ERP5 is a free Enterprise Resource Planning system based on the Zope application server. It is mainly developed in the Python programming language and the source code is freely available under the GNU General Public License. ERP5 is developed by the French company Nexedi which also offers consulting, customizations and training for ERP5.
There are currently two version of ERP5:
- ERP5 Enterprise is used in enterprise level customer projects which are mainly focused on custom development and customizations based on the individual business processes of the company.
- ERP5 Express is a hosted solution offered as Software as a Service for a monthly fee which is standardized for the typical needs of small companies. It offers HR and CRM functionality and Accounting and Document Management features will be added at the beginning of 2008.
The 5 in ERP5 represents the 5 core principles which form the basis of ERP5. These five principles are explained in the book Beautiful Code
- Resource. Describes a resource necessary to realize a business process, such as individual skills, products, machines, and so on.
- Node. A business entity that receives and sends resources. It can be related to a physical entity (such as industrial facilities) or an abstract one (such as bank account). Metanodes are nodes containing other nodes, such as companies.
- Path. Describes how a node accesses resources it needs from another node. For instance, a path may be a trade procedure that defines how a client obtains a product from a supplier.
- Movement. Describes a movement of resources among nodes at a given moment and for a given period of time. For example, one such movement can be the shipping of raw material from the warehouse to the factory. Movements are realizations of Paths.
- Item. A unique instance of a resource. For instance, a CD driver is a resource for assembling a computer, while the CD driver PART NUMBER 23E982 is an item.
ERP5 provides the business logic in so called Business Templates. Currently the following functionality is provided:
- Accounting provides multiple accounting features such as multi-key analytical accounting, multidimensional budget accounting, activity based accounting, project accounting, previsional accounting as well as asset- and cashmanagement, generic reports and invoicing.
- Immobilisation extends the Accounting Business Template by providing support for immobilisations.
- Payroll extends the Accounting Business Template to provide administration and generation of payroll sheets for employees.
- Budget extends the Accounting Business Template by providing the creation, planning and administration of budgets.
- Product Data Management provides a transparent overview of products and the corresponding BOMs.
- Trade provides all necessary elements to support procurement and sales. This Business Template provides supplier lists, packing lists, orders, order management and tracking, shippng and transport, fright and inventory management.
- Material Requirement Planning provides all elements required for the management of a production facility. This Business Template provides bills of materials, product orders, production reports, material requirement planning and complex supply chains.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) provides CRM related features. It includes features to follow customer development, management of the relations between customers and other organisations, custumer related incomming and outgoing events such as phone calls and email, sales opportunities, campaign management and meetings as well as a ticket tracking system for support requests and complaints.
- Project provides support for project planning as well as project based accounting and cost analysis.
- DMS provides a workflow based Document Management System. It is focused on supporting open data formats but also provides support for the major proprietary formats such as ".doc" or ".xls".
Industry specific Business Templates
- The Apparel Business Template provides an extension of ERP5, which is specialized for the requirements of the apparel industry. This extension supports different fabrics, models, colors, structures and collections by using the concept of variations.
- Banking is specialized for the daily processes of a central bank. This Business Template supports handing out and receiving cash, removing money from accounts and transfers between accounts, check based payments, multicurrency support as well as stock management of money and gold reserves in different vaults. It also provides support for multiple agencies and the necessary accounting either via ERP5 accounting or through interfacing with third party accounting software.
Business Templates for developers
- ERP5 Web is used to publish ERP5 objects on the web in a tailor made layout and design.
- ERP5 XHTML Style provides the basis of the web oriented design of ERP5 and manages the different modes (list, dialog, view) as well as the rendering process.
- ERP5 Forge provides tools for developers like a bug tracker, Subversion support and a module for uploads. There are also Business Templates for PDF- OpenOffice.org based reports and automated functional, regression and user interface testing.
Internationalization and localization
The ERP5 user interface is based on the UTF-8
standard and provides support for translations and localizations. Asian and Arabic languages and regions are fully supported. The default language of ERP5 is English but there are also translations to French, Japanese and Polish as well as custom accounting plans for the French General Accounting Plan, French M9, French M14, Polish General Accounting Plan and for Indian accounting laws.
Because ERP5 is Open Source Software the user remains in control of their software. The risk of forced upgrades is reduced and there is a lifelong guarantee on the usability and extendability of the software. There is no vendor lock in and because ERP5 is based on platform independent web based client/server technology there is no lock in on any specific operating system. All databases that provide an ODBC interface can be used with ERP5.