Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software stands at the core of modern business organization helping it meet the demands of any market, with a set of the features and benefits that lead directly to increased efficiency and profit.

Having an ERP software to help you manage your business should not mean you have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. But you probably will, if you decide to go with Oracle and SAP ERP solutions, commercial market leaders. Their initial cost plus customization expenses to get the software tailored to your business requirements can definitely set you back.  

Open Source ERP Software Solutions

If you work in a small-to-medium business, or just considering implementing ERP to keep track of your daily business operations like billing, expense monitoring, sales and supply chain management, you can find a free, open source ERP system.

The problem is, most companies in various business verticals have completely and uniquely different requirements to their ERP solutions, which makes it quite hard to find “one-size-fits-all” open source ERP software.

Abto Software offers an extensive transformation and customization services of open source ERP software for S&M businesses that will align your enterprise clients’ employee, processes, and technology with their strategic organizational goals. Our services combine proven transformation methodologies, industry-specific best practices, and ERP innovations.

What To Consider When Choosing Open Source ERP Software

You need to consider a lot of factors when deciding upon which open source ERP solution to choose. Nevertheless, we can define three main variables that should influence your decision of choosing the right ERP solution for your business case.

Cost of open source ERP

As we all know, premium ERP solutions can be quite expensive and set you back tens of thousands to millions of dollars depending on your enterprise requirements, user count, etc. And even though open source ERP solutions are technically free, if you are not technically savvy, you will need an ERP solution expert to deploy it and configure it. Also, customizing and tailoring your open source ERP to your company can cost you quite a lot. Some open source options offer premium support or a software development partner with hands-on experience in that ERP customization.

Features of ERP solution

There are ERP solutions, simply packed with different features, as well as additional modules available, that together become quite difficult to use and maintain. And it’s not always the case for you to have the most powerful solution. If you just starting with automation of your company, choosing the ERP solution with fewer features out-of-the-box can be a better choice. See whether the ERP architecture is scalable and extensible so it can accommodate any future growth.

Open Source ERP Stability

Unlike commercially available ERP software solutions, open source systems can get fewer releases and poor documentation. That’s why it’s crucial to research open source ERP thoroughly, analyze its growth chart. You can do it on SourceForge, for example. See how big the community is, who is using this particular ERP.

Top Open-Source ERP Software Solutions in 2018

So, which Open Source ERP software is the best? Well, it all depends, as with any software products the open source ERP software solutions available have their own pros/cons and limitations.

Below I provide the comparison table of the top open source ERP software solutions in 2018 currently available on the market with the information on the usage, features, payment options, and some of the pitfalls that you should consider with each solution.

ERPSoftwareModulesBusinessPaymentTech StackLicenseNotes
Odooweb-based ERPstandard warehousing, manufacturing, and sales channelsS&Mone application for free for under 50 users, when hosted onlinePython, PostgreSQLCommunity Edition is licensed under LGPL version 3a series of apps
ERPNextcloud ERPIt includes modules for accounting, managing inventory, sales, purchase, and project managementS&Mfree for any size business when installed on your own servers.Python, MariaDBGNU/GPLrather new, but already popular, designed for less technical users, and consists of multiple apps, hard to customize
Dolibarrweb-based ERP/CRM, hosted locally primarilyCRM & Sales, HR, Marketing, Finance & Billing, Product & Stock Management, as well as some productivity features such as: Project & Tasks, Interventions, Agenda, Import/ExportS&MFreePhp, JavaScript, MySQLGPLv3the most popular with the biggest download number
OpentapsERP/CRMcustomers and sales, inventory, warehousing and shipping, manufacturing, purchasing, financials and reportingany, but mostly large, from industrial machinery manufacturers, online goods retailers, online content distributors, to telecommunications companies, independent software vendors and hosted service providersFree with no support and no free updatesJavaFree on GNU Affero GPL v3very flexible and scalable. This open source ERP solution is accessible from any mobile device, browser or operating system, integrates easily with third-party applications through web services
OpenbravoERP on-premise/cloudCore Modules include Sales, Procurement, Warehouse and
Financials Management
midsize to large retail enterprisesFree community version with no support, enterprise and professional are paidJavaOBPL1popular but is starting to lose the users growth rate each year
iDempiereERP/CRM/SCMiDempiere comprises of 11 ERP modules: sales, purchasing, manufacturing management, material management, finance, human resources, project management, CRM, POS, e-commerce, and maintenance management.larger manufacturing and distribution companies, with rather complex organization structuresFreeJavaGPLv2fast gaining popularity, has users switching from the old ERP Compiere, hard to learn and use, which means large expenses on installation
LedgerSMBERPERP system is comprised of 9 core modules: general ledger and journal entry, sales, purchasing, cash management, fixed assets, inventory management and light manufacturing, point of sale and reportingSmallFreePerlGPLv2primarily focused on accounting, very few partners around the globe and limited documentation
CompiereERP/CRMERP modules: sales, purchasing, сustomer management, material management, finance, human resources
a wide range of businesses and industries.
Free/Paid optionsJavaGPL and Commercial licensefree version is pretty basic with no automated upgrade tools and support
VIENNA Advantageweb-based ERP and CRM solutionUsual + Translation Modulesmall and mid-sized global enterprises to large and multinational corporations with various business units, operating in different industriesFree community version with no support, enterprise and professional ones are premiumASP.NET MVC, C#, SPA, HTML, CSS, JavaScriptEclipse Public Licensethe first ERP to have inbuilt Document Management System and Business Intelligence functionality
ADempiereERP, CRM, and SCM11 ERP modules: sales, purchasing, manufacturing management, material management, finance, human resources, project management, CRM, POS, e-commerce, and maintenance managementa wide range of businesses and industriesFreeJavaGPLIt began as a fork of Compiere. Due to internal conflict between the trustees of the community, since 2012 this project continued under the name iDempiere
PostBooks by xTupleERP on-premise/cloud8 core modules: accounting, sales, CRM, purchasing, product definition, inventory and distribution, light manufacturing, and open source report writera wide range of businesses and industriesFree/ commercially-licensed optionsC++, JavaScript, PostgreSQLCPAL/commercial licenseaward-winning Accounting, CRM and ERP software

To Sum Up

There are literally hundreds of software companies that offer premium ERP solutions with industry-specific functionality, however, a large percentage of them are old and expensive. This leads many small-to-medium organizations to look for an alternative like open source ERP software that comes free or at the much lower subscription price.  The enterprise companies can then build upon open source foundation and tailor the ERP solution. If this is your business case than Abto Software, as an expert in ERP transformation and modernization can help you with that.

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To find out more about Abto Software expertise, request a quote or get a demo of your custom solution.

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