I am often asked about choosing between OpenERP and either iDempiere or ADempiere (iD/AD). So, I thought I would take the time to share my experiences.
Disclaimer: It is worth mentioning that I am partial to iD/AD. I have 10 years experience with them, and iD/AD suite my typical customer, wholesale distribution and light manufacturing, very well. I have only worked with OpenERP a handful of times. I have read OpenERP’s accounting book and OpenERP’s Evaluation with SAP. The below details represent my experiences and knowledge.
iDempiere and ADempiere vs OpenERP
iDempiere/ADempiere (iD/AD) and OpenERP approach ERP from two very different directions. OpenERP comes out of the box with very simple options. If you are coming from QuickBooks, and you need a simple ERP system help you manage your business, OpenERP will look and feel comfortable.
If you need complexity from OpenERP, you will need to install and configure many modules to find the feature sets you are looking for. In making this video, I needed to install about 5 modules to support a very simple US distribution company. The most obscure module was the anglo-saxon accounting module to help OpenERP support US accounting standards.
iD/AD comes out of the box with every feature installed and configured to run a $20M to $400M+ USD business. If your business is growing rapidly, and you are willing to invest the time to learn an enterprise accounting system, then iD/AD will give you confidence. Here is a wholesale distribution review that I wrote about ADempiere and iDempiere. If you find an OpenERP review that is similar in depth and objectivity, please share it in the comments section below.
With iD/AD, self-learning the details of how the many features work can be a challenge. iD/AD documentation is not as strong as other ERP systems.
The best way I know to describe the difference between iDempiere/ADempiere and OpenERP is by analogy to PostgreSQL and MySQL database systems. PostgreSQL and iD/AD started life as an enterprise-rich product that sometimes lacked the speed and simplicity of their counterparts. OpenERP and MySQL started life as small lightweight applications that lacked many of the enterprise features of their counterparts. Over time iD/AD have become more sleek, and OpenERP has become more feature rich.
History behind iDempiere and ADempiere
The ADempiere, iDempiere, Openbravo and Compiere environments are amazingly similar. iDempiere came from ADempiere. ADempiere and Openbravo came from Compiere. Compiere came from Jorg Janke. Jorg came from Oracle. As a result, iDempiere and ADempiere have much in common with Oracle’s ERP in terms of the financial feature set. This is both good and bad. Good because iDempiere and ADempiere are quite capable to help a $20M company grow well beyond $400M USD. Bad because they tend to be more complex in that they account for multiple languages, accounting schemas, currencies, calendars, costing types, costing methods, etc…. If you are a growing organization, and you need a system that will grow with you, and you have the right internal talent/resources, iDempiere or ADempiere will be a big asset for you.
The biggest difference between these products is that ADempiere and iDempiere are pure open source. ADempiere and iDempiere make all feature available for free. Compiere and Openbravo hold back features behind a commercial or paid license.
Why consider Open Source ERP
Open source ERP gives you every opportunity to prove or disprove its ability to support your company’s ERP needs on a timeline that satisfies your organizational needs. With open source ERP, you do not face the same financial constraints nor do you face the same conflicts of interest as with commercial ERP. Instead, you invest in the appropriate skills and knowledge for your people and processes. Best of all – if open source ERP cannot solve your company’s needs, you can safely justify spending the additional $2K to $5K per person per year for life of your commercial ERP to help drive your organization’s success.
About Chuck Boecking: I am an ERP educator. I believe that open source ERP have achieved mainstream capabilities, and as a result, more companies can create greater efficiency across their organization. I started using the iDempiere code base in 2003. Back then, it was called Compiere. In 2006, I started my first multi-million dollar installation. Since then, ADempiere has helped me create great success with distribution and manufacturing companies all over the world. My vision of success is to find companies that can best use open source ERP to help them achieve a single, global instance that drives a discontinuous increase in profitability. I believe that organizations win when they own their technology.
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Thank you for taking the time. I look forward to speaking with you.