If you were to abandon ERPNext, what would be the reason?

I’m just looking at Frappe/ERPNext to decide whether it’s a good fit for company I’m working at. If it is, we would create a Frapp app, and maybe migrate some corporate services to ERPNext.

I know choosing any software is a commitment, bc often you just can’t afford to scrap your investment into the deployment, if the product you’ve bought is not perfect but works “just enough”. So my question is to those who either are abandoning Frappe/ERPNext or would have do so, if it wasn’t for budget constraints.

What are the cons of Frappe/ERPNext that would make you want to abandon it.

Sorry if my post sounds provocative, but I hear all the pros of ERPNext so I’d like to hear some cons from the actual users.

Thank you!

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I’m not a user of ERPNext, but I implement ERPNext. Why would an organization abandon ERPNext and move to another ERP?

Let’s assume you had a reasonably successful implementation.

  1. Your organization needs complex scheduling and production planning and you don’t have the patience to get that developed on ERPNext. Or you find it too risky.
  2. Your organization is growing superfast and suddenly you are confronting users in the Tens of Thousands. While ERPNext is unlikely to be more expensive to run and operate, you may notice performance issues . Or you may find that the functionality that you need is not available on ERPNext.
  3. You find that ERPNext is not very stable - too many updates. Not running updates is risky. But running updates changes things and you have to manage users.
  4. ERPNext stops being open source. Or becomes less open source. It’s possible if Frappe Technologies (the company behind ERPNext) gets funded astronomically. While the funding is very likely, the funding resulting in ERPNext moving away from being open source or being less open source is unlikely though, as Frappe is strongly committed to remaining open source.
  5. You have made too many customizations and it’s turning out to be a problem maintaining those customizations. You need those customizations and you find another ERP that has all the things you need in the core product.
  6. There is a serious security issue or vulnerability that’s discovered with ERPNext and Frappe and the Community is taking too much time fixing it.
  7. Another open source ERP eclipses ERPNext’s success and people start migrating to the other open source ERP making ERPNext a declining open source project

Those are the reasons I can think of. I am sure there are others.

Unlikely that you will have to move out of ERPNext though. ERPNext has outpaced other ERPs many times over and continues to grow from strength to strength.

Make a commitment. I’m sure we will all, as a community, face one or more of the above (or the other risks I’ve failed to capture here), but if we stay committed and help the community overcome these risks, it will serve all of us and the world ver well.

Hope that helps.

Thanks

Jay

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I’ve been developing in ERPNext for almost a year, and my principal complaint is the sub-par quality. Bugs, bugs, bugs… Just take a look at the quantity of fixes vs features on each releases… Being free was a convincing factor in my initial decision, but I realize the amount of time I spent to investigate issues is insane and worth so much $…I would gladly pay to get more reliable software and answers to my questions. I’m glad to have my own fork to be able to fix issues myself, and I am having hard time understand how can someone run a vanilla erpnext on a real production environment.
So reading what I wrote I’m being quite salty here, hopefully things will improve, but I’m still unsure erpnext was the best decision.

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Salty indeed… I like that they address issues quickly with fixes. I also like how transparent it is.

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Reasons to abandon

  • If the person in charge leaves. Things may start over again.
  • Mismatch in expectation from ERPNext or expectation from customization.
  • Scale issues: Understand how many entries for documents you will be making and how many users will make them. Try them out if possible. During testing users generally make few entries, suddenly expecting million entries to be done in production is not correct. Test million entries if they are needed before going live in production.
  • Security? If you are going to do an audit, who is going to fix issues if found in audit?
  • Legal compliance? Same as security audit. Who will fix legal issues if any?
  • Free and Open source software perception with your stakeholders?
  • Enterprise politics

If you are hooked to Frappe framework once, I don’t think you’ll abandon it. If you’re a web app developer, Frappe framework is awesome!

Any other framework that does everything Frappe framework does, doesn’t exist at this moment. If it exists it’ll be just as “complex”, “rigid” and “stable”.

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You mean unstable here?

I think that 90% of bad experiences come from misunderstanding what Frappe/ERPNext is (and what it isn’t).

The people who have the best experiences, I think, understand Frappe/ERPNext as a framework. Specifically, it’s a framework for building transactional document-based applications. Compared to other equivalently complex frameworks out there, I would argue that Frappe scores extremely well on stability, flexibility, design, and documentation.

The people who have the worst experiences, I think, come in hoping for a free version of QuickBooks or SalesForce. They want a UX-optimized group of applications ready for immediate deployment to complex organizations. ERPNext has some strengths, but the doctypes are of inconsistent quality. Some of the modules were designed and tested for particular organizational workflows, and they don’t always adapt very well to other structures.

If you’re looking for a framework, I don’t think anything comes even close to Frappe. If you’re looking for something ready to go out of the box, ERPNext might be a good fit, but commercial offerings will typically be a bit more polished for specific workflows.

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Why I would abandon ERPNext ?

  1. For starters, this forum is not so responsive. There are many unanswered questions and you might be stuck with little knowledge with no help.

  2. Limited Skilled Manpower: Frappe and ERPNext are taking a growth but still, it is difficult to find proper developers who can get your work done, whenever you’d want. There might be no such developers in your locality. [You could hire someone over the internet though.]

  3. Too many features that you might not need. It’d be better if ERPNext would come with an option to install only the required dependencies. For ex. I would not need a Hospital Domain (with patients, and other records) if my domain is manufacturing/services, etc.

  4. Troublesome to update, keep track of customization, take care of VPS, etc. And yes, a lot of bugs that sometimes get into your nerves. Couple this with lesser responsive forum and this will be a nightmare.

  5. Documentation: I understand this is a growing forum and growing industry. But, still, lack of enough documentations would be another reason for me. Sometimes you can get no help at all.

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Interesting topic. I think the main reason (that superseeds all other reasons) is that I want free services.

Every “reason” (security, stability, scalability, custom development) be easily overcome by paying some experts (I am not saying Frappe, but anyone competent from the community).

If you come with reasonable expectations that software is free, service is not, then you will probably find few legit reasons to abandon.

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I would gladly pay to get more reliable software and answers to my questions

What’s wrong with the Product Warranty? Is it too expensive?

Of course, but then we should compare price/quality with competing ERP products and ERPNext might or might not be the better choice.

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Thank you for this answer. I just want to contest this paragraph:

The people who have the worst experiences, I think, come in hoping for a free version of QuickBooks or SalesForce…

It seems to me that ERPNext is marketed as a free version of SAP. I like the idea of Frappe as a solid framework, but it says it comes with batteries included, and now it looks like those batteries might explode :wink:

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Sadly, I agree with you on this point. Strictly in terms of “ERP”, the marketing and hype definitely exceeds the reality.

Perhaps that gap will close someday; we’ll have to wait and see.

As a framework though, I agree with Peter. There’s nothing better that’s free and open source.

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If you need immediate help, you can pay someone to help you. This forum is based on unpaid, voluntary contributions. Although I agree that it might be hard to find someone skilled and available.

With version 14 this is happening. Integrations, localizations and special domains get extracted into separate apps.

You can use paid hosting services if self-hosting is too much trouble.

Unsurprisingly, many of our problems go away when you hire experts to solve them. As Rushabh wrote:

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By my count there are 40 discussion threads, across multiple conversations that have been updated in the last 24hrs alone. I don’t feel the forum is not responsive.

Now being Open Source, it may be you haven’t received the reply to the question / problem you hoped to and I understand how frustrating that can be as it’s happen to me many times. But Frappe do have paid support services should you decide the issue is important enough or urgent enough to justify paying for it.

There are also a lot of people providing free support on the forum, purely because they like and support Frappe / ERPNext.

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This is exactly the distinction I was talking about. Frappe, the framework, is unambiguously “batteries included”. It comes with a scope of robust functionality vastly beyond any other framework I’ve seen. I’m not by any means an expert in SAP/Dynamics/etc, but in my limited experience at least Frappe tends to be significantly more extensible, more semantic, and more developer-friendly.

The pre-fab doctypes that come with ERPNext have generally worked very well for my organization’s needs (with a bit of tinkering), but your mileage may vary. To say that they “explode” is a bit dramatic. I’ve never encountered a problem that I haven’t been able to fix. If you’re able to put some resources towards your use-case, there’s always a solution. I think that’s exactly the value proposition that Rushabh is describing.

If you can get what you need better and cheaper with HubSpot, you should go with that. In my organization’s case, we’ve been able to do some very cool things with a small (but not zero) development budget. That’s what I love about the framework.

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This is an issue with a lot of Open Source projects, not just Frappe / ERPNext.

Two years ago, I went to a presentation by a company around deploying SAP. They wouldn’t look at any project with an implementation project cost below £1,000,000 (that was without ongoing licencing, support etc). Now I’m sure you can get it cheaper elsewhere but that was their pricing model. But with the “Big Boy” ERP systems, the expectation is that you will pay in both time and money for implementation and customisation. No ERP works out the box for an organisation.

But because Open Source software is “Free” - people expect the experience of a multi-million pound project / product without paying anything. As was said earlier, only the software is free, there still has to be investment of time or money (or both) in deploying the system and customising it to the requirements of the business concerned.

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Truer words could not be spoken :smile:

I have a family member that is the SAP guru for a worldwide fortune 50 company. His life is dedicated to keeping it on track, managing the training for updates, overseeing expansion implementations in new facilities, and “most importantly” managing expectations !!

Even the biggest of the systems cannot ever fully meet the expectations of the client site and this is just a prevalent in SAP as it is in ERPNext or any other business management system. You still have to pay the monthly or annual licensing fees even though you also have to maintain your own staff of “gurus” to keep it all running smoothly.

Knowing first hand that even the big commercial systems require constant work and money, it MUST also be assumed you will have to put the same effort and funding (minus license fees) into keeping a Frappe/ERPNext system in place for your business.

The only reason I could ever think of to leave ERPNext would be if my organization were to outgrow it’s abilities.

Now, if you are looking to adopt ERPNext as your business management system, you really have to invest the time to set it up for your chosen business model and test it well.

Right now I do not use ERPNext for locations with complex manufacturing workflows. However, the manufacturing module is getting better all the time and maybe in the next version I can try again. But from a purchasing, distribution and fulfillment perspective I cannot imagine looking anywhere else right now.

The thing missing from the question that started this thread, is the understanding of what it actually takes to start up ANY business management system and apply it to your special business model. That kind of work takes a special kind of skill set that can be learned, but not quickly.

You would be best served to hire an implementation specialist that has the experience in setting up businesses like yours on business management software.

Just because it is free…
Just because you know how to connect to the internet…
Just because you may have created an online database at one time…
Just because you can maintain a website…

… does not necessarily mean that you can just make this stuff work for you.

BKM

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To add my own emphasis on what Kieran said: these online forums are a volunteer-only convenience.

  • No one is paid to answer questions here.
  • No one has any obligation to even open and read them.

Some people choose to participate, and offer some time/knowledge, for their own reasons.

Yes, certainly it would be nice to see more answers given. Or better-quality questions asked. Or if perhaps, overall, there were fewer confused or stuck users.

But that is no one’s responsibility: not yours, or mine, or Frappe Technologies, or anyone else.

We’re all given choices:

  • To use this free and open source software. Or don’t use it.
  • Try to contribute back (code, forums, chat rooms, blogs). Or don’t.

We are also free to voice our concerns and complaints (within reason, per the Code of Conduct).

But if anyone expects others give away their time (for free)?

Then I’d advise changing your expectations.

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I have deep experience with Netsuite and SAP, 30 years in IT solution design and implementation.

  • SAP/Netsuite always require customisation, these skills are expensive
  • Netsuite has a framework similar to Frappe in that custom data structures can be created by admins and server/client scripts can be added, less skill required than SAP.
  • Can’t comment on bugs in ERPNext but the basic module set is close to equivalent to basic SAP and Netsuite
  • Netsuite Framework has way less bugs than Frappe
  • Netsuite Framework only has three advantages over Frappe IMO
    – a) List views with 10-20 columns
    – b) 3+ layer Parent child capability
    – c) Multi-line charts
  • Frappe is by far the best open-source batteries included framework I have ever seen, the fact that they have built an ERP on top and not bypassed the framework layer with hacks is impressive.

With a good frappe bug kill program and a little work addressing UX data presentation limitations Frappe will rule. Some ideas… Would be good to have community involvement in the roadmap. Would be good to have some community prioritisation of issue resolution.

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