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Top 3 Best Free, Open Source ERP Softwares

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Business functions like Sales and Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Supply Chain Management involve a large amount of data, which need to be accessed and processed regularly and swiftly.

Back in the ‘70s, these functions were often hosted on isolated database systems and required batch updates. Incoherence was inevitable, and access was difficult involving sifting through a large number of fragmented databases.

The ERP system grew to replace these incongruent information sources by integrating all these processes into a single coherent system. Today, ERP systems are indispensable in the field of business management, used by all organizations to collect, store, manage and interpret data.

What is ERP?

The acronym ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. This refers to all systems and software used by organizations to manage daily business activities, define a plethora of business processes and efficiently enable and track the flow of data between them.

Read More About ERP Here: Define ERP or What is an ERP? or What is ERP?

Top Free Open Source ERP Softwares

As businesses grow, the complexity of maintenance and computation increases by leaps and bounds. In such a scenario, smart investments on the essential ERP software can save a lot on the financial front. While Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle Netsuite, and SAP dominate, there are plenty of free open-source software that serves just as many features with reliable support.

On this point, it must be noted that ERP software cannot be completely free, and there will be some charges for installation, maintenance and possibly additional features or business expansion. These open-source software allow a fixed few free users or a limited features free version, that may substantially cut down the costs.    

Odoo

Odoo, previously known as OpenERP, is a comprehensive suite of business applications including Sales, CRM, Project management, Warehouse management, Manufacturing, among others.

With over 2 million users, it is one of the most reliable open source ERP, with one of the best UIs. Odoo uses Python scripting and Postgres database, and its development repo is available on GitHub.

Odoo offers three versions of the solution:

  • The Enterprise version is self-hosted, it includes all the apps, and the pricing starts at $360 per user per year, with a minimum of 5 users.
  • The Odoo Online version is hosted on a cloud, and the first app is offered for free as a standalone app for unlimited users, after which there is a fixed monthly subscription fee for the apps used and the number of users.
  • The Community version, meanwhile, is the open source.

Product details:

Starting Price $25.00/month/user
Deployment
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Installed – Windows
  • Mobile – Android Native
Operating System
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • OS X
Support
  • Online
  • Business Hours

 

Odoo packs a wide range of features:

  • Accounting Management
  • CRM
  • Dashboard
  • Distribution Management
  • Enterprise Asset Management
  • Financial Management
  • HR Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Project Management
  • Purchasing
  • Sales Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Warehouse Management

ERPNext

Similar to Odoo, ERPNext is a free and open-source integrated ERP software developed by Frappé Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and is built on MariaDB database system using a Python based server-side framework.

Available in form of software-as-a-service, along with user-hosting, ERPNext provides an embedded reporting system with office suite integration. It allows access to all features for 1 user and provides 150MB space. Thereafter, one must switch to the paid version.

Product details:

Starting Price $300.00/year/user
Deployment Cloud, SaaS, Web
Support Business Hours

 

Some of the features served by ERPNext include:

  • Accounting Management
  • CRM
  • Distribution Management
  • Enterprise Asset Management
  • Financial Management
  • HR Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Project Management
  • Purchasing
  • Sales Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Warehouse Management

Dolibarr

Written in PHP and using MySQL database, Dolibarr is a web-based application that aims to provide a simplified ERP solution. It works with a wide choice of hosting services or servers and works with all PHP configurations without needing additional modules.

Dolibarr includes all the important features of an ERP/CRM suite, except for accountancy. It is modular and characterized by its ease of installation and use.

Product details:

Starting Price Not specified
Deployment
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Installed – Windows
Operating System
  • Cross-platform
Support
  • Business Hours

 

Dolibarr boasts of features like:

  • Billing & Invoicing
  • CRM
  • Employee Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Point of Sale (POS)
  • Purchasing
  • Time & Expense Tracking
  • Vendor Management

These are just a few of the plethora of open source ERP available. Each offers a variety of services and features, and to that end provide a convenient solution for almost all business.

Open source ERP systems are easier to upgrade when customizations are properly implemented outside the base system than with commercial systems, and upgrades can, therefore, be done much more often (every three months to monthly) without disruption of the production system.

With a dedicated community backing up the open source software, organizations can expect cheap and easily customizable resources for extended use.

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