Is ERPNext better than Odoo? 9 reasons to consider.

Your search for open source ERP has narrowed to ERPNext vs Odoo. Let's see 9 reasons why ERPNext is better.

July 21, 2020

ERPNext or Odoo

If you’re looking for an open source ERP you must have come across these two - ERPNext and Odoo. The ease of configuration and customization in open source ERPs set them apart. If the ERP is fully open source, the total cost of ownership also reduces significantly, leading to better ROI.

From the two, you must’ve also seen reviews to decide which one to pick. These two ERPs are somewhat similar but also very different. In this blog, let’s see 9 reasons why ERPNext is better than Odoo and explore the unique value a fully open source product brings to an organization.

1. Truly open source

This is a common misconception due to the way Odoo positions itself. Odoo has a freemium model where only a part of the entire ecosystem is actually open source. To start off, you get up to two/three apps for free. From there, users need to pay extra for accessing everything larger parts like inventory management, HR, or anything useful.

On the other hand, ERPNext has always been 100% open source. What does this mean? Well, for starters, everything that you see on our SaaS subscription is available on GitHub as free and open source. Frappe believes that the spirit of open-source software is sharing what you create in an open ecosystem.

For example, human resources contains apps like ‘Employees’, ‘Recruitment’, ‘Leaves’, and so on. Such ‘apps’ are readily accessible doctypes in ERPNext.

Check out the GitHub repository here.

2. One solution

Odoo boasts of thousands of apps but with ERPnext you get one platform to cater to various needs. You decide which one sounds easier to manage. There’s also less overhead of remembering which apps/parts did you purchase or need to manage.

One flat fee for hosting/support and you get everything from day one on your cloud subscription. You can always disable the domains you don’t want to use.

Check out our whitepaper on why one solution is better than installing multiple SaaS apps.

3. Easy customization

ERPNext is highly modular in nature. Everything is organized internally using the ‘doctype’ architecture. In simple words, this means that any kind of simple to moderate customization can be done with very little code. Actions like creating new forms to record different kinds of data, automation, linking different forms, creating custom workflows and more can be done in a couple of hours.

The ease of customization is possible due to the powerful Frappe Framework.

Like a discuss forum user pointed out:

Frappé framework is more balanced between Python and JavaScript. It uses JSON massively but you don’t write it directly. Frappé is the popular Jinja templating engine on the Python side. Frappé includes many graphical customizations.

To know more about customization in ERPNext, check out this video.

4. Less resource-intensive

ERPNext is very light on the system resources. This becomes more important if you decide to host on your own servers. ERPNext is made with the open-source JavaScript framework called Frappe which is also the name of the company behind ERPNext. Hundreds of ERPNext accounts and users can run on a single server with multi-tenancy. ERPNext runs smoothly on virtual private servers (VPS).

5. All features out of the box

In ERPNext, there are no pricing restrictions or features hiding behind paywalls. Everything is ready to use from the moment of installation. This includes modules like accounting, manufacturing, inventory, HRMS, CRM, asset management, and many more. For a complete list of modules in ERPNext, visit the documentation.

6. Better value for money

Building on a thousand apps vs one platform, you’re more likely to save on expenses when your ERP provider doesn’t charge your extra for each and every addon and app. Even the popular integrations are free in ERPNext. Let’s talk pricing*.

Odoo: All apps and services included to somewhat match ERPNext

Around $20/user as on time purchase

Around $3000/year for around 30 apps

ERPNext: Everything included

$600/user/year

Easy to understand pricing

* Disclaimer: Pricing may vary based on region and apps chosen, this is an approximate representation.

By choosing ERPNext, you can save up to 80% of your costs. This means spending $60,000 for 100 users instead of almost $380,000 if your business involves activities in various domains.

7. Can work offline, kind of

How many times has the lack of internet stopped your transaction mid way? Most SaaS solutions require continuous internet access to function. While we live in an internet rich world today, connection problems are common in remote areas or towns.

In ERPNext, multiple “sites” or accounts can talk to each other even when there’s no internet. If you have POS systems in remote locations or some branches face frequent internet issues, ERPNext enables them to work even offline. After working offline, data is synchronized when your internet connection is back.

8. Simpler to use

The light and simple user interface in ERPNext makes it a breeze to find anything and start creating transactions. With easily accessible menus and menu items, you can find relevant features quickly. If this wasn’t easy enough, the global search bar or the ‘awesome bar’ as we call it, lets you find any feature or any specific document inside a feature. These multiple elements adding up to a simple user interface make ERPNext effortless to use.

9. Unlimited scaling with Kubernetes

ERPNext is also available on Kubernetes for horizontal scaling. What does this mean? With vertical scaling, you’d need to upgrade the existing 1 server with better CPU, RAM etc to handle more accounts. But with horizontal scaling, you can add more servers and CPUs and all accounts will be able to use them. In a gist, you could begin with a small ERPNext instance and scale it infinitely with your business growth. The scaling is of course limited by how many servers you can host on.

If you need professional help, contact Frappe for an arrangement.

Conclusion

We saw 9 compelling reasons to call ERPNext a better choice than Odoo. It’s a great Odoo alternative and then some whether or not you love open source.

Some of these reasons were philosophical, some about features, some on more value for money. Overall, with advantages in the form of better UX, more features, and a distinct value proposition, ERPNext is suitable for most small, medium, and large organizations.

Prasad Ramesh
Prasad Ramesh
"Writer at Frappe Technologies. I digest my information faster than my food."
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