Open Source Manufacturing Software

June 8, 2009
Open source enterprise resource planning application adds an online application store for customers to buy relevant add-on software. Open source community able to share customizations easily.

Last week was the time for open source software announcements. I interviewed the CEO of xTuple to learn more about its "online app store for the enterprise" something similar to the famous Apple iPhone app store. Then I received a release from another company claiming the only "end to end" open source software in the industry.

xTuple launched xChange, an online marketplace of add-on and extensions to xTuple ERP. The xChange provides users with a convenient way to share and discover solutions ranging from third-party Website connectors to handy "snap-in" tools that enhance the xTuple application.

Within the xChange, two new offerings have been launched by xTuple itself: a Point-of-Sale (POS) package and the xTuple Batch Manager. The POS package adds retail cash register management to any of the editions of xTuple ERP. The Batch Manager processes resource-intensive jobs separately from the ERP application, in addition to handling all outgoing email messages and transaction documents. Previously only available as part of the commercially-licensed Standard or Manufacturing Editions of xTuple ERP, the Batch Manager package can now plug into the completely free and open source PostBooks Edition.

In addition to these offerings, the xChange also features a number of free solutions, including:

  • Dozens of custom reports contributed by community members
  • Scripts to connect xTuple ERP to the osCommerce shopping cart software ( , Drupal content management system (, and Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Websites (
  • Interfaces to online mapping solutions such as Google Maps
  • Connectors to currency exchange rate data feeds
  • xTuple CRM address book synching tools for popular mobile platforms

"The xChange is a culmination of several years' work to make xTuple ERP more extensible and customizable," said Ned Lilly, president and CEO of xTuple. "We've been deeply engaged with our community of users and partners to make xTuple ERP a true platform for enterprise application developers. Companies today want more flexibility, transparency, and choice in how they consume business software and services; the xChange, along with the architectural enhancements to the past several releases of xTuple ERP, provides powerful support for this 21st century paradigm."

Meanwhile, Compiere unveiled Compiere Manufacturing, a manufacturing ERP solution based on an open source platform. The application, available June 15, integrates and automates planning and scheduling, production control, cost management and reporting across discrete manufacturing operations. Advanced cost management, analysis and reporting tools provide visibility and insight into production costs and opportunities for improvement. The company claims a first in the industry with software that can be customized without programming.

Don Klaiss, Compiere president and CEO said, "Compiere Manufacturing is another example of our commitment to invest in expanding our technologies across new and growing industries. This product delivers a winning combination of essential manufacturing functionality, along with a modern and adaptable web-based platform that offers our customers the choice of deploying on-premise, SaaS or on the Cloud, resulting in a very compelling total cost of ownership model."

Compiere offers a free Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis, which provides cost comparisons between various ERP solutions available in the marketplace. Compiere Manufacturing will be available beginning June 15.

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