Friday, November 23, 2012

The taste of Open Source

What is an ERP?

ERP has been known to be the abbreviation for Enterprise Resource Planning. When I heard the word ERP before way back my college times, I thought of a very big system, an integrated system that is used mainly by medium to large enterprises. I found a good site that describes best what ERP is. made mention that when we talk about ERP we do not forget the underlying systems such as inventory and order management, accounting, human resources, customer relationship management (CRM), and beyond. At its most basic level, ERP software integrates these various functions into one complete system to streamline processes and information across the entire organization.

The central feature of all ERP systems is a shared database that supports multiple functions used by different business units. In practice, this means that employees in different divisions—for example, accounting and sales—can rely on the same information for their specific needs.

SAP Business One

Well, lucky enough in my current job I was assigned to share to my students I think one of the most successful ERP system in the international market, SAP (Systems Applications and Products). Without any bias, I think SAP B1 and its other distributions are a complete ERP system that will answer the needs of the customers / clientele of a certain company especially medium to large business partners. But, the sad thing about this is that, just like any other proprietary software application… there has a price to pay to avail the features that SAP can offer and I am not talking here of costs within thousands but already millions. With this, the FOSS community then develops a lot of Free and Open Source Web ERP systems (according to when I tried to look for it in google search engine.. hehehe) .

When I searched for the top five best web ERP systems the following are the results:

So, having seen in the result above, openbravo is the number one among the top 5 best web ERP. So.. the focus of my discussion would be on this system.


It’s one of the best open source ERP software for SMBs. Openbravo is a web-based program that was based on open source Compiere ERP program. It provides the entire status of a company that includes production information, inventory, customer information, order tracking and workflow information.

Openbravo accompanies wide ranging features that makes it easier to handle for end users. Some of its key features include dimensional reporting, alerts, email, keyboard navigation. It is easily configurable and tailors the existing functionality and business rules, as well as add new functionality without any programming.

The ERP software offers better compatibility and sharing, allowing export of single file or a collection of files to Excel, CSV, or PDF directly from the application. Users can easily create third-party modules or plugins or even browser the directory and choose the shared functionality created by other users to install. It allows high scalability enabling deployment in single server or on a cluster of them, serving up to thousands of users. Any record in the system can be easily audited and traced to user who created it.

Features of the Application

Well, I tried downloading the trial version of the application and this is my review regarding the application.:

It is indeed a good example of an ERP system. The system has a lot of features not far from SAP B1. It has modules that are capable of doing transactions as well. These are some of the few screenshots:

Business Partners

Different Modules

I haven't tried adding different transactions but nonetheless I believe this system is already a stable system. To view more about this application you can visit this site.



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