To be a good entrepreneur or decision maker nowadays, you need to be equiped with the right tools. The world moves so fast that if you don’t want to be lagging behind your competitors, the best is to take the lead. Fortunately, technology evolves in this direction and assists in the creation of powerful software such as free or paid Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. They will help you work faster; and make analyses as well as forecasts on the activities of your company. But wait a second, there are so many! Which one to pick? This is an excellent question as it is not wise to change ERP software all the time. Migrating can take a long time. You must also consider the time factor and the costs that it will involve. Whether you are using free or paid ERP, even if they are in Open Source, many of them will require that you pay for the support and training. And here’s my list of the best free and paid ERP on the market.

Openflex, the best ERP

In my opinion, Openflex is the best candidate at the top of this list of best ERP on the market. I really did not expect to find an ERP that was so easy to use. However, Openflex has only been on the market since 2017, even though it was developed from a framework dating back to 2002. It is therefore fairly recent – but I think this is where lies the secret of its success. It has been able to take into account ERP users’ needs, remarks and criticisms over the last 20 years; in order to finally create something efficient, reliable and above all, who knows how to adapt to its environment (social, economic, legal contexts, and so on).

logo openflex
logo openflex
  • Release date: 2017 (framework since 2002)
  • Latest version: 4.1.3
  • Developed under: PHP
  • Getting started: Very easy
  • Commercial offer: Yes. Purchase by module without subscription
  • Lifetime updates included
  • Mobile application: Yes

The major features of Openflex

Its advantages:

  • Ergonomics very well considered. The workspace is nice and handling is very easy
  • Possible access to Openflex even if the speed of the internet connection is very low
  • Just buy the module once and you can use it for life with support and update offered
  • Support available and very active, even for the free version!
  • High level of security for the data
  • The modules are developed in a vertical approach
  • Available entirely in Cloud. All you need is a web browser, whether on your PC, tablet or smartphone

Its disadvantages:

  • There are still only 25 modules available for sale. However, these modules will be good enough for most companies

My recommendations

If Openflex tempts you, start by mastering it from now on. Thus, your company will evolve along with your ERP.

Do not hesitate to contact them for tailor-made solutions as well. The possibility to pay in local currency opens up more opportunities for entrepreneurs. Openflex is able to create features and modules based on your specific needs.

Although it works in Cloud, you will not have to pay any subscription to use Openflex! You will just pay once for all the modules you need (their future updates are free).

iDempiere

iDempiere is a free ERP from Adempiere – to which has been added the OSGi technology. According to me, it’s one of the best free open source ERP I’ve tested in recent weeks. In addition, it is incredibly complete.

iDempiere logo, free ERP
  • Release date: 2012
  • Latest version: 5.1
  • Developed as: Java
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Getting started: Easy
  • Commercial offer: No
  • Mobile application: Yes

The main features of iDempiere

  • Financial compatibility
  • Commercial Management (CRM)
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): Supply, Stock, Manufacturing, Delivery Order
  • Human Resources Management (HRM)
  • Decision Support Tool (KPI)
idempiere screenshot
idempiere screenshot

Its advantages:

  • The source codes of this free ERP are completely free
  • The demo version allows you to see very clearly all that iDempiere can do
  • Good ergonomics. Simple and pleasant environment
  • A community in strong progression and very active especially in support
  • Daily updates

Its disadvantages:

  • For those who have never used a free ERP in their life, it takes some time to understand. That said, once you get how it works, you will see its usefulness
  • The embedded languages ​​are limited. There is only English, Spanish and German. For more options, you need to install the language pack manually
Screenshot iDempiere

My recommendations

  • For the implementation of iDempiere, it is highly recommended to hire a consultant or a specialised company
  • You can test iDempiere here
  • And to download this free ERP, click here
xTuple logo

Xtuple

Xtuple is one of the most popular free ERPs at the moment, although it has been around for quite some time. It has taken advantage of its past experiences to adapt to the needs of its users. In the end, this has led to a very flexible, customisable product that easily follows the entire workflow set up within a company or organisation.

  • Release date: 2001
  • Latest version of the free ERP: 4.11.2
  • Developed as: C ++
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Getting started: Easy
  • Commercial offer: Yes. Subscription ranging from $ 45 to $ 150 monthly as from 5 users
  • Mobile application: Yes

The major features of Xtuple

  • Full Accounting Management
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • API
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): supply, stock, manufacturing, delivery Order
  • Management of e-Commerce
Xtuple screenshot
Xtuple screenshot

Its advantages:

  • Xtuple PostBooks is an ERP that’s accessible free of charge if there are no more than 4 users. That said, with a commercial license, the user can benefit from more functions
  • A very complete ERP software, even for the free version
  • The community working or contributing to the Xtuple PostBooks project is very active. It is an undeniable support for free ERP
  • The embedded languages ​​are numerous
  • Xtuple covers a wide field of activities. It can be used by a small business, as much as a nonprofit organisation or NGO

Its disadvantages:

  • There is no demo online. You need to download Xtuple, install it on your computer or the internal server before trying it.
  • For those who prefer to install the free ERP software instead of using the Cloud version, it is best to refer to an expert or technical support.
xtuple, a fre ERP
xtuple, a fre ERP

My recommendations

  • Evaluate your needs because up to 4 users, Xtuple stays a free ERP.
  • The rates page is really nice. This allows you to calculate what the company really needs.
  • You can test Xtuple here
  • And to download it, click here

ERPnext: the Next Generation Free ERP

ERPnext is an incredibly all-inclusive open source Management software that has gained notoriety in recent years. There is no license to buy; but for hosting and support, you need an annual subscription.

Erpnext, a free ERP
Erpnext, a free ERP
  • Release date of this free ERP: 2008
  • Latest version: 10.0.7
  • Developed as: Python and Javascript
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Getting started: Easy
  • Commercial offer: Yes. Prices vary – depending on the number of users – ranging from $ 299 to $ 10,000 per year.
  • Mobile application: Yes

The major features of ERPnext

  • Vertical modules
  •  Point of sale Management
  •  Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  •  Supply Chain Management (SCM): supply, stock, manufacturing, order deliveries
  •  Project Management
  •  Human Resources Management (HRM)

Its advantages:

  • A very complete free ERP
  •  An appealing and sleek design, at least, on the trial version
  •  The cost of the subscription is interesting from 4 users (about 75 $ per user) compared to other ERP in this ranking
  •  Very easy to update
  •  Adapts itself to different structures thanks to its verticality policy ranging from retail trade, through health organizations, NGOs, schools, farmers…
  •  Currently, it is run by a foundation and not a commercial enterprise. There is therefore a willingness from publishers to maintain the Open Source application

Its disadvantages:

  • Honestly, I struggled to find any because I mostly studied the trial version. But picking up on the most repetitive remarks made by other users, it seems that in its current version, ERPnext is better suited to SMEs and entrepreneurs, but not to large structures with broad ramifications
  • The free ERP demo is only available for 30 days and many features have been disabled

My recommendations

  • It seems that EPRnext’s free ERP is very popular especially in English-speaking countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Australia and Canada. If you want to set up your business and grow in these areas, it is best to familiarize yourself with this tool right now
  • By going on the ERPnext demo page, we will ask you first to choose a subscription formula. Do not focus on prices, focus instead on the number of users
  • The more users you have, the more ERPnext will be cheaper for you. That said, as ERPnext is more suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, I’m not sure if the savings would be noticeable
  • You can test ERPnext here
  • And to download it, click here

WebERP

WebERP is one of the first free ERP to have adopted Cloud computing since its launch in 2003. It is clear that it is a free application that knows how to get ahead of its competitors. In 15 years of existence, it has seduced millions of users around the world by its practicality and usability.

webERP logo, a free ERP
webERP logo, a free ERP
  • Release date: 2003
  • Latest version: 4.14.1
  • Developed under: PHP
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Getting started with the free ERP: Very easy
  • Commercial offer: No
  • Mobile application: No. But it is possible to add a few lines of code to allow a better view on a tablet or smartphone (responsive design)

The major features of WebERP

  • Sales Management and Orders
  •  Warehouse and inventory Management
  •  Invoice Management
  •  Procurement Management
  •  Management of suppliers
  •  Accounting treatment
  •  Management of the manufacturing process
webERP, screenshot
webERP, screenshot

Its advantages:

  • It is a free ERP that uses very little internet connection
  • Very fast in loading time
  • By default, the demo is in English, but it is available in about thirty languages. To change it, simply modify the user profile. It is even possible to change the language for each user who uses the free program in the same company
  • The version of the free ERP to download is very light, barely 30 MB
  • Since it was developed under PHP, the codes are quite easy to modify. Even if you do not know how to do it, you will have no trouble finding a developer
  • Highly secure data especially with regard to user access

Its disadvantages:

  • The interface of this free ERP is really too simple. But this is understandable – given that the initial goal of the project is to provide a program that does not consume bandwidth and that’s easy to load
  • I think I would have put this program first if there were modules for customer and staff Management. That said, you can still integrate modules of the same kind developed by other publishers. Do not panic, there are some that are also free and developed under PHP for better integration
webERP, screenshot
webERP, screenshot

My recommendations

  • If you are dealing in wholesale or large distributions, WebERP is a perfect free ERP for you. It is also suitable for retail, especially for companies that have many outlets
  • It is more suitable for small and medium enterprises, even if WebERP is a free ERP flexible enough to integrate a larger structure
  • You can test WebERP here
  • And to download it, click here

EasyERP: a good start for beginners

EasyERP is a free and complete enterprise management software package. Recently arrived on the market, this free ERP has already managed to attract thousands of users around the world thanks to its flexibility especially in terms of customization. For those looking for their first free ERP, it’s a great choice.

easyERP logo, a free ERP
easyERP logo, a free ERP
  • Release date: 2014
  • Latest version: 1.0
  • Developed as: Node.js and MongoDB
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Getting started: Easy
  • Commercial offer: Yes. For Software as a Service (SaaS) version: $ 75 per user / month. Support requires a subscription of $ 12 / per user / month.
  • Mobile application: Yes

The main features of EasyERP

  • Point of sale management
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): supply, stock, manufacturing, order deliveries
  • Project management
  • Human Resources Management (HR)

Its advantages:

  • The interface and ergonomics of this free ERP are very pleasant
  • Very easy to customize. Moreover, it is possible to order customized modules from the publisher
  • At the moment, EasyERP is not saturated with modules. It is therefore perfect for those who are using an ERP for the first time, especially small structures. Thus, they will see their companies evolve with their free ERP
  • The paid version is mainly reserved for people and companies that need close support or customize their modules. But even those who use the free version will find on the website a very useful support page.

Its disadvantages:

  • EasyERP is a free ERP still very young. It is not as complete as the mastodons that have existed for years. That said, it is a relative least since in the current state, it is already doing everything that is expected of an ERP
  • In some countries, developers specialized in Node.js and MongoDB are rare – even though the programming languages are ​​based on C, C ++ and JavaScript
  • Supported countries are still limited. It’s more in Europe, America and Australia
  • This free ERP is not very practical for a low speed internet connection

My recommendations

  • It is better to have a good internet connection. A nice interface usually means a little more loading time, even if the development languages ​​allow to have something fast
  • I recognize that EasyERP is rather young since it only arrived on the market in 2013. But it seems to take advantage of the errors of course of the other free ERP much older… This allowed him to impose quickly and in no time. It’s really a free ERP to follow closely
  • Evaluate the many users especially for the Software as a Service (SaaS) version. The more users there are, the lower the price
  • And to download it, click here

Dolibarr: a free, reliable ERP

Dolibarr is one of the most used free ERP in the world. With this package, everything is really at your fingertips. Dolibarr’s main advantage resides in its easy handling. Even if you have never used an ERP, you quickly understand what you have to do.

Dolibarr, a free, reliable ERP
Dolibarr, a free, reliable ERP
  • Release date: September 2003
  • Latest version: 6.0.4
  • Free ERP developed under: PHP and MySQL
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Getting started: Very easy
  • Commercial offer: Yes. It is necessary to pay 9 € monthly /per user for the Basic offer and 30 € monthly / per user + 12 € / monthly / per user for the Premium offer
  • Mobile application: Yes

The major features of Dolibarr

  • Point of sale Management
  •  Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  •  Supply Chain Management (SCM): supply, stock, manufacturing, order deliveries
  •  Project Management
  •  Human Resources Management (HRM)
dolibar screenshot
dolibar screenshot

Its advantages:

  • Very easy handling
  • The ergonomics of this free ERP is nice especially with all the modules to try contained in the menu bar at the top
  • Available in forty languages
  • It is a free ERP that adapts to different types of structures ranging from mass distribution, through public administration to non-profit organizations
  • Regardless of the version installed, once updated, you are entitled to the latest version
  • For the free version, there is a very active community

Its disadvantages:

  • Although Dolibarr has an open source license, to benefit from a stable version and a good support, the paid option is much more interesting
  • Many interesting modules are unfortunately paying. They are available on his Dolistore sales website
  • There is no custom or role-based dashboard
  • For a free ERP of such a high profile, it would be nice if it could also be categorized among the SCM. But this is not yet the case

My recommendations

  • It is advisable to try Dolibarr in some quiet. And thankfully, it is possible to do it for free for 15 days with all these features in full after making a registration. For those who just want to check it out, there is the all-public version. Everyone can access and edit it. So it’s not very interesting if you want to enter data
  • You can test the free Dolibarr ERP here
  • And to download it, it’s here

Apache Ofbiz

Apache Ofbiz is perfect for those who dream of freedom. It’s a completely free ERP and everything can be personalized.

Logo Ofbiz, ERP gratuit
Apache Ofbiz, a free ERP

Release date: 2010
Latest version: 16.11.04
Developed as: Java
On-site installation: Yes
Getting started with this free ERP: Medium
Commercial offer: No
Mobile application: No

The main features of Apache Ofbiz

  • Accounting Management
  • Sales and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Management of e-Commerce
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): supply, stock, manufacturing, order deliveries
  • Human Resources Management (HRM)
  • Point of Sale Management (POS)
  • Project management

Its advantages:

  • A demo page of the free ERP really exhaustive
  • Free ERP that can be suitable for any type of structure or company, even large multinationals
  • There are two types of demos: one for everything that is visible to customers, including the website or the online store and another (frontend) for everything internal to the company such as Accounting, stock, Human Resources … in the backend
  • Apache Ofbiz is run by a foundation and supported by a very active community especially in their contributions and support

Its disadvantages:

  • It takes a bit of practice to get a handle on the ERP software. You will need to have a few hours in front of you to understand it.
  • It is recommended, for the first use, to be guided by a person who knows how to handle Ofbiz
  • Ergonomics is lacking. At first glance, I wondered where to look. There are so many modules in this free ERP that I was a little lost.

My recommendations

  • I do not know if the language that appears by default in the free ERP demo is random or not. For my part, I came across some Chinese when I tested the Backend Management. I advise you to use a browser with an integrated automatic translator like Google Chrome for example to do the test
  • If you master this free software, it will meet all your needs. I do not think that you will need to change ERP even if your SME becomes a huge structure later. You can make it evolve perfectly with your company
  • You can try Apache Ofbiz here
  • And to download it, it’s here

Odoo

Odoo is probably the free ERP that has evolved the fastest among the software in its category. It owes it to the fact that all its codes until its 8th version were entirely free of access. Today, Odoo works with two faces: a commercial version and a community version.

Odoo logo, a free and complete ERP
  • Release date: February 2005 under the name Tiny ERP (Odoo since 2014)
  • Latest version: 11.0
  • Developed as: Python, JavaScript, XML
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Getting started: Average
  • Commercial offer: Yes. $ 8 per month for online plans and $ 8 per month but payable annually.
  • Mobile application: Yes

The major features of Odoo

  • Management of e-Commerce
  • Accounting and financial management
  • Sales Management and CRM
  • Project management
  • Human Resource Management (HRM)

Its advantages:

  • A free ERP very complete in the modules they offer thanks to the contribution of the community. It’s Odoo’s strength
  • Easy to use, but takes a little time to get used to
  • Purified but nice interface
  • Easy to take in hand thanks to small bubbles/pop-ups that show what to do in the beginning
  • For micro-businesses, version 8 is more than enough
  • Compare to other free ERP, Odoo remains very interesting in terms of price

Its disadvantages:

  • The documentation on the official website is in English. To go faster, use a browser like Google Chrome – for example – that allows you to translate instantly
  • The community version of this free ERP is too restricted. Most of the interesting modules are mostly available on Odoo Enterprise, which is not a free ERP
  • Maneuvering it that takes a little time. I’ve noted in my research that millions of people use Odoo. It is true that thanks to its modules and small animations at the very beginning, it is much clearer. Without that, I know I will be easily lost. I think that for an entrepreneur who works alone with a small business, we must think carefully before using it especially if he wants to install it on his own server

My recommendations

  • I advise you to first try the Demo version of Odoo online. This will give you a very good overview of what is waiting for you particularly because you can access 46 modules. Be careful not to let yourself go. This is a demo. The trial version is only accessible for 15 days for extra modules and every 4 hours, the database is reset
  • There is now too much difference between Odoo-Community and Odoo-Entreprise. If it is for long-term use especially for basic Management tools such as CRM, Sales Management, Accounting and Finance, Commercial Version is clearly recommended for better stability

Openbravo

Openbravo is one of the rare free ERP in this ranking that has, from the beginning, been developed for commercial purposes while remaining an open source. This enabled it to have a very healthy development environment. The software is based on the Mozilla Public License (MPL) in order to give users maximum leeway.

Openbravo logo, free ERP
  • Release date: 2005 under the name of Tecnicia
  • Latest version of the free ERP: 3
  • Developed under: Java based on Compiere
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Commercial offer: Yes
  • Getting started: Easy
  • Commercial offer: Yes with two products: Openbravo Commerce and Openbravo Cloud
  • Mobile application: Yes (but in commercial offers)

The major features of Openbravo

  • Vertical solutions
  • Accounting Management
  • Customer Relationship Management and Wind (CRM)
  • Management of e-Commerce
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): supply, stock, manufacturing, order deliveries
  • Human Resources Management (HRM)
  • Point of Sale Management (POS)
  • Project management
Capture d'écran Openbravo
Openbravo screenshot

Its advantages:

  • The menu of this free ERP is well managed. Everything is perfectly tidy, well categorized. This also allows those entrepreneurs who are a bit forgetful to properly locate each branch of his business
  • The ergonomics of the site is also very pleasant
  • Ideal for retail sales. But Openbravo’s verticality policy makes it possible to offer companies operating, for instance, in the field of agriculture, clothing, sports or even beauty to have the ERP that suits them perfectly
  • The possibility of integrating other modules under the license
  • It adapts well to its socio-economic environment. For the French for example, it POS has been updated to match the 2018 laws regulating finance in their country
  • The presence of a community that brings rapid development to the program

Its disadvantages:

  • The community version that’s free is unfortunately too limited in its functionality
  • The subscription price is a little high compared to other ERP in this category. By doing a small calculation, the Enterprise Cloud version is the most profitable provided that there is more than one user. That’s $ 156 / user / month.
  • You must fill out a form to access the demo version
Capture d'écran Openbravo
Openbravo screenshot

My recommendations

  • Openbravo is more suitable for small businesses and SMEs
  • If you do not know much about programming, I am telling honestly, still take a close at the paid version. I have seen very few negative comments from users, except perhaps in terms of colours
  • That said, the paid version is really not interesting if there are less than twenty users at least
  • You can download it here

Adempiere

ADempiere is a true legend in terms of free ERP; especially since its creation did not go unnoticed. It was born of a conflict among those who participated in the development of Compiere. At present, ADempiere is a project that depends a lot on its community.

  • Release date: 2006
  • Latest version: 3.9.0
  • Developed as: Java
  • On-site installation: Yes
  • Getting started: Average
  • Commercial offer: No
  • Mobile application: No

The main features of Adempierre

  • Accounting Management
  • Project management
  • Customer Relationship Management and Wind (CRM)
  • Management of e-Commerce
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): supply, stock, manufacturing, order deliveries
  • Human Resources Management (HRM)
  • Point of Sale Management (POS)
  • Migration management

Its advantages:

  • The existence of a council of contributors. This prevents the project from drifting and keeps it on the right trajectory
  • It is a fairly flexible free ERP. It is suitable for any structure, even a large structure making for example more than $ 500 million turnover

Its disadvantages:

  • You really have to take your time to get started
  • There are only a dozen languages ​​pre-installed in this free ERP. For example, for French, you will have to download the language pack and install it manually
Capture d'écran ADempiere
Adempierre screenshot

My recommendations

  • Frankly, if this is the first time in your life that you are using a free ERP and you are looking for something simple, I don’t know if you should start with this one. It’ll take a little while or ask some effort from you to master it, especially at the beginning. That said, Adempiere enjoys a very active community and has gained a very good reputation over the past 12 years
  • You can test ADempiere here
  • And to download it, it’s here

We talk a lot about it … but what is an ERP?

Before making this top list of best free or paid ERP, I was mostly looking for my first ERP. I wanted something that was easy to use, free or paid, convenient and functional. If you’re now in the same situation as me, this list of efficient ERP is for you. That said, an ERP is like any tool. Saying that a free or paid ERP is better than another will also depend on your needs, your means and what you want to do with your software. I still recognize that there is really bad ERP: poorly done, poorly programmed, too difficult to use, not operational, too expensive… in short, useless!

Free ERP

ERP is the abbreviation for Enterprise Resource Planning. An equivalent expression exists in French – as PGI, but apparently, the expression does not seem to be very catchy. For the past ten years, the number of users and publishers has exploded. However, programs (currently the equivalent of a module) have already been developed in the 60s. But it is from the 90s that more comprehensive ERP appeared on the market.

With the evolution of computer languages, the fact that there are more developers or contributors and that publishers currently have some experience, free and paid ERP have finally found their place with a wide audience. The popularization of computers, mobile devices and internet access also contributed to the growth of the ERP.

You should know that a free or paid ERP does not really make sense if it does not allow remote access and the creation of a network to allow information to circulate. Currently, the trend is also Open Source ERP, with a mobile application and having adopted a policy of verticality (developed according to a specific job).

If a program is to be considered an ERP, it must:

  • to collect all the information the company needs to function properly
  • be composed of several modules manufactured by the same entity (community, people, companies, publisher…)
  • have at least two modules that interact: that is, if you work on one, it must change the data in the other module at the same time. In the end, there will be only one database regardless of the module on which the information was entered or on which it will be consulted. It should be noted that in a good free ERP, the modules must be installed one by one to allow maximum freedom to its user
  • enable real-time monitoring of activities

Shared features between free and paid ERP

It is true that a free ERP is more synonymous with Open Source, even if it is not necessarily the case. For example, there are ERP companies that offer their products for free to a number of users. But especially for Open Source, this means that a user can access the source code, even if sometimes you have to buy a license first. They are then free to change the codes as they see fit to make this free ERP more compatible with their activity.

Most open source ERPs work in Cloud. The data is not stored on the user’s computer, but in external servers. It can be accessed via a browser and an internet connection. This is very convenient and economical because the risk of losing data, caused by hardware failure, is limited. Using Cloud computing also makes it easy to update the ERP. It can be done automatically.

As far as updates are concerned, they can go very quickly. This is understandable because behind an Open Source program, there is always a community that makes a valuable contribution. It is a factor of rapid development because there is no limit to the number of contributors and their contributions are mostly free.

See also our article: Free and Paid CRM Software: Basic Customer Management Solutions

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