PgUS: Fall 2008 Board Elections: Nominees: Ned Lilly

Nominee Name: Ned Lilly

Affiliation: President and CEO of xTuple, LLC

Email: ned --- a t --- xtuple [ dot ] com


My name is Ned Lilly, and I'm the CEO of xTuple, a company that makes open source ERP and reporting tools powered by PostgreSQL. (The company was formerly known as OpenMFG). I was also one of the co-founders of the late Great Bridge LLC, one of the first attempts to build a PostgreSQL company.

While Great Bridge collapsed under its own dot-com era weight and gassiness, in its short time I do think it helped expose PostgreSQL to a larger audience. I tried to apply the lessons I learned from that experience toward creating my own business - in its initial incarnation as OpenMFG, then eventually as xTuple. Those lessons include the importance of building a sustainable business model that both supports and benefits from the various open source communities.

In the case of xTuple, PostgreSQL is not only a key piece of component technology, it's really a model for how we try to run our own community (around both xTuple ERP and our OpenRPT report writer). Selling our products and services requires a healthy dose of PostgreSQL evangelism, and I frequently site PostgreSQL as a leading example of a well-run, technically superior open source project.

We've contributed to the project in various ways over the years, and I'd like to step up that level of commitment. We'll continue to provide some financial support, and hopefully get more engaged in new development and testing - but the main reason I'd like to serve on the PgUS board is to help grow the community through advocacy, education, and marketing initiatives.

Simply put, the more people that know and use PostgreSQL, the better it is for my company - so that's my bias. We made a deliberate decision to build our ERP application around PostgreSQL (using pl/pgsql functions, triggers, and aggressive use of views and alternate schemas for our APIs). We don't see the database as a generic dumb data store - we see it as a key enabling technology. Hence the name - xTuple, "from the tuples." And we've bet big on PostgreSQL as *the* database to power the next couple of decades of growth. I'd like to help make that happen as a PgUS board member.