Openbravo, an Open Source web-based ERP product, was project of the month on SourceForge in September. The project uses a Mozilla Public License 1.1 (MPL 1.1). It has 68 developers and over 200 contributors and has been downloaded over 350,000 times; with that number increasing by about 1,000 downloads per day.
GoodGearGuide gets behind the scenes of this successful business, with some of its key executives: Chief Operating Officer Josep Mitja, Chief Product Officer Paolo Juvara, Chief Consulting Officer Eugeni Vives and Community Director Jordi Mas. They discuss, via email, the project, where it's headed and what makes it so popular with developers, partners and end users.
GGG: What differentiates Openbravo from other ERP products on the market, such as those from SAP, Microsoft or Oracle?
JOSEP MITJÀ: In terms of established global proprietary solutions (like Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One, Oracle, and Sage), Openbravo offers a comparable solution from a functional perspective, with the added distinction of being Open Source and fully web-based. This means Openbravo provides a better economic deal for end-clients over competing proprietary products and more intuitive access options through its web-based interface.
Openbravo is also superior to the local proprietary solutions in Spain, such as EKON, Deister, Spyro, and Alhambra for the same reasons as above but also that Openbravo is more comparable to a global proprietary solution than a local one. Additionally, Openbravo can be a great platform for these local troubled software vendors to build their verticals on top of our ERP as opposed to creating a new one from scratch.
GGG: What are the most common complaints you think people have of proprietary ERP systems?
JOSEP MITJÀ: Licenses costs, the software can't be easily adapted because the source code is not available and the fact that end-clients are tied with the suppliers whether they like it or not.
GGG: How does it compare to other open source ERP options?
JOSEP MITJÀ: Compared to other Open Source options such as Compiere, Adempiere, TinyERP, ERP5, Openbravo is the only solution that is fully web-based and includes the full suite of functionalities of extended ERP solutions. It is the largest and fastest growing company in the Open Source space (in terms of venture financing, rate of downloads, number of employees, fastest growing partner network, and brand recognition.) This is mainly thanks to the sustainable and innovative business plan.
GGG: Openbravo is available through partners but it is also a free download. How does this work?
JOSEP MITJÀ: Although Openbravo is relatively easy to implement compared with many established proprietary solutions, an ERP implementation typically requires support of qualified IT consultants. For this purpose Openbravo is distributed to end users through its global network of partners. Openbravo partners manage customer relations and provide support to users.
GGG: Can you explain your revolutionary architecture? What is it? What makes it so unique?
PAOLO JUVARA: Based on open standards and open source technologies, Openbravo is built around a unique combination of MVC (Model, View, Control) and MDD (Model Driven Development). The use of both proven development frameworks in one seamlessly integrated ERP is an innovative approach enabling a better way to build and maintain software coding.