Open Source POS Project

Now that the premier issue of Embedded Linux Journal is out the door we are ready to get Linux community members involved in embedded projects. The magazine itself contains a design project and a contest. Here is another design project we are organizing.

This project is to create an open-source Point of Sale (POS) system. While we are just starting this effort, I envision that it will build a set of tools that can be assembled and customized to address a variety of POS requirements. If we do our job right, VARs will select these tools as the basis of their solutions, and some of us may even go on to be VARs ourselves. In any case, getting VARs to select a Linux-based solution is the goal.

What are the tools I am talking about? There is an amazing array here. On the geek end are drivers for barcode readers, touch screens, IR devices and such. On the business end there will need to be accounting software and reports. In each case we need to identify what is needed, design and build the tool and get it accepted by vendors outside the Linux community--be they hardware manufacturers or service providers such as credit card processors.

Many of these pieces already exist--our effort will be to get them working together and documented. Others will have to be written. Ultimately, we will have a complete tool kit with documentation that can be used to build precisely what the customer wants. This customization ability can be a big win over solutions based on closed-source software.

We have just started a mailing list to discuss the effort. If you want to join, send e-mail to majordomo@ssc.com and put the line subscribe opos-list in the body of the message.

This project was inspired by some questions on the Free Software Business mailing list run by Russ Nelson. I have many years of experience in embedded systems with a few years developing POS systems for the fueling and convenience store market. Dan Wilder, also on the SSC team has over 15 years of experience in POS systems. We want to bring our expertise to this Linux-based effort.

______________________

Phil Hughes

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Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

I am very much interested in building a POS using PHP/MySql.

So Frank or anybody who would like to share information regarding this, could you contact me at latestkraze@yahoo.co.uk

I would like to know how far your project have gone to and how much work is involved. and alot of tip to help me get started! :)

i would appreciate this very much.

cheers,

Kenneth

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

Hello Frank,

Its great to know that YOU VE POS sytem runnin on php/mysql/apche.Infact I ve tried to do the same.R u interested in Sharing the source code.

please let me know.I need it.

with regards

maruti srinivs

smaruthi@yahoo.com

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

I have a DOS POS system that I have been running in a small hardware store for 9 years. I just recently went to a regular receipt printer (Star 8340). For 9 years I used a Panasonic KPX 1080i. The Dos program have very few drivers available. But if you stick with 9pin dot matrix printers they all seem to use about the same control codes. Since they don't do graphics and have limited fonts, the data is just ascii caracters and the contols are groups of three or four ascii caracters. The Star printer didn't seem to care if I used drivers for the Panasonic. I would like to corespond with you on your project. I don't have any programming experience and don't know alot about Linux, but I do know what a good POS system needs. If you would like to contact me: mothershatespam@bellsouth.net You know what to do with hatespam.

BoB

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

45555

Re: Open Source POS - Using Printers + other POS h/w

Anonymous's picture

Take a look at http://www.javapos.com/ and you can perhaps see a solution to this. This is an industry page that deals with connecting with POS printers, scanners, and other hardware.

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

If youve got a system running let me know, i've got a couple of customers interested in one.

I would gladly help out in finding a compatable printer (Ive look at this already my self.)

Please reply to me personly as I dont come here very often at all (just remove -spam- from address)

pos-spam-@mlsis.co.uk

Matt

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

I am Planning this software already, if any you java developers would like to contribute to my project please email me at moorjani@svenson.gp and I will send you the project plan, so maybe we get things started.

Uday

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

I absolutely agree. These is another project on sourceforge that has yet to release any files. before the open source community spends countless hours improving information dissemination systems (like nuke and other cms') I think we should be trying to make an open source business management suite. We have web-based ones already, the exchange project (www.oscommerce.com) and interchange (if you like pseudo-opensource redhat items). Why can't we build a Point Of Sale system that is full features, perhaps webbased of java based, that can control a business and doesn't look like a command line hassle. I have seen many of these POS systems (closed source) in my day, and the best deal i've found is the POSitive system (http://www.gopositive.com/). They currently have a free version, free as in cost, but it is not full featured. Their full project costs just under $2k when you're done buying necessary plugins, and that includes a network license for as many machines as you want. I've seen the tools, and I've digested the database structure at least in my head; folks, it doesn't look to complicated.

Countless hours of energy are spent on projects that are for pure novelty... This sort of project will empower PEOPLE to open businesses and stores, as opposed to Cor-pirate entities that seek to control and remove real business practices from existence. This will happen in the same way that we made it possible for anyone to open an online store... I have customers set up that maintain their online store for under $100 a month, including hosting, software, and credit card processing. Allowing small businesses to not have to spend $2000.00 to get some software (which i might remind you is over twice the cost of a decent POS computer) is preventative.

-eric gould

eric@savageweb.net

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

Hi there. I'm not a programmer (sorry), but I am a small business owner. I'm currently searching for a POS system for my retail store, and they are ridiculously expensive.

The most important thing for me is that the POS/Inventory Control DB also be able to run an e-commerce site. I think this is crucial for a lot of retailers this day, so I thought I'd just add my comment in on that.

If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to email me at my junk mail account with POS in the headline: edit4you@hotmail.com

Thank you!
Abigail

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

What about making a point of sale system that connected to OSCOMMERCE's mysql database and used a common inventory to avoid double-entry? That is what I am currently investigating. I am thinking that a Micro$oft Access or VB front-end would be good, or a Java-based front-end that connects to the mysql database using either myodbc or jdbc-mysql. Since I've already been forced to spend a lot of time in school developing Access clients (I didn't have a choice) I am thinking of sticking with it because I don't feel confident enough in my Java skills (I have some servlet/jsp skills, but as far as creating reports and doing data-validation with a strictly AWT/Swing front-end would take initiative and time that I don't have on my part at this time. I want to move over to the Java end completely, but not right now. The liscense fee for Access strictly as a client isn't that prohibitive at this time. The modules for Access could be published as open-source, but the actual MDB couldn't. But importing the modules to Access is very easy. So distributing the modules with the mysql-dump and os-commerce would be a viable option. Access has the drivers for the touch screens and the barcode scanners and printers (I imagine Java would too).

-

Joe@k9k.net

I am making a OSC POS

R&T Computers's picture

I am in the process of making a POS for my OSC web store. Im just not a PHP coder. Anyone that wants to help is more then welcome to email us at R&T Computers: rtcomp_wm@sbcglobal.net

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

What about making a point of sale system that connected to OSCOMMERCE's mysql database and used a common inventory to avoid double-entry? That is what I am currently investigating. I am thinking that a Micro$oft Access or VB front-end would be good, or a Java-based front-end that connects to the mysql database using either myodbc or jdbc-mysql. Since I've already been forced to spend a lot of time in school developing Access clients (I didn't have a choice) I am thinking of sticking with it because I don't feel confident enough in my Java skills (I have some servlet/jsp skills, but as far as creating reports and doing data-validation with a strictly AWT/Swing front-end would take initiative and time that I don't have on my part at this time. I want to move over to the Java end completely, but not right now. The liscense fee for Access strictly as a client isn't that prohibitive at this time. The modules for Access could be published as open-source, but the actual MDB couldn't. But importing the modules to Access is very easy. So distributing the modules with the mysql-dump and os-commerce would be a viable option. Access has the drivers for the touch screens and the barcode scanners and printers (I imagine Java would too).

Micro$oft Access or VB front-end

Anonymous's picture

If you want "Micro$oft Access or VB front-end",
I have the code for it. VB and Access are a piece of crap.
How are you going to sync the data? Let's say there are more than
one machines/users. JAVA and MySQL are the best.

Re: Open Source POS Project

Anonymous's picture

Why has this thread gone nowhere? Is this a dead idea? I have a friend that doesn't know computers that well that own his own business. He says that a proprietary/Windows based POS system costs more than his car! I immediately thought of looking for a Linux-based POS system, perhaps a web-based front-end to an SQL datbase like Postgres or MySQL. Seems like this would be really inexpensive for small business owners.

Re: Open Source POS Project - Vaporware

Anonymous's picture

It's been about three years since the Open Source POS Project was started. About three months ago I started looking around for a very basic single workstation POS. I have found two reasonably good Windows based products that sell for $840.00 or less. While I would like to add a Linux based POS system, none appear to be available. Apparently, there is little motivation for Open Source developers to produce a Linux based POS system.

While Siemens toys with the notion of purchasing thousands of Linux based desktops, they have little regard for the cost of developing other, very uninteresting, applications to add to their desktops. Imagine, no simple Linux POS software for their employee store or company snack bar.

Four years later, still no re

Ed's picture

Four years later, still no real movement or developments on a real open source POS system.

I need something with the flexibility and power of Aloha POS, but without the monthly fees for the add-on modules, the unresponsive and arrogant "support" from dealers.

Anyone wanting to discuss this issue can contact me at eddyk @ teamlard dot net

Ed

Open Source POS

Tom Shanahan's picture

If you want to find something open with the power and functionality of Aloha, I am building it.

get in touch through toms@krestondts.com.au

Cheers

Tom

POS system, written in Open Source,

Anonymous's picture

being sold commmercially in the United Kingdom

see www.myrebel.net

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