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It xTuple still viable?

We were working with Wally before he left so we went quiet for a bit. Now that we’re ready to go it seems that, since xTuple was purchased, its community has all but died. The last post on this forum was over a month ago.

So, current xTuple users - should we reengage or restart our search?

Thanks in advance,


Hi Rob,

I’m Ned Lilly, the co-founder of xTuple, former CEO, and now General Manager inside our new owners, CAI Software. I can tell you that xTuple is absolutely going strong, and better than ever with our new partners. We are more than quintupled in size (rhymes with xTuple!), and have made major investments in building out our Customer Success and product development teams.

I will ask Ryan Grayson, an account executive who previously worked with Wally, to reach out to you on Monday. We look forward to re-engaging, and learning more about your needs and goals.


Hi Ned,

To be frank, that it was you rather than someone from the xTuple community who replied is not comforting (I’ve been on the other end of an earn-out, as well). Moreover, it was the reputation of failed commitments from xTuple management that caused us to initially reconsider. That xTuple now belongs on your ERP Graveyard site and isn’t prominently featured on your new owner’s site doesn’t help.

I’ll wait for some less vested in our transaction to reply.


Hi Robert,

If that can help, I have been an xTuple partner since 2003 and I am not looking anywhere else for ERP partnership.

As Ned put it, the CAI ownership makes it so much better for xTuple to continue in their target market, small and medium size manufacturing enterprises.

Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you want to discuss further.


Bernard Le Jour
AS Plus Informatique Inc.

https://caisoft.com/products/ - our name starts with X, so we tend to be toward the bottom of an alphabetical sort.

Rob, Not a partner or the former CEO. Pittsburg Steel has been using xTuple since version 4.9? I came in around 4.10 4.11 and here is my take.

xTuple has hit some bumps. the commitments that never came through I know what you are talking about. if I had to list some it would be Lot/Serial Rework that either died or has no update on. The fact that the bug tracker just disappeared. weak attempt at the UI update.

But there are 2 Large perks to xTuple. 1 Price. 2 Flexibility.

  1. Price. There are no ERP solutions that compete with xTuple inside its price bracket. None that I have found at least that will offer half the feature set. It is still a Good application even with many of the flaws.

  2. Flexibility. The code is open to you. It used to be even more open. but you can still change the way the application functions to suit your needs. There is no one size fits all for ERP’s.

If you don’t have development capabilities, xTuple looses much of its value. I think xTuple offers it but I don’t think that the price would be competitive. I know there are other firms out there do work in xTuple but I don’t know the quality of work or price

I think right now xTuple lacks a clear direction. But if CAI dissolved xTuple today We would continue to use if even with no support for the next 3-5 years and maybe beyond.

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We are simply a customer as well (DF Supply). While we’ve barely heard a peep from anyone at xTuple since the CAI acquisition, I’m not sure that’s a bad thing - seems like how it always has been? Been here since 4.9.3

Caleb’s points are very good ones. The flexibility/open code is the only reason we’re here! We’ve built an entire stack of applications around the xTuple database. We do all of our development in-house and have no experience working with any of xTuple’s service offerings.

We put a considerable amount of effort into releasing tools to run the database on RHEL (despite the PLV8 struggles) as well as Qt docker compile environments for linux+windows. We’re actively involved (with functions that impact our business). We’re distribution, so most of the manufacturing features are not used by us…

No more bug tracker has been a sticking point of mine for years… Gotta be the only commercial software with no reasonable way to report a bug!

Any questions - feel free to reach out to me directly.
DF Supply, Inc.

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Thank you, customers and partner, for the reply. After considering your input and an out-of-post conversation with Ned, we’ve decided that we’re not comfortable starting a new venture with xTuple. I wish everyone well and will continue to track this forum for any new information (assuming that my account isn’t deleted!)


Wish you well Rob. I know the ERP process is a headache that no one ever ends up fully happy with, so I hope you transition to the new one as smoothly as possible

I am a tiny little, insignificant client of xTuple – but have been a fully licensed paying ‘customer’ since the early 4.0 days. The current viability of the product scares the living crap out of me – we have built tons and tons of integration points to the XT databases and heavily leverage the vanilla functions/API’s for our shipping, invoicing, quoting, warehousing, etc. etc.

Prior to the buyout, the level of customer communication from xTuple was marginal (at best), but the software really nicely fit our needs and still works exceptionally well for our business. New releases, fixes, and enhancements slowed to a crawl from 2019-2022. (And the ‘pandemic’ excuse simply does not cut the mustard when it comes to a software product that can easily be developed by disparate teams working at home.)

Enter 2023. We’ve had a single telephone call from a new sales rep – and that was only after I questioned the value of continuing our relatively expensive maintenance contract, despite seeing almost no forward motion in the product.

I’m not sure which scenario worries me more: a total re-write of the platform by the new ownership team (which abandons all the existing customers), or a total jettison of the product which – from all outward appearances – seems to be on life support. Where is the bug tracker? Where is the product roadmap? What is the release schedule?

Strong words. I know. As a small business owner, xTuple is the the lifeblood of what happens in my company. It is the single largest investment (physical inventory notwithstanding) we have.

I wish we had a stronger user community or forum to discuss these issues.

Hi Daniel, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and giving us the opportunity to respond, publicly and privately.

I’ll start with the bug tracker, as that’s been a source of frustration for lots of people. A few years ago, we made a number of internal system changes, including moving off our own incident tracking software for bugs, feature requests, and support tickets. We implemented a flavor-of-the-month, “best of breed” system which was supposedly optimized for software companies (and didn’t have an easy way of providing outside user access to tickets). It was a disaster - everyone internally and externally hated it. We are finally putting it out to pasture, and have moved all bugs and feature requests to Jira, which really is the industry standard. We’re looking at ways to make all the bugs and features requests accessible to customers shortly, so stay tuned for updates on that front.

On the question of product development, I can assure you that CAI bought xTuple substantially because of our product and technology stack, and they are committed to moving it forward. You may have heard about the new xT web/mobile client, the first module of which (sales and CRM) is now available. Far from being a rewrite or a jettison, it very intentionally talks to the same backend database as the xTuple desktop client. Our plan is to move forward with multiple modules of the xT solution, with Inventory and Manufacturing coming up next. The idea is to make all the various pieces of the ERP consumable on a much more atomic scale through our new REST API, whether through xT modules (or mini-modules), or through integrations (like we’ve built with Shopify, WooCommerce, ShipStation, and even Quickbooks).

That doesn’t mean, however, that we’ve stopped investing in the desktop client. Over the period 2019-2022, which you characterized as seeing “enhancements slow(ing) to a crawl,” we released the following:

  • Version 5.0 - included a massive overhaul of the CRM system, and deep integration with external sales tax systems like Avalara
  • Version 4.12 - substantial release full of backports from 5.x, showing our commitment to not forcing big new upgrades on customers
  • Version 5.1 - included tax and pricing enhancements, several significant community contributions
  • Version 6.0 - major enhancements to Costing, and a substantial chunk of REST API work
  • The aforementioned integrations with Quickbooks, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Shipstation
  • Many patch release to 4.12 and 6.0, including the most recent 6.0.5

There has been a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work on version 6.1, which makes significant (but intrusive) enhancements to a number of areas, and thus requires extensive quality testing. We will be releasing 6.1 later this year (and yes, we will be fixing the much-hated UI changes that were admittedly haphazardly implemented in the 6.0 series).

In general, we will target one major release of the full ERP every year (6.1 in 2023), patch releases as necessary, but at least 2-3 per year, and new or updated xT modules every quarter going forward.

I hope that’s helpful. Thanks to you and everyone else who’s posted in this admittedly difficult thread. We value your business and your input, and hope that our commitment to transparency here demonstrates that.

Best regards,

Thank you for your detailed reply and explanation of the current software state. Hopefully software updates will be proactively communicated to the customer base in the coming months, and the value proposition of xTuple will remain clear (as it has for the past many years).

Absolutely. As I’m sure you can understand, we’re going through some (very positive) changes as part of being integrated into the larger CAI manufacturing/ERP group, including a much more disciplined product/release planning process. We will be sharing the more detailed roadmap that comes out of that process as soon as it’s available.

I’ve been on xTuple since like 3.9.?. I actually got on board as an open source user of “PostBooks” in late 2011 or early 2012 and moved to the paid platform as my business got off the ground. xTuple provided a familiar architecture to me and in those early years I could not say enough good things about the product and the company’s approach to an “open” platform.

Back in that 2012 or 2013 timeframe even as a postbooks customer we were able to report bugs, see some small and large issues resolved quickly and even interact with xTuple.

We became a paying customer somewhere in those first few years. One reason was we wanted to try out some functionality like lot/serial. Another reason was just that we wanted to support xTuple and link up with them because our business was doing well and running on their “open source” software.

It’s nice that Ned took time to respond to Daniel’s comments. Some of what he says is encouraging like where the corporate position on the 6.0 UI changes is now that maybe that was not done so well.

I think though I would just like to repeat support for the belief as a user that little or no significant development has happened in the last 5 years or so. We have paid maintenance for many years in hopes that the development would get started back up and move in a forward direction. At this point it just does not make sense for us to continue in that practice.

Is xTuple ERP Software viable? If you are using it now and you have learned to be self-sufficient the product is very viable and we have many years to come before circumstances will likely force us all to a different product.

Is xTuple as a company a viable option if you need support, implementation, professional services, and an active development team carrying the product forward?

Now I am just getting into my own option but here is my unfortunate opinion. I’m afraid at this point the answer to that second question is “probably not”. It’s not an easy question with a 100% answer but indications over the past 5 or 6 years suggest that the days we could work with xTuple to report and correct bugs or to interact with them for important feature needs or engage them for effective professional services or get excited about a new major release have all passed.

We will continue to “root” for xTuple as a company and hope that it makes sense some day to get back involved with maintenance or to “buy up” to a current version number. The idea of the REST API if it were implemented well and broadly would let us do some cool things and provide functionality we could use and would be of value.

I’ve probably already been too wordy. My primary reason to respond was to support Daniel’s comments that as an active user, there has been very little development of any significance to the product over the past few years.

(Full Disclosure: Caleb194 above is our IT Manager so my comments and his – those are coming from the same user site. Caleb is more technical, I am more … shall we say … “seasoned”.)

Since I started this thread and have a bit of a technical background, I’ll chime in. Ned’s comments may be comforting to existing customers that are concerned that a technology shift into a more modern architecture would break their customizations and integrations, but a client-server architecture with a REST-ful API in front of it is a client-server architecture and, given that our ERP purchases should have at least 10 years of life in them, making a new investment in a 15 year-old architecture, especially knowing that the customer base is opposed to a modernization, is a firm no-go with us.

So, knowing that xTuple will stay client-server and, further, that they are developing yet another client rather that modernizing their client to be multi-platofrm (and, thus, breaking client-size customizations), I can’t see how a firm with a technically-minded stake holder on the decision team could find xTuple viable for a new deployment.

A software that doesn’t modernize doesn’t grow new customers. A software that does modernize causes pain to its existing customers. There’s a choice to be made, and Ned’s comments make it clear that xTuple intends on keeping its customer base happy with incremental feature updates, thus limiting its ability to grow organically. This is the story of ERPs: they launch, grow, stagnate, become consolidated, and slowly slip away as customers attrit. Ned has web site to track the consolidation phase - http://www2.erpgraveyard.com/, from which, a quote, from Ned’s own hand:

“… if that product/company has been bought and sold a bunch of times, and it’s one of many disparate offerings under a single corporate umbrella, the emptor should certainly caveat.”

The current customer base is quite stuck on client server architecture, But that is not a 15 year old idea. SAP probably the largest ERP is a client server architecture. The underlying database is extremely robust and normalized.

modernizing their client to be multi-platform 

I’m going to assume you mean a web-based client? xTuple is cross platform and can be used on any computer. the Mobile/Web client is what they are working on. I have never seen anyone happy to degrade the desktop app experience into something that can also run on a phone and a tablet and any other web browser. (Quckbooks Online, Pgadmin3-Pgadmin4, Migrosoft store). All of those are a significant downgrade in speed and responsiveness. You can had behind things like pagination but web clients are slower and less productive.

Adding a Rest API is probably the definition of modernization right now. All large SAS and ERP systems are adding Rest API’s and Webhooks.

I would agree. I would never want to switch to an ERP with less then 10 years of life. But the technology behind xTuple is up to date. our build is on the recent supported version of QT, PostgreSQL version is less then 3 years old. The software will run for the next 10 years with no support of any kind from xTuple. its not like its based on old libraries that will fail to compile without 4 workarounds.

product/company has been bought and sold a bunch of times

1 Time doesn’t make most of us too nervous.

This post might seem like a staunch defense of xTuple, More like a staunch defense of the technology behind xTuple. I think that is as solid as it gets.

Thank you, Caleb. Our guest poster seems to have crossed a line from asking questions to actively bad-mouthing our product and company, and is testing the good will of the forum moderators. Moreover, he is extrapolating strategic decisions from my comments which we most certainly have not made. We believe we have developed a solution that will allow a shift to a more modern distributed architecture, while not pulling the rug out from under existing customers. The xT client, and everything that interacts with the API, does so through a modern web service layer written in Python that replaces the direct database user connection used by the desktop client.

Any existing customer who would like to learn more about the API, and how it does truly enable all sorts of innovation (we have a number of very active success stories with some very smart, highly technical users), please feel free to contact your Customer Success Manager.

xTuple is multi-platform already… It’s compiled for Windows, Linux, and Mac (x64). It’s built on top of incredibly robust open source technologies (PostgreSQL, and QT). And if for some strange reason you need it compiled for a different architecture - there’s nothing really stopping you from compiling it? It’s written in C++. Or ask the xTuple team, i’m sure they’d be happy to help.

We have no experience with their (latest) REST API, so cannot speak to that.

Not sure how you can claim a client/server architecture is dated… Oracle’s NetSuite is not the only solution to the ERP problem.

What alternative software package are you considering instead of xTuple?

Perhaps my vocabulary is dated - when I say “client-server” I’m referring to a 2-tier application, i.e. the Qt client and a PostgreSQL database with the business logic split between them. The SAP R/3 is 3-tier. The advantage of a 2-tier is ease of development. The disadvantage is that any integration had to happen either in the database or in the client. Integrations at the database are technically messy. Integrations at the client are messy with respect to security and accessibility (we’d have to VPN into the network to exercise any integrations with on-prem systems or share credentials to access any hosted systems). Moreover, 2-tier systems push any scale-up into the client as, at least with PostgreSQL; it’s a single threaded connection. I don’t want to manage threading in a client.

I’ll preface this with a very strong, “I hate R/3,” but its middle layer and lack on any meaningful business logic in the database made our integration efforts far easier, allowed us to run imports over multiple threads, and let us setup work flows at the middle layer without having to worry about the capabilities of the clients or having to synchronize over multiple client technologies.

W/R/T my comment about “yet another client,” I have no issues, per se, with a Qt client. That said, having two UI tech stacks means that the features of the clients should be built upon the common capabilities of the tech stacks and must be implemented twice. If one client is hitting a REST endpoint and the other is hitting a database connection, any value-adders that are made at the REST endpoint are unavailable to the database-connected client. Finally, any mention of a browser not being feature-full enough for an ERP client should take a look at OnShape; if a 3D CADD can fit into a browser, an ERP client certainly can.

Finally, I’m saying all of this from the perspective of someone looking for a new deployment. None of this matters to me if I have a bunch of integrations and customizations with my current ERP, irrespective of its architecture. My point is that xTuple staying the course is a good thing for current customers.