Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Enters Linux Fold

Intuit's popular QuickBooks Enterprise will soon run on Linux servers.

Starting June 25, users can download Intuit's new Linux Database Server Manager for free from this site.

Due June 25, QuickBooks Enterprise, which targets small- to medium-sized businesses will run on both Windows and Linux servers. It will continue to require Windows desktops only.

The move acknowledges that Linux has found a home in some business accounts, at least in the back office. Until now QuickBooks Enterprise shops had to run their accounting database on a Windows server even if they ran other applications on Linux. That now changes.

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The accounting package's embedded database, Sybase's SQL Anywhere runs on Windows and Linux. Intuit adopted SQL Anywhere as its standard database a few years ago.

Intuit execs say business users and partners have made it clear that open source options are a priority.

"At last year's conference, we heard from both IT professionals and business owners that they were either using or were considering open source. In our ongoing customer dialogues, we found that approximately 20 percent of our QuickBooks Enterprise customers are using Linux servers. By offering this solution, we are deepening our commitment to making our product work the way our customers work -- in this case, giving them the flexibility to run it in an open source environment," Angus Thomson, vice president and general manager, Intuit Mid-Market Group told CRN via e-mail.

The decision to extend the offering is part of Intuit's effort to meet the needs of more complex businesses, the company said in a statement released Wednesday morning. This news comes out of the QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions User Conference, in San Diego this week.

QuickBooks Enterprise is available in increments of 5, 10, 15, and 20 concurrent users with prices starting at $3,000. That price includes a year of service and support.

This move by Intuit, Mountain View, Calif., signals business applications providers are increasingly loathe to hitch their star entirely to the Windows stack—especially since Microsoft entered their arena with its Microsoft Business Solutions offerings. Earlier this year Sage Software CEO Ron Verni reiterated his company's commitment to become database- and operating system-agnostic across its myriad product lines. "The customers will choose," Verni said.

He also noted that Sage's decision to support "SQL options including MySQL" on the database side might have been different if Microsoft hadn't become a competitor.

The battle to embed ERP into small companies is getting fierce.

The incumbent powers here are Intuit and Sage, but Microsoft has spent billions this decade buying Great Plains Software then Navision to launch its foray into SMB ERP. And, the enterprise software players SAP and Oracle are pushing down market market aggressively.

SaaS players NetSuite and, meanwhile, are wooing customers with their hosted offerings which obviate the need for custoemrs to buy or worry about the infrastructure running their accounting and business software.