ERP is an Enterprise and Resource Planning Software. In this blog, we shall have a look at popular, free and open source ERP softwares available in the market.
ERP Open Source Software: Need & Importance
ERP is used mostly by businesses to manage their internal business process. However, due to converging CRM and ERP territories, the words CRMs and ERPs are now getting used interchangeably. A true ERP focuses more towards internal business processes like managing supply, purchases, accounting, vendors etc. It integrates externally with customer side processes like customer management, marketing channels and acquisitions etc.
Here, we shall highlight the web based ERP softwares where the workflow is more aligned towards managing the day to day business.
ERP Software: Features to Consider
The salient features that we tried in the Open Source ERP softwares are:
- Vendor Management
- Purchase/Sales Order creation
- Double entry accounting
- Integration with purchase/sales orders
- Inventory Management and
In the current market scenario, we have quite a few established players in ERP software market. These include but are not limited to SAP, Oracle etc. However, a small business may not be able to afford and implement commercial ERP software. Hence, 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:
6 Best Free and Open Source ERP Software:
ERPNext is another open source modern ERP like odoo. This comes well in the category of modern looking Open Source ERP solutions.
Features: This covers all the basic features of an ERP. In addition to it, it has some bonus features like serialized inventory from the start of it. We could not find any glaring feature missing. The CRM related benefits are very primitive. 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, it 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:
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. 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. This is gaining quite a feet in the market. Getting a support on the community edition should not be much of a trouble.
Weberp is a popular PHP based Open Source ERP software package. This ERP comes as a download package. It 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.
Features: All the features that we were testing were supported. Further, 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’ll 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. The community is very active in responding to the queries that you might have while using this software.
Dolibarr is another popular PHP based Open Source ERP/CRM software package. The ERP too comes as a download package. It 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 that, 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. This software 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. You can really access your data mobile. In fact, 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:
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. The community is very active in responding. There is a whole website dedicated to plugins and extensions for the dolibarr. These might prove handy while setting up dolibarr to your business workflow.
Features: Odoo has multiple apps for each module (Sales/Purchase/Accounting/CRM/POS/Timesheet/Email Marketing) etc. We could not find any crucial feature missing. In fact, the solution is very near to ERP cum CRM solution. It 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 good community support. You can really access your data mobile. In fact, have a plethora of 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:
Upgrades/Pre-configuration: The company offers quite a few pre-configured instances to chose from and get started quickly. Its 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. You can see lots of users of odoo. Their community is very quick in responding to your queries.
iDempiere is a fork of Adempiere and Compiere after the fallout between open source and corporate sponsors of Adepmpiere. It’s now maintained separately and is different from Compiere.
Features: iDempiere has most of the ERP features just like its predecessors Adempiere and Compiere. In addition, it has 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.
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: This ERP is robust. Their forums for support have been improving over the time. Since, new users have started using the application more after the Adempiere/Compiere Fiasco.
EasyERP is a modern ERP application which comes in a freemium version. It has an open source free and a Saas version for the ones who don’t want to manage the hosting pangs.
Features: It has been built grounds up for HR management with special focus on eCommerce Merchants. Inventory management features along with Order processing are extremely useful for e-commerce operations. Accounting has been integrated into all flows and is a well polished Suite. Lead creation and marketing modules are an icing on the cake.
Requirements: ERPNext community edition is a node.js and mongodb based solution. You will need to find a host which supports node.js and mongodb. Although, it should not be that difficult a task. But, it is definitely a bigger task than finding a PHP/mysql host. You may also need to go for a VPS and set this up.
Mobile Access: There is an official ERPNext Mobile app on Play Store:
Upgrades/Pre-configuration: The Saas edition comes with auto upgrade support. There is a fixed cost of 75$ in Saas edition and then its 12$ per user month.
Support: EasyERP has made sure to offer support for both open source and Saas solution. In Saas solution, the support comes built in the pricing itself. For Open source, you need to buy support at 12$/user/month.
Open Source ERP Softwares: 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. Experts usually suggest to try out at least 2-3 of the good ERPs 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.
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Have you been already using some of the open source ERP softwares solutions? If yes, do drop a line in comments about your experience.