(Last Updated On: September 5, 2017)

ERP is an Enterprise and Resource Planning Software. In this blog, we will have a look at free and open source ERP softwares available in the market.

ERP is used mostly by businesses to manage their internal business process however with ever converging CRM and ERP territories, the words CRMs and ERPs are now getting used interchangeably these days. A true ERP however focuses more towards internal business processes like managing supply, purchases, accounting, vendors etc and integrates externally with customer side processes like customer management, marketing channels, acquisitions etc.

In this blog, we will have a look at the web based ERP softwares where the workflow is more aligned towards managing the day to day business. The salient features that we tried in the Open Source ERP softwares are Vendor Management, Purchase/Sales Order creation, Double entry accounting and integration with purchase/sales orders, Inventory Management and taxes.

In the current market scenario, we have quite a few established players in ERP softwares market, including but not limited to SAP, Oracle etc however a small businesses may not be able to afford and implement commercial ERP softwares. The open source ERP softwares fill this gap and provide a viable solution for small businesses to implement their business process in an ERP system.

Here are some of the best free and open source ERP softwares that small businesses can get and running quickly with:

5 Best Free and Open Source ERP Softwares :

1. WebERP

Weberp is a popular PHP based Open Source ERP software package. The ERP comes as a download package that can be installed on any popular webhost and get up and running quickly. The beauty of WebERP is its relative simplicity and the users love it for its simplicity.

Features: All the features that we were testing were supported. Apart from the features that we were looking for, it also supports contracts, Manufacturing and Fixed Assets Management Flow.

Requirements: PHP/mysql based shared host will work well to get you started on WebERP.

Mobile Access: We could not find the mobile apps on play store. The ERP however is powered by REST APIs and a mobile client can be built easily. We hope to see a Mobile client for WebERP soon on play store.

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: The company doesn’t offer any pre-configured Saas versions yet. You will need to install it on the shared host and get it running and manage it yourself.

Support:  WebERP is very actively supported application, there are a lots of users of WebERP and community is very active in responding to the queries that you might have while using the software.

2. Dolibarr:

Dolibarr is another popular PHP based Open Source ERP/CRM software package. The ERP comes as a download package that can be installed on any popular webhost and get up and running quickly.

Features: Most of the features that we were testing were supported. Apart from the features that we were looking for, it also supports contracts, project management, integration with iCal, POS, payment gateway integrations and much more. In fact, the solution is very near to ERP cum CRM solution and provides you quite a few features that you will generally find closer to a CRM solution

Requirements: PHP/mysql based shared host will work well to get you started on Dolibarr.

Mobile Access: Dolibarr is an extremely popular ERP software. It has a really big community support and many you can really access your data mobile. Infact, you are spoilt for choices when it comes for the apps on play store, here are couple of free dolibarr android apps that we found good on Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nltechno.dolidroidpro&hl=en

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.zapplica.mobilid&hl=en

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: The company doesn’t offer any pre-configured Saas versions as such by itself. However, there are solutions like dolicloud.com where you can launch a pre-configured instance and get dolibarr up and running quickly. In any case, you can always download dolibarr and install it on your own shared/dedicated hosting server.

Support:  Dolibarr is very actively supported application, there are a lots of users of dolibarr and community is very active in responding to the queries that you might have while using the software. There is a whole website dedicated to plugins and extensions for the dolibarr which might come in handing while setting up dolibarr to your business workflow.

3. Odoo:

Previously named as OpenERP/TinyERP, odoo is a python and javascript based ERP software. Odoo’s UI is extremely modern by the standards of an Open Source Software and it really stands out from its competitors when it comes to UI.

Features: Odoo has multiple apps for each module(Sales/Purchase/Accounting/CRM/POS/Timesheet/Email Marketing) etc. We could not find any glaring feature missing. In fact, the solution is very near to ERP cum CRM solution and provides you quite a few features that you will generally find closer to a CRM solution

Requirements: Odoo community edition is a Python based solution.

Mobile Access: Odoo is an extremely popular ERP software. It has a really big community support and many you can really access your data mobile. Infact, you are spoilt for choices when it comes for the apps on play store, here are couple of free odoo android apps that we found good on Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.odoo.mobile

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xpansa.merp

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: The company offers quite a few pre-configured instances to chose from and get started quickly. The pre-configured instances cost from 8 USD per user per month. You can anyways download the community edition from Odoo’s github and get it installed on your own server. Since odoo is a python application, your own server might cost a bit more than what it costs for PHP hosting.

Support:  odoo is very actively supported application, there are a lots of users of odoo and community is very active in responding to the queries that you might have while using the software.

4. ERPNext:

ERPNext is another open source modern ERP like odoo. ERPNext comes well in the category of modern looking Open Source ERP solutions.

Features: ERPNext has all the basic features covered plus some bonus features like serialized inventory from the start of it. We could not find any glaring feature missing. The CRM related features are very primitive and hence the ERP is very focused on the day to day business flow.

Requirements: ERPNext community edition is a python and mariadb based solution. You will need to find a host which supports mariadb and python. Although it should not be that difficult a task but is definitely a bit more difficult task than finding a PHP/mysql host.

Mobile Access: There is an official ERPNext Mobile app on Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.frappe.mobile

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: The company offers quite a few pre-configured instances to chose from and get started quickly. The pre-configured instances cost from 300 USD to 3000 USD per year and the support and features differ in different editions. You can anyways download the community edition from erpnext’s github and get it installed on your own server.

Support:  ERPNext is very actively supported application and the application is gaining quite a feet in the market. Getting a support on the community edition should not be much of a trouble.

5. iDempiere

iDempiere is a fork of Adempiere and Compiere after the fallout between open source and corporate sponsors of Adepmpiere. Its now maintained separately and is different from Compiere.

Features: iDempiere has most of the ERP features just like its predecessors Adempiere and Compiere. It has additional warehousing, forecasting and payroll features. The solution is as robust as it can get.

Requirements: The solution is based on Java so the java host is an essential requirement. Better to go out for some VPS server.

Mobile Access: There doesn’t seem like a lot of mobile support for iDempiere yet. Only mobile app that we could find on the play store was following and that too had not been updated since April 2015. This can be a bit of worry.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ghintech.com.idempieremobile

Upgrades/Pre-configuration: There is no pre-configured version of iDempiere available in the market. The only option is to self-host and install the solution.

Support:  The ERP is robust. The forums for support have been improving over the time as new users start using the application more after the Adempiere/Compiere Fiasco.

Conclusion

Choosing an ERP is an extremely important decision in the lifecycle of an organisation. Open Source ERP systems give us quite a chance to try the software solutions in our own business workflow before implementing them in production. We therefore recommend you to try out atleast 2-3 of the above ERPs from above before you setup your production process. Choice of a good ERP system will go a long way in setting up good processes for your business.

Have you been already using some of the open source solutions ? If yes, do drop a line in comments about your experience .. 🙂

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