HITS - Haiku Integrated Treasury System

HITS - Haiku Integrated Treasury System
The name is debatable and I’m not good at coming up with stuff so feel free to talk about that, too.

(To begin: hello! This is my first post, but I’ve been enjoying Haiku and the community in Discord and IRC is amazing. Thanks to everyone who has helped me out so far. I’m not a developer myself, but I was told to post my ideas here to see if I get a “nibble”, so here I am. Thank you for the time anyone takes to read the following, as I find it to be a very needed thing to expand on the current “People” feature of the operating system. That said, let’s begin, shall we?)

Haiku has a lot of potential and the groundwork for a more robust method of reaching a larger audience in general, but computers have always been needed in the workplace. The entry cost of a good way of managing businesses is rather high, as computers keep getting more expensive. However, the low system requirements of Haiku allows cheaper systems to be made for the purposes of running useful software in these environments.

Business computer software has always been hit-or-miss, and many rely on spreadsheets or complicated standalone programs to get things accomplished. The open nature of contemporary software seems to miss a lot of what was passed over in the early days of home computing. Back then, it was all about the standalone software packages because no company had the time to both build an operating system and design integration of useful applications outside of settings and, well…more settings.

Many current and new businesses and non-profits require a way to manage their finances and build reports, but don’t have the means of training themselves or their volunteers on how to use software. On top of that, lots of software is moving to a “pay by the month” cloud model, which is not sustainable for many who are trying to do good in the world.

This is where HITS comes in strong. Giving people this integrated method of managing their business is beyond necessary for ease of use. Instead of having complicated software with dialog boxes and panes all over the place hiding the information required from the user, integrating this into the system would be far more approachable and easily understood by many simply by looking. At a glance, know you’re looking at a person or business profile, create reports that can be accessed for all people on the fly, and even create ODF spreadsheet files to share, or PDF files for printing out and filing away.

Below, this method will be explained with an outline. Please keep in mind that much of this is not set in stone, and input from others is desired. Please understand this is a suggestion itself as a feature request for Haiku, and not designed as a software package to be ported to other systems, as it is focused on taking advantage of system integration.

I. Entity – Used to create and manage people, businesses, and organizations as files on the system.
    1. Person – as already integrated into the Haiku OS, currently referred to as “People”
        A. The icon is as it currently is for a person file.
        B. People can be added to a business or organization
        C. People can pay a business or an organization.
    2. Business – separate but equal in relation
        A. The icon is a building of some sort in the same Haiku art style.
        B. A business can pay and be paid.
        C. Allows for taxation to be applied for credited payments (for example, when a Person Entity purchases one or more Product Entity).
    3. Organization – For non-profits, they are not allowed to pay money to people in that organization, but can move money to others.
        A. The icon could be the “three people” version of the icon or similar. (Hands shaking, for instance.)
        B. This might be easier to just be run as a business but with a toggle to designate it as a non-profit, thereby making it where members of the non-profit are not allowed to receive payments, but payments can be made outside of it.
    4. Product – a special Entity with a pricetag.
        A. (This needs expanding upon, haven’t really thought it all the way through yet)
    5. NOTES:
        A. Entities, except Products, may have various payment information stored in their files as well, such as credit card, debit card, or other kinds of digital payments if desired.
        B. Only one Entity may be selected as the owner’s mode of transfer, a “primary” Entity if you will. Personal users could use this for their own Person Entity, a business would select their own Business Entity, or an Organization Entity for a non-profit would use this.
        C. In order for B to work correctly, this could be part of a setup process of some kind.
II. Reports – Used to consolidate reports for a People or Business file to show what they’ve paid, to who they’ve paid it, etc.
    1. Can be edited individually by opening the Entity file.
    2. The Report file can be generated by query to filter by desired dates.
        A. This can then be applied to the various people or businesses
    3. Any Report is basically a spreadsheet with the queried information.
        A. This  can be exported as an ODF or PDF when the query is made against an Entity.
III.  System Integration.
    1. First and foremost, this will require either the operating system or the files themselves to be secured. No password is not an option for the safety of internet connected systems.
    2. Right clicking an Entity should give context options.
        A. Pay – when that Entity makes a payment to another Entity
            a. This can expand in the context menu to show all other Entities in the system.
            b. Clicking Pay directly will give a dialog to select the person by a filterable list.
            c. Once the intended payee Entity is selected, another dialog will ask how much to pay to that Entity along with a reason for clarification of payment.
        B. Report – when the user wants to generate a report for that Entity
            a. This can expand in the context menu to show all Report types the user has made.
            b. You can click Report directly to get a dialog of the type of Report file to generate based on the Report files created by the user.
            c. If a Report file isn’t there, the user should be allowed to generate any type of report query on the fly without saving a Report file.
            d. After a Report type is selected, the user can then choose to export it as a PDF or ODF file for sharing or printing.
        C. Receipt – when one entity has a need to issue a receipt to another entity.
            a. This is mainly to be used for a non-Product entity issuing a receipt for one or more Product Entity. There is no expandable context for this menu.
            b. When clicked, the user can add various Product entities to a list as needed.
                1. Receipts are not an Entity. It will be its own dialog.
                2. The user must select the default Business, Person, or Organization for issuing receipts. It cannot be selected, it must be determined by the system as the key business that system is being run for.
                3. Only one non-Product Entity may be used to issue receipts. This is to protect the person operating the computer from potential fraud.
            c. (POSSIBLY a way of integrating with external card-processors like Square or similar payment hardware. This is a preferred method but not necessary.)

When payments are made from one Entity to another, that information is stored along with that Entity’s file. In this way, backing up the Entity directory (which would at this point have previously been called “People”) will be all that is required to save the database.

There is also more integration that could be worked on for the future, such as using a more robust web-server with a default method of selling Product Entities, where users can create their own accounts which are then stored in their own “Person” Entity file. This might be a bit ambitious but it could also be a great way for small businesses to set up websites for their products. This isn’t something I’ve thought too deeply on at this point, but getting a database prepped for such a thing is a great way to tee up this future concept.

An Organization doesn’t have to be a non-profit, too. Religious organizations for example, though some might pay taxes, usually won’t be selling products. This is why the ability for a user of the system to create their own Person called “John Doe” instead of having John Doe create an account online. The treasurer of that organization could then manually input how much John has donated to the organization, again as opposed to John going online and doing it himself. There is no need for a non-profit to be online, except if they are accepting donations. Anonymous could be a default Person Entity for the sake of many organizations who get anonymous donations and aren’t aware of where it came from.

Other things to keep in mind are this: if there is eventually a website for people to create their Person Entity on, a method should exist for the user to consolidate an already existing Entity with the one created online, so reports can be created on their own time with information from before the online account was created as part of the user’s information.

Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this. Again I would like to reiterate that none of this is etched into a stone tablet and is very much open to be changed and discussed until a fully fledged concept is in view and a reasonable target to aim at is reached. Now if you’d excuse me, I’m going to hit “Create Topic” only to find I messed up somewhere in this message to my embarrassment. :slight_smile:


I’m not in any way a business person, but I do think you could add tremendous value to this by allowing the application to import data from existing business suite applications. Microsoft Access databases, Microsoft Excel / Google Docs spreadsheets, etc?

Just my $0.02, I don’t really know what a business requires.

I also think adoption will be problematic for many people, as they may wish to keep whatever Windows (or Linux?) software that they already use, which is not likely to be available on Haiku.


I understand what you’re saying about adoption. I think this is geared towards those who don’t have anything yet. New business and organizations are being created every minute, and business never goes out of business.
A framework in place before conversion would still be required nonetheless.
My main focus here is nonprofit and small business. Not every startup gets big, and many don’t care to get big anyway. Most just want to pay their bills. This would be a nice introductory to managing business in general.
But another benefit is personal finances, as people don’t carry a checkbook, and many who do don’t even balance it. This could be an easy and fun way of learning to handle finances.


Definitely agreed about doing taxes. Haiku is supposed to be targeted towards “personal computing” of course, and this includes bookkeeping.

Almost everything you are talking about could be done in a spreadsheet - the most useful bit of business software - but wait, Haiku is made as a desktop computer system, not a business system.

Therefore, this is really outside of the scope of the project - If you want business software, you will need someone qualified to write it, & I’m pretty sure the team don’t have the qualified people necessary.

A lot of business software was built on top of spreadsheets & databases, those ‘little boxes’ that you are talking about, created by their built in macro languages.

I think the proposal will be a non starter - too few people on ‘the Haiku team’. :slight_smile:

Nice suggestion!

Here’s a similar idea from the past, which features using files to store data in a way similar to your idea:

Unfortunately, I doubt this idea is going anywhere, due to problems pointed out above :frowning: . But we can always dream… :melting_face:

All spreadsheets that I am familiar with can import and export CSV files. You need to ensure that this application is able to do that.

In my experience, no software can make up for a lack of basic accounting knowledge on the part of the operator.
BTW, “treasury” usually means the function of keeping and investing a business’s cash, and it’s not something that small businesses have the time or skill or need to do. I think what you are describing is a simple and free book-keeping system, and one of the best I have encountered is called Adminsoft.
Having something like this available on Haiku would be great. I haven’t tried to make it work with WINE, but perhaps it could be made to do so.
I admire your ambition, but sometimes it is best to use what already exists rather than try to reinvent the wheel.

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Well, the people writing the OS itself are certainly busy enough, but there is a lot more than just us. So, maybe someone else will want to join?


I have enough business background to know that I haven’t enough background for a real biz software like for example accounting. I could probably write a very simple bookkeeping SW, but this has been done already, for example GnuCash which should run with xlibe I guess.

There’s a strong network effect for biz SW on Windows. We could write/port some of that, but it will always be a second-best solution from the end-user’s view (because they will have several other programs on Windows they need).

Whilst you’re right that the book-keeping program is not the only thing needed, LibreOffice will provide much of the other stuff that is required. That, and a good email client.

No, business software is much more than office and communication. For example accounting which fulfills legal constraints, tax declaration SW, branch specific SW like a retail ware system and many more. Unfortunately most of it is proprietary, else a port would be easy :frowning:

I think the OP is talking about small businesses, which don’t require any of these. Large businesses, yes, but I don’t think Haiku is ready to promote itself to big business.

Ok, small biz perhaps. But if they have employees or need an accounting (in my country only non-professionals don’t need accounting) then forget about Haiku. Again: Accounting sw must fulfill legal constraints and if the boss or an employee ever needs one of those Windows programs, they will think: “I will need Windows anyway. Why use Haiku AND Windows?”

Small businesses can perhaps be a target of Haiku.

Peter, I don’t know where you live or what your work is but I speak as a former employee of the world’s premier accounting firm, Price Waterhouse, and I have worked in businesses great and small in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. It is untrue to say that every business with employees needs specialised software. Most small businesses with employees contract out the payroll function, just as they get specialists to deal with their tax affairs.
They arrange things so that they don’t need people in-house with this specialist knowledge, and therefore they don’t need specialist software.
I can assure you that a basic book-keeping application, like the one I mentioned, is perfectly adequate for a huge number of small businesses, together with an office suite (MS, LibreOffice, Caligra, etc.) and email.

So, the OP is stating that we develop software to complete with QuickBooks and/or PeachTree software. On top of that, this software has to be superior to those two to gain, maintain, and increase the user’s base for this new software.

I seem to vaguely remember that BeOS or Zeta had a product similar to this already–I never used it. I wonder if I have it in my archives somewhere.

Now I remember–found an OSNews article: Faktum: Business Made Simple – OSnews

I wonder if I have a copy of it. Let you know…

As a small business owner I find the idea interesting. I’ve used a few online business management and book keeping solutions and honestly I loathe them and wish for something easier to access and simpler to navigate and use.

I wonder if something similar could be used for project management.

I’d love to see how it can fit together because it is hard to picture. Files, attributes and relations (drawing on the semantic extensions work) only take you so far.

I wonder if you can have some simple declarative language over files/directories/attributes that also lives inside attributes. So that when a file/directory is modified values of other attributes in other files are re-evaluated. There are potentially many problems with such a system though (security etc?). But it could enable you to create bespoke systems for certain applications that live entirely within the metadata.

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I understand your concerns. Since Haiku indexes the values in the People files (which is what I’m extrapolating from to take it to a new level) it’s basically acting as a kind of “database” that can be updated when new files are created. I run a small business and my mother is church treasurer, as well as people I know in the community theater who do treasury work as well, all could benefit from this kind of take on the management of many types of small businesses and organizations.
I’m trying to learn how to program so I can at least make an attempt at manifesting this vision since others seem to not be that interested in it.
As for it being hard to picture, that might be because it’s not a typical piece of software, but rather (as mentioned) integrated into the system itself.
I would like to point out again, this system integrated software was a vision Apple had for the old System software that developers never got on board with because in that time, it was harder for developers to integrate on systems that were closed to the average developer. Many companies wanted their software developed in ways that could be ported to various competing systems, making their efforts stand-alone applications. Stand alone became standard for software, even for those who develop exclusively for one OS, because there was no telling how things would turn out in the end.
I think in this day and age where there are tons of options and people can choose the system they enjoy using, giving people an option with an integrated method of managing a business or personal finances would be a big boon to the general public.
Regarding security, a system should be secured to use this kind of feature, or at least the files made by it should be secured in some way where outsiders cannot access it.

Have a look here, perhaps it will help you to create a first draft of your databases.