FEB
19
2001

theKompany.com Releases Kapital, a Personal Finance Manager for KDE

Kapital is our personal finance manager package for KDE and Linux. It is meant to be in the spirit of Intuit Quicken or Microsoft Money, but without the bloat associated with those packages from years of justifying upgrades. Kapital has everything you need for managing all your personal finances. Kapital has been tested with various other window managers including GNOME, and will work with them, however our area of focus and support is currently KDE.
[Ed: This is commercial software, see below for price info.]

Kapital features include:

  • Check register for entering and clearing various types of transactions such as checks, deposits, ATM, EFT, etc.
  • Calendar for setting up scheduled payments, used in conjunction with a "Bill Tracker" alarm to let you know that bills are coming due.
  • Check and report printing, including graphics and logos.
  • Basic and advanced searching capabilities and online reporting as well as charts and graphs.
  • Predefined categories for transactions. Include sub-categories, and the ability for users to create and delete new categories.
  • New account wizard that goes through various types of budget scenarios like Single, Married, Married with Children, Single with Children, etc.
  • Import/Export features for Quicken QIF file format.
  • Budget Tracker. The user sets up a budget for various items, and alarms can sound when you come within a threshold, or exceed it for defined time periods, typically a calendar month. This would usually happen when you are entering a new transaction into a category and the amount causes it to exceed the threshold. You can also do charts, graphs and reports that show where you are in the time period for your budget so you can see if you are ahead, behind, or spot on.
  • Check Designer. This feature is very much in development, but you will be able to use a web page to design your own checks and then have them delivered to you as you would with any third party check printing company.
  • Create any type of account to manage. This can be a checking account, savings account, stock, investment, retirement, etc.
  • Online Banking. As we develop partnerships with financial institutions you will get to take more and more advantage of online banking -- with the ultimate goal of having the ability of paying your bills and sending money between various types of accounts all from your desktop.

What do you want to see? Let us know and we'll make your dreams a reality.

The initial release of Kapital will be available as a download by the end of February 2001. As soon as the enhancement requests dwindle to a trickle, we will then burn the CD packages and send the final product to everyone. You will still be able to download free updates until September thus protecting your initial investment for some time.

In consideration for early adopters of Kapital we will be extending a discount on all sales made prior to the actual availability date. Pricing follows for the Standard Edition:

  • $39.95 -- $24.95 if purchased during pre-sales -- download only, all electronic doc.
  • $49.95 -- $29.95 if purchased during pre-sales -- physical package with hard copy doc.

Purchasers of Kapital will be entitled to free electronic updates through September 1, 2001.

A Kapital mailing list for customers will be available as well as support queues. We will answer these support questions as time permits,
for priority response you should take a look at our support services.

You can order online and get more information here.

Comments

fltawa sounds like some little immature 16yo who likes to mouth off on things he knows nothing about...


By Chris Bordeman at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

Have you heard of Kivio? Thank The Kompany and Shawn for that one too. The Kompany is awesome so check into it before you shot your mouth off. I say go Gorton go.

Craig


By Craig black at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

You're confused.. theKomany isn't KDE's answer to the Gnome Foundation... That's the KDE League..

Please check your facts (oh, and read shawn's posting about the aethera licence above..)


By Christian A Str... at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

There is already a review in LinuxPlanet for those insterested.


By Cesar at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

Shawn,
isn't Kugar released under GPL? If it's not dual-licensed, then Kapital would have to be GPL-ed too, right?
I'm sure this is just an oversight, but you should probably change the Kugar pages to reflect the dual license.
Good luck,
Jacek


By Jacek at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

OH yea, we were changing the license to LGPL. We'll get that all striaghtened out shortly.


By Shawn Gordon at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

As the authors of both Kugar and Kapital, they can do anything they want. Licenses are to impose restrictions upon the user, not on the author.


By David Johnson at Wed, 2001/02/21 - 6:00am

I'm not dot-rich. Gnucash suits me just fine.


By ephemeroot at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

About $50 is cheap if you ask me. I like the idea that more and more commercial applications are developed for Linux and if its usable then $50 is more than OK with me.


By J. Andersen at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

It's not even $50! Order it now and you can get it for $24.95 or $29.95. I consider that to be a very good price for supported software.


By Dave Marotti at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

Personally I liked the price so much I've already placed an order :-) Now I hope it lives up to MickySoft Money ( which I've been using.. ) and releaves me of the pain of using M$.....Oh... and commercial software is just as great as free software :-) ( I love Applix and QuakeI[I[I]] :)


By tosi at Thu, 2001/02/22 - 6:00am

Shawn, a little while ago I posted "Sell me something funky!". Well now you have both my gratitude and my credit card number! keep up the good work.

By the way, it's a shame it's not possible to go to your ordering page with konquerer. Netscape still has it's uses I suppose.

Regards


By Mark Grant at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

Konqueror is working for everyone in my company, we just did a test after seeing your post. Can you give us some specific information like the versions you are using and what is happening exactly?

thanks


By Shawn Gordon at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

Well, I'm using konquerer from KDE2.1Beta2 which I compiled myself from the tar ball. I get a "The protocol https is not supported" dialogue.

I don't know if it is a compile time option somewhere but that's what I get.

Regards

Mark


By Mark Grant at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

yea, the problem is that you don't have https support compiled in. We use ssl for secure ordering. So you have to have an ssl capable browser.


By Shawn Gordon at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

I guess this makes sense :)

Anyway, you have my order for the CD, I'll look forward to receiving it and thanks for the chance to finally start paying you guys back for the truly frightening amount of quality work you keep putting out.

Regards

Mark


By Mark Grant at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

I think you have to have openssl (not just the lib but also the haders)installed. Since you are probably using an rpm based system look for something like openssl-devel*.rpm


By anon at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

This is disappointing. If we loved proprietary software, we would all be using Windows.


By LN at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

Is we (i.e. users)loved only free software, we (i.e. programmers) would all be on welfare.
I like *good* software, regardless of whether it is open-source, free or not. Being open-source is no guarantee of high quality and being proprietary is no guarantee of shoddy quality either, both have a place in the scheme of things.
If the Linux community will despise *all* non-free software, then software companies will not be interested in porting their software to the platform...much to Microsoft's happiness. Is that what you really want?


By Jacek at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

There is a place for proprietary software - for the more specialist applications. But for ubiquitous software, such as the operating system, office app's, accounting programs, etc, open source is the way to go. Besides, there are plenty of companies whose business plan involves making money from OS apps - Gnumatic (Gnucash), the MYSQL and PostgreSQL companies, Ximian, Eazel, etc. Programmers aren't going to starve.


By LN at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

Which of these companies doesn't lose money?


By Bernd Gehrmann at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

MySQL for a starter


By rg at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

That is, 1 out of 5, and one which only made
their application open source after several
years of selling licenses (PostgreSQL is a
similarly bad example, since the company
didn't write the software, but started their
business on an existing and mature codebase).

Certainly that's a convincing argument for
giving away desktop applications for free?


By Bernd Gehrmann at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

You have to remember that it is only recently that the free operating systems have gained a significant share of the market. It's hardly surprising there are few past successes to point to when the potential market was minute. These companies are relying on the continued growth of open source software (a not unreasonable assumption). What was uneconomical when the market share was a couple of percent, could be quite lucrative when it is significantly greater. We are now living in internet time - conditions are changing rapidly.


By LN at Thu, 2001/02/22 - 6:00am

What was uneconomical when the market share was a couple of percent, could be quite lucrative when it is significantly greater.

How do you figure that? From what I learned, even 1,000,000,000,000,000 * $0 = $0. In other words, if you give it away for free, you never make any money. And as soon as you charge $1 for it, "CheapDisks" will sell it for $0.50 -- at cost, essentially, since they put not a single penny into developing it.

Then you say, "sell support". That might work for enterprise software, but you ain't selling any support to KDE users. How many KDE users have bought a support contract for any of the software they use -- SuSE, Aethera, etc.? And software like Kapital is targeted at the home user.


By Dre at Fri, 2001/02/23 - 6:00am

The ways to make money are from services, support ,training etc. It is an advantage if Cheapdisks sells thousands of disks. Cheapdisks is not going to be offering any support. People are going to install the software, transfer their financial records into it, and if the software is useful to them, they'll be willing to pay for support when they need it. Support doesn't have to be on a contractual basis, but can be on a per incident basis. I assume this is Gnumatics strategy. Look at how much Microsoft must make from support. If there are people around who are willing to fork out for software like Kapital, there must also be people who are willing to fork out for support/services on free software. Again, the size of the potential market is critical.


By LN at Fri, 2001/02/23 - 6:00am

I have a lot of history and experience with this model, and it really doesn't work. It is too inconvenient to pull out a credit card and pay $10 to ask a question, people will go to the store and buy a book, or give up. It's not cost effective to get the business or support the business and people aren't keen to do it.

We added 'for fee' support services a few months ago because we were just getting hammered with support questions for our open source projects. Seemed fair, the software was free, and a very modest fee for support, you could do per incident and annual. You know what happened? Not one person has paid for support, they try to use our 'info' and 'sales' email addresses to get free support for the free software. We answer what we can as time permits, but it proves to me that if people won't pay for the software, they won't pay for the support either.


By Shawn Gordon at Fri, 2001/02/23 - 6:00am

Do you actually believe what your saying our just mouth piecing Stallmen? The Kompany has the right business plan. Selling proprietary software allows them to contribute open source back into kde.

Craig


By Craig black at Wed, 2001/02/21 - 6:00am

Of course, theKompany is free to make and sell what software they like - no argument there. But should this be on KDE Dot News? The KDE project is about producing a fully free desktop. How does this further these aims. Shouldn't we be only reporting on open source software here? If this was produced by anyone else but theKompany, would it be even in here?


By LN at Thu, 2001/02/22 - 6:00am

I don't think that even justifies my time.

Craig


By Craig black at Thu, 2001/02/22 - 6:00am

Choice, my friend, choice. You don't want to buy it, don't buy it. If you rather use something a student hacked together in his spare time, do that.


By matt at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

You mean like Linux? :)


By LN at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

Yes, like Linux. You see, SOMEONE got off their butt and made Linux. If you want an Open Source personal financial manager for KDE, go write one. Or did you think that GnuCash sprung fully formed from the brow of GNOME?


By David Johnson at Wed, 2001/02/21 - 6:00am

GnuCash runs just fine under KDE. Why is it necessary to rewrite the whole thing just because it uses a different toolkit?


By LN at Wed, 2001/02/21 - 6:00am

Hmm, very cool, all it needs now is the bookkeeping features of QuickBooks!


By Carbon at Mon, 2001/02/19 - 6:00am

Woo-hoo!

I for one will *definately* be buying this!!! Finally, I can stop booting into Windoze to take care of on-line banking!!

While I would rather use open-source/GPL'd software, I have no problem paying for _good_ closed source software. I had no problem buying quicken. I wouldn't touch M$ Money (isn't that redundant?).

Besides, theKompany's done a lot of good, open source stuff as well. I really don't begrudge them wanting to actually _sell_ something.

--john

p.s. does anyone know if it actually _does_ online banking yet?


By john at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

It doesn't do online banking yet, but it will.


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

i sure hope so.

this is the one thing I really need, and the one feature lacking that is keeping me from buying it right now. does the closed source have anything to do with the online banking code?

on a different note: How is theKompany with upgrades? ie: There's quicken98, q99, quicken2000, etc, each one costing roughly $40. I still use quicken99 because that's all I need. Is the Kompany planning on doing the same thing? Or will yearly upgrades be more reasonable ($5-$10)? I'd probably upgrade to quicken2001 if I could do it for $10.

Two reasons for asking:
1) I really don't know and am curious;
2) I'd really hate to buy this thing now, and find out online banking is not available until Kapital2002, and have it cost another $40.

thanks,
-john


By john at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

Right now we are offering free updates through September 1st as an incentive. going forward we haven't really thought about it. I know how annoying the Quicken updates are, I usually only update every 3rd year myself. With most of our products we also sell a subscription service to stay up to date, but those are programmer tools and this is an end user application. I imagine we could do a half price electronic upgrade or something (don't hold me to that just yet).

As far as online banking, there are a number of formats for various countries. For the most part everything supports QIF, so you can just import those files in the short term.


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

I've been using GnuCash for quite some time now (I got rid of quicken as soon as GnuCash got good. However there are a good number of shortcomings with GnuCash. They are planning to address them, but they are slow to develop. I would rather support a KDE product anyway, however, I need a GnuCash importer. Is this planned?

Thanks for more great products. All the people that say everything needs to be free need to ground one foot in reality. I wouldn't have a job if everything was free. And you guys have seemingly found a good mix of free (give back to the community) vs. proprietary (pay the bills!) and haven't gotten greedy yet.

Keep up the good work. And hopefully a GnuCash importer is on the plate.

Jim


By Jim Basilio at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

A GNUCash importer should be pretty trivial since the format is available. We'll certainly look at that, it hadn't occured to me yet.

Thanks for the support :)


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

Now, will you be making your format available, so that the GNUCash people can make a Kapital importer trivially?


By Neil Stevens at Wed, 2001/02/21 - 6:00am

Title says it all.


By Dave Rosky at Thu, 2001/02/22 - 6:00am

I am one of those who would put Quicken at the top of the list of why I don't dump Windows. Since I've paid money for Quicken, I have no problems with paying money for something to replace it that is better. I agree that Quicken is getting bloated, and it seems worse with every iteration. In addition, their help service is getting even worse. So here are some of the things I would love to see:

1) One thing I like about Quicken is that it's just not paying bills, but a central repository of all financial info. They have a special section to store all of those useful Personal Records: Account Numbers, Policy Numbers, Contact Info, Medical Info, etc. The concept is great, but it ends up being really annoying because:
a) there is no integration to the main program. If I add an account, all of that information (account number, percentage rate if credit card, contact info, etc.) is not automatically added to Personal Records section.
b) there is no way of customizing the reporting of the records, and their reports aren't very good.

2) Similar complaints can be leveled against their Home Inventory program. Not enough integration with the main program. If I buy something really expensive, I would like to have it pop up and ask if I want to add it to my inventory.

3) Related to a central information of all things financial, it would be useful to have special actions for specific type of purchases, especially cars, insurance, and home. For example, if I have a car repair, I would like to have that information linked to a database where I can also add in the warranty period, contact information of the garage, etc. Also remind me about car maintenance in addition to remind me to pay my bills ("It's been 3 months since you've changed your oil. Have you changed it yet?")

4) Addresses. The ability to import/export address from other source is very desirable (Can we import or share address info with Aethra?)

5) My bank allows me to download my monthly statements in QIF format. However, there is no way for me to reconcile this with normal account. All I can do is "Import" it, whereupon, I end up with duplicate actions. A way to reconcile with generic QIF files would be useful.

6) Integration with other apps in KOffice (i.e., spreadsheet) would be useful.

7) The real must-need feature is online partnering with financial institutions, especially Fidelity.

I wish you the best of luck, and can't wait to try out the demo!


By SK at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

Thanks for the great ideas, some of these I had been planning on, but some had not occurred to me yet. I agree totally with your point 5, it's a joke, if you could download and match transactions to clear them it would save a ton of time.

The whole address book thing is interesting, it's not a problem for us to import/export between Aethera and Kapital, but to what degree does this make sense? I've got to think it about it some more.

Thanks again for the thoughts :)


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

Well, I'm a MS Money user and it handles importing QIF files very well. There is a 'reconciliation' point where you match the things in the QIF with the ones you've entered (a NECESSITY) -- so no duplicates are added. I've had some situations where for my student loans, I use two transactions in MS Money, but one check. So i reconcile that one check against two within the program. And sometimes there are other things with the same amount where the name is not available, or it would be a guess at best.


By Kevin at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

I agree that it would be tricky, but what I was thinking was something that would let you choose which ones to import. This is similar what I do with my cell phone: I have a huge Outlook database of contacts, but I have a program that let's me choose which ones I actually upload to my cell phone. What I have in mind for Kapital, is that I could have my bank info, insurance info, etc. also in Aethera so that I have access to all of those functions, but I can then have the info in Kapital as well.

Part of this is motivated by the fact that in Quicken at least, the way contacts are managed feels very awkward and not nearly as intuitive as say Outlook. If Aethera's Contact manager is a KPart that Kapital imports, then this is perhaps moot, since the quality of the contact managers are the same.


By SK at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

If you are only keeping windoze on your system for Quiken, and nothing else, then save some time and energy rebooting and invest in Executor, which last I heard comes with a Mac copy of Quiken. Executor, BTW, is a very neat (but commercial) Mac emulator. I use it to play old mac games. www.ardi.com


By Carbon at Wed, 2001/02/21 - 6:00am

You know, what i believe KDE/Linux needs is someone with the Mind of Shawn Gordon and the pockets of IBM(!). I mean IBM is supposed to give stuff to the community, but nothing is as REMOTELY innovative as what The Kompany does. I'm sure the Kompany is working for peanuts (relatively with Money spent in even Medium sized companies). If the Kompany had some hard cash , think of the work they would do!, so I hope they make A LOT of money and create REALLY GOOD software! KUDOS guys!
:-)


By t0m_dR at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

god!! spare us the drama.


By ac at Tue, 2001/02/20 - 6:00am

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