Open source technologies are available at a low price as compared to other forms of ERP services and the industries buying the service do not require to spend on customization, integration to previous applications, implementation of applications, integration etc. There are many high cost databases such as Oracle, SAP that can be easily integrated to open source because the code of the software is available and it can be customized as per the requirements of the company.
Some of the common software based on open source are Compiere, webERP, Linux - Kontor, TUTOS etc. Compiere is has a number of modules such as CRM, POS, inventory and it provide deep analysis on business architecture and it can handle multiple businesses. It can be integrated to database of JDBC, Sybase and Oracle, and it can run on Linux, Solaris, Windows and many other operating systems.
WebERP is known for providing online features. Its strength lies in the accounting module which supports a number of forms such as general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivables, books etc. It has a web based front end and it is highly customizable. There are few disadvantages of the software such as absence of customer management modules but still it is used by a number of companies.
There are many advantages of Open source technologies and some of the common benefits are -
Cost: The cost is the main advantage of open technologies because the software can be downloaded and installed even free of cost and its source code can be accessed from online sources. Many small and midsized companies going for ERP implementation are overburdened by implementation costs and many companies are interested in spending on automation. Open source accounting and payments are some of the common solution used by small sized companies. Billing and general accounting is utilized by many retail centers and shops, and these units may not have funds to buy expensive ERP packages.
No expense on license: Open source requires less expense in case a company is shifting from one technology to other and if it requires another version of the same package. The expense on license and purchase of framework can be prevented using these technologies.
No requirement for vendor training: To use an open source technology the organization buying the software does not need to go for exclusive training because the software can be handled independent to of previous systems and the company implementing the software will have to learn from its own mistakes instead of contacting a service provider.
Disadvantages of Open source technologies
1. One of the biggest drawbacks of the above case is that sometimes the owner of the source code registered suits against the users. There are many pending cases where certain legal suits have been filed against various organizations for using open source software.
2. The second drawbacks are that there is no support for these technologies and no one can guarantee the product.
3. The software built with open source may not support every requirement and therefore it may not suit the requirements of all organizations that search for unique features.
4. Sometimes certain errors found in these types of software can render complete software ineffective.