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ERPNext vs Odoo

I chose ERPNext over odoo because:

  • Free Software with four essential freedoms.
  • Easy upgrades and migration
  • Easy to deploy, backup and restore.
  • Easy Extension & App development with Frappe
  • Simple Custom apps and ERPNext can co-exist even through upgrades and migrations. Using small custom app to extend ERPNext github.com/revant/civil_contracting since v4
  • Awesome Support from Frappe Team and Community. Even free software users get needed support and fixes.
  • Missing feature can be sponsored into the upstream free software
  • Sponsoring user as well as everyone benefits (again, upgrades free with added feature)
  • Affordable for startups and scalable for growing companies: Small companies, especially in India, can now use 100% legal software for standard business purposes and continue to use it as they grow into bigger enterprises without any compromise.

I :heart: Frappe & ERPNext

Note:
I used Sales and CRM modules of openerp 7 for a year, couldn’t upgrade 7 to odoo 8 for free. So stopped using it completely. Exported / Imported Leads and Opportunities from openerp 7 into ERPNext and never looked back to openerp/odoo
Just before posting this I went through odoo 9 Demo site. Odoo now has a Desk like interface!!

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I first was looking only for CRM, but then my “needs” (wants?) expanded to something more like ERP. I struggled with Odoo for nearly 2 months before arriving at (and currently testing) ERPnext. I am very excited about ERPnext and hope that as my company grows we will be able to support ERPnext and help sustain it as a fully open-source project.

Until last week I thought my only choices were Odoo & Bitrix24. But in testing, both of them disappointed me, and here’s why:

Bitrix24:

  • CRM and intranet, not really ERP
  • Pleasant UI
  • Instant deployment
  • Free up to 12 users
  • Many problems with email
  • Lack of customization
  • For ≥13 users, US$100/month

Odoo NEGATIVES:

  • Nightmare to install
  • Resource hog (very CPU/db/RAM hungry)
  • Slow user experience
  • Poor scalability (accommodating more users demands more server resources)
  • Critical problems such as the program sending emails to clients about internal matters without any warning (customers are “partners” and partners by default get an email when updates are made to their account… UNACCEPTABLE)
  • No flat discount (only percentage, and it’s on the item line)
  • Next version (Odoo 9) will have limited features in the community edition
  • Too many mobile apps, none of the free ones worked well enough for me
  • UI is too complex and colors are dull
  • Community support is inconsistent; can be difficult to get an answer
  • Ugly invoices require serious programming to look better
  • “Inbox” functionality makes no sense to me
  • Lead creation from emails

Odoo POSITIVES:

  • Very comprehensive
  • Automated actions — these are powerful and important
  • Free
  • Many third-party addons and a few paid mobile apps
  • Graphs and charts
  • Projects

Here’s why I’m trying ERPnext and my first impressions:

  • Runs super fast compared to Odoo (on VPS)
  • Unbelievably easy install using Bitnami
  • “Just works” so far, out of the box
  • Multiple catch-all email addresses (but having problems, more below)
  • Community seems more supportive and friendly
  • Flat discount
  • Email notification functions appear to work well
  • Nice-looking invoices
  • Letterhead

On the downside:

  • I’m having problems with the mail-to-lead functionality: I have set incoming emails to create an opportunity, and yet the opportunities appear blank. The body of the email, the name, the email address — none of that is there, only the subject line. In PDF print mode, I do get the email address. And if set to forward, I do receive the original message in an email. But not in the web app or mobile app.
  • Automated actions: I don’t see that there’s currently a clear way to do this in ERPnext (for example, upon entering an installation date, automatically schedule a call to set up a maintenance visit in one year and schedule a maintenance deadline)
  • Some of the terms are in Indian English, rather than international English, but this is minor

Features I would love to see in future iterations of ERPnext:

  • In the Android app: popup notifications, option to call a contact via the cellphone from within the app, and CalDAV/CardDAV calendar/contact synching (or is it already an option?)
  • iOS app
  • Webmail integration for email from my domain, so employees never have to leave ERPnext (and with menu options to add leads or project tasks from emails or selected email text)

ERPnext team, please keep up the good work!

Peter

P.S. - Thanks for asking! Makes me like ERPnext even more.

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I really love erpnext ease of install, upgrade, community support and especially it’s web interface that’s utilizing current web standard & technology…but if I can give some suggestions to awesome erpnext team & its community…to not just focus on technology, but also core functionality from business users perspective & accounting standard compliance.

Stock & Accounts module still needs many improvements on the core functionality…

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ERPNext Positives (not in any particular order)-

  1. Easy to Install & Free Updates
  2. Less Resource Intensive. Odoo couldn’t handle the load from within a VPS. Not only being slow, it just hung up often leading to frustrations.
  3. Easy to customize once you understand what is under the hood. Lot of powerful features (raw & extensible) available for developers
  4. Pleasant

ERPNext Areas of Improvement -

  1. Documentation. Lack of Documentation has burnt a lot of hours while customization
  2. Lack of community apps. ERPNext definitely makes up for the lack of community apps with its ease of development, but still community apps are a plus for Odoo.
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I been a provider of Openerp , but switched to ERPNext

Main reason being I like the erpnext community and I believe erpnext will always stay true to opensource and the implication of this philosophy is immense. I truly believe in human to human business and with erpnext i can practice that unlike odoo

The documentation for erpnext is less though

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Thanks @Francois_Ifitwala, @revant_one, @Peter, @jof2jc, @kirthi, @vivek for your comments.

I notice that people love the fact that we are doing things in the open source spirit and also complain documentation is a common problem.

We are doing our best to update it but I also think that the true “open source” spirit is in collaboration. I would love some of those who are building businesses on erpnext to help us build a better erpnext. Fighting a lone battle is hard for us and we would love to get all the help we can (and this in turn will help you!)

We started a documentation project (Help Wanted: Spare 1 hr every week -> Fix the ERPNext Documentation) but on-one seemed to help. I hope that changes soon.

Thanks for the feedback though.

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Odoo Negatives:
Proudly advertises that it includes “Gamification” throughout the product . Personally, Suicide sounds preferable to deploying a Gamified solution. To me its just web2.0 marketing speak for I don’t know anything.

I am finally launching my first ERPNext instance this week :slight_smile: I teach the users on Thursday so big milestone. Then off on family business for 10 days then can contribute to the documentation efforts. Just don’t expect any help with chapters about Gamification.

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@rmehta If the documentation were in a wiki format it would be easier to contribute. And I would like to help.

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@rmetha, I tried to look at the contribution to docs but I am not that much of a developer yet and did not know how so started focusing on learning erpnext first. Would love to contribute if we can get some basic how-tos.

as for contributing code - im learning to use and customise erpnext without tinkering under the hood - I believe that is the way to test the magic of an erp system. Right now I have not got to a point where I need to go beyond custom scripts.

I had a quick squiz at odoo and felt complicated to install, I found erpnext simple to get started, even with a linux learning curve. Although dashboards would be nice or some kind of overview - but then we can do that with the rest api that erpnext provides.

regards
Hemant

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@System19 good luck with your first implementation and hope you have a good vacation :smile:

@Peter, you can contribute via the Wiki and we will implement in the product here is the repo https://github.com/frappe/erpnext/tree/develop/erpnext/docs

@hpema108 Thanks for the feedback :slight_smile: I am surprised that Odoo is such a pain to install.

Just for comparison I checked out how to contribute to odoo user docs, It is also git based. https://github.com/odoo/documentation-user.

I feel ERPNext user docs contribution is simpler than odoo. Editing md files is simple.

For ERPNext developer docs I feel, the existing code is a very comprehensive and raw form of manual.
e.g How to pass a journal entry from your doctype form? checkout code of existing doctype forms passing journal entry!

+1 for ERPNext. This kind of integration with account/finance gives small business better decision making ability. I couldn’t even imagine this on odoo.

We tried to work with Odoo for a year and switched to ERPNext in july because the code is easier to work with and ERPNext is easier to customize.

Also, the communication with ERPNext and the community is much better.

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i reported some issues in github manual

One thing I did like about Odoo is that I can set the system language (for example to Spanish) and then even if the users change their UI language, by default the system will print invoices, quotations and other reports in Spanish. For me that was a plus — default report and UI languages being separate.

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I think instead of comparing & bench-marking with Oddo (which is more or less similar to erpNext …openbravo also belongs to this group), You guys should look ahead. Oddo is in market for 10-12 years and if a product can’t grow to a real ERP in 10-12 years, I don’t think it will ever do so.

If you guys are looking for serious business and good VC then look for below points and have a road-map.

The Basics:

  1. A good chart of account . A single segment account structure is good for companies with less than $1m revenue. Beyond that you need a good accounting structure.
  2. The organization structure (understand how & why it’s done in SAP, Oracle or Peoplesoft)
  3. Single workflow and approval system
  4. Support RFID and EDI.
  5. Better Supplier/Customer structure

Costing Method:
What are the different costing methods available: Standard, Average, LIFO, FIFO
How many cost elements can be used for cost tracking : Material, Over Head, Expense, Labor, Supplier Expense

Planning:
What are the different planning methods available : Kanban, MRP, Min Max, Re Order Point, Anything else

Purchasing:
What kind of purchase order/documents available : Standard, Long Term Blanket, Contract, VMI, Consigned Inventory

Sales :
Which types of business processes can be mapped out of the box : Standard sales, drop ship, Business to Business,

Organization Environment:
In what kind of business environment we can use it : Make to Stock, Assembly to Order, Configure to Order, Kits

Inventory:
What kind of inventory & planning categorization is available : ABC, XYZ,
Inventory accuracy management : Cycle count

Receivable:
All kind of transactions: Invoice, Debit Memo, Credit Memo, Deposit, Guarantee,
Different Type of receipts . Auto applying receipts to invoice

Payable:
Integration with expense . All payment options.

GL:
Consolidation
Intercompany and Intracompany

Project:
You just have a project functionality…but it does nothing…no cost tracking. No revenue generation)

Have a 3-5 years plan…Do some serious work and people will consider your product as an ERP. Till now it’s still a simple business application.

Hope you guys take it positively

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@Inquiry_gbowen Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I think there is no end to the number of features you can add. It depends on how does the community want to take this forward. Currently this is clearly focused towards SMB and not “enterprise”.

The beauty of open source is that people who really feel the need for these features will either build them or pay for them. We hope they will contribute too.

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Depends how you define SMB.
I put all in less than $30-50 m in the SMB category

Most of Oracle and SAP users are big multi billion $ companies ex : GE, Google, Facebook, Emerson all US based companies use Oracle
Where as EU based companies uses such as Siemens, etc uses SAP.

Below that comes second level of ERPs - MFGPro, Microsoft…
Most of the users are $50m to $500m

Below that there are many ERP systems but none of them is actually ERP. I mean the difference is just huge.

So if you guys are looking to trap that market segment $1m to $50m then you have a good chance but you have to come with a good product.

But if plan to be a small player serving companies with revenue in few thousand dollars then I guess you have already achieved that.

For last 2 months I have been researching on ERPs as part of my company project (in fact I had posted something on that in this forum) and this is simply my observation.

You guys have the good base to move up but it 'll depend how you learn and what path you take.

There is always a new company/person joining the race. (In fact there are couple of newer products which are already quite ahead in the game)

Best of luck!

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@Inquiry_gbowen

Thanks for your feedback. We have been around in the industry too for 7+ years. There is a big gap between pure accounting apps like Quickbooks etc v/s an SAP or Oracle. Most apps that cover that this gap, would be ERPs in my view, but of a different variety.

ERP is a very fragmented industry and in the mid to low segment, Sage is the biggest player. but no single player owns more than 15% of the market.

The reason in my view is that even though ERPs are expensive they are not that expensive when you consider all expenses of a company so there is no real incentive to disrupt this market.

IMO you are wrong about the features. The real problem is “selling”. Selling to the $5MM + market would require “Sales” and that implies long cycles of 6 months to a year that will add on cost to the product + require huge investment. And again it becomes a self-defeating game.

We have figured that the only market that is interested is the new age / startup / SMB market that wants control + open source.

You are right in saying its a long painful path staying low. But I guess we are doing good work and having fun and I think everyday the community grows. As long as that keeps happening, we are happy with what we are doing. Even though we may not make as much money immediately.

Have not seen good new entrants in a while. Please indicate who those would be?

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ERPNext +
I think ERPNext is more simpler in looks and understanding.
Easier customisations for people not familiar with coding and programming.

ERPNext -
Manuals are not updated.

Odoo +
-I find the POS module in Odoo pretty good.
-Also E-commerce integrations and hardware integrations in Odoo is better in Odoo.
-Barcodes to identify Product, Packages, Boxes, Pallets, Quantity based barcodes. Overall good for Stock maintaining and stock movement.

I also suggest that we should have better Warehouse Management features and also a better POS Screen.

Also I feel that ERPNext team has be doing good work. But it get much much better.

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Odoo was in the Bossie Award 2015 … not ERPNext :cry: