XIWA (zee' wuh) is a web based accounting package written in Perl
released under the GPL. We started
writing this application in 1999 when web apps were still fairly
new. Although Mozilla based browsers are the focus other browsers
work pretty well with the system. The 2.0 release removes all
old cgi scripts, adds a completely new interface to every part of
The package currently runs within a Portal environment that provides sessions, users, and other features. The Portal is released under the perl license so as to be widely useful to everyone.
Client The target client is Mozilla based browsers, but other browsers work as well. We are working toward fully supporting open standards. This will aid in browser support.
Server For now the server is limited to *nix environments
(which may include using Cygwin on Win32--if someone gets this working
on Windows, please let us know). The database is currently using
DBI but we heavily use transactions and stored procedures.
PostgreSQL is the first database we support but it should be possible
to port to others.
Multiple Data Entry Interfaces
are available for those who know double entry accounting and those who
The Reporting engine is very flexible but can be very slow. Balance sheets are the worst. Most modern hardware has no problem with the others. Reports can be easily customized.
Powerful Investment tracking was a requirement of the
project. Most accounting packages avoid investments (we can
understand why). The investment section of the project is a huge task
that was not easy to work out but gives a very detailed, precise
history. There is potental for Return on Investment calculations
and graphs because the data is there.
Web technologies allow for easy re-use of legacy code. This project has changed styles and tecnologies as the industry and our programming skills have changed over the years. Fortunately, the older parts of the system are easily used along side the new parts because changing from new to old is as simple as submitting to a url. Old code can be rewritten at a more convenient time.
Before installing try out a demo vmware appliance.
The easiest method for installing XIWA is to use apt. We
provide debian packages and tarballs. Since this is perl there
isn't anything to compile but there are plenty of dependencies.
There are details for using apt here.
You should probably install the portal first and get it working
before installing xiwa in case there are errors. After pointing
apt sources to our repository type apt-get
install pcxportal. Apt will install all of the depencies
needed and the portal packages. Some are in debian; all the
others should be in our repository.
After the install, it will run the post-install scripts which will prompt you for information. Then run apt-get install xiwa and answer those questions also.
We haven't tried this very often so please let us know if you have
any problems. The biggest obstacle will be dependencies that are
in debian but are not in those other distros. K/Ubuntu has all of
them but some are in universe.
say that this method is rather cumbersome. If you are new
to Linux/Unix you probably don't want to do this--instead, install
Debian. It is a bit of a pain but it's worth it. . . . If you
must get it working on a different distro then it will probably involve
a lot of searching and downloading.
First, install the dependencies for the Portal.
You will need many perl modules to satisfy dependencies. Most of
them can be found
You MUST use DBD::Pg since XIWA currently only works with
or later. (8.x almost works but there have been issues. We would
like to make that work.) You may need to use cpan to get some of the
modules. You will find out which dependencies are missing when
you try to install the perl modules. To do that, extract and
install the perl tarball that you downloaded from the Portal
project page on sourceforge:
If you are missing any dependencies the first command will output
errors for those modules and you will need to find and install
them. Did I mention
that this would be a lot eaiser if you were using Debian?
After installing the perl modules extract the other files for the
portal and install it with
It will ask you many questions during install. If you have any problems read the README files. The xiwa install is done the same way as the portal. Extract the files, satisfy dependencies, and install. By the way this is much easier if you are using Debian.
If you need help, check the documentation and mailing lists on the project page for XIWA.
If you need more help the package is commercially supported by Xperience, Inc.
Copyright (c) 2001-2003 Xperience, Inc.
Updated: $Id: index.html,v 1.15 2007/05/18 03:15:50 moreejt Exp $