Web-based Accounting on a Linux Desktop?

The lack of financial applications comprises a major complaint about

using Linux on the desktop. SQL-Ledger (http://www.sql-ledger.org), a

Web-based multi-user double-entry accounting system, can help address

some of those concerns.

Supporting invoices, packing lists, balance sheets, sales orders, and

purchase orders, SQL-Ledger provides accounts receivable, accounts

payable, and general ledger reports. All of the forms and reports are

generated to HTML for display in a Web browser and you can customize

the templates to create any of these forms or reports.

The speed and the completeness of the package, which provides a lot of

support for businesses that sell physical products, is very impressive.

A manufactured part can be made up of assemblies and services, and each

assembly can be made up of other parts. When you sell a part made up of

the other parts and assemblies, SQL-Ledger automatically updates your

inventory and counts all of the proper items against the inventory.

SQL-Ledger comes with an impressive set of features, but it also shows

what you can do with a scripting language such as Perl, which was used

to program the entire package. The entire interface runs from a Web

browser, using HTML forms, meaning that users at remote sites could log

in and update data, depending on your security set up, of course. The

development team is also working on a Perl/Tk user interface that would

provide a native graphical user interface.

The requirements to run SQL-Ledger seem a bit steep, as you need a

database on the back end. You can get a number of free databases for

Linux, though, including PostgreSQL, one of the databases SQL-Ledger

supports. Furthermore, if you are using an accounting system, you need

somewhere to store the data, and a database is a better choice than


The installation instructions are still quick, though, with just a

small number of steps. But SQL-Ledger requires you to install

PostgreSQL, Perl 5, the Apache Web server, the Perl DBI module for

generic database access, the DBD-Pg module for PostgreSQL access, and

the SQL-Ledger package itself.

SQL-Ledger appears in 17 different languages and is quite extensive.

The list of features at http://www.sql-ledger.org/features.html is nice

for an accounting system. A demo runs at http://abacus.sql-

ledger.org/sql-ledger/login.pl. This demo can give you a good overview

of what is available in the package.

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