Whatever the incarnation, Enterprise Resource Planning is at the heart of every business with the world’s largest software companies are all clamouring for a piece of the action.
The big vendors may scoff at the idea of an open source ERP suite, but given the success rate of traditional ERP projects, CIOs could do worse than take a look at free options.
In this edition of 5 open source things to watch, we take a look at ERP suites where the barrier to entry – for testing, at least – is on the small side.
Dolibarr is an ERP and CRM package designed to be simple to install, use and develop for.
The project is built with Apache, MySQL and PHP and claims to run on all popular operating systems and has “auto-installer” packages for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Dolibarr’s main features include a product and service catalogue, stock management, accounts management, a customer and contacts directory, PDF generation, proposals management, invoicing, contracts management, shipping management and reporting.
Its developers say the code is highly customisable and there are many modules available.
JFire is an open source ERP solution with a Java (JBoss) server and native clients for Windows and Linux.
The main features include sales and purchasing, a billing system, analytics, issue tracking and CRM.
JFire pitches itself for use by product and service-centric businesses.
In addition to the built-in features, JFire has a modularised and extensible architecture that allows it to be extended for specific requirements.
Openbravo ERP is a more commercial-oriented open source ERP suite developed in Java and can be used with Oracle and PostgreSQL databases.
Openbravo has applications for management of master data, procurement, warehousing, inventory, projects and services, production, sales, CRM, financials and accounting and business intelligence.
The main interface is Web-based, but a point of sale app for Windows is also available which integrates with the Openbravo ERP backend.
Openbravo version 3 is in the final stages of testing.
ERP5 is a Python-based ERP that originates in the manufacturing industry.
ERP5 integrates order management, shipment, CRM, SCM, warehouse management, invoicing, accounting and reporting.
It claims to have flexible workflows based on industry standards or tailored to meet specific business processes and has a data model which unifies and simplifies business management through five universal concepts.
ERP5 has material requirements planning (MRP) and can manage multiple independent factories within the same database.
The accounting app is also multidimensional and includes a module for payroll.
Like OFBiz, ERP5 has an e-commerce front-end and is database independent.
OFBiz (“Open For Business”) is an Apache Software Foundation project that integrates many standard business apps into an ERP.
Modules include e-commerce, catalog and order (sales) management, customer and warehouse management, fulfilment, accounting and billing, manufacturing and “general work effort” management for events, tasks and projects.
OFBiz even has a CMS for product content, Web sites, blogging and forums.
Developed in Java, OFBiz requires Apache Ant and can use a commercial or open source database.
Like Openbravo, OFBiz has a “maturing” POS module with a rich client interface.
Licence: Apache License Version 2.0
For more articles in this series, be sure to check out:
5 open source groupware suites to watch
5 open source CRM systems to watch
5 open source VoIP softphones to watch
5 open source billing systems to watch
5 open source office suites to watch
5 open source IP telephony projects to watch
5 open source help desk apps to watch
5 enterprise open source wiki apps to watch
5 open source project management apps to watch
5 free project management applications you must try
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