What is OpenERP? Open Source ERP Software Explained.

OpenERP (previously known as TinyERP) is an open source integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software manufactured by OpenERP.

Belgium-based OpenERP provides an open source suite of ERP business applications. It follows a typical commercial open source business model where the fully-featured applications are available free through a community-supported version; however no warranties or support for the software is available from the company.

If you choose the Enterprise or Online versions your business can obtain support for the software in addition to migration and maintenance, on a per-user, per-month subscription basis.

While not necessarily encouraged, OpenERP does include a provision in the OpenERP Enterprise license that allows customers to make private OpenERP modules when they need to.

OpenERP is, according to the author, an open source alternative to SAP ERP and Microsoft Dynamics.

What can I do with OpenERP?

OpenERP is a full suite of business software, including the following modules:

Accounting: Record your operations in a few clicks and manage all your financial activities in one place.

Application Builder:  The OpenERP application builder lets you customize every module of OpenERP directly from the web interface without any development required.

CRM: Track leads and opportunities customized your sales cycle, controls statistics and forecasts and marketing campaign automation to improve your sales performance.

Human Resources:  The module is for personnel information management, leave, time tracking, attendance‚ expenses, payroll, periodic evaluations and recruitment.

Invoicing: Create and supervise your entire supplier and customer invoices.

Manufacturing: Plan and control your supply chain through different applications in the Manufacturing module.

Marketing: Marketing campaigns can help you automate email and email sending, qualify leads and encourage customers to contact the right department.

Point of Sale: The OpenERP touchscreen point of sale allows you to manage your shop sales. It’s fully web-based so you don’t need to install or deploy any software.

Project Management: Keep track and manage your projects using tasks for short term project execution or plan phases for long term planning.

Purchase: Create and track your purchase orders, manage your suppliers’ info, control your products reception process and check suppliers’ invoices.

Warehouse Management: An inventory management system to easily manage complex needs: tracking stocks of suppliers/customers, full traceability, accounting links, and more. OpenERP supports multi-warehouse management based on hierarchical locational structure.

Because OpenERP is open source and backed by a large community, you can take advantage of more than 700 OpenERP modules on the OpenERP Apps website. These applications extend functionality of the ERP software and provide more business apps for things like manufacturing, localization, project management and more.

The other benefit to users is that you do not need to use all the business apps. You can choose only the modules that you need for your business from the suite (e.g. just CRM or CRM and invoicing). This keeps your OpenERP tidy and less overwhelming if you do not need all the business apps. You can add additional modules (at no cost) as you need them.


Client-server Architecture : OpenERP has separate client and server components. The server runs separately from the client. It handles the business logic and communicates with the database application. The client presents information to users and allow them to inter-operate with the server. Multiple client applications are available.

Server and Modules : The server part is written in Python programming language. The client communicates with the server using XML-RPC interfaces.

Business functionality is organised into modules. A module is a folder with a pre-defined structure containing Python code and XML files. A module defines data structure, forms, reports, menus, procedures, workflows, etc… Modules are defined using a client-independent syntax. So, adding new objects, such as menus or forms, makes it available to any client.

Client applications : The clients are thin clients as they contain no business logic. Two client applications are officially supported:

  • A web application, which is deployed as an HTTP server to allow users to connect using their Web browser.
  • A desktop application, written in Python and using the GTK+ toolkit.

Other alternative clients have also been developed by the community

Database : OpenERP uses PostgreSQL as database management system.

Reporting : OpenERP also provides a reporting system with OpenOffice.org integration allowing customization of reports.

Source code and contributions : The source code of OpenERP is hosted on Launchpad, using the Bazaar revision control system, and the contributions are also handled using Launchpad. The documentations are also managed using this service but a website dedicated to all publications has been set up in 2009

OpenERP Versions:  Free, Supported, Hosted or On-Premise Business Apps

OpenERP is made available through three different versions. The OpenERP software is free, but enterprise and hosted versions are fee-based.  OpenERP Enterprise and OpenERP Community are exactly the same product, only the user pays for the additional services being offered by the OpenERP Team, not for the software.

OpenERP Community: (AGPL license) Open source OpenERP software (with all features) with no warranties. With this version you rely on community-based support only and migrations, bug fixes and private ERP modules are not allowed.  Price: Free

OpenERP Enterprise: (AGPL or AGPL plus Private Use) Open source OpenERP as production-ready management software. The Enterprise version is fully supported by the OpenERP Team and includes unlimited migrations, bug fixes, private modules and security alerts. OpenERP Enterprise version is on-premises software that you host yourself (Linux or Windows operating systems). Price: €165 per month for 1 to 10 users, up to €15,500 for 70 to 150 users.

OpenERP Online: Similar to the services offered in the enterprise version with the exception of no private modules or community modules, and it is hosted and maintained by OpenERP. Price: €39 per user per month. Free 30-day trial available.

Hope you will like this.  Cheers… 🙂


About Sanju
I am Software Programmer. I am working in JAVA/J2EE Technologies.

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