Open Source ERP

I’ve been thinking a little about open source ERP systems. Compiere seems to be leader. It’s free, but they nickel and dime you on documentation, support, etc.

The biggest problem with Compiere is that it uses an Oracle (or now Sybase) database. What’s that all about? It may be cheaper to buy SQL Serve and Great Plains than to buy Oracle and get Compiere for free. Not mention the pain of running Oracle in a small to medium shop.

I think there is room for an MS based open source ERP system. I think it would push the leaders. Great Plains is great because of it’s community, backend and solidness. However, GP is behind in “run anywhere” functionality and Dexterity feels creaky. M. ore likely, I expect to see an open source Linux/MySQL (or Postgre) offering.

Lets face it, ERP systems are complex. They cover a lot of ground and they can function very differently. Solomon, GP and Oracle all process payables, and they all do it differently. I wonder whether the benefits of an open source ERP will hurt comanies? Will a bootstrapping company install it and force it to work with dire consequence? Is the growth from a small business package, like Quickbooks, into a midsize package important?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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