Software projects are on a constant cycle of development, testing, releasing and fixing. open source ERP projects are not different.
I would like to update on the latest released version of the different solutions and elaborate a little about the projects’ development roadmaps.
Openbravo latest release is R2.35 maintenance pack 1 which was released back in early January 2008. It contains mainly bug fixes, focusing on improving stability – no new functionality was added. Openbravo have been lately releasing an impressive amount of localizations for countries such as south Africa, Romania, Venezuela, Malaysia, Singapore, The Netherlands, Argentina, Poland and France. Localization for ERP software is so important because without it, it’s almost impossible to use the software due to language differences and local accounting regulations.
Latest functionality enhancements to Openbravo were released under version 2.33 – ability to create UI skins,calender tab, enhanced accounting reporting capabilities and improved user messages.
In parallel to its current development activity, Openbravo is working on a completely new underlying platform, code named ‘Green’. Green will not be released until 2009, but I see Green as an attempt by Openbravo to disconnect from its Compiere root as much as possible. I will post about Green in a future post.
Compiere’s latest major release was Compiere 3.0, released December 2007. Major changes to the free,open source (community) version include returns management,financial reporting, improvements is the swing UI,search and security,easier access to the data dictionary and easier installer. Obviously, Compiere 3.0 includes many bug fixes.
As for Compiere’s roadmap, that’s a big question mark for me. I couldn’t find any information about the ‘technical’ roadmap of the Compiere product. I believe that the reason is that unlike many other open source projects, the Compiere roadmap is not decided by its contributing community but rather by its commercial partners and paying customers. If that is good or bad I can’t say, but I believe that is the situation.
The roadmap issue was one of the triggers that eventually led to the birth of the Adempiere project – another open source ERP project that was initiated by several former Compiere developers.The renegade developers believed Compiere departed from its contributing community and did not involve them enough in the roadmap discussion, not developing features requested by the non-commercial user community.
Adempiere’s last stable release (and first stable release independently from Compiere) was Adempiere 3.2 – MayDay Edition,released on May 2007. As expected,it includes many bug fixed and performance improvements, but it is also an attempt to resolve product dependencies on proprietary or closed source components. It also included integration with openXpertYa POS and ability to serve PDF documents.
The current version available for download is 331. In my opinion,the most important feature that Adempiere is working on is integration with Libero – an open source ERP manufacturing module. An integrated manufacturing module would give Adempiere an important advantage over open source ERP solutions who do not provide decent support for manufacturing activities.
Current OFBiz release is 4.0. For Jan-Feb 2008,the roadmap included mainly UI improvements, but I am yet to try them out. The roadmap includes enhancements to the accounting module, further development of project management and of the BI module and improvements to the content management component and to catalog manager usability.
Latest TinyERP release is 4.2.2, released just a couple of weeks ago (Feb. 2008). It includes many bug fixes. The latest feature-addition release was 4.2.0, released October 2007, adding several modules and making some improvements to the TinyERP kernel.
Amongst all open source ERP projects covered here, Openbravo does the best job as far as transparency of current offering and future development roadmap is concerned. Their Wiki pages include a relevant,clear summery of current features by version and short term and long term roadmap (Green).
As always, I would be very happy to get feedback from active community members who can elaborate about their project long-term roadmap and current development focus.