Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has almost become a necessity for enterprises. Some vendors sell nothing else but ERP software and make quite a bit doing so. It is often so expensive that some companies have made headlines with their colossal ERP blunders that cost them millions of dollars and provide few positive results. To save money and avoid vendor lock-in, some organizations are opting for open source ERP software.
The following are some prominent open source ERP applications:
Apache OFBiz (Open for Business) – OFBiz is a framework that provides the tools to automate numerous business processes such as accounting, manufacturing, order processing, human resources, eCommerce and much more. It includes three layers: presentation layer, business layer, and data layer.
OpenERP – A fully functioning ERP system, OpenERP uses what its creators call a Service Oriented Architecture that provides modules for sales management, customer relationship management (CRM), manufacturing, asset management, point of sale (POS), portal, and many others. It also includes a module market place that allows developers to contribute additional modules. Commercial support and service are also available.
OpenBravo ERP – Designed specifically for small to medium sized businesses, OpenBravo is web-based and can automate standard business processes, such as sales, manufacturing, finance, and others. Like the other modular systems, the Openbravo Exchange allows developers to contribute extensions to provide additional functionality. In addition to the community edition, OpenBravo also sells a paid edition with support and a service level agreement (SLA).
You can view a complete list of open source ERP options online. Keep in mind that some are further along in development than others, and not all of them have the strong backing and free software experience of organizations like the Apache Software Foundation. The three applications listed above are examples of well-established projects.