ERP Packages Comparison

According to O’Brien and Marakas (2005), enterprise resource planning abbreviated as ERP is software in business management that various organizations use in the management, collection, storage, and the interpretation of data obtained in businesses.  ERP helps organizations automate a lot of back office work and activities such as services related to the knowledge base, prices of items and enhance a good project planning. Similarly, it increases accuracy in the management of funds, control the supply chain and improve the distribution process. ERP has become more popular and in the process, software applications have come up to assist business managers in its implementation in various business activities (O’Brien & Marakas, 2005). The most important goal of many organizations using a resource planning system is to have a central point where information can be available and shared by ERP facets, and this helps in enhancing the free flow of information.  It ensures information flows freely among different businesses and controls connections with outside stakeholders. Markus, Tanis and Van Fenema (2000), stated that “ERP system operates on several computer hardware’s using a network configuration from a database.”  ERP has been changing from the traditional system due to advancement in technology. New developments have since taken place and developers are now making mobile phones with ERP system. ERP system has a database that can support all applications and operates within the timeframe provided without depending on any updates.


According to Umble, Haft and Umble (2003), ERP software packages entails two sections, the first section being that of free and open source software and the next one being the proprietary software. There are many free and open source ERP software, for example, the Adaxa Suite, ADempiere, Apache OFBiz, Compiere, Dolibarr, Epesi and many others.

Adaxa Suite that has an old maintained version consists of iDempiere or ADempiere that manages core businesses activities (Gupta, 2000). These activities include financial transactions, payments, bank reconciliation, complexities in banking and also reporting of financial findings. It deals with sales whereby order entries, purchase orders, reporting of sales and vendor reporting are done. Besides, management is contacted in the process of asset management and tracking carried out. ADempiere has a new version made of modern touch screen POS terminals. SpagoBI is made up a complete feature set, and this makes it very advantageous. Managers use OpenLDAP to log in using a central login system. Drupal forms a platform that deals with Commerce and is fully integrated with Adaxa Suite. Exo deals with email parsing by providing a document management capability. Asterisk PBX mainly deals with inbound calls. PostgreSQL ensures data is stored centrally, and the data is well maintained and protected.


The Adaxa Suite incorporates CRM (Customer Relationship Management) that removes the need to analyze or study data of customers, contact, and available information separately. When records of a new customer are placed in a central management system, it is possible to be seen on all Adaxa Suites components. This is of benefit since you can create a better relationship with your new customers that can lead to increased sales. You can identify the needs of your clients more effectively and this will help you to identify those clients who are more profitable than those that are not. Effective communication specifically on the needs of the customers at a personal level helps improve customer satisfaction and therefore you can win more businesses in future.

Rajesh (2011), states that ADempiere is an ERP software package that was created in September 2006 and it has remained among the top ranked software over an extended period. It provides an opportunity to measure the developer community and its impacts on the market of ERP. The main aim of ADempiere project is to provide solutions to communities businesses. Business areas tackled by ADempiere application include Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Analysis of financial performance; Enterprise Resource Planning, webs store integration, supply chain management, and Material Requirement Planning. ADempiere has an open standard that enables full visibility of data, integration of data together with those of third party systems, system stability, standardization, and interoperability and free from hardware and proprietary OSS. Its flexibility allows it to carry out these activities swiftly without any difficulties and limited errors.

Apache OFBiz is an ERP that is open source and provides an opportunity for automation of various business processes. In this software, all applications are made by a common architecture using same data, component process, and logic. Apache OFBiz functions well in accounting, maintenance of assets, product and catalog management and management of warehouse system and facility. Moreover, it is useful in processing orders, content management systems, human resource, and management of various gropes of people, e-commerce and development of software support system. The functionality of Apache OFBiz is partitioned into the presentation, business, and data layers. In the presentation section, it uses screens to represent data. Every page is always viewed as a screen. In Apache OFBiz, each page has components for example a header or footer, Java Server Pages and many others. The business layer always describes the kind of services the user gets. Apache OFBiz uses well-defined technologies, that are well established and of the right standards such as XML, Java, Java EE and SOAP.  Data layer is necessary for accessing data, storing and giving a data interface that is common in the business layer.

According to Arciniega, (2013), Compiere is an ERP that is mostly used by small and medium–sized enterprises in many activities of distributing, retailing, manufacturing and service provision. Compiere is made in a way that is flexible and able to change with as business evolves. It is possible for customers to modify the information structure to suit their needs. Companies provide many views of business information making it most flexible. It is also safe since it provides security and access rules. Many have also criticized Compiere because it has too much depended on the Oracle database.

Dolibarr ERP also a type of software that is widely used by small and medium companies. It has different features of ERP and CRM and many other activities. These features can be enabled and disabled when needed. This software can be used when an internet service is available since it is a web-based application. Dolibarr provides solutions to people who lack knowledge on certain issues. It has many features, but the positive side of it is that it is easy to install. The main features of Dolibarr include management of sales, Customer Relationship Management, purchase management, management of stock, and management of bank account, calendar, service and product catalog, book address and many others.

Limitation on Dolibarr ERP

The limitations of this software are that there is no accountancy, one currency is managed at a time, only one company can be managed meaning that the software is to be installed twice for it to manage two companies, the human resource management is absent, and there is a lack of a webmail.

Epesi is a data-driven Web-based application that is an example of fan open source. It has a framework of Pepsi CRM that requires MySQL and PHP 5.x server that can be accessed using any modern browser. Epesi has an advantage, especially in libraries. It allows the coming up of new modules if we are using record browser while generating opinions, reducing queries and storage of data. Epesi has a distinct feature that is mostly referred to as the watchdog utility. This one allows subscription by the user to record and leave it to be monitored by the system. In the meantime, the user is notified. In EPESI Roundcube IMAP e-mail is incorporated and gives massages at single instances. This email message can be extracted and stored in a table in a database. Where attachments are provided, they have stored din files and reference links provided.

Advantages of ERP Systems

Markus, Tanis and Van Fenema (2000), stated that ERP5 is an open source form of ERP that is based on Zope and Python. It is specifically a unified model that is used to describe its implementation. The ERP5 strives to get more practices that have already been implemented by the organization, and the UBM has been used to map them. This helps reduce the risks of failure and in the process reduces the implementation costs. However, this system of approach seems a little bit expensive to the budget constraints of small organizations.

ERPNext is a software system built on MariaDB database by the use of Python software. It’s an open source ERP that provides an alternative to QAD and NetSuite. ERPNext consist of the modules of accounting, purchasing, and management of assets, Customer Relationship Management, Manufacturing, management of projects, sales management and management of warehouse systems. On the same note, ERPNext does not necessarily need programming because it is a model-view-controller that enhances flexibility. Besides, this is regarded as a major type of innovation that has ever taken place on ERPNext.

FrontAccounting is web based software of accounting mostly used by small and medium businesses. It is convenient because it allows double entry of data on accounting. It deals with common business processes. FrontAccounting is multicurrency, multiple users and multilingual. It consists of the following modules: purchase, sales, dimensions, items and inventory, banking and general ledger and finally the setup. The way it functions makes it convenient to be used by small and medium businesses taking care of their purchases, controlling business stock, the issuance of offers and registration of orders while sending the invoices. It can be used on the balance sheet and money flowing in can easily be managed.

The GNU Project aims at giving individuals using computers freedom to control and use their devices independently. This is achieved by working in collaboration with developing software that has various freedom rights. It has the right to share and run the software with the privilege to modify it or even to copy and share it with others (Umble et al., 2003). The operating system was supposed to be free software to ensure that the whole software grand uses freedom of use.

HeliumV software was made by HeliumV IT-solution and mainly focuses on small and medium companies. This software covers nearly the entire process cycle mainly modules of purchase, quotation, item master, capacity planning, delivery, production, procurement, quotation, post circulation and payment management. HeliumV is customizable, and it provides significant support through Unicode.

ADempiere one of the open source software is made up of the Customer Relationship Management and the Supply Chain Management. It was awarded the best software application in 2015. Among the features, it supports includes multiple tenants, many organizations including their branches and sub-branches, multiple currencies and many account schemas. It is very easy to use iDempiere since it is easy to create tables add to add information.

An ERP software is an open source with the aim of providing a dynamic system where demand and supply can change frequently. The main features of this software include the organizational structure that is very flexible, finance where there is fixed asset, payable accounts, and a general ledger. There is also the inventory management, sales, and distribution, purchasing, human resource, planning, asset maintenance, e-commerce and content management.

JFire is written in Java and require only low efforts to be adopted and be used in various sectors or companies. JFire is an ERP and CRM system. The main aim of the JFire is to provide a framework that makes it easy to develop specific sectors related to ERP (Umble et al., 2003). JFire consists two parts, that is, the server and various types of clients. It is made up of Java EE EAR modules.

General limitation on ERP

Despite ERP packages having numerous advantages, some limitations are accompanied by it. For an ERP to be successful, “it requires individuals to have skills and enough experience” (Gupta, 2000). This will only be real by companies providing training to their workers, and this means they will have to pump in resources regarding money. Many companies especially small businesses cut the cost of training in their budgets meaning that their workers will not gain enough experience. Therefore, individuals will operate their ERP system with minimal experience meaning the desired outcome will not be achieved. The only solution is to ensure that companies provide enough training for their workers, and this will ensure sound management and operations of ERP and in the end, the benefits will be seen.


The utilization of an ERP framework might be costly; however, the ERP framework provides associations of a cost productive structure over the long haul. Similarly, the ERP programming functions by incorporating all the exclusive offices in an association into one PC framework taking into consideration effective correspondence between these divisions and in turn upgrades efficiency. The associations need to take additional safety measures concerning using the right ERP framework for them. There have been many cases that associations have lost a ton of funds because of selecting an irrelevant ERP arrangement and an administration supplier for them.



Arciniega, C. F. (2013). Advantages and disadvantages of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).   Retrieved April 30, 2016, from  enterprise-resource-planning-erp/

Gupta, A. (2000). Enterprise resource planning: the emerging organizational value systems.           Industrial Management & Data Systems, 100(3), 114-118.

Markus, M. L., Tanis, C., & Van Fenema, P. C. (2000). Enterprise resource planning: multisite      ERP implementations. Communications of the ACM, 43(4), 42-46.

O’Brien, J. A., & Marakas, G. M. (2005). Introduction to information systems (Vol. 13). New        York City, USA: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Rajesh, K. (2011). Advantages & Disadvantages of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)   Systems. Retrieved April 30, 2016, from            disadvantages-of-erp-enterprise-resource-planning-systems/

Umble, E. J., Haft, R. R., & Umble, M. M. (2003). Enterprise resource planning: Implementation  procedures and critical success factors. European journal of operational research,   146(2), 241-257.




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