Open Source ERP refers to the conditions when the software comes free for redistribution and it includes selling the components without any fees. The source code of such software should be easy to analyze and use, and therefore it should come in readable format, and the derived work of the software should be categorized under the same license condition.
There are two types of open system: black box close and open source system. Open source solution is considered better option as compared to black box closed source because it can be customized as per the need of the client and bug list is transparent to the user. The customer can share functionalities and integrate the software to main application.
Main Advantages of Open Source Technology
1. It is available at a low cost as compared to the other commercial alternatives and it is more flexible. It can be modified as per the requirements of the client.
2. It has no vendor lock-in and one can select a vendor as per the demand for technology and the buyer can do the changes as per the budget allocated.
3. Even open source is sold under the GPL license and it comes with distribution model. The customers can choose from the various models provided by the company.
4. The license in not restricted to product or software and it is also technology neutral. The license can be certified and the availability of source code reduces the risk as the company can use it for development.
Popularity and Features
Some of the famous open source packages are SQL Ledger, LX Office, Tiny ERP, Compiere, Opentaps, GNUs etc. These packages are more famous with technical groups as compared to businesses because it provides an option to look into the various technical methodologies and features used to design the software and business layers. These packages are so popular that it has been found in a survey that the OrangeHRM - gets more than 200,000 downloads each day and it has 750 paying customers from companies having employees in the range of 50 to 100.
There are a number of similarities between Open Source and Closed Source implementation, and some of the comparative similarities and dissimilarities are
1. Both the software may require customization and flexible upgrading.
2. The software may or may not have the internationalization features depending on the company's need and choice of package.
3. The user friendliness can be almost equal and the architecture support by the software can be two tiers, or three tiers.
4. Technology-wise one can get almost every kind of feature from open source software such as CGI, SOAP, XML, RPC, etc as it is found in closed source.
5. Although, it is very lucrative to get source code for free but it has a comparatively small user base and only a section of companies are actively involved in developing products based on such technologies.
6. The open source may not come with the training provision and the features such as help, support and documentation may not be present.