If you’re looking for an open source ERP you must have come across these two - ERPNext and Odoo. If you are wondering why ERPNext is better, here is a list of things you can consider.
1. Truly open source
This is a common misconception due to the way Odoo positions itself that Odoo is open source. Odoo has a Open Core model where only the core modules are actually open source. If you are wondering what is not open, the key things that Odoo decides to keep closed are:
- Upgrade Scripts (you can't upgrade unless you pay)
- Finanical Accounting (full accounting is paid, yes and claims to be an ERP)
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.
Check out the GitHub repository here.
2. 20,000 Apps, a boon or a curse?
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. Some other problems are:
- Most of theses apps are not open source, so while you feel you have a choice, you really don't.
- Many of the apps could be conflicting
- Apps by various vendors may not be supported across modules.
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:
To know more about customization in ERPNext, check out this video.
4. Less resource-intensive
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*.
- ERPNext: Clean pricing of $25 - $50/user/month based on region
- Odoo: Complex pricing that considers apps, users and regions + additional success packs
- Disclaimer: Pricing may vary based on region and apps chosen, this is an approximate representation.
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. Configuring and self hosting with Kubernetes is quite simple in ERPNext.
If you need professional help, contact Frappe for an arrangement.
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.