Enterprise Resource Planning/Open Source

Completion status: this resource is ~50% complete.
Type classification: this is a lesson plan resource.


  • This is intended to be a framework of a 10 module Executive Diploma in Open Source ERP.
  • It hopes to make graduates who followed this course to be capable in managing an implementation of an Open Source ERP application.
  • They would also be able to calculate the case of an OSS option versus a proprietary one with regard to risks and resources preparedness to ensure a successful outcome.
  • They would also be able to analyse basic requirements of typical target users and figure out the necessary modifications to fit those requirements.
  • They would either be able to implement the whole project on their own or work with a bigger team satisfactorily.
  • At the end of the course, they can participate with community members, vendors or practitioners as apprentices to gain valuable practical exposure and experience.
  • There can be a certification process by the author(s) to denote those who meet the passing mark.

ERP Goes Open Source

  • Open Source has gone up the food chain. It is no longer about Linux and Apache. It has entered the realm of business software.
  • When Compiere ERP/CRM made its debut in 2001, it brings to the territory its first serious player challenging even the likes of SAP and Navision.
  • Since then many play the path and in many integrative units such as Dolibarr ERP/CRM, SugarCRM, Pentaho and Eclipse BIRT.

New Disruptive Landscape

  • There is a need to comprehend this new disruptive playing field in business applications and its impact to vendors and users
  • A new landscape brings new definitions and names to the market. Much confusion is caused by names-dropping and repackaging of old theories and models. An example is the previously failed ASP (Application Service Provider) been repackaged as SaaS (Software as a Service).

The Need To Understand

  • Many early attempts to implement Open Source in the business area have met with their golden share of failures. What are its true causes and remedies?
  • Is the chaos clearing itself and the dust settling? What do we watch out for? What to believe or not to believe?
  • Who are the pioneers and what can they tell us?

What is ERP?


You most likely know what Open Source is, but what is ERP and what does it mean to have Open Source ERP?

ERP and ES

  • ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning
    • Concerns the operations of any accounts-based organization
    • Face challenges in managing and analysing the flow of information involved
    • Organization interfaces with the supply chain of suppliers and consumers, both internal and external
    • Requires modern tools such as computers and software to allow efficiency of operations
  • ES stands for Enterprise Software that handles ERP
    • Often refered to as ERP Software
    • Interchangeable with the term ERP
    • Has come to mean Business Application Software that covers Business Intelligence (BI) and CRM

Where ERP comes from and goes to?

  • Formerly started as Manufacturing MRP
  • Recently move up the value chain to ERP
  • Now even cover the areas of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and BI (Business Intelligence)
  • It may be an even more drastic Where is it going to? with ERP On Demand. Think Google-ERP.

Why is ERP Important?

  • Accounting is the fundamental basis of all business activity
  • ERP has accounting in the backend and Supply Chain in the fore
  • Supply chaining means non redundancy and automation to the whole process

Free ERP Software

  • Open Source has now moved higher the value chain to encompass business enterprise applications
  • Focus on business solutions and independent of other Open Source utilities such as Linux, Apache and MySQL
  • Highly complex to implement as ERP in itself is complex
  • Shall compete with proprietary ERP Software such as SAP, MS Navision, Oracle Financials and JD Edwards

Examples of Open Source ERP

  • Compiere ERP/CRM [1]
  • OpenERP [2]
  • OpenBravo ERP [3]
  • ADempiere Bazaar [4]
  • Dolibarr ERP/CRM [5]
  • Erp5 [6]
  • Pentaho (BI) [7]
  • SugarCRM (CRM) [8]
  • Tryton [9]
  • Xtuple postbooks [10]
  • webERP [11]
  • Apache OFBiz [12]

What to Learn Here?

  • Types of Open Source software and their advantages
    • Commercial vs Community Open Source
    • Licensing Model
  • How to evaluate their functional suitability for businesses
    • Scoping and Gaps Analysis
  • The challenge of implementation
    • Methodology and Good Practice
    • Phased and Protoyping Approach
  • Comparing to proprietary options and calculating TCO (Total Costs of Ownership)
    • Cost of Warranty and Intangible Risks
  • The Eco-System That Open Source ERP Today Involves
    • Involving the Community
    • Institutional Assets of Product
  • Learn From Both Sides of The Fence
    • As the End-User
    • As the Vendor
  • Go Under The Hood
    • Setting Up The Application
    • Debugging the Source

Short Course


2 Day Technical Course

  • Is part of the longer course but specific to technicalities

Day 1 Part I (4 hrs)

  • How to Setup the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) such as Eclipse
  • Getting the source and porting into the IDE
  • Setting Up The Database and Sample Data
  • Setting Up The Application (based on ADempiere)
  • Check-up and System Utilities

Day 1 Part II (2hrs)

  • Going through the App
  • Completing a Sales Order with new Client and Product
  • Checking the inventory
  • Shipment and Invoice
  • Purchasing through Receipt

Day 2 Part I

  • Configuring the Window-Table
  • Incorporating Business Rules
  • Configuring Reports

Day 2 Part II

  • Debugging and solving bugs
  • Extending the source
  • Example of an Addon (based on Posterita)

One Day Seminar

  • This is as a general pre-sales buy-in of a public seminar

First Session (2hrs)

  • What is Open Source?
  • TCO on ERP's favour
  • The Dilema of ERP and the Open Source Answer
  • The Miracle of the Bazaar

Second Session

  • Demo of an ERP
  • Samples of vertical industries adaptation

3rd Session

  • Demo of Posterita
  • Live Installations worldwide

Open Source ERP Implementation Course

  • High-level Business Concern and Project Level Treatment
    • To see the whole challenge of implementing from a nutshell
    • To appreciate the context and challenge of business needs behind the promise of Open Source ERP
  • More for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) community
    • Also known as End-Users
    • Give them idea of what to expect and thus make right decision if its worth DIY all the way
    • Deciding when not to do too much and outsource the crucial parts to experts
  • Can be for the Implementor Community
    • Also known as Systems Integrators (SI)
    • Able to educate End-Users the path and risks along the way
    • Use as roadmap to divide the role and tasks between them and End-Users in a contract
  • Even for the Developer Community
    • To be aware of the challenge of implementing as different and outside their scope
    • To know where to fit their skillsets into the roadmap

Chapter 1 - Knowing the Right Source

  • Why Choose Open Source?
  • The TCO Pyramid
  • War Games Among Players
  • Ways to Evaluate Open Source Products
  • Reading The Source
  • Reading The License

Chapter 2 - Spelling Out Your Business

  • Know Your Priorities and Pains
  • Making Your Wishlist
  • Identifying the Gaps
  • Getting the best fit

Chapter 3 - The Proposal & Selection Stage

  • Issuing the RFP
  • Selecting The Vendor
  • Managing the Contract
  • The Exit Clause

Chapter 3 - Turning The Key

  • Scoping for a phased approach
  • Prototyping and Proof-Of-Concept Approach
  • User Checklist
  • Before Cutting Over

Chapter 4 - Sustenance

  • Disaster Recovery & Other Doomsday Scenarios
  • Return to the Source
  • Why Are Your Options Open?

Open Source ERP Practitioner Course

  • For the newbie community who got infected with the passion of Open Source collaboration
  • For freelance contributors who wants to know how to sustain themselves the consultative way
  • Understanding the various segments who sees different Business Models in sustenance

Chapter 1 - Community Sentence

  • Are You Up To It?
  • What Is The World Up To?
  • Serving The Community
  • Creating A Presence
  • Etiquette & Professional Conduct
  • Making Open Source Your Business

Chapter 2 - Approaching The Buyers

  • Types of Buyers
  • Qualifying a Sale
  • Scoping the Project
  • Terms of Contract
  • Preparing the Team

Chapter 3 - Signing Off

  • Reports on Progress
  • Sign-Off Strategies
  • Managing the Unexpected

Chapter 4 - Training

  • Getting the audience
  • Hands-on Exercise
  • Continous Coaching

Chapter 5 - Support Contract

  • Handing Over Options
  • Negotiating the Support Contract

Chapter 6 - Bad Buyers

  • Why It Happen and How to deal with it?
  • There are no bad buyers but bad sellers
  • Avoiding bad deals
  • Questions to ask back

Project Workshop


Here are samplings from prototype work or client projects. Trademarked and copyright information belonging to the prospects or clients are carefully removed or edited off.

  • Sample Project I - ERP/Dual UOMs - On how to resolve the different Unit of Measurements between Buyer and Seller within an ERP Application.
  • All works here are from original authors and not taken from 3rd party sources
  • The course material and project works are suggestive materials awaiting peer review and not meant for professional consumption
  • Any business practice shown here are generic ones devoid of any practical advantage for any business to adopt against another competitor.
  • In case of the need to clarify any material depicted within here from the commercial or legal aspect please direct them to - Red1 05:49, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

See Also