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Odoo (OpenERP) vs SAP

Odoo vs SAP comparison

 

As a former employee of a company implementing Odoo (OpenERP) I had some knowledge about it and probably I am one of the few who had experience with both Odoo and SAP. To be honest, I felt in love with OpenERP about 1.5 years ago. At first, it looked astonishing, and now it looks even more appealing. There are plenty of features that everyone will like. It feels simple and easy to use and in most cases the necessary training for the end-users is lower than most business solutions.

Odoo is gaining fans which is critical success factor for open source project while in the same time SAP is growing, but in minor steps. So probably you will think why I left Odoo environment and went to SAP which feels old, ugly and has steep learning curve. The primary reason was the limited out of the box functionalities, bugs and absence of opportunities for heavy specialized financial professionals like me.  Let me try to show you some of my thoughts regarding this comparison.

 

Out of the box functionalities

Behind SAP Business Suite there are  70+ millions  lines of codes compared to Odoo’s 0.150 millions presented on Odoo Open Days 2014. One interesting fact, that is not so widely known is that SAP Business Suite is with open source code which means that you have the ability to change the core applications at your own risk. It also means that if you don’t like your consultant, you can switch it without loosing the source code of the custom developments.

Speaking about functionalities, I had an unpleasant experience with several customers during my 11 months journey with Odoo as a functional consultant. There were many processes which we were not able to implement without further development in Warehousing, Manufacturing, Purchasing, and Sales. I am not going to speak about Accounting as it was too far from my expectations based on my background in Financial and Management Accounting. Accounting will be one of the biggest projects in version 9.0 for Odoo, so probably we will see some improvements here.

It is not a good idea to compare SAP Business Suite with Odoo as they are prepared for different types of customers. Business Suite is for the biggest companies in the world like Fortune 500. However, Odoo is for SME companies.  SAP has other product which is highly competitive in SME market, and it is SAP Business ByDesign. It is a cloud solution which is offered at a very reasonable price, with rich of functionalities and in the same time comes with a plenty of tools for rapid and efficient deployment.

 

Backward compatibility

There is one key reason where SAP excels and where Odoo is usually a substantial disappointment, especially for bigger companies.  SAP and their products are maintained and developed with backward compatibility in mind. SAP Business Suite is full of code which is two + decades old and which is working flawlessly with new versions.  However, this is not the case with Odoo. Every new release means migration of code and data. If you use the out of the box functionality, you should go for Odoo Enterprise Maintenance Contract. The contract will cover bug-fixes and migrations to newer releases.

If you have custom developments it will be a really painful task. We are not only speaking about IT costs for consultancy and re-engineering, but also the business will put a lot of effort and frustration for  the tests of the “migrated” functionalities.  It is known fact that no matter how much efforts you put on testing, in many occasions you will find errors in your production system. Production is the best environment for “testing” and always will be.

My point here is when you choose Odoo over other Business Solution providers you should always keep in mind how much cost will get the maintainability of the system. And you should be careful about the hidden costs including the employees’ time that you will be invested.

 

Pricing

Odoo Cloud solution costs 12 Euro per user and app. This means that if you use Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Project, Purchase, Warehouse, Manufacturing and Human Resources it will cost you 96 EUR per user/month or 1152 EUR annually (as at 07/2014). From what I understood the same pricing will apply for the on-premise solution if you look at the Odoo Enterprise Contract. It is highly recommended to go with it otherwise you should have very good technical consultant which will again incur some costs to you..

As mentioned above SAP  Business ByDesign is on-cloud solution which has very competitive pricing.  Their offers starts from 10 EUR for self-serving users up to 179 EUR per user/month for those who will use most of the system. The most expensive user type will probably be needed only to a few employees. ByDesign is available only if you use minimum 10 Team or Enterprise Users. Team users will cost 79 EUR or your minimal monthly cost will be around 800 EUR.

In terms of pricing, Odoo offers cheaper options to smaller business as they even have free version for the on-cloud solution up to 2 users. One key fact is that Odoo is not accepting custom code on their cloud solution. This means that if you need custom development (which I think is very likely) you should go for the on-premise solution hosted by you or partner of Odoo. In  case you have more than 10 users it is highly debatable which solution will cost you less in the long run especially counting the involvement of your employees.

 

Bugs

Bugs were a significant issue in releases of OpenERP 6.1 and 7.0 versions where there were tons of bugs interfering the productive usage of the software.  This was really irritating for customers for which I was responsible and for myself.  In the next versions starting from 8 it is stated that this problem will be less and less critical as every new core functionality will be firstly released for on-cloud platform where it will firstly be tested additionally by the customers. I hope this will be a good move as it will put risks on the on-could clients.

SAP Solutions in the comparison are much more mature and backward compatible. That maturity will help you to avoid many issues you may have. For sure SAP have and will have bugs in the future, but they will not put your business on the cliff. They will be primarily minor ones.

 

Business Experienced Consultants

As Odoo is still not a mature product, you will hardly see experienced consultants with domain business background. Most of the Odoo consultants will be wide specialists and do consult for all the applications with some exceptions to Accounting.  The functional consultant opportunities for business people are limited, and the income will not attract them to Odoo. The reason is simple. Odoo customers will be mainly companies with 5-20 employees which will not require advanced industrial knowledge and professionals with experience and high payment expectations.

It is a widely known fact that for better or worse, Odoo is driven by IT geeks who feel excellent with it. It is a perfect opportunity for them because their skills are appreciated a lot in this maturity stage of Odoo.  Perhaps you will experience in some cases how software engineers will try to convince you that they are good in business consulting.

 

Conclusion

Odoo is very attractive solution which will suit very well to some companies. If the out of the box functionality is enough for your needs, then go for it! Probably you will be very satisfied. But keep in mind that behind the shiny surface it can lead you to a very unpleasant path. You should be very careful with the custom developments as they could cost you a lot in the long run.  Try to be objective, meet other companies implementing different software. Ask for demos where you could see exactly how your business processes will look like. You should also ask for the disaster recovery plans as they are really important once you realize that you rely heavily on your ERP Solution.

 

Update 28/09/2015

I recommend you to read the comments below as there you will find precious real-life experiences.

About Emiliyan Tanev

Hello, My name is Emiliyan Tanev. I am SAP BPC Certified Application Associate with a good process understanding of FICO. I am also an experienced accountant and financial controller with 5+ years of diversified responsibilities. I am also a member of Management Accounting Body in the UK - CIMA and CGMA in the US. I love IT and Finance which impacted my career orientation towards SAP FICO and BPC. Follow me and get the latest tips, tricks, tutorials and career guides related to SAP BPC. More about me on My Story.

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35 comments

  1. totally biased

    • Hello fanqie2000,

      The article is a personal opinion, but could you please tell me where are your remarks? Do you have advanced knowledge in both SAP and Odoo?

      Regards,
      Emiliyan

    • Hi, how much did you pay for sap? We have implemented Odoo but as you stated it is hard work! Very hard work! I am currently looking at Microsoft Nav Ax but unsure as to cost in the uk. Microsoft are non transparent with costing or guide prices. Resellers spin a web of consultancy charges at ?700 per day. I can provision install and integrate whichever system, I just need to consider migrating form Odoo now based on experience.

      Do you know how to manage data in mass within Odoo? Eg if I have 6000 random products to delete, from what I can see I can not delete by csv etc. Is the only way to delete to use Postgres?!

  2. Hello fanqie2000,
    based on our own experience, I can unconditionally confirm each and every of Emiliyan’s statements. Our company group has been using OpenERP/Odoo since 2009 and we did several migrations from version 5.1 on.
    We’re running a centralized OpenERP/Odoo in a multi-national environment (multi-company, multi-currency) and we have a dedicated development team of 6 software engineers for the maintenance of the ERP system. By multi-national, I mean Germany, USA, India, Switzerland, China, Vietnam, Brazil, Japan and Russia. Frankly speaking, I don’t think there are many companies around with such a level of in depth expertise in OpenERP/Odoo.
    Your “totally biased” comment is absolutely unfair to Emiliyan, and it defies the apparent shortfalls and serious bugs OpenERP/Odoo had, has, and will continue to have, provided that Fabien Pinckaers does not finally start listening to the valuable inputs, concerns and problems of his customer base.
    I can sort of understand Fabien Pinckaers ignoring most crucial customer feedback, given the enormous success pressure on him. If my information is correct, OpenERP/Odoo is still not profitable and heavily depending on venture capital funding.
    If we had the choice again, we would have never started implementing OpenERP/Odoo in our of company group. Yes, there have been some improvements over the years, but the fundamental (unsexy) problems still remain unaddressed, even in the nicely polished Odoo. Currently, we’re considering other Open Source alternatives, such as Compiere/ADempiere/iDempiere, or even SAP and Microsoft Dynamics (although Microsoft runs SAP internally…). OpenERP/Odoo, without major improvements made to its foundation, is definitely an absolute no-go and a money sink for any serious business.

    • Thank you for your comment OpenERP user!

      I am really amazed about the information that you share. Multi-Company and Mulit-Currency Odoo implementation is something I really can’t imagine. It is difficult to think what effort is going to take an upgrade project in such environment.

    • Hi OpenERPUser,

      I am confused by your feedback because I don’t know what could be your project. Has OpenERP SA been involved in this project? I don’t remember a project of that size that started on OpenERP v5. I guess I am wrong, but the oldest projects above 1m? I know started on v6.1 and all these projects we work for are happy customers.

      I would be very interrested to know more about your project and the issues you faced. Drop me an email if I can help on anything. Even if I can not, I would be very interested to get your feedback. My email: fp AT odoo DOT com.

      Having said that, it’s clear that OpenERP v5 was far from being perfect. Version 5 and 6 were a good framework for developing custom modules but certainly not ready out-of-the-box for a full featured ERP.

      But these versions are not comparable with current versions of OpenERP / Odoo (versions 7 and 8). These versions are very mature and most of the problems related to the “young” nature of OpenERP have been solved over the past 3 years. The monthly user adoption rate on these new versions are not even comparable to v5 and v6 (more than x100). Do you have feedback about these new versions?

      PS1: Why do you think we (or I?) don’t listen to our customer base? The feedback we get on the new versions are very positive; both in terms of the added features and quality/maturity. I spend a lot of time gathering feedback and discussing issues with customers or the community. (we even have a team dedicated to this)
      PS2: Odoo was profitable and we could have done without raising funds. We raised $10m to accelerate developments, not to cover profitability.

      Thanks,
      Fabien

  3. Hello Emiliyan,
    well, we’ve been spending roughly 2.5 million Euros for the actual implementation and maintenance of OpenERP/Odoo since 2009 in terms of directly related internal development costs and consulting fees to OpenERP/Odoo and their (Gold)partners. Given the complexity of our group setup, this number might still look kind of reasonable at first sight. Today, we’re running the system with 100 concurrent users 24 hours/day. However, the opportunity costs we had to pay, related to serious bugs, lousy documentation, system instabilities, crashes, and extremely high user frustration, which as a consequence led to a high employee fluctuation in our company at some point in time, by far outnumber our 2.5 million Euros investment. If you would ask me for an estimated guess, I’d probably shoot for 15+ million Euros additional cost in terms of lost business and HR related costs due to the introduction of OpenERP/Odoo in our group of companies. Taking these opportunity costs into account, I can only repeat my previous advice to other companies out there with a similar setup to ours, that “OpenERP/Odoo, without major improvements made to its foundation, is definitely an absolute no-go for any serious business.”

    • Yep, in most cases the direct costs of ERP implementations are not the one that we should always focusing on. I really could not judge whether or not 2.5 mil. EUR are a lot of money, but the lost businesses and employment turnover could have substantial negative impact on the business image. This could be hardly assessed, but it should be into consideration of every company too.

      Many big companies will fail if they loose their ERP system for several days. SME companies are not so different when their processes are fully integrated in the ERP system.

      So while Odoo looks shiny and cheap at first, it could be detrimental for companies with a bit more needs than the Odoo’s out of the box functionalities.

      @OpenERPuser I really hope that you will find a solution that will focus the efforts of your company on the business isssues, but not on solving ERP problems.

  4. As an experienced consultant in both SAP and Odoo. I can categorically state that this article while raising valid facts still presents a totally biased point of view. As mature as SAP is, and for all it’s funding, it is not without it’s own fair share of bugs and inflexibility in certain areas.
    Having said this, there is still a lot for OpenERP/ Odoo to work on but as Fabian stated, there have been huge (extremely impressive) improvements in the last two versions. (This is from someone coming all the way from TinyERP).
    It’s unfair to place an article picking in holes in only one software meanwhile the same issues exist both ways.
    We’ve had to raise issues in SAP on issues as simple as rounding and other basic features have turned out to require developments also. Therefore, it’s unfair to brand these solely as Odoo problems.
    I do not take away from SAP’s maturity but, taking that same understanding and knowing fully well Odoo is not as establish, I would say Odoo is doing well.
    I would also say that the fairest of the points the author raised is that the business environments are critical factors to the choice of ERP.
    The ease of config and use in Odoo is not something to gloss over as SAP training for non-ERP experienced end users can prove to be “hellish”. Odoo presents a much easier interface. I can’t count the number of user who have asked why the need to learn numerous t-codes for simply running a business.
    SAP is better suited for OpenERPuser’s business context because clearly they needed greater flexibility. That’s not a case of poor software but a case of the “wrong” software for the job. But i can tell you from experience that even with SAP, implementation across 16 companies is not a walk in the park.
    Also OpenERPuser, how reasonable is it to make unsubstantiated claims on a company’s finances you have no idea about? – I guess the web domain says it all. It’s for SAP fans.

  5. Hello Seyi,

    1. I saw your linkdin profile and I saw that you are expert on almost every IT area. It is just not serious to state that you are experienced in SAP. SAP has bugs too, but you just could not compare them with Odoo.

    2. Odoo is astonishing in terms of user experience and I do not have anything against it. This is where it has lead, but this has a substantial price. Odoo are not committed to make backward-compatible product, but instead making “revolutions” with every release. In such case it is much easier to make greater steps, but it is not sustainable for anything more than a small business.

    3. In terms of SAP UI, I hope you are familiar with SAP Fiori, otherwise you know only the old “ugly” ECC UI

    4. You could not compare implementation of Odoo with SAP ECC. If you know only SAP Business Suite ECC, then you have gaps in knowledge of SAP portfolio

    5. Do you have real customers who have implemented OpenERP with custom developments who also make several upgrades to newer releases? This is were Odoo has the biggest problems. This comes from my experience with few customer installations.

    In summary, Odoo is a great product and I really recommend it when out of the box functionality is sufficient for the business needs, but once you enter in to heavy development, then you will headache with every upgrade to newer version. Having no backward compatibility is a good and profitable strategy for Odoo. It makes this software not cheap in the long run as it initially looks like.

  6. Migration issue in openERP (Odoo) is always been our primary concern and as a user of both SAP and ODOO i can say that Odoo is now alot mature than its v.6 . And i also hope that they will add migration tools as a module for their certified modules in near future to make it an easy choice over other heavy weight ERP’s.

  7. Simple thought

    SAP = 20~30 years
    Odoo = 5~10 years

    More simple thought, don’t expect a first grader to match the capability and experience of a surgeon or a lawyer.

    Most simple thought, this article’s most basic purpose is wrong.

  8. I too have had extensive experience with both SAP and Odoo in medium to large companies, and I can tell that this article misses key fundamentals in the business model of Odoo. In my experience, most of the downsides mentioned here can be addressed, solved and sustained over time with proper knowledge. This might indeed take many geeks to achieve, but that’s where the Partner plays such a key role in Odoo’s business model (specially when it comes to large companies). At our consulting firm, we provide such cushion for our customers from all these issues in a centralized and efficient manner. We have definitely have had major challenges when it came to backward compatibility, but that extra work was definitely a price we were willing to pay in order to maintain full control of every change, while obtaining the full benefit of an ever-improved platform that is not afraid to fast-evolve because of 20 year old code; meanwhile our end customers feel no such impact in these transitions and we -the Partner- have a modern edge ERP to offer to our next customers.

    With SAP, despite its millions lines of code and out-of-the-box functionalities, there has never been a single project where major customization was needed because of the companie’s peculiarities, and where the tools provided for development were simply not enough. It is at this point where you hit rock bottom with hands tied and it is your customer who had to accomodate or settle with workarounds. And dispite the seldomness of the case, there were many times where a bug was causing a serious itch and there was absolutely nothing you could do for months (with Odoo we troubleshoot issues quickly, and no matter how many of them there are you will never have a serious itch for more that a couple of days). Indeed, at Odoo’s ecosystem there is still no such thing as the equivalent of a “FI consultant”, at least not with that level of best-inherited-practice oriented expertise. What we have are Accounting consultants that drive the vision of the product (or your version of it) and shape functionalities according to necessities acquired in the field at the customer’s site. Of course, you have to find the right partner o associates for this to happen.

    • Hi Nico,

      Thanks for your post. Despite making you good advertising about you and your company in the link, I would like to know following:

      -How big are your big customers? How many functionalities they use? Multi-currency and multi-company?
      -How much experience do you have with sap and in what area?

      While sap has sometimes minor bugs, they are not comparable with what odoo was usually releasing in the past…
      An the other side with SAP, When you have bug, it is usually solved with SAP note and can be found on support.sap.com. If it is not solved, I am sure it you will not have to wait for months as there are SLAs.

      At the end, I really like Odoo and I still check sometimes releases at runbot, but for me it is still a geeks’ product with wonderful design, but not ready for big or complex businesses.

      BR,
      Emiliyan

      • We do use multi-currency (heavily) and multi-company in some cases. And yes, we did have to do some development tweaks for it to work the way we expected. As for functionalities, we certainly use the most critical ones including backoffice and I could say that we have used most of Odoo’s functionalities, including in some cases community modules. I’ve implemented SAP for over 5 years, including SAP AllInOne and SAP Business One; and the pains you get trying to molde SAP to a specific business are a dead end where there is nothing you can do about (and I’ve seen many projects fail because of this stiffness). With Odoo, we have made implementations with as much as 90 users (certainly not as big as the implementation that OpenERPuser mentions above, but that was a poor decision from their behalf in you ask me, specially bold if you start with version 5 which was definitely inmature.)

        In any case, all I’m saying is that all your arguments get invalidated because of the approach you had to Odoo. You can certainly not expect Odoo to behave like a SAP product, which is where your comparison collapses. They are in an asymetric competition and if you don’t leverage the pros of an open source product you are of course missing the value of it. Again, I definitely agtree that it is a geek’s product, but if you team up geeks with suits you can address any business complexity and overcome it with a self-sufficiency that is priceless.

        • Ok, thank you Nico. The main think is that Odoos is still a platform for further development, but not a finished product which you could use with minimal customization.

          That is their business model, because if it is open source and in the same time – rich of functionalities, they will have hard time to get money of it.
          The migrations are expensive considering the official Odoo prices and this is the way they earn good money and probably you too…

          BR,
          Emiliyan

  9. Ayman Mohammed Adam

    Dear all ,I want to ask which is better for the future Odoo or SAP if I will depend on it? Now i am developer On Odoo.

    • Hi Ayman,

      It is very difficult question to answer. From one side, I guess the payment as employee or sub-contractor with Odoo is less then SAP. From other side with Odoo, you are able to deliver by yourself freelance projects with ease without depending on anyone else. Such option with SAP products is is almost impossible and artificial.

      So you have to decide, whether you will go for more freelance opportunistic, probably more interesting and fun, but less paid as sub-contractor with Odoo with the opportunity to become an entrepreneur or to dive into SAP universe where you will be able to work on big projects which could bring you better money, but less fun and less options for becoming entrepreneur.

      I also think that Odoo is much better place for professionals with IT background then with Business. With SAP, probably the professionals with business background are better positioned then those with IT.

      BR,
      Emiliyan

  10. From the little experience i have about SAP as a certified CRM and BI consultant and currently a technical Odoo consultant. I would simple have to say that SAP is more matured than Odoo in term of functionality. But in terms of flexibility, Odoo is pretty good and easy to customize. I just have to say that Odoo is highly customizable being a fully open source business application. So you can pretty represent your business process as your like, but that comes with the cost of custom development. This is no big deal for a technical consultant. But for a functional consultant, you may prefer SAP over Odoo, since you can do more without changing the code. You can easily bend Odoo to match you unique business process, but for SAP, you may have to bend your business process to match SAP. For flexibility I give to Odoo, while for maturity I give it to SAP.

    • Hi Kingsley,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes Odoo can be easily customized to fit any business process although you can do the same in SAP. In SAP you can change the core of SAP if you generate access keys, but that will have implications on support however the same applies for Odoo. So, while the customizing is possibility on both and I don’t like the consequences of it as it is going to cost a lot in terms of migration, testing, instability and maintenance at the end. This is a price paid by the customer.

      BR,
      Emiliyan

  11. Odoo is noting but hell, many project failed lot of bugs on odoo even basic operation for sale order lines with taxes till in bug list. Now after fooling whole world fabien removed his tweet to keep odoo as full open source with gpl then odoo become agpl v3 and after lot community efforts and posting issue by users. odoo become bit stable app for apps, but even hell is odoo 9 look is very wired. Odoo 9 become more closed source, we can consider odoo is no more in open source market.

    Also odoo never ever comparable with SAP or any ERP market, it just little bugy apps product.

    Even with latest odoo version to load lot data in report or in inline their report complete hell and hang system, also crash browser.

    Odoo is no more in ERP market, they failed in SorrySAP Marketing.

  12. All keep in mind, Odoo is no more open source, license police seem like fraud to community and users, Odoo is nothing but small code project just look like beautify lady without brain. Instead of odoo other are many better legend in ERP market with stability.

    • Hi Zahin,

      Thank you for your comments! I also observed that Odoo changed their license policy. There is no way you can do so many core changes every year without loosing stability and big headaches for owners of business during upgrade/migration to newer version.

      BR,
      Emiliyan

  13. Hi,

    so which open source self hosted erp would you guys recommend for a small online business that uses magento as the main channel?

    • Hi Ko,

      Probably Odoo is a good choice if you are going to use it out of the box and pay for their official support.

      I don’t think there are many good open-source (free) alternatives. If you understand DB development, then for small business APEX Oracle is also an interesting tool.

      Best Regards,
      Emiliyan

  14. Dear all,

    I read all of the statements made in the initial text and the replies. As a technical user of Odoo V8 and knowing pretty well SAP AND Oracle OEBS, I can tell you that these old fashioned and EXTREMELY costly solutions are definitley not comparable with Odoo. Especially when it has to deal with “core development” of the application.

    It would be a similar story to compare an 80’s car with a brand new 201x car. That being said, I can assure you that I am not defending Odoo by definition, but I had so many bad exp?riences with the two other ERPs I mentioned previously (expecially in terms of user adoption and … upgrades!) that I must admit that the statements of the initial text let me think that SAP marketing is not far away… and I can understand it when we see that Odoo is becoming a real competitor these days for those large players on the SME market!

    So, let’s be honest, a bunch of improvements are to be done on Odoo and this is absolutely clear. Now have you ever seen an SAP, Oracle – PeopleSoft or any other ERP project in total control in terms of budget? That is not only due to the solutions chosen, but to the nature of any ERP implementation.

    I wish you all a great day and thanks for your comments (even if don’t share all the statements ;o)

    Cheers,

  15. Hi Odoo Happy User,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I can assure you that I am not affiliate to SAP AG and any subsidiary of it. My statements above are personal experiences.

    Good luck and have fun with Odoo.

    Regards,
    Emiliyan

  16. Dear Emiliyan,

    Thank you for your prompt answer and precisions.

    All the best!

  17. Hello Emiliyan:

    I read this post re: OpenERP vs SAP with great interest as I am researching Open ERP software. Do you mind sharing your opinion on iDempiere? I’m particularly interested in your view on its “out-of-the-box” functionality, any problems, true cost of ownership (does it require expensive consultants to maintain, etc.). MUCH Thanks, Emiliyan!

  18. SMEs that are trying to extracate themselves from the OpenERP nightmare should look
    at tryton.org.

    It was a fork of the original OpenERP the first time Fabien played with the licence terms and conditions a few years ago, and really is OpenSource – GPL. It doesn’t have the glitter of OdooDoo, but has had 5 years of steady incremental refactoring, always backwards compatible. It’s now very Pythonic, with good Python scenario testing. What’s more, it can add: full end-to-end Decimal in it’s accounting.

  19. So another year on, and the same trends continue.

    SAP gets on with business. Odoo grows in user popularity at v10, with v11 on the horizon.

    Odoo certainly has a lot of hangers-on, collaborators, perhaps the geek squad alluded to above. Yet not enough of them contribute back to Odoo’s github what they develop for their implementations. Perhaps Odoo SA itself is part of the cause.

    Odoo SA goes more commercial, with many new company developed features being “enterprise only”. Their github pull request queue has over 1,000 entries, and is two years long. That’s an awful lot of careful hard work by hundreds of people that hasn’t been incorporated in to the base product. The overall level of commits is beginning to decline.

    So Odoo remains a thinly implemented package. The lines of code metric listed by Emiliyan above is key. Odoo doesn’t have depth in many areas. There are no subtle controls in the user interface, the logic, the reporting, the menus even that help manage a business, or manage volume, exception or variation. The concept of cashbooks is entirely absent. Running totals and balances are rare. Segmentation by period is weak. Excess mouse clicks are everywhere, and operation by keyboard is impossible.

    Yet Odoo likely is one of the best open source accounting packages available. OfBiz is a strong contender, and is truly open, but doesn’t even have a user interface for it’s ledger. No one has bothered contributing one yet. ERPNext is newer & cleaner, yet has a tragic lack of account primary keys and some very woolly Indian logic. ERP5 is a master of German order with a tragic & very dated user interface. Many of the others have a low contribution and participation rates. It underscores just how big an effort it is to create a large scale accounting & operations package, never mind ERP. Or the expertise to make it good looking, reliable, accurate, extensible and functional. And build a two way community around it.

    Are our efforts all being spread too thin? Collectively we have the expertise, the resources and energy to create great accounting systems. If everyone were to collaborate on a reduced number of packages, would we get to something broadly applicable sooner? Is humanity even capable of this level of global co-operation? Will the AI autobots do it for us instead?

    • Dave, Thanks for your deep thoughts! It is an amazing comment!

      As everyone knows, we all need to exchange our work for something. It can be money, fame or just internal joy. The community is the key as you said. However, if you are ERP Open Source professional, how many opportunities you have to earn enough to cover your basic needs and then starts to share and contribute back to the core? I really don’t know. ERP market is wide, but it is not as wide as OS (e.g. Ubuntu). And even for the larger market as OS, I don’t know how many independent companies are making money by selling Ubuntu services for example. Ubuntu itself probably is ok…The same as Odoo SA itself…

      Open Source ERP is an excellent idea, but at the end is it working?

      I assume that is the reason Odoo went for enterprise only applications which hopefully have more depth and better success!

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