What’s Going on with SMB Linux Accounting?

WebCPA published an overview of some of the issues involved in Linux and open source deployments for the SMB crowd. It mostly focuses on some of the financial packages available, mentioning companies like ACCPAC/Sage, Open Systems, and InsynQ as offering their solutions for a Linux platform. The article, while providing what I thought was a pretty wide-ranging overview, seemed blurry on a few points though (noting, for example, that there would soon be Macs able to run Linux natively–actually that’s been possible for a long time, and mentioned freeware when I believe it probably meant free software).

The main thing that interested me was its discussion the companies that provide accounting solutions for open source platforms, most of those recognized in the article, actually seem to fall a bit short. Indeed, to quote a comment from an ACCPAC reseller presented in the article

“…Beck says most Linux installations involve running IBM DB2 database on a Linux server while running the accounting application on a Microsoft system.”

I wonder why that is? Shortly after, the article states the following

Sage Accpac, which supports both Windows and Linux, estimates this year that as much as 20 percent of its installations were on Linux, up from 12 percent a year earlier.”

If that’s the case, I wonder why they’re not putting the complete system on Linux as opposed to setting up a mixed environment? Some of the arguments presented say that “the midmarket is not asking for it.” Is it that straightforward? I wonder if that means they’re only considering people that specifically say they want Linux. What if people want benefits, cost, support levels, functionality etc. that may be provided by a Linux platform but have not thought specifically to demand that via Linux? I have the impression that answering “the midmarket is not asking for it” seems a little incongruous with the rest of the stats about its deployment. I’d like to know how these match or do not match.

Finally, although the article highlights some proprietary financial apps that run with Linux or MySQL, it doesn’t mention a single financial application that is, itself open source. They exist though, perhaps I’ll follow up on this in the future.

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