The various relationships can be confusing. Even for long-time users. Here’s my view of the ecosystem. Apologies in advance if I’m incorrect about specifics, or don’t know the latest situation.
- Rushabh Mehta started writing ERPNext in 2006.
- In 2008, he started a for-profit company: FRAPPE Technologies Pvt. Ltd., headquartered in Mumbai.
- Most of the project maintainers on GitHub (ERPNext Maintainers) are employees at Frappe Technologies. This is not a requirement or rule. It’s just the current reality.
Frappe Technologies owns many different commercial websites:
frappe.io, which lists many of Frappe’s products, including ERPNext.
erpnext.com. One purpose of this site is to market Frappe’s Cloud Hosting of ERPNext.
frappecloud.com. Another site advertising cloud hosting, kind of like erpnext.com.
- One of those pages is the marketplace that Raffael mentioned. I don’t know anything about that.
frappeframework.com : This website is purely educational. It documents information about the ERPNext framework. Somewhat confusingly, that framework is officially named “Frappe” (https://github.com/frappe/frappe). When we write, it’s important to explicitly say “Frappe Framework” to distinguish the software, versus the company named Frappe Technologies.
FOSS United was created in 2020. This non-profit does not specifically target ERPNext. It does many things. However, ERPNext is certainly something FOSS United cares about. According to their website, FOSS United is:
…a joint collaboration between the teams at Frappe, the publisher of ERPNext, one of the largest FOSS projects out of India, and Zerodha, India’s largest stock broker and a fintech company.
ERPNext.org is an Inactive organization…
Historically, there was an ERPNext Foundation. It’s not active anymore. However as of today (January 2021) the website is still accessible (https://erpnext.org/). The Foundation was replaced (sort of, kind of) by the new FOSS United.
…but the Jobs page is an exception!
Even though erpnext.org is defunct, is has a very active page:
Many people go there to find/post ERPNext jobs for freelancers.
Official ERPNext Documentation
This is a somewhat confusing topic:
https://docs.erpnext.com : This is the oldest source of documentation. It’s part of erpnext.com, which is Frappe’s commercial website.
Now, because ERPNext is open-source, one might expect the documentation to reside on a non-profit website. And it kind of does on the site below…
https://wiki.erpnext.org: A team of ERPNext enthusiasts in Germany created a special Confluence website just for ERPNext documentation. Some people adopted it, and regularly use it. Others still work on erpnext.com
Both sites above have contributed and leveraged some GitHub repositories:
Most people in the community end up visiting all 3 sites. Not to mention, this forum (discuss.erpnext.com) could be considered a source of “documentation.” Some answers to questions can only be found by searching threads here.
Last I knew, there was an active ERPNext Chapter in Germany. They even hosted a conference in 2019. @rmeyer would be a person who knows the current situation.
Here in North America, I know several ERPNext enthusiasts, developers, users, and consultants. But we don’t have a large, unifying organization. There were discussions about local chapters a few years ago, but nothing much came of that. I’m sure there are small meetings in local geographies.
I know dozens of ERPNext enthusiasts in Africa, South America, and southwest Asia. But I do not know if they are operating User Groups or local Chapters.
As we begin 2021, ERPNext remains mostly controlled and guided by Rushabh and Frappe Technologies. They are the custodians of the code. They maintain most of the well-known ERPNext websites, including this Discuss forum. As a for-profit company, they host the largest ERPNext cloud platform.
The above has its advantages, and disadvantages, depending on our point of view. Also, with the new FOSS United, I anticipate that sponsors like Zerodha will have a strong influence on the product’s direction. How that manifests itself, remains to be seen.
The code has always been Open Source. I’m confident it will remain so, at least for many years. At this time, I don’t see a compelling reason for Frappe Technologies to convert to an Open Core model.
I could be wrong. It’s possible that Elon Musk’s SpaceX constructs a space ship. And that the entire Frappe team volunteers as colonists, and transfers ERPNext to a new, Martian GitHub!
If that happens, ERPNext will still be okay. We’ll grab the code from our laptops, and put back on GitHub Earth. Fork the project, find maintainers, and move forward. Sure, it won’t be ideal. There would be service interruptions while the new fork starts up.
But thanks to open-source, ERPNext can never truly disappear.