Entries in the 'About open source' Category

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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opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Update

opentaps In The Cloud with Amazon EC2

Want to get up and running quickly and easily on enterprise-class open source ERP and CRM?

Want to run it on demand on world class infrastructure and pay by the hour?

Now you can.

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How Open Source Can Help Real People

The success of open source is undeniable. Just about any website you visit today is running on some kind of open source software. Your shiny new Mac is running FreeBSD under its beautiful surface.  Google uses open source software.  So does Facebook.  Yet if you mention open source software to most people, they probably will give you a blank look. Few non-technies know what it is, even though they use it countless times everyday.

So: Can open source developers create software that directly benefit people, instead of wait for either implementers or the likes of Apple, Google, not to mention  Microsoft and Oracle, to do it with our code?

If you answer “No,” then please stop reading this post – it’s not for you.

If you answer “Yes,” like we did, then here are some of my thoughts on how we can do it.  Please tell me what you think.

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Open Source ERP + CRM in the Cloud: opentaps and Amazon EC2

Cloud computing and open source applications is a great combination.  You get all the benefits of the cloud: easy to deploy, easy to maintain, low upfront and long-term infrastructure costs.  But you also get all the benefits of open source: flexibility, low cost applications, and control — control of your software and most importantly, your data.

When you bring the two together, you also get a third benefit: Getting up and running with open source in the cloud is amazingly easy.  For example, take a look at how easy it is to start up opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) cloud:

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Open Source and the Future of Small Businesses

My friend Phil Simon is writing an interesting book called “The New Small” about how today small businesses are taking advantage of emerging technologies. We started talking about how open source software is affecting small businesses.  I realized that open source has made a fundamental shift in the relationship between technology and small businesses.  Instead of being a tool of large enterprises, technology is helping today’s small businesses leapfrog passed their larger competitors, thanks to open source software.

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