnuaccounting because it is relatively simple. Anybody interested should just get in touch with him by e-mail.
Moreover, he considers it unsatisfactory that the program is still “rather weak” on annual accounts. And he adds that although it works beautifully for his company getting his accountant to do the annual accounts, if somebody does not have an accountant, he thinks that more balance sheet-related features “would be desirable”, or at least a complete P/L feature.
However, as Stärk explains, it should now at last be possible to deal in forthcoming versions with other items on the to-do list, such as a transaction history or the facility to show previous invoices per customer, thanks to the recently improved infrastructure.
The new version works not only with Windows 7, but also with Vista and XP. Other problems that have now been corrected include the way the program may “freeze” with invoices containing several items using Windows.
Gnuaccounting 0.8.0 will be coming out on
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnuaccounting/files/gnuaccounting/ , 03:00 p.m CET. on Friday, 2011-09-09.
Until then, a preliminary version will be available at
Gnuaccounting is an open source Java invoicing program with accountancy functions. In order to create invoices and records it has OpenOffice.org embedded in it. It supports smart card-based online banking (HBCI) and can export data, for example, for preliminary VAT returns issued electronically. The first version was published on March 25, 2005. Since then there have been 27000 downloads.
The program is available in German and English, it can be used as a portable application and, upon request, can use external databases such as MySQL or PostgreSQL instead of the embedded Apache Derby. The 32-bit versions are supported by Windows(r)(tm) (XP, Vista, 7) and KDE-based 32 and 64-bit versions of Linux.
Further information can be found on the official Gnuaccounting website: http://www.gnuaccounting.org
usegroup is an IT company that has been in operation since 1998, focusing on IT consulting and Web development (backend programming). The company is based in Alzey. Its owner, Jochen Stärk, has a BA in Information Systems and is the founder of Gnuaccounting.
Further information on: http://www.usegroup.de/
usegroup Inh. Jochen Stärk
c/o Jochen Stärk
Tel.: 0049 - (0) 177 - 4512645
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