A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Open Source ERP - implementation and selection

There’s an interesting discussion going on at the ITtoolbox ERP-Select forum on Open Source ERP software selection and implementation. Check out the discussion thread entitled Open Source ERP Needed (trilingual a plus). One of the posts lists the pros and cons of implementing Open Source ERP as follows: -


  • No license cost which brings the initial cost of purchase down to a minimum. Add the open source O/S and database and the cost is immediately down to nothing but the hardware.
  • Ownership of the source code, which allows the company to twist it to unimaginable lengths. In niche markets and industries this is particularly advantageous since the company can customize the core processes that give them a niche in their market. This also means that their competitive advantage which can be drawn from unique functionality is proprietary and not shared with other companies in the same industry.
  • A pool of virtually infinite programmers that will develop the core ERP in the future. The only risk here is the lack of good project management by a project leader. To my knowledge, Compiere and GNUe have robust project leading teams at the moment.


  • One has to find the support and implementation services that will take full advantage of the ERP (open source or not). The difference is that in open source no vendor assumes responsibility for legal and other conformity issues.
  • Maintenance: nobody can guarantee that the open source ERP implemented today will be around in - say - 5 years. I think it is safe to argue that we all understand that ERP is a long-term investment where the biggest expense is change management, training and human capital.
  • Customization: yes, you can customize as much as you want. However, you then need a team to maintain the customization and keep it updated with all the new versions of core functionality. Therefore, you need an organization large enough to take full advantage of the open source features.

Based on the discussions I’ve compiled a listing of Open Source ERP software systems on the link blog. If there’s any more you think should be added to the list please let me know.

Posted by Richard Byrom on 07/02 at 02:47 PM
  1. i happen to have a open source story to tell:

    Regional Electronic Component distributor deploys Open Source ERP Compiere to automate Key processes

    With current staff strength of 40 and supplying components to manufacturers, the Singapore based distributor with mutliple regional offices, needs an integrated backend system that can streamline its sales, purchase, inventory and finance processes. The 30 million annual turnover company has considered Mid-Tier ERP vendors like Great Plains and SAP Business One but Compiere ERP managed to win the support of its management due to its open source license and comprehensive features.

    The distributor selected Singapore based enterprise solution service provider - iZeno to implement and customise Compiere to fulfill its workflow and process requirements. iZeno which specialises in open source solution, managed to develop several extension on top of the existing Compiere module to localise the US-based product. iZeno came up with the costing engine which enables the distributor to track the incoming and outgoing average cost of its inventory by batches/lots at any point in time. Additional management reports were also created to meet the local financial reporting requirements.

    Beyond automating the companys’ key business processes,iZeno also enhanced the existing Compiere workflow engine to allow the management to manage their approval online. The entire system went live as scheduled and the cost of project was well kept within the budget which realise great saving for the company.

    Compiere ERP further impressed the management of the company 3 months after the implementation period when the company decides to adopt the latest financial reporting standard that requires the company to report in US dollar instead of Singaore dollar. The flexibile design of Compiere allows iZeno to assist the company to achieve its desired reporting requirements in a short span of 2 weeks.

    iZeno is at

    Compiere is a trademark of Compiere Inc.

    Posted by Benny Ng  on  02/13  at  08:55 PM

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