Capterra Logistics Technology Blog

Inventory, warehouse, and distribution technology for logistics professionals

The Top 5 Free, Open Source ERP Software

Share This Article

[Updated November 2016. Based on feedback and new entrants in the space, we’ve added some listings to our original article.]

Solving complicated problems for your business doesn’t mean you have to splash out for a million dollar enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Oracle and SAP may dominate the field, but there are plenty of free, open source ERP options that can help get your business in shape.

top free and open source erp software

Before we dive in, a warning to the wise — putting an ERP in place is a headache. Most implementations go over budget, take too long, don’t deliver on the plan, and just generally make businesses miserable. Don’t fall into those camps. Having a clear plan, a clear problem, and clear goals is the recipe for ERP success. Even a “free” ERP costs your business time and money.

iDempiere

iDempiere is a full-fledged ERP, with everything from invoicing to POS integration to warehouse management to forecasting. While iDempiere is open source, installing an ERP is never truly free. Chuck Boecking, an ERP specialist, suggests budgeting between $20 thousand and $100 thousand for businesses earning $10 million to $100 million.

iDempiere

iDempiere, like most open source programs, relies on community support for troubleshooting. Businesses may also call in specialists with experience in iDempiere.

The software provides just about everything an ERP could, including product planning, warehouse management, and payroll, among many others. While it requires more setup than some of the other options on this list, iDempiere is one of the most robust open source options available.

Odoo

Odoo is free for two users, when hosted online, but it jumps up after that. However, if you install and maintain the software in house, Odoo is totally free. If you are managing a system that doesn’t get touched by many people, Odoo online might be perfect. The software covers all the standard warehousing, manufacturing, and sales channels. Odoo’s distinction is that the whole system revolves around a series of apps.

Odoo

You can bolt on access to apps for a monthly fee that help you build a website, install ecommerce portals, run a CRM, and on and on. The benefit of this system is you don’t end up running a bloated system when you could be running a slim setup.

Odoo’s obvious downside is the limitation on users or the need to have a skilled technical team in house. Luckily, adding online users beyond the first two isn’t prohibitively expensive. With its scaled approach to users and features, Odoo provides a solution that can grow with your business.

webERP

webERP is hosted completely online. It can be accessed from any device that has a browser and a PDF reader. The software is installed on a web server, which can either be owned and managed by the company or provided by a third party.

webERP

Some reviewers have mentioned that the simple nature of webERP leads to some drawbacks in functionality. webERP is specifically designed to be used and expanded by less technical businesses, with code that’s supposed to be readable and editable more easily.

All of that adds up to a system that can be put in place quickly and cheaply, but which may end up needing expansion later on.

Openbravo

Openbravo is a web-based ERP based on a modular system. The software comes in three “flavors” depending on the needs of your organization. Openbravo Community edition is the free release, offering a stripped down version of the paid Enterprise and Professional editions. These editions include some premium, commercial modules — like financial management and inventory management — that many businesses find necessary.

OpenBravo

Moving up to the Professional edition will cost you $4,500 per year while the Enterprise edition runs $22,000 per year.

Like Odoo, Openbravo’s open source meets commercialized product approach gives users a place to go for support besides just community forums. Of course, support comes at a cost, which can put a damper on the lower cost option that open source often offers.

ERPNext

ERPNext is an open source solution with the modern user in mind. ERPNext is designed for small and medium businesses and is presented as a series of apps. The whole system is designed for the less technical among us, which is both a blessing and a curse.

ERPNext

ERPNext’s simplicity means that it’s easy to set up, using simple forms to enter information about your business and walking you through the whole process in typical setup wizard style. It’s a feeling that quickly becomes familiar as the ERP is clean and user friendly.

Of course the downside is in expanding the ERP to fit specific needs for larger or more complex businesses. While there are built in tools for designing specific forms and reports, adding more complex elements requires diving headfirst into the code.

ERPNext is free for five users when hosted online, or free for any size business when installed on your own servers.

VIENNA Advantage Community Edition

VIENNA Advantage is an open source ERP out of Germany. The core product includes an ERP and CRM that the rest of the solutions revolve around. The platform is web-based, so you can access it across devices and without having to worry about some of the nitpicky compatibility issues that plague small businesses.

ViennaAdvantage

The Community Edition is a free option for “developers, technical companies and micro enterprises looking to deploy a basic set of features.” There is no built-in support for this edition and you’ll have to have someone with strong technical skills on-hand to get things running smoothly.

That said, once installed, you’ll have access to a ton of free modules. These include document management, accounting, and reporting tools.

If you end up loving the product and want to move management over to someone else, Vienna offers two a cloud-based, hosted solutions. One for small-medium businesses and one for enterprise clients.

MixERP

MixERP is free and open source, built on the ASP.net framework. 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.

MixERP

The free version comes with all the bells and whistles, including inventory management, sales management, accounting, and HR tools to keep your business running smoothly. It does lack manufacturing and payroll management options, though, so larger companies will need to use one of the cloud or on-premises, paid versions.

Conclusion

The range of open source ERP options should offer a solution for almost any business. While implementations can go awry, making clear plans and having an understanding of the problems that you’re trying to solve with an ERP can take a lot of the sting out of putting one into place.

If you’re looking for a more extensive list of ERP options, check out Capterra’s full listing of ERPs, complete with reviews and feature breakdowns.

Looking for Enterprise Resource Planning software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Enterprise Resource Planning software solutions.

Share This Article

About the Author

Andrew Marder

Andrew Marder is a writer for Capterra. His background is in retail management, banking, and financial writing. When he’s not working, Andrew enjoys spending time with his son and playing board games of all stripes.

Comments

Thanks for this great resource – we have found there are certainly some interesting solutions out there that are free the problem comes when you need support or any changes done – its difficult to get and honestly no large business will commit to an ERP or any kind of purchasing software system where the support is questionable.

@Andrew, thanks for listing ERPNext. A simple interface can be curse to the product too. ERPNext comes with more out of the box features (like Serialized Inventory) than many of the others listed, but may appear simpler.

@James, on the contrary, for open source products, its much easier to get changes implemented. Most open source products are backed by solid commercial enterprises and there is an army of freelancers that are available based on your budget. Its just a matter of time the perception aligns with reality.

@james In my opinion, Open source business model is the future business model in software. I think it embraces community support and continuous innovation. You maybe surprised by the quality of support open source businesses provide.
P.S. checkout http://www.mixerp.org

Hi Andrew, thanks a lot for adding us to the list. Let me add however some comments that I think will help to better understand our offering today.

The screenshot you are sharing belongs to our old version. Since we launched Openbravo 3, we have a much more stylish and productive user interface (www.openbravo.com/platform/features/user-interface/).

In the past our flagship product was Openbravo ERP. It has evolved to 2 different products. The Openbravo Business Suite (www.openbravo.com/other-industries/), a global management solution with horizontal ERP, CRM and BI functionality for across industries, and the Openbravo Commerce Suite (www.openbravo.com/retailers/) for retailers. So if we talk today about our general ERP solution, we would talk about the Openbravo Business Suite. In fact the prices you are mentioning correspond to the Business Suite.

Do not hesitate to ask about any question you may have and again thanks a lot for mentioning us.

Best regards,

Xavier Places Cano
Openbravo Product Marketing Director
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/xavier-places-cano/0/a6b/b33
Twitter: @xplacesc

Hi Andrew, thanks for your great article.

We offer a 100% free online Odoo available in https://www.cenitsaas.com, with unlimited users, addons and space.

At the same time we are working with other partners to continue improve the Odoo SaaS platform, for help other companies to lunch similar solutions.

Regards,
Miguel

CEO and Founder at Cenit, LLC
support@cenit.io

You may also mention Dolibarr Erp Crm (http://www.dolibarr.org) designed for small and medium businesses.
Very popular in europe, Dolibarr is known for its simplicity. It is easy to install, to setup, to use, and even to develop if you need to build your own addon. A market place with addon developped by other companies is available on http://www.dolistore.com
Any non technical user can install it with an autoinstaller (in such a case, it will be free) or choose to use a hosted version provided by a lot of companies (price will depends on your provider but may start to 9 euros per month).

Can u help me something that i can use for Pharmacy retail..
that also keeps update to expired medicine, etc

See also OpenZ ERP. I think its one of the best open source erp system. A great system, with a huge community and a fair pricing model.
http://www.openz.de

Another alternative that is free…completely free…is BlueSeer….available at http://www.blueseer.com. It is a Universal ERP for manufacturing that has a lot of punch in core manufacturing (MRP, Job Scheduling, Order tracking, Ledger, AP/AR, Timeclock, and EDI). It’s aim is to be a generic community ERP.

Never have heared about Odoo, nevertheless a really great summary 🙂

Hi Andrew,
I strongly think that VIENNA Advantage ERP & CRM should be added to this list. It is the first ever open source ERP & CRM solution with inbuilt Document Management System available on the cloud or on premises.

It was recognized as one of the “20 most promising Open Source ERP solutions in the world by The ERP Insights Magazine > http://viennaadvantage.com/blog/vienna-news/20-most-promising-open-source-erp-solutions-in-the-world/

We have a selection of products which work well both in a cloud and on-site. Before choosing the right option for your business, a few factors are worth considering as both solutions have their pros and cons. Personally, I would be into a cloud-based erp as locally based software usually entails bigger investments

Thanks Andrew for sharing such wonderful list of ERP Software. Keep it up your efforts.

I’m looking for an ERP that has great UI and can do all functions / modules like sales, purchase, inventory, manufacturing, servicing, CRM, taxation, etc

[…] the community edition of this solution was chosen as one of the top free and open source ERP software by […]

[…] the community edition of this solution was chosen as one of the top free and open source ERP software by […]

Hey,

perhaps our Scipio ERP also matches your criteria. The Community Edition is licensed under the ASF 2.0 and is quite modern.

Regards,
Paul

Grate post Andrew!
I’m looking for some useful ERP too! Like Laurent, I think Dolibarr should be added to this list, is really used here, in Europe!
Searching on the web, I’ve found this page: http://www.ekamat.es/navision/comparativa-erp.php it explains the differences between the biggest ERP, there are no free, but anyway it can be useful for the new business-men!
Thanks by the post!

Hi Andrew,

thanks for your great post

We offer All types of third party integration and customization service in odoo at reasonable price

http://www.odooexpress.com

Regards,
Erick

Odoo indeed carries a lot of benefits with itself. All the features mentioned make it worth using by the businesses which seek growth and development opportunities. I was also looking for odoo services for my business and I was referred to http://www.prolitus.com/odoo-open-erp.php by a consultant and I was not disappointed at all. They delivered exactly what they promised and what I expected.

Very useful open source ERP list. ERP’s are always interesting and useful for a company to use. Hope our company http://swinaly.com could contribute to the open source system as well.

We used Odoo since two years for all our consulting operation. Also we provide services on Odoo. We have around 9 years of experience in Odoo.

Odoo is great software to manage your business with great user friendly interface.

http://Www.probuse.com

A question: why did you mentioned iDempiere (even in first place) and not aDempiere which has more history and more business functions?

This ERP software helps maintaining a good relationship among the students. It acts like a virtual platform for the same. There would be no space for any kind of miss communication.

thanks for sharing such a informative Blog. Web based ERP Software makes the environment of the school much more user-friendly.

Great post Matt! Seen recently good newcomer, which pretty much meets up all of described features, called EasyERP. And, of course, it`s open source, so it`s quite customizable (as those guys from support say), but it doesn`t lack in any necessary, for good CRM, features. Plus it is also a complete ERP system too. Found it at easyerp.com. Hope you`ll find it useful too, and probably will include it in a new list =).

This ERP software helps maintaining a good relationship. It acts like a virtual platform for the same. There would be no space for any kind of miss communication.

What are the generic ERP models?

I am looking forward for a solution for my embroidery business solution. We’ve got Clients, Vendors, Contractors (to whom we outsource our work) and have got our own machines as well.
I need Order tracking, sales, production, accounts, inventory and HR.

ERPs play a vital role in reshaping colleges and help them on focusing on the quality of College database Management. there are many erp software like android management software, school management software etc…….

Thanks for your post. Of all these ERP software, is there any of them that support weighing scale integration?

The best ERP software for schools and Colleges have come up it has made academic life much easier.

https://www.zeroerp.com

Comment on this article:


Your privacy is important to us. Check out our Privacy Policy.