Searching for ERP software can be a daunting (and expensive) process, one that requires long hours of research and deep pockets. The most popular ERP systems often provide more than what’s necessary for non-enterprise organizations, with advanced functionality relevant to only the most technically savvy users. Thankfully, there are a number of free and open source ERP solutions out there. Some of these solutions are offered by vendors looking to eventually sell you on their enterprise product, and others are maintained and operated by a community of developers looking to democratize ERP.
In this article we will examine free and open source ERP software, first by providing a brief overview of what to expect and also with short blurbs about each of the currently available options in the space. This is the most complete and up-to-date directory on the web.
Free ERP solutions defined
Free ERP software refers to products that are offered commercially free by the solution provider. These offerings are usually trimmed-down versions of the expert or enterprise editions, offering basic functionality that enables users to generate reports or data visualizations. Commercially free ERP tools typically offer less functionality on the whole than their open source counterparts, but are often a great way to gain more than a free trial if its a product you were already considering.
What is open source ERP?
Open source ERP is software with a source code that anyone can inspect, modify or enhance. These tools are designed to be publicly accessible and are commonly managed and maintained by organizations with a specific mission in mind. The open source ERP solutions included in this list are surprisingly full-featured, offering an expansive list of capabilities for a variety of users.
It’s important to remember that some of the open source offers included in this list require some development skills, and that may make them less than ideal fits for your use case. We recommend that you read each tool’s FAQ to see just how much coding is required to take advantage of the software. The open source tools usually do a good job of explaining the requirements for use on the download pages.
Apache OFBiz‘s suite of business tools is built on a common architecture that enables organizations to customize the ERP to their needs. As a result, it’s best suited for midsize or large enterprises that have the internal development resources to adapt and integrate it within their existing IT and business processes. OFBiz is a mature open source ERP system. Modules are available for accounting, manufacturing, HR, inventory management, CRM, e-commerce, and more.
BlueSeer is a completely free ERP package (no keys, no trials, no registration) for small to medium size businesses as well as for personal finance. BlueSeer aims to be the first universally free ERP with the singular goal to provide businesses with a freeware alternative to high cost commercial ERPs. BlueSeer ERP was developed for manufacturing, warehouse, and transportation companies who wish to customize and maintain their own software without the need for high cost proprietary support or the hurdles of proprietary source code. BlueSeer has the added advantage of being more than just an ERP. The capacity for customization allows BlueSeer to be used as a peripheral custom application as well.
Dolibarr comes with everything an ERP needs, including accounting, CRM, HR, and inventory modules. This all-in-one suite offers end-to-end management for small and midsize businesses—from keeping track of invoices, contracts, inventory, orders, and payments to managing documents and supporting electronic point-of-sale system. It’s all wrapped in a fairly clean interface. You can install and use Dolibarr as a standalone application, or online on a shared or dedicated server or virtual machine to use it from anywhere, any desktop, tablet or smartphone. It is available in various forms: From auto-installer packages that install Dolibarr and all prerequisites with no need of technical knowledge, of from the standard distribution working on all Operating System platforms and PHP architecture (Windows, Mac, Linux).
EasyERP is an open source platform that contains CRM, HRM, Purchases, Inventory, Expenses, Reporting, Account Management and more. This open-source software is designed for small and medium-sized businesses with applications that offer all the necessary functionalities required for CRM. EasyERP allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of sales, view the most important information on dashboards, check information about all incoming leads, track how they’re converting into opportunities, etc. EasyERP is customizable, user-friendly, with an intuitive interface, fast, flexible and scalable.
inoERP is an open source online-based enterprise management system, built by using open source technologies and offers a wide range of features suitable for running various kinds of businesses. 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. inoERP software also offers in-built content management system and is usable on any modern browser, laptop, desktop and mobile devices with any resolution size. inoERP provides a single system for end to end requirements related to supply chain, finance, and HR & MES systems.
iDempiere Business Suite, also known as OSGi + ADempiere, is an open source ERP software that is fully navigable on PCs, tablets and smartphones, it has also customer relationship management and supply chain management functions. This is a full-fledged ERP, with everything from invoicing to POS integration to warehouse management to forecasting. Targeted at small and midsized businesses, iDempiere has a special focus on the community that includes: Subject Matter Specialists, Implementers and End-Users. System requirements include: Java OpenJDK, PostgreSQL Database, or Oracle Database.
LedgerSMB originated in 2006 as an extension to SQL-Ledger – popular general ledger software package. This web-based ERP system runs on any NIX, Mac, or Windows platform, as data is stored in SQL database server. LedgerSMB is available for free and aims to prevent small and mid-size businesses from getting locked-in by their accounting software vendor by providing free and open source accounting software, integrating invoicing, order processing, quotations and more.
Metasfresh is an open source software package with enhanced consistently to meet the needs and demands of the ever-growing marketplace. It currently offers services in the area of quality assurance, warranties, training, and planning. Metasfresh’s name reflects its commitment to keeping its code “fresh.” It’s released weekly updates since late 2015, and ike ADempiere, it’s an open source ERP based on Java targeted at the small and midsize business market. While it’s a younger project than most of the other software described here, it’s attracted some early, positive attention, such as being named a finalist for the Initiative Mittelstand “best of open source” IT innovation award.
MixERP is an affordable, cloud-optimized software for all types of business owners. In its free iteration, you manage hosting and upgrading, but you’ll have access to support for $49 per issue. It’s a nice mix between do-it-yourself and complete outsourcing. The free version comes with some beneficial features, such as inventory management, sales management, accounting, and HR tools. However, it does lack manufacturing and payroll management options, so larger companies will need to use one of the cloud or on-premises, paid versions. MixERP uses a reliable open source, free database engine (PostgreSQL) which supports almost all popular operating systems.
Odoo is an open source ERP and CRM tool, offered as an integrated suite of applications that includes modules for project management, billing, accounting, inventory management, manufacturing, and purchasing. Those modules can communicate with each other to efficiently and seamlessly exchange information. With an easy and intuitive user interface, reminiscent of Google Drive, its strong technical structure provides top of the range usability that scales across all apps. Although there is a free application limit, adding more apps isn’t prohibitively expensive.
OpenPro is an open source ERP solution + CRM + Payroll HRMS Time Card + E-commerce platform. OpenPro ERP solutions can be deployed in the cloud or on a server. OpenPro excels with its real-time Solutions, from Accounting and Financial Reports to its MES software, MRP manufacturing and wholesale distribution inventory control software. OpenPro is multi language (9 different) and multi currency. Another of the many business software solutions is a complete retail Point of Sales (POS) system, while distributors benefit from the supply chain management software.
Opentaps is an open source platform designed for larger businesses and packs a lot of power and flexibility. Built on top of Apache OFBiz, Opentaps offers an expected set of modules that help you manage inventory, manufacturing, financials, and purchasing. You also get an analytics feature that helps you analyze all aspects of your business. Furthermore, you can buy add-ons and additional modules to enhance Opentaps’ capabilities. They include integration with Amazon Marketplace Services and FedEx.
WebERP is a complete web-based accounting and business management system that requires only a web-browser and pdf reader to use. It has a wide range of features suitable for many businesses particularly distributed businesses in wholesale, distribution and manufacturing. When combined with a 3rd party interactive desktop Point Of Sale system it can also form the hub of a dispersed multi-branch retail management system. A fully integrated webSHOP is also available as a 3rd party add-on. webERP is as an open-source application and is available as a free download to use with all the PHP code written in an accessible way for you to add your own features as needed.
xTuple PostBooks is a comprehensive open source solution built around its core ERP, accounting, and CRM features that adds inventory, distribution, purchasing, and vendor reporting capabilities. This fully featured, fully integrated business management system allows four users to get access to almost everything you need to run a single-location operation. That means inventory for one location, accounting, billing, reporting, and other sales tools. PostBooks is a great fit for service companies, as they don’t have the advanced manufacturing and inventory requirements that would require an upgrade. Even for a smaller, single location warehouse, PostBooks could be a good fit. Just know that you’re limited in your scale if you’re planning to stick with the free option.
Looking for more? Download our ERP buyers guide for free and compare the top-24 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles, including key capabilities, an overview of the ERP software market, questions to ask before purchasing, and our bottom-line analysis. It’s the perfect resource for anyone looking to find right ERP for their business.
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Liz is a leading enterprise technology writer covering Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Process Management (BPM) and Talent Management Suites (TMS) at Solutions Review. She writes to bridge the gap between consumer and technical expert to help readers understand what they're looking for. Liz attended Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications. You can reach her at [email protected]
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