Entries in the 'About open source' Category

Has Google Android’s Open Source Business Model Failed?

Yesterday’s WSJ.com video “Tablet Wars: How Are People Using Tablets?” had a shocking statistic: 98% of the web traffic from tablets comes from Apple’s iPad.  Further, most of mobile commerce is from Apple’s iPhone:

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Mail Merge in Google Apps, Javascript, and Open Source

I followed this tutorial on how to do mail merge in Google Apps, and it taught me a lot about Javascript and the future for open source applications.

Doing mail merge in Google Apps was a lot of fun!  With a little copy and paste and about 15 minutes, I had was sending emails attached with customized letters as PDF’s.  Could programming always be this easy?

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Can NoSQL Databases Cure Us of Software Complexity?

If you’ve worked with Apache OFBiz or opentaps 1.x, you’ve probably had moments like this:

Q: What’s the difference between internal name and product name?

A: If your company wants to maintain an internal name for products that’s different than the standard product name, then you can put it in internalName. Otherwise you should keep them the same.

Welcome to software complexity.

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opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Update

The first proof of concept application is now available.  This new application is based on Apache Geronimo 3, OSGi Blueprint, and openJPA server side and HTML5/Javascript/CSS client side technologies.  Facebook integration is built into the application:

You can try the opentaps v2 Notes application at notes.opentaps.com or see a YouTube video for the new opentaps v2 user interface.  For developer documentation, please see our wiki pages about opentaps 2.

Fedex and Endicia Shipping Integration

The new opentaps OFBiz FedEx integration module provides FedEx web services integration for both opentaps and ofbiz.  Important: because the current Ship Manager Direct API will be discountinued by FedEx on May 31, 2012, you will need to get this module to continue shipping with FedEx.

opentaps Endicia integration module now supports generating USPS shipping labels from opentaps or ofbiz.  See shop.opentaps.org for this and other modules to improve the capabilities of your opentaps system.

opentaps In The Cloud now Available on Amazon EC2 m1.medium Instance Type

opentaps in the Cloud, our popular Amazon EC2 deployment option for opentaps, is now available on the Amazon m1.medium instance type.  This new instance type was introduced recently by Amazon and offers the equivalent of 2 processor cores and 3.75 GB of available RAM and can be used to host opentaps for a small organization.  To use this new instance type, subscribe to the opentaps Mini AMI and choose m1.medium on startup.

Let’s Mash It Up and Make Enterprise Software Fun Again

My New Year’s Resolution: Make building enterprise software fun again.

The Old Way

Almost all enterprise applications follow the same architectural pattern: a single all-encompassing framework housing the data, logic, and presentation layers.  When applied to large-scale applications such as enterprise software, which must cater to the needs of lots of users with many different features, it creates some problems:

  1. Everything that you use in the application must be written in this framework.  You might really like X, but if you want to use in your application, you’d have to re-write X in its framework.
  2. No framework is optimal for all possible features.  For example, order processing and accounting are highly structured, whereas web content management deals primarily with non-structured data.  A relational database driven framework that is well suited for traditional ERP could thus be poorly suited for web content management, and vice versa.

This is why we often hear enterprise users say “We chose [fill in name of your software] because it was good at [fill in the good features], but it’s really not too good at [all the other stuff].”  Conversely, because vendors think this is the only way to build software, they often have to bundle so-so features with their core strengths to create a competitive “enterprise offering.”

A Better Way to Do It?

Sometimes it just takes a shift in the perspective.

Could enterprise software could be built as mash ups of components based on open standards?

Would that make writing business software as easy–and as fun–as putting together blogs with videos, tweets, and maps?

Let’s Try it with Open Source

We’re going to try to do exactly that with opentaps 2.  We plan on building off the OSGi standard and the new Apache Geronimo 3 application server on the server side and the new HTML5 standard for client side applications to create this new kind of enterprise software.  Take a look at our plans for opentaps 2 and follow us.

opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Targets Europe, Latin America with VAT Support and Translations

European and Latin American companies looking for a fully-featured, low cost, and flexible business management system can now leverage the power of opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM, which now offers improved support for Value Added Taxes (VAT) and Spanish translations. These enhancements make it easier than ever before for companies in these regions to use opentaps as an alternative to expensive, inflexible, or outdated commercial ERP or CRM systems.

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Looking for Magento Developer to Build opentaps Analytics Data Loader

We’re looking for a Magento developer to build a module to load product, customer, and order data from Magento into opentaps Analytics.  You will be creating an independent plugin module for Magento which will get the data using the Magento API and load it into opentaps Analytics using our web-based data loading API.  You will be responsible for writing good quality, well commented code and documentation for installing and using the module.

If you are interested, please contact us with a quote for this project and a link to your resume.

Can Open Source Make ERP Better?

Derek Singleton at SoftwareAdvice.com has written an interesting article entitled Can Open Source ERP Succeed? He brought up some of the hurdles for the adoption of open source ERP software.

Having developed open source ERP and CRM for over five years now, I’d like to ask a different question:

Can Open Source make ERP better?

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Is Collaborative Consumption the Future of e-Commerce?

What’s in store for e-commerce?  A recent book, What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, offers a glimpse at a potentially big shift.

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The New Small: an Interview with Phil Simon

Phil Simon has written an interesting new book, The New Small, about a new breed of small businesses that are taking advantage of new technologies to leapfrog their larger competitors. (Talking to him about the book inspired my post about “Open Source and the Future of Small Businesses“.)  He’s also shared some insights about his new book with us in this interview.

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