OpenOffice and POS - Free Office Suite


If you look at our report screen what you will notice is that many of them use excel.

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The main reason for this is that it allows ad-hoc reporting.

Conventional reports are standard reports written based on standard requirements. The biggest problem with this is that people rarely need these reports. What they generally do is print out a long report, search for the small piece of information that they require and then trash the report.

It is time-consuming and messy. In an effort to overcome this problem, what some systems do is create reports with heaps and heaps of options. So in some systems, when you go to print a simple report, you need to go through a page or two of options just to get the information you require. What you have to do is run through all these options first.

Not with us, as our system has many different ad-hoc reporting systems available.

What I am going to talk about here is one of these. Instead of looking through a 100-page report for the information you require, what you can do is use these excel reports to do the searching plus if required you can make your own reports to be exactly what you want.

Now the big problem here is that few people have excel. Not to worry as our point-of-sale system can use a free office suite - OpenOffice.

The main reason we picked OpenOffice is that after Microsoft, it is the leading office suite. It is extremely powerful. It has a large support group with heaps of documentation.

The licence is both free and open source.

You can get it from their website here:

What you will find is that it has four applications of which two most of you will find, I am sure very useful.


  1. A word processor that can handle nearly all formats available. It is similar to Microsoft Office 2003.
  2. A spreadsheet that can integrate into our system and almost nearly all other spreadsheets.

Load it up, have a play with it. I will discuss here how to produce ad-hoc reports with it in a later post. Then you will see part of the power of our software.