Openbravo Maps a Shortcut to ERP Implementation
Enterprises looking for an open source ERP product that can be configured and customized in-house have sometimes looked to Openbravo. However, smaller firms may not have enough IT personnel to devote to such a project. They're the ones Openbravo is targeting with QuickStart, a new proprietary ERP app built upon OpenBravo's eponymous OSS version.
Openbravo announced on Tuesday its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) product, called "QuickStart," an alternative to the company's generally more labor-intensive community package.
QuickStart represents a change in strategy for Openbravo. Unlike the ERP product that bears the company's name, QuickStart is not open source. It is proprietary, not covered by the public license that covers Openbravo. [*Correction - Sept. 4, 2009]
The decision to go proprietary with QuickStart was based on business preferences to not allow some module developers to extend that functionality to QuickStart for free, according to Josep Mitjā, COO of Openbravo.
"One of the nice things about open source is that people build on the work of others. ERP is a very fragmented market with a lot of granularity. Some of our community members wanted to build upon QuickStart, which raised some concerns," he told LinuxInsider.
QuickStart adds no new functionality to the existing community product, Openbravo. The goal of the new product is to help users to save time, Mitjā said.
"It's for people who want to pay money for a product that will save them time," he said.
QuickStart runs on top of Openbravo. Current users of the open source package have no need to purchase the new release for its pre-configured features.
Configuration to Go
Product users have two options now. One is to fully customize the open source version to their company's needs. That takes on average from 400 to 500 hours to do, Mitjā explained.
The other option is to use QuickStart, which comes with all of the customization options already built in. The commercial version includes a user manual and online training documents.
"The difference in time savings is 40 hours compared to 400 hours," said Mitjā.
What It Costs
Openbravo QuickStart targets SMB companies where IT support and setup time are lacking. It offers subscribers a simple, no-compromise approach for small businesses that want to invest in technology.
The Spain-based company based the purchase price on euros rather than dollars. QuickStart costs 1,500 euros (US$2,133) plus 500 euros ($711) per user.
The product is Web-based as a Software as a Service offering, so there is no client-side operating system requirement. The delivered software can be used on any user platform. On the server side, the product is operating system independent.
The application layer generally runs on open source Apache or TomCat platforms as well as others, said Mitjā.
More to Come
Openbravo will add more functionality to QuickStart in upcoming releases. One of the first additions will be localized features based on the user's country, Mitjā said.
Users of QuickStart will also get software fixes, support and life cycle warranties with the product.
*ECT News Network editor's note - Sept. 4, 2009: In our original publication of this article, it is stated that Openbravo ERP is covered by a General Public License (GPL). In fact, Openbravo ERP as a whole is licensed under a Mozilla Public License (MPL) with a "Powered by Openbravo" branding clause, known as the Openbravo Public License. However, some components of Openbravo ERP, which includes code developed by Openbravo and other parties, are published under different licenses like the Apache license, the GNU Lesser General Public License, etc.