Intuit Tests the Linux Waters with QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions

Intuit said it is making this move in response to users' requests for an open-source option.

There are financial programs for Linux, but none of them have achieved the incredible mindshare of Quicken. Now, Intuit has decided to give Linux a try with its release on June 13 of QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions—Intuits financial and business management software for mid-market companies.

This is not Quicken or QuickBooks as most users know it, but it is still a major step forward for business users of both Quicken and Linux. Intuit is making this move in response to users requests for an open-source option. This is the first time the company has made one of its products available to users of open-source systems.

Before this move, QuickBooks Enterprise was only available on Windows Server platforms. "IT professionals are an integral part of a mid-market business success and have shown real enthusiasm for working with the Linux platform. We are committed to giving them the tools they need to effectively serve their companies, regardless of the computing platform they prefer," said Angus Thomson, vice president and general manager of Intuits Mid-Market Group in a statement. "This is a natural progression for QuickBooks Enterprise and a significant step forward for Intuit in serving growing and more complex businesses evolving needs."

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead more here about Intuit buying Digital Insight for $1.35 billion.

Until now, companies running QuickBooks Enterprise over server-based local area networks had to store the systems database on a Windows server, even if their other applications were running on Linux. This required IT professionals to purchase and maintain a separate server for QuickBooks Enterprise, which was expensive and time-consuming. Using the new, free Linux Database Server Manager application, QuickBooks Enterprise can now reside on the same Linux server as a companys other applications, enabling IT staff to more effectively manage their technology investments.

This isnt a handful of businesses. According to IDCs May 23, Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker press release, businesses are increasingly adopting Linux servers. In the first quarter of 2007, Linux servers posted their second consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, with year-over-year revenue growth of 10 percent for a total of $1.6 billion. Linux servers now represent 12.7 percent of all server revenue.

"For the thousands of businesses using or considering Linux, flexibility and interoperability are extremely important as they strive to meet their IT needs with the least amount of complexity," said Kent Erickson, vice president and general manager of Workgroup Solutions for Novell, in a statement. "The fact that Intuit—a company with a long and positive track record with small and mid-size businesses—is giving customers the option to run QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions on Linux servers is another significant indication of the value and credibility Linux brings to business."

QuickBooks Enterprise is powered by an underlying Sybase iAnywhere SQL database. The software also gives customers the choice between five, 10, 15 and 20 concurrent users. In addition, administrators can customize user access with more than 115 areas and activities for security.

The Linux Database Server Manager is free and will be available for download on June 25 via the in-product update tool or at the Quicken Linux site. This functionality is only available for users of QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 7.0 or later. More information is available at the product site.

The software starts as low as $3,000. This, Intuit claims, makes it the most affordable solution available for mid-market companies. The price also includes one year of Intuits Full Service Plan, which entitles customers to around-the-clock technical support from a dedicated support engineer, product upgrades, data recovery and reporting services and interactive training tools. Intuit also assures customer satisfaction by offering a 60-day, money-back guarantee.

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