MySQL Intergration and Android App

Benjamin L. Naber benjamin at
Tue Nov 27 20:33:09 EST 2012

John, et al,

My experience with GNUCash and using a MySQL over LAN and to a remote
web hosting provider have been good. I have used it over a dial-up
connection, satellite internet, cable, and usin FoxFi on the Android for
internet. What I have found is that if the connection is lost, GNUCash
will report that it cannot write to the server, but it writes when the
Internet connection has been re-established. I found this out when I was
using GNUCash on my netbook with WinXP, over PDAnet when someone called
me while I was entering in transaction data from receipts. GNUCash gave
me the error I already stated, and when the internet connection was
restored, it wrote the data to the MySQL server. 

I checked the accuracy of the data on a Windoz desktop, and it was all

I'm not much into MySQL yet, but so far I have yet to see any massive
rewrites on my local MySQL server. I watch the logs and see what it does
when I leave GNUCash open for a while without doing anything and see
what it does when I am entering transactions.

The vision I had for the GFA was a simple one. Not an application that
made reports or anything of that craziness, just a way to enter in
transaction data, and get an updated balance. The rest of the
accounting/financial wizardry that GNUCash can be left up to the desktop

Other users that I've run into over the years that use GNUCash made
statements along the lines of just being able to use their smartphone or
tablet to enter in transaction data. Some wanted reports, but seriously,
I really don't see a major reason for serious reporting while on the go.

Catering to some kinds of people can be a real pain the ass. Some will
never be satisfied, and so what.

I do not know much about coding, but I can find the "appliance user"
situations and give reports back that hopefully will provide somewhat
reasonable and intelligent answers.


On Mon, 2012-11-26 at 17:32 +0900, John Ralls wrote:
> On Nov 26, 2012, at 11:41 AM, Benjamin L. Naber <benjamin at> wrote:
> > I hope I got the right listing for this...
> > 
> > Anyway, after seeing that GNUCash has been released on Google Play, I
> > got to playing around with GNUCash on my Ubuntu 10.04 laptop. It was
> > stated that Android doesn't yet support MySQL, but I'm not sure I
> > understood what he meant by that are there are RDBMS clients and
> > applications that can upload MySQL data such as QuickNote, available on
> > Google Play.
> > 
> > I had to get the 2.4 version from as the version that comes
> > with Ubuntu 10.04 is 2.2 or something like that. Either way, the older
> > version of GNUCash I had did not support MySQL for data reading/writing.
> > 
> > After a few rounds getting it work, and fussing with MySQL, I realized
> > that I was making the errors, and needed to fix myself. So I did.
> > 
> > I read some of the lists and from the wiki that folks want to have cross
> > platform access to GNUCash. There are a number of ways, none of which
> > seemed to me, as I know nothing compared to some of you, that there was
> > already something in place that will work for most, if not all.
> > 
> > I have GNUCash for both Windoz XP Pro, and Ubuntu. I'm able to build
> > MySQL database tables with each GNUCash program, if the tables did not
> > already exist. 
> > 
> > The caveat is that I'm able to access the same tables for both reading
> > and writing with either operating system platform. No errors have been
> > discovered....yet, and as long as I exit out of GNUCash on one machine
> > before going to another, GNUCash doesn't have any issues.
> > 
> > So, what I'd like to do is this. I have setup a small oscommerce and
> > MySQL database webserver that I would like some of the developers to
> > reply to me direct who is interested, and I will provide access details.
> > I'm looking for your feed back as to how well it performs for you over a
> > internet connection that goes out of my city, state, and possibly
> > country.
> > 
> > Should this be successful, I'm looking to market this on the
> > website to users of GNUCash and other database users who only need one
> > or a small amount of hosted databases for a small amount of cash each
> > year.
> > 
> > Of course, financial donations will be made to to show my
> > appreciation as I know nothing of coding.
> Here's the fundamental issue with Android: Gnucash for Android (GFA) is a separate application from Gnucash. In order to directly access a Gnucash database, GFA would need the rather ungainly library code written in C with GLib contained in Gnucash, which it doesn't.
> As for the web-backed service, well, that's kind of interesting. We were discussing that a couple of weeks ago. There are at present some known or suspected holes in our SQL implementation: Most things work, but there are some reported bugs that indicate not everything does. We're working on better test coverage to find the holes so that we can plug them. The next problem is that Gnucash isn't a database application, it just uses the database as a store. Most things it writes immediately and in reasonable transactions, but a few things aren't set up correctly and it needs to delete and re-write the whole database. That's going to kill performance over the net. We do intend to fix that, but lack of good and complete tests lies between here and there.
> Regards,
> John Ralls

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