Adempiere Community documents over two hundred implementations around the world

It is very exciting to read the growing number of Adempiere implementations around the world as today I counted over two hundred documented cases disclosed by our Community. You can see the whole list here There ought to be many more cases not considered into the list yet, but its continuous growth should encourage others to step in and document their business success. Open Source ERP is here to stay, for good.

I am happy to know Open Source ERP doesn't belong to a particular brand eithter, it should be like Linux, let every company choose its own flavor that best suits its business requirements and provide more aggregated value.

How to Choose the Right Open Source ERP for your Company

We already know that choosing an ERP solution for any type of business is a tough decision to make, then I think it is fair to say choosing the right Open Source ERP for your Company it's even more difficult. And I mean it, not because it costs more than an equivalent commercial package in terms of dollar amount, but rather because it is even more complex a decision to make, I will further elaborate why it is so. In the Open source world the bottom line will always come down to a final decision, there is an ultimate trade-off between two scarce economic resources: Time and Money. So, even though you are not incurring a licensing cost for using the software because you are getting the source code and the right to use the software for free, you will expect to have the code customized to fit your needs so that it nicely adapts to your core processes thus providing visibility and efficiency throughout the enterprise. But bear in mind, this whole effort does not come for Sir, it does bring its toll, and you should be cautious enough so that the return on this investment really becomes into a net creation of value that will definitely add up to your business in a very significant way.

Thoughts on Open Source Enterprise Automation Software adoption in SMEs

Frank Scavo reports on his blog today, having released a new study on adoption trends for open source business apps, where he finds an increasingly growing number of companies getting a high return on investment on their open source based implementation projects, reporting that as much as 65% of the 200 companies surveyed reached positive ROI within two years, representing one of the strongest performances for any of the 20 of so technologies surveyed this year by his company.

This is encouraging for many OSS based projects out there, and their ever growing communities formed by developers, service providers, users and adopters in general, on both sides of the marketplace: the supply side and demand side.

We still need to wait and see critical mass adoption of this special category of Open Source Software, the one that helps businesses and organizations reach higher levels of efficiency and automation, through real time integration of their processes and, in many cases allowing a 360° view of their organization's data and overall performance.

Furthermore, I think there is a battleground for Open Source Software right now, I am talking about specialized niches and processes that require highly customized solutions to be deployed efficiently in order to solve real life problems that can be effectively resolved leveraging Open Source business software.

This also poses new challenges and barriers of entrance to the adoption of open source in the enterprise, some of these issues are already mentioned by Scavo in his article, and others have more to do with the logistics of effectively delivering these products and services.

Major Compiere differentiators versus Commercial Solutions

Frank Scavo recently posted an interesting analysis of a succesful Compiere Implementation story in Petronix; a California, USA based automotive distributor, you can see Frank's post here.

He comes up with a conclusion that major OSS ERP advantages come from direct savings in the upfront costs of the project due to the lack of a license cost, for one thing, plus he mentions other several major advantages such as flexibility and the abscence of vendor lock-in.

On the other hand he recognizes that OSS ERP is not for everyone to adopt. A Careful thinking of the pros and cons of such a decision must be considered prior to choosing to either go for the commercial or the open source alternative.

I still think that in the long race, Compiere has a major handicap against commercial ERP because it is easier to determine net value creation derived from a lower cost of ownership, in the first place.

The downside is, we are still yet to see critical mass adoption of Open Source ERP, that would give us more credibility and 'pedigree' (as Don Klaiss mentioned it). I would also like to see a wider and bigger community of Users, Partners, Customers and Developers revolving around this new Enterprise application paradigm.

JJ's Tutorials, Great!

Psst!..I've just noticed Mr. Jorg Janke has resumed posting in his personal blog, he just gave us a couple of excelent tutorials to keep up with our own Compiere's self study:
  1. How To: Add New Column
  2. How To: Create Custom Reports
As I have gone over so many Compiere tutorials (and training) throughout these years, it's quite amazing to see how he explains them in such a simple, I'd say elegant fashion.

So, congrats for this Jorge and keep up these great postings!

A Wish List of Features to get from the Community

Aside from personal opinion and political discussion about Compiere fork to Adempiere, I have been thinking about the features that I would like to see this vibrant OSS community concentrating in the future, based on a perceived value of enhancements to have:

1. Further stream line development of Sponsored functionality.

I really like the way the Adempiere Community has handled the development of sponsored requests, and would like to see these efforts propagate and stream line in the future for a larger number of sponsored features yet to come.

2. Localization of Product by Country/Region

This is an immediate and tangible need that should be in the hands of the community to be taken care of, I think a localization commitee must be appointed per country, to oversee these efforts, I have found an excellent localization example is Jikibloom Project in Italy, the community should then take this as a role model and replicate it for other countries as well.

3. Community Developed Migration & Customization Tools

I am sure we all like to see a migration tool developed by the community and free to use, I have always read that this is possible to develop by someone expert in database management, maybe this tool wouldn't be as pro as Compiere's but could be good enough for community prototyping and to migrate small footprint installations.

4. Community Supported Postgres Version of OSS,ERP

This too, is something I am sure we would all enjoy to use and keep a 100% community supported stack.

5. Solved Bug Fixes and enhancements, contributed back to Compiere

This has been a great accomplishment from Adempiere community as well and I am sure in the past the INC has been slow to respond to community contributions and fixes, but I can only say my personal experience has been postive in my end, of course I can only speak for myself here.

6. Last but not least, lets have 1) through 5) be compatible between future Compiere/Adempiere versions

It might sound a little weird to think about this..but hey what the heck this is a wish list, isn't it? Oh., and by the way I am also sure that Compiere, Inc. will gladly support its extended community in order to have these improvements performed, as we will all benefit too!!...and by all, I mean Users, Developers, Partners, INC., fans, and every one you can think of.

Finally, I will like to point again to a recent interview Matt Assay held with Mike Milinkovich, the Executive Director of Eclipse foundation, he explains there how they managed to have various real life competitors, actually collaborate over one single plataform from where they are building as a community and profiting each from their own commercially developed enhancements! Sounds familiar? With all due proportions kept, I think this too, is an excellent model to look at...please read this post here.

Compiere: on the road to resurgence

That's the name of a recent post by Matt Asay's CNET Blog where he describes an interview with Don Klaiss Compiere's CEO whom I have refered to on a previous post, you can check it out here and...hey please don't think I get paid from Compiere to make good publicity on them, it just happens I am a true believer of this project, and as somebody else said before when considering his preferences for open source apps: "it is not just about religion anymore, rather it´s all about value".

Interesting Article by Compiere CEO

For those of you interested in Compiere's future and strategy (both the Product and the Company), I highly recommend you to read this article posted by Don Klaiss, Compiere CEO.

He makes an insightful description of what Compiere is doing and will keep doing, to ultimately become the ERP Company of the future, in his own words.

I like his analysis of Compiere's business model and although they definitely are coming appart from a community oriented project, he stresses the important role of their Partner Ecosystem, and also shows respect from other Compiere based projects that have forked from the original project.

He is also bringing a good point when he states that beyond making a great software product, Compiere is also delivering a wealth of innovation to the business application market.

A Great Compiere Online Demo

The Jikibloom Project is an Open Source and localization effort from several solution providers jointly with Sun Microsystems, Inc., to deliver powerful business solutions for the Small and Medium Enterprise, based in Italy.

You can live test their ERP solution demo based on Compiere at this link, just log in and press enter, (no user and password) then use the default values making sure to select the English language, otherwise you'd end up seeing everything in..italian!

Give it a is great.

Where to start? A few Installation Guidelines

Now, if you'd like get your hands on Compiere, the obvious next step is to check out its Installation Guidelines on Compiere's web site. Beware of a few basic requirements though:

1. Choose a database to install, you can either choose Oracle (Standard, Oracle XE) or Enterprise DB, all of them have/are free versions, just follow the general directions from Compiere's page.

2. You must have Java SDK version 5 or later installed in your server ('server' can be a Windows XP machine too for testing purposes, however you must have a loopback adapter installed!

3. If you intend to perform production server installation for a multiuser environment you must set your DNS service accordingly, or else at least your box must have a fixed IP address.

4. As Compiere is a fully tested multi-platform solution it runs hansomely on LinuxOS, it is a bit trickier to install but it's worth it! If you'd like to try it out, this link may be very helpful.

And please, do get a soft copy of Compiere User's Manual from the web store its only USD $50 for a one time download and USD$ 120 for a one year suscription (you'll be able to download further updates with this one)