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Free (Open Source Software) :: Purchase Orders

28 07 2008


A friend called and asked if I knew of a Purchase Order approval system.  Her vision: Someone in her company logs into an internal web site and fills out a PO.  The PO get emailed to her and she approves (or denies) before forwarding (or returning) the request by email.

It sounds simple.  I run Ubuntu on my desktop, so I opened Synaptic to see what packages are out there.  Never mind that my friend is on Win32, I just have to find a project and hope they have a port.

I stumbled upon SQL-Ledger in package form.  If I wanted to use Ubuntu everything I needed would have been installed in about three clicks.  But I wanted Win32.  So I went to their project page to find out more.

-=SQL Ledger=-

SQL-Ledger’s requirements are high but not all that hard to obtain.  Apache 2, Perl, Postgres, and PG driver; tar and gzip, too.  I get this stuff almost as fast as I have typed the names here.  Installation was easy, too.  The PG driver is harder but the SQL Ledger page links to an SF.net project page, and I was able to install from inside perl.  I copied the setup.pl script to my install folder and was done almost as quickly as I could hit enter.  Oh, but the database.  It took several tries to figure our what goes in the blanks, and as much as I hated doing it I ended up issuing the postgres admin password.  In consideration I think the security will be ok, though.

SQL Ledger is a full accounting package.  Its not an easy place for managers to come to fill out POs.  I don’t think anyone but invited bookkeepers should be in there.  But it works, its fast and even a bookkeeping n00b like me can get around.


After installing SQL-Ledger, I realized that, it was too much club for the course.  It’s just too complicated.  I was on SF.net for a while, trying different search terms and sorts before finally come across Coupa.  I initially reject it because its Ruby on Rails.  If Ruby is a pain on Linux, what’s it like in Win32?  I read their install guide; 5 steps, no problem.  All I need is MySql, and Ruby the rest is installed as a Gem.  MySQL goes down like a breeze.  Even Ruby gets knocked out in one round.  Following the instructions from Coupa, I use Gem to start installing modules.  I merely shrug at version info on the Gems and install the newest.  Well, newest isn’t best in Ruby.  You have to be specific.

Rake wouldn’t run.  I check the Coupa forums, and they send me to a Ruby developers’ page (to debate the issue).  Let me say that again.

They send me to a Ruby developers’ page – TO DEBATE THE ISSUE!

(An aside: In the office world this is called back stabbing.  Probably, one group against another, over some programing change.)

I say that because, they have to know exactly what the issue is, but they haven’t bothered to document it themselves.

So here’s the fix.  Use “Gem list” to show all 2.1.0 modules, and then uninstall them.  Now get the parts specifically listed in the documentation, by their version number.  No compromises.  If rake says, “config not a module,” remove more 2.1.0 stuff.  And check your ferret and acts_as_ferret version number, everything must match the documentation.  Syntax “:>gem install -v <nn.nn.nn> <module>”

Once you’ve installed by specific version and you get rake to populate your db you’re done.  Coupa is much easier and way more interactive, and way more Web 2.0.  Despite my install issues and fist shaking, this is good stuff.

Until you want to install the email options.

categories Published under: Technology

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This post was written on the Monday, July 28th, 2008 at 4:50 pm and categorized under Technology. You can follow the ongoing discussion by subscribing to the RSS 2.0. You can leave a reply, or Trackback.

4 comments so far

  1. David Williams wrote on 28. July 2008 at 8:51 pm o'clock                  

    Hehehe… In our defense, I should point out that the person that pointed you to the debate was another user like you, and not a company representative. I’m glad you were able to get things working, though. What trouble are you having with email?

  2. Dave Stephens wrote on 29. July 2008 at 11:48 am o'clock                  

    Thanks for the feedback on Coupa e-Procurement Express (www.coupa.org). We hope to invest in migrating to the newer Ruby gems in the future & appreciate your idease and suggestions. We also deliver an on-demand service for those who don’t have time to run their own system (www.coupa.com).

  3. Ghita wrote on 12. March 2010 at 6:53 am o'clock                  

    Your blog some nice! Keep up the remarkable work!

  4. franco wrote on 30. September 2010 at 3:40 pm o'clock                  

    Can you please help me get the mail working in coupa? How did you manage to do it?

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