Compiere is the most popular open source ERP software to date – largest number of downloads, channel partners,consultants and live customers. The first ever ERP software I installed was Compiere, back in 2002. It was quite remarkable back then – for me,ERP software was this huge,complicated software that requires 10 days to install,not mentioning the money you would have to pay for licenses. I desperately looked for a 30-days trial of commercial ERP solutions but soon realized I would have to be the CIO of a 1B$+ company to get any attention from those guys.
When I found Compiere, the only thing that bothered me was that they were using Oracle as a database backend.I couldn’t figure out why wouldn’t they use an open source database (PostgreSQL, MySQL). How come an open source project decides to use a commercial software for the most important component of their solution? Other than the philosophical questions regarding the true ‘open-sourceness’ of such a solution, there are some commercial questions – why would you offer something for free(ERP) and ask people to pay big money(for the Oracle database license) to be able to use it?.
Leaving these questions aside, I started working on the installation. Going to Compiere’s website, you can tell it’s a company that raised 6M$ in funding – the most professional looking website amongst all open source ERP websites I could find, OpenBravo being No. 2. A ‘Get Compiere’ link is there, right in the middle of the homepage. I click it, and then, surprise!! What is this?? I have to register to download open source software? I already know that I can download the software directly from the Sourceforge download page, so why put a registration form between me and the download? Bad move on Compiere’s part, IMO.
Reluctantly, I feel the form with some garbage data and go to the actual download page. I get a download link to the Sourceforge page of Compiere Community Edition and a link to the Compiere installation guide. I download the software archive from Sourceforge and the installation guide PDF from Compiere’s site – operating system Linux, database Oracle.
The installation guide is very clear and has everything you need in order to get Compiere running. I will use the Oracle Express Edition since it is the only free version of an Oracle database you can get. Because Compiere is written in Java, the installation procedure is pretty straight forward and familiar – install Java, install a database (Oracle XE edition in this case) and install the ERP software.
To install Java on Ubuntu, just run (as root user):
apt-get install sun-java5-jdk
As for installing Oracle Express Edition – basically, you have to register to OTN (Oracle Technology Network) to get the Oracle XE download, another annoyance. Fortunately , since I am using Ubuntu, I can just apt-get it. I followed the instructions in this great How to Install Oracle XE on Ubuntu.
Now that you have Java and Oracle XE installed and running on your server, complete the Compiere installation procedure according to the Compiere installation guide.
To summarize, it was a pretty simple installation, due to the fact I am using Ubuntu and getting Oracle Xe running was really simple.