What is ERP?
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) refers to the use of systems, processes, hardware and software to plan and manage the core functions of an organisation from accounting to manufacturing. An organisations competitiveness is often enhanced by the implementation and use of an ERP system due to the improved efficiencies in resource management.
What is iDempiere?
iDempiere is a free (as in libre) and open source ERP platform built on the OSGi framework. Being built on modern architecture has allowed the core developers to regularly release new versions, allowing for long term support for organisations that require software platforms that are scaleable and robust. Arguably, iDempieres greatest strength is its enterprise grade accounting features, allowing for multiple organisations (and their different sets of books) to be maintained on one service. Multiple currency use is supported as standard.
iDempiere is web-based so no software needs to be installed on users devices. This, combined with the open source nature of the product, allows for an organisation to scale up their number of users without having to endure the per-user costs of most commercial ERPs. The number of users iDempiere can maintain is largely limited by the hardware the software is running on.
How to get started
The easiest way to evaluate iDempiere is to access one of the demo sites that are available for public use. The sample data in the demo sites refers to the GardenWorld client. GardenWorld is a demonstration business that can be used to test business processes or as a learning tool. The business comes with products, vendors and customers. Most of the demo servers are refreshed daily, so interested persons are encouraged to explore the platform without fear of causing any damage or loss of data or hardware.
The demo has impressed me, what next?
Maintaining an iDempiere installation depends on the intended use, as well as the technical skills available to the organisation. Some level of technical knowledge is required to safely and effectively deploy an iDempiere installation, but once the basic concepts are understood, even less technical users will be able to maintain their own installations.
Stuck? Need help?
The iDempiere community has active Mattermost channels and a Google Group. These channels are great places where community members are available to assist with basic needs analyses and installation issues. Please feel free to post your questions there.
Nasi is a business owner in South Africa, 3+ year member of the iDempiere community, Linux and open source enthusiast, and an incredibly helpful and thoughtful person.