11 Best Free and Open Source ERP Software Solutions
Maximizing efficiency of the resources to their optimum capacity makes sense for a successful enterprise operation. And when you have planned your resources to qualify the business requisites, it goes ahead as perfect Enterprise Resource Planning.
Trends to manage diversified business processes are changing. The era of advanced technologies is in, where the open source systems are innovated and made available to the users to establish and manage their enterprise operations.
Whatever the size of your business is, a convenient and smart business process is immensely needed.
Today is the time to introduce the ability to deliver an integrated suite of business applications, and that is best served by the advanced ERP systems. These systems are some tools that share a common process and data model involving a deep and broad operational process that seems helpful in HR, Finance, Distribution, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Service and the Supply Chain.
The same database is used by the ERP software systems all through their operation in a company. However, it may involve different computerized functions that help in undertaking all process functioning efficiently.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software Systems
Enterprise Resource Planning software is a modular software system that is designed to integrate the diverse functional areas of the business processes in an organization. There are certain core software components like modules that focus on different key business areas in the organization. Organizations choose the modules based on their business requirements.
Trusted, free, and open source ERP software programs are an excellent example of such qualitative resources that help the organizations in systematically using integrated applications.
As a proved business process management technique, ERP solutions help the organizations in managing as well as automating many back-office functions related to human resources, services, and technology.
ERP software programs typically cover all facets of enterprise operation including planning, organizing, developing, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. All is performed using a single database, application, and interface.
ERP is a software designed enterprise application that is majorly used by the larger organizations, and businesses, and it often requires some dedicated teams of professionals to customize as well as analyze the data. These professionals are also responsible for handling deployments and upgrades.
Simultaneously, lightweight business management software solutions are also available for smaller organizations or start-ups in the form of small ERP application designs. They are customized explicitly as per the specific needs of a smaller business.
Types of ERP based Software Solutions for Businesses
As your business flourishes, it is essential to use a perfectly suitable software package. It helps in keeping track of the shipments, accounting, and inventory, and enables you to be efficient and profitable for long.
Many big market players have been constantly using conventional enterprise resource planning programs and beheading the competition with thousands of employees from all over the world. However, software developers are now supporting all levels of business enterprises with their respective type, and design of the software solutions.
Let’s check them as per their classification:
- Industry Specific ERP Software Systems: These systems are often built for large corporations. Off-the-shelf style model works best for smaller corporations. Most of these software programs are grouped into three categories including finance, logistics, and manufacturing based companies.
- Web-Based ERP Software Systems: ERP programs are a bit complex, and require high-tech computers to install, and run them. However, many suppliers save you from buying the software to run on your office computer by offering a SaaS, i.e. Software as a Service version of the program.
- Small Business ERP Software Systems: Free open source ERP software solutions for smaller businesses cover everything from inventory, supply-chain management to accounting, and customer support solutions. Hence, they do not need to automate all such functions. The scaled-down models offered by the developers in terms of these systems are cost-effective as well.
How ERP Software Systems Benefit Businesses?
Let’s check through the table given below how ERP systems serve the businesses best.
What are Free, and Open Source ERP Software Solutions for Businesses?
ERP programs have become the backbone of businesses today. Generally, big business houses look for the big ERP competitors in the market like Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Dynamics etc. The systems they offer are comprehensive, but are expensive in terms of licensing, implementation and maintenance.
So, when your business finds it unaffordable to use such gigantic implementations or if your business operations need a bit simple solution, you should better turn towards the free and open source ERP solutions for a more economical solution.
In short, free and open source ERP software systems are the programs whose source code is made public and is open for all. The open source model of the software allows the organization to access the code of the ERP system and customize it according to the need of their own IT department instead of paying additionally for their vendor customization services.
Many small to medium level businesses utilize free and open source ERP solutions for keeping track of their daily business operations like expense monitoring, billing, sales, and supply chain management, etc.
Point to note is that almost all the companies from different business verticals are different in terms of their ERP requirements, and solutions. Hence, it becomes hard to find the one that fits for all sizes.
Some of the open source, and free enterprise resource planning software solutions are receiving massive recognition in the market. They offer extensive customization, and transformation services to small, and medium level businesses that are beneficial for their clients, employees, technology, and processes. On the whole, ERP software solutions help them in achieving their strategic goals. The top free ERP software solutions are now widely getting appreciation, and recognition for their proven services related to ERP innovations, industry-specific practices, and transformation methodologies.
Before we move to the free and open source software list, we would like to discuss NetSuite ERP. NetSuite ERP is a world-class enterprise resource planning software that is not only technologically advanced but also has highly efficient ERP system integrations that result in high profitability for businesses.
Oracle NetSuite ERP is a powerful Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that enables organizations of all sizes and verticals to build enterprise-wide capabilities that drive growth, innovation, and productivity for their businesses. NetSuite ERP assists businesses in bringing dynamic business changes, by optimizing financial and accounting processes, streamlining supply chain management and procurement operations, and eliminating all redundant manual processes. It centralizes the management of workflows, integrates core processes, and provides end-to-end real-time visibility into enterprise-wide activities. With Oracle NetSuite’s, you don’t have to worry about compliance and regulatory adherence. NetSuite ERP takes your employee productivity to the next level with compelling resources, lean functionalities, and easy-to-use tools. In short, NetSuite ERP connects technology, people, and processes, all under one platform.
Key Features of NetSuite ERP:
- Financial Management with modules for core accounting, billing, financial planning, financial reporting and tracking of financial performance, and transactions
- Extensive resources and collaborative tools to manage budgeting, Capex planning, forecasting, and reporting
- Order management capabilities with modules for pricing management, sales order management, returns management, sales automation, and multi-currency price management.
- Get full control of manufacturing units and real-time visibility into the production management process with modules for product data management, Work Order management, production planning, scheduling, Quality assurance, and many more.
- Smart tools for Warehouse management with functional solutions for inbound logistics, outbound logistics, inventory management, and integrated modern-day warehouse technologies such as barcode scanning, mobile cycle counting, RFID controls, etc.
- Centralized procurement solutions such as automated sourcing, vendor management, RFQs, Purchase contract management, etc.
- In compliance with current Government Regulations with ongoing compliance management tools
Now, let’s check some of the top free, and open source ERP software solutions in the industry.
Comparison between Free and Open Source ERP Software Solutions:
Out of an excellent selection of some good quality free and open source ERP software programs, some are listed and compared here with different sub-heads. To have a quick view over them all, the chart given below will guide you best.
Here follows a detailed description of these software solutions, and their features.
Dolibarr is one of the best free and open source software packages for the foundations, freelancers, small, and medium level businesses. Developed by the Dolibarr team, licensed under GNU General Public License 3.0 – Dolibarr is cross-platform software, the stable version 8.0.2 release date of which is September 18, 2018.
- It is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux), and web-based application that is usable from anywhere the internet is available.
- It enables only those features that you need in the software.
- It is the easiest ERP of the market to handle.
- It is written in PHP, and it uses PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and MySQL databases.
- It is multi-user and user-friendly software that comes with a highly customizable or modular code.
- It is best to use for any of your business needs like sales, human resources, logistic, stock, invoicing, accounting, manufacturing, etc.
- A Model-View-Controller architecture based ERPNext is generic ERP software that is primarily of immense usage of the manufacturers, service companies, and distributors.
- It covers the majority of service modules like asset management, accounting, CRM, HRM, manufacturing, project management, the point of sale, purchasing, sales management, and warehousing, etc.
- This powerful and easy-to-use software gives the user full control over the role, and user-level permissions to access the data contained in the database.
- Standard objects are customizable according to specific business needs.
- The software is available in more than 70 languages that make it the most accessible ERP software in the world.
Free and Open Source Enterprise Resource Planning software – MixERP is a scalable solution for businesses. This multi-platform software is available in C#.net language and provides all the tools, and capabilities that are essential for you to run your business successfully.
- MixERP presents a suite of useful modules that help businesses in managing their business activities.
- It has cloud-based software, and the users are free from all worries related to maintenance, and other costs.
- It supports all devices including Windows, Mac, Linux based systems, and iPhone/iPad, Android, and web-based mobile platforms.
- It supports the English language and involves all customer types.
Opentaps is free, and open source software that comes with unlimited flexibility to its users. Its most recent version 1.5 takes the enterprise resource planning, management, and operations of a business to perform efficiently, and perfectly.
- Opentaps offers custom tailored ERP software to meet the varied needs of the businesses.
- Users have full control of the custom software.
- Other than ERP, it also supports CRM, eCommerce, Supply Chain Management, Financial Management, Warehouse, and Inventory Management, Business Intelligence, and mobility integration.
- It works on the cloud-based deployment scheme.
- Licensed under AGPL v3, Opentaps depends upon on the Apache Open for Business that is an open source ERP system run by Apache Software Foundation.
LedgerSMB originated in 2006 as an extension to SQL-Ledger - popular general ledger software package. Dieter Simader is the name behind the evolution of LedgerSMB. The stable version 1.6.10 release date of this free, and open source ERP software is January 20, 2019.
- LedgerSMB – Accounting, ERP, and CRM software uses Perl as its programming language, and database interface, and owns GPLv2 license.
- It has a powerful interface; hence, ramp-up time requirements are very less.
- Its open architecture helps in easy integration with other business applications.
- The advanced version of the software brings about increased security levels for the user data.
- It supports 45 languages, and the software is best suitable for small, and mid-size businesses.
WebERP owns GPL license, and is among top free erp system software that came into existence in the year 2001 making PHP language is an integral part of this software program. The stable version 4.15 release date of the software is May 20, 2018.
- WebERP is entirely web-based software, and it can run on any web-server that accommodates PHP.
- It is a multi-language software, and fully utf-8 compliant as well.
- The design of the software covers the significant percentage of the US-based users, but it is fully customizable.
- It covers different modules like purchasing, sale, bearings, and payments, etc.
- It is multi-theme based software, i.e. all the users can look at the software interface in their preferred graphical interface. The system itself contains a selection of 9 themes that one can choose accordingly.
- It facilitates page encryption using SSL to ensure absolute security measures.
ERP5 is among all powerful, open source ERP software solutions, and it relies on Python, and Zope. The software operates on Linux, and UNIX, GPL license, and holds the stable version 5.5 release date as November 2014. Nexedi.com reserves all rights related to the development and maintenance of ERP5.
- ERP5 is an excellent free, and open source ERP system software that serves financial accounting, and finance frameworks to the best.
- Multiple business templates, document management system, ingestion system, web publication system, and a SynchML tool for data synchronization are some other critical functions of this software.
- Through ERP5 mobile facility, users can access data for their mobile phones as well.
- The software also facilitates creating PDF reports involving an arbitrary and unrestricted layout.
- The scalable, flexible, and unified business platform this software provides to the multinationals, small or large, private or public sector businesses.
8. Apache OFBiz
As a product of Apache Software Foundation – Apache OFBiz is an open source, and free enterprise resource planning software that belongs to Java XML Freemarker Groovy, and operates on multiple platforms. It owns Apache License 2.0, and its stable version 16.11.05 release date is October 2, 2018.
(Source: Apache OFBiz)
- Apache OFBiz framework provides a common data model with a set of business process.
- The program has excellent software architecture and the significant service-based approach.
- SMEs, Agencies, Enterprises are typical users of this kind of software.
- It supports the web-app based operating system and cloud-based deployment type.
- Java 2 SDK is the only technical requirements behind installing Apache OFBiz on your computer to use this software.
- It includes comprehensive modules and features that will fit any business and its growing needs.
For small and medium-sized businesses operating in the manufacturing, warehousing and transporting industries, BlueSeer is trusted free and open source ERP software that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux and supports the English language to work on.
- BlueSeer is powerful software that features a comprehensive toolset, and a massive pool of developers that bring many benefits.
- The software operates on both the platforms, i.e. Windows, and Linux.
- The multi-user version of BlueSeer software is also available on SourceForge, the hosting company.
- It provides highly customizable solutions that function more than just an ERP system.
- As a top free erp software system, it facilitates inventory control, warehouse management, distribution, and EDI functionality, etc.
- Metasfresh is the ADempiere holding and has ranked among the top 9 open source ERP platforms by opensource.com.
- It covers a variety of business functionalities, and the software proves immensely beneficial to the small and medium level enterprises.
- The software is adaptable to the user’s needs.
- It is transparent and gives huge scope for innovations.
inoERP is a PHP based open source erp software for business that works on MySQL, Oracle 12c and MariaDB databases. It is cross-platform ERP software that holds licensing under Mozilla Public License Version 2.0, and its stable version 0.5.2 release date is March 15, 2017.
- inoERP is a web-based enterprise management system.
- The software works on the dynamic pull system that is an advanced version of the pull system.
- The architecture of the software is flexible including all reports, documents and forms and so it is capable enough to add any new elements according to the business’s needs.
- This system is usable on any modern browser, laptop, desktop and mobile devices with any resolution size.
- inoERP software also involves the in-built content management system integrated into it.
- It provides a single system for end to end requirements related to supply chain, finance, and HR & MES systems.
Apart from the above-listed free and open source ERP software solutions, NetSuite ERP Software is one among the prominent commercial ERP solutions. We have included this for discussion owing to its popularity.
NetSuite ERP is scalable ERP software that majorly targets large enterprises. It is a leader in ERP industry and offers an exceptional combination of the management and engineering services to the enterprises related to order management, financial management, billing and invoicing, and revenue management. It is a cloud-hosted and Open-API based software solution that can be deployed on Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and web-based platforms.
(Source: NetSuite ERP)
- The NetSuite software offers a broad range of robust enterprise resource planning and business processes to the enterprises.
- The combination of data and visual analytics generates meaningful and actionable business insights.
- The software comes with free trial facility for its both basic and premium versions.
- Launched in 1977, the software today has a number of customers who are very much happy to use the software.
If you are already using one from the software solutions listed above, you can freely share your reviews here.
A recently conducted research states that around 78% of businesses today rely upon open source platforms to run their businesses. 55% businesses believe that open source facility delivers superior security to their business in comparison to the proprietary solutions.
Free and Open Source ERP solutions are not just the most favoured solution of small to mid-level companies, but they are also preferred by larger organizations to run their business operations smoothly.
No matter how complex the operations are, qualitative ERP software will efficiently and effectively manage the overall task within your organization.
The open source ERP software programs save your business costs in the long run. Some of the top free ERP systems require no licensing and no maintenance cost as well.
Many big organizations and corporate entities appreciate the quality measures these open source ERP systems provide. They are also easy to upgrade with implementing the appropriate customizations.