September 26, 2005 Open Source Strategies, Inc. and Undersun Consulting LLC announced today that the General Ledger application for the Open For Business open source project (www.ofbiz.org) is now in beta testing under a community funding model.
The community funding model relies on contributions from members of the Open For Business Project community to cover the cost of developing open source software. Any member of the community can make a contribution of any amount towards the
development effort. Users who contribute over a fixed amount can also start using theGeneral Ledger application immediately under a license which allows them to access and modify the source code. When contributions cover the initial development costs, the General Ledger application will be released under an open source license for all to use. With this funding model, the initial cost of open source software development can be covered either by a large number of small contributions or a few larger contributions. Larger contributors also benefit from having a completed application for a fraction of the time or cost of developing it themselves. Finally, when the development costs are recovered, the application is made available under a true open source license without use, modification, or distribution restrictions. Thus, the project benefits from a concentrated effort to create the seed of an open source application, which can then be extended through long-term community development.
Because enterprise software is complex and expensive to develop, creating open source enterprise software has traditionally required sponsorship from either major users or venture investors. We hope this hybrid license is a third funding option which can accelerate the development of Open For Business and open source software in general, says Si Chen, Principal of Open Source Strategies, Inc.
To date, the two sponsoring organizations, Undersun Consulting and Open Source Strategies, have already received $26,000 in sponsorship and contributions from the Open For Business community for the General Ledger application. This leaves $24,000, or slightly less than half of the total development costs, outstanding before the application is released as open source.
Open For Business (www.ofbiz.org) is a suite of open source business applications, including ecommerce, Point Of Sales, order, customer, inventory, warehouse, marketing, manufacturing, and content management. In development by an international community since 2001, it has been used to deploy advanced solutions worldwide. The General Ledger application was developed to complement Open For Business by offering accounting support for key business processes, financial reports, and integration with external accounting systems.
Open For Business has always been a very popular choice for enterprise applications due to its robust architecture and broad feature set. With the new General Ledger application, it takes a major step towards becoming an open source ERP solution, notes David E. Jones, partner of Undersun Consulting LLC.
Undersun Consulting LLC (www.undersunconsulting.com) and Open Source Strategies (www.opensourcestrategies.com) are open source software companies and core developers of the Open For Business project. For further information about Open For Business and the General Ledger, respectively, see http://www.ofbiz.org and http://www.opensourcestrategies.com/ofbiz/accounting.php