Mon Nov 8 21:57:37 2004 Open Source
ERP, CRM Software
Posted by Drag
Search Keys: apps
Compiere is a interesting piece of software I found while reading a interview of Jon "Maddog" Hall about the current state of Linux acceptance in the enterprise market. The interviewer mentioned Compiere in a question on OSS "software stacks", so I decided to look it up.
Their website describes it as a "Smart Open Source ERP Software with integrated CRM Solutions".
For those not in the know (like me) ERP stands for "enterprise resource planning" and CRM is "customer relationship management". From what I understand is that it is a total solution type thing for managing things like inventory and scheduling while being able to easily have accurate and up to date information on hand for when you have to deal with customers. It's also provides full point of sale functionality.
Although there are some specific requirements for it. For the server portion you need to have a Oracle 10g RDBMS and a "Java Enabled Server Platform" (Linux/Unix and Windows 2000/NT Server), 5gigs of disk space and 512 megs of ram as well as a TCP/IP connection to the clients. You need to have "Oracle database server" and "Sun Java 1.4.2 SDK". For the clients all you need is something that can run Java (Windows or Linux) and around 256 megs of ram and a decent display. For more detailed information check out the product overview.
The software itself is freely available and downloadable from their website. It's distributed under the Mozilla license version 1.1 which allows you to use it without cost, modify it, even distribute it and sell it as part of a larger product. Of course you have to pay for the Oracle license and even though Sun's Java stuff is available at no-cost there are some issues with that as well. It will cause problems if you don't use those products and those specific versions (Oracle 10g, Sun Java 1.4.2).
Good news for people who don't want to shell out 1500 bucks for a Oracle license they are working on a port to PostreSQL, which is distributed under the very liberal BSD license. However they would like help with it, so if any of you guys are good at this sort of thing and would like to get involved...
Like most commercial open source software they have several levels of support and the cost of the Oracle license are included with the price of the support. Also they have binaries free for download as well as offering source code and anonymous cvs access via sourceforge.com.
Now I don't know much about this sort of thing. I don't run a store front business or install and manage database applications, but I think that it's interesting that a company is doing this sort of thing and it seems to be a attractive solution for this sort of task. But I just don't know enough about this sort of subject, so consider it purely a FYI and not a recommendation or anything like that. A Google search will yield plenty of information on this particular piece of software.
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There is no programming language, no matter how structured, that will prevent programmers from making bad programs. (Larry Flon)