Tuesday, 2014-12-23

*** bkuhn is now known as bkuhnIdle02:05
*** bkuhnIdle is now known as bkuhn02:56
*** bkuhn has quit IRC04:10
*** bkuhn has joined #npoacct12:47
*** tbm has quit IRC13:23
*** paroneayea has quit IRC13:23
*** scott_gonzalez has quit IRC13:23
*** joar has quit IRC13:24
*** ChanServ has quit IRC13:24
*** mlncn has quit IRC13:24
*** bkuhn has quit IRC13:24
*** ChanServ has joined #npoacct13:26
*** joar has joined #npoacct13:26
*** mlncn has joined #npoacct13:26
*** bkuhn has joined #npoacct13:26
*** tbm has joined #npoacct13:26
*** morgan.freenode.net sets mode: +oo ChanServ joar13:26
*** paroneayea has joined #npoacct13:26
*** scott_gonzalez has joined #npoacct13:26
*** mlncn has quit IRC16:18
*** tbayen has joined #npoacct16:29
tbayenHi, anybody here?16:29
tbayenI am a member of the iDempiere community. You had a talk with Carlos some days ago. Do you remember16:36
tbayenI am using iDempiere for an "e.V." here in germany. That is the german form for a non-profit organization.16:36
*** mlncn has joined #npoacct16:37
bkuhnIndeed, I know what an eV is.16:37
bkuhntbayen: is your org a fiscal sponsor?16:37
tbayenNo, it is not. I don't want to tell you I can solve all your problems. :-D I am just interested in understand your problems better. ;-)16:38
bkuhnWell, I'm not trying to solve just Conservancy's problems, but the general problems of non-profit accounting issues.16:38
bkuhnAs I told Carlos, many of the ERP systems like iDempiere are difficult to deploy for non-profits, are unwieldy and not easily configured.  Carlos noted the learning curve is steep...16:39
tbayenAre you part of Conservancy? Or is this effort an associated project?16:39
bkuhn(yes, I'm an employee of Conservancy, and was a volunteer for Conservancy before that.  I also am stuck with all the accounting tasks for the org since we have such a small staff.)16:40
bkuhn.... the issue I face is whether, given the meager resources of our project, that trying to take an ERP system and build what would effectively be a "tutorial" and some configurations for non-profits...16:40
bkuhn... or build on the API we have16:40
*** mlncn has quit IRC16:41
bkuhnI know that these ERP systems like iDempiere have many features.16:41
*** mlncn has joined #npoacct16:41
bkuhnBut what I've found is that they are somewhat impenetrable, and I've never seen one really with a good tutorial for non-profit use.16:42
tbayenI saw a fundraising page about npoacct and saw you count on a budget of 75k$ and raised 66$. Is this really your budget or is it taken from other sources?16:42
bkuhnThat's all we've raised for the project.  joar's work was funded from that for a whie.16:43
tbayenI just want to understand how earnest your effort is. If you get so much money there must be a real need for a solution.16:43
bkuhnIt's earnest, but slow moving.16:44
tbayenI meet often people from nonprofits who expect that free software has to be "free as in beer" - especially for nonprofits. But to be honest iDempiere is not that kind of software.16:44
bkuhnWe've heard a lot from many ERP projects that want us to just build on what they have.16:44
bkuhntbayen: I'm one of the people in the world who has done a lot on advocating the difference between free as in price and free as in freedom...16:45
bkuhn... that said, for something to work for non-profits, the basic functionality actually has to be free as in price too.16:45
bkuhnNot that they should never pay anyone to do anything for their software.16:45
tbayenI wonder if it would be an option to ask someone from our community to solve your problem as a paid effort.16:45
bkuhnBut to go advocate to a small non-profit: "Hey, here's an ERP system.  It's great.  Now, hire someone for 3 months to get it working for you" isn't viable.16:46
bkuhntbayen: Realize that many ERP communities have made this pitch.  ERPNext, OpenERP, Tryton, now iDempiere.16:46
tbayenIn my opinion it seems a bit weird to reinvent all these wheels. And I really know - everything you need is in iDempiere - and the most important part (from my experiences with self-written software): it works! :-)16:47
bkuhnSitting where I am, I look at these codebases and tutorials and I'm just confused.  All of the existing software is so complicated, and does much more than most small non-profits need, and the systems aren't terribly modular.16:47
bkuhnBut, as I told Carlos.  That's what everyone from these various ERP communities say. :)16:47
bkuhnWe tried to dig into each codebase as best we could, joar did a lot of work on that.16:48
tbayenYes, that's why I am here. Can you explain me why this can not work? I see no reason (apart from you having fun programming it yourself) ;-)16:48
bkuhnWell, I'm sure anything could work.16:48
bkuhnThe question is a resource one and a community health one, really.16:48
tbayenI don't think that you have to dig into our codebase. The software should just work for you.16:48
bkuhntbayen: Carols even said it takes many weeks to configure to a specific need.  So it doesn't "just work".16:49
bkuhnThe question really is:16:49
bkuhnWrite some useful modules that are compatible with as many ERP systems as possible....16:49
bkuhn... or try to tie the project to one specific ERP systems and see if it can be made easy to use.16:49
bkuhner, easy to get up and running for the usual stuff.16:49
bkuhnAnd there will be lots of configuration, even if it's not changing "core", as Carols put it.16:50
tbayenThis approach is a bit outdated. I think in the present time there is no much difference between "accounting" and "erp". Both are two sides of the same coin - your "business information". If you really need an API then it would be better to write that using a well-tested and working accounting engine.16:51
bkuhntbayen: oh, indeed, there are many well tested and working accounting engines.  Ledger-CLI is one.  We're seriously considering basing the project on top of it.16:52
tbayenreading your description I read only about the engine and the API. Which gui do you use?16:53
bkuhntbayen: what I have so far has no GUI on it; Ledger-CLI doesn't have one.16:54
bkuhnIdeally, if I could hook up what's happening on Ledger-CLI with an existing ERP GUI, that would be ideal.16:54
tbayenHow do your "customers" work?16:54
bkuhnnon-profits don't have customers, usually.16:54
tbayenyour "users"16:54
bkuhnIf you're asking about how Conservancy is using Ledger-CLI, the work is done with the command line and Emacs.16:55
bkuhnThat's not adequate for a project to go to other types of non-profits.16:55
tbayenAh! Emacs! :-) I like it. But it is not so good for a broader audience.16:56
*** benjamin-agaric has joined #npoacct16:58
tbayenSo if I would give some resources to create an accounting gui with a web interface and write an additional API (I still do not know why this is needed) for it - and you offer a bit of your budget for it - why should'nt that work? Why hasn't it worked with all the other ERPs?!?16:58
*** mlncn has quit IRC17:00
bkuhnWell, all of the ERPs eventually show up and ask for us to give them money, sure.17:00
bkuhnWe don't have that much left and we need to spend it wisely.  We haven't made an absolute final decision on how to proceed with the funds we have left, but we're leaning toward a Ledger-CLI based solution.  Many of our largest donors BTW wanted the API-style accounting solution, so we have to think about what our donor base was seeking.17:01
tbayenI can only speak for iDempiere (I know some other ERPs) but your budget is GIGANTIC if the task is to just configure it a bit. But it is quite small if you need to rewrite the whole thing.17:02
bkuhntbayen: realize the risk from our point of view: if it turns out, as is true with most ERP systems we've evaluated, there are fundamental assumptions in the system that make it difficult to do things like fund accounting or other non-profit reporting requirements, we'd be quite stuck if we back the wrong horse.17:03
tbayeniDempiere has a ready-to-use WebServices API. You can use that to inject accounting facts directly. If you need your own API specification we need some code that someone has to write.17:03
bkuhntbayen: can you point me at the API documentation for that?17:03
tbayenYou should understand that I am speaking as a member of an open source community. Not as a salesman. ;-)17:04
*** jelmer has joined #npoacct17:05
tbayenThe most actual document - to get an impression - is http://wiki.idempiere.org/en/NF1.0_Web_Services_Improvements17:05
tbayenIf you go to youtube and search for "idempiere webservices" you will get the tutorials from "evenos consulting". They are great.17:07
tbayenThere is an overview video. I don't know it myself but as I know Jan Thielemann it will show you the concept of "configure everything" that iDempiere follows. You define your webservice without touching code.17:09
tbayenPerhaps you should know that iDempiere is like a universal database engine. If Jan in the video speaks about "Business Partners" you can hear "Account", "Accounting Fact", "Journal Line", "Invoice" or whatever. All these things work the same way.17:13
tbayenI just looked into the overview video (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXxs7PqR7SU). I am sure it is the best way for you to see everything.17:16
tbayenI read your wiki pages and I read about your use cases. It seems your usecases demand a kind of ERP. You are speaking of invoices, reimbursement, approval, fund based reports etc. Are these things already implemented?18:05
tbayenMy intention is that I really understand all the arguments that you gave to Carlos. I think that iDempiere should prove that you are not true and many things are much easier than they look. It is worthful for both sides to have a proof that this works. Perhaps we can find a way to exchange our possibilities. It may be possible to connect our efforts through your API. That will solve unsolved problems without destroying w18:15
tbayenorking parts.18:15
tbayenbkuhn, are you still interested?18:16
bkuhnSorry that I went idle.  I work 16-20 hours a day and always have urgent items that need my attention.  I've been dealing with various urgent things the last hour, and have a few more hours to go.  I'll read you backlog when I am off urgent items.18:17
tbayenok. Its the same for all of us. :-) You can contact me via mail at tbayen@bayen.de if you are interested and we can meet in irc again.18:18
tbayenI will go out of office and care about the last Xmas presents. cu18:19
*** benjamin-agaric has quit IRC20:02
*** benjamin-agaric has joined #npoacct20:04
*** bkuhn is now known as bkuhnIdle20:14
*** agaric has joined #npoacct20:32
*** benjamin-agaric has quit IRC20:32
*** agaric is now known as mlncn-agaric20:32
*** mlncn-agaric has quit IRC20:55
*** benjamin-agaric has joined #npoacct20:55
*** agaric has joined #npoacct21:06
*** benjamin-agaric has quit IRC21:07
*** bkuhnIdle has quit IRC21:20
*** agaric is now known as mlncn21:24
*** bkuhn has joined #npoacct21:24
*** mlncn has quit IRC22:56
*** benjamin-agaric has joined #npoacct22:56
*** bkuhn is now known as bkuhnIdle23:32

Generated by irclog2html.py 2.12.1 by Marius Gedminas - find it at mg.pov.lt!