Free and Open Source Enterprise Resources Planning

Free and Open Source Enterprise Resources Planning

Rogerio Atem de Carvalho (Federal Center for Technological Education of Campos, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-859-8.ch003
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Abstract

This chapter introduces the key aspects of Free/Open Source Enterprise Resources Planning systems (FOS-ERP). Starting by related work carried out by researchers and practitioners, it argues in favor of the growing acceptance of this category of enterprise systems while showing how this subject is not yet well explored, especially by researchers. The goals of this chapter are to highlight the differences between FOS-ERP and their proprietary equivalents (P-ERP) in terms of business models, selection, customization, and evolution; and showing the challenges and opportunities that they offer to adopters, vendors, researchers, and individual collaborators. Therefore, this chapter tries to broaden the discussion around the FOS-ERP subject, currently focused only in cost aspects, bringing more attention to other aspects and pointing out their innovative potential.
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While increasing in market importance, FOS-ERP is still poorly analyzed by academy, where large quantities of articles put their research efforts on P-ERP deployment, project management, and economic aspects (Botta-Genoulaz, Millet & Grabot, 2005). Research on FOS-ERP software is rather deficient, and, therefore, a series of relevant aspects of FOS-ERP, which differentiate them from P-ERP, are still not well understood. As an example of this situation, a research conducted on the FOS-ERP evaluation subject, has shown how evaluating FOS-ERP brings more concerns than evaluating P-ERP (De Carvalho, 2006). One indication that FOS-ERP seems to be another situation where technology has outstripped the conceptual hawsers, is the fact that, according to Kim and Boldyreff (Kim & Boldyreff, 2005), “by September 2005 only one paper about Open Source ERP (Smets-Solanes & De Carvalho, 2003) has been published in the whole of ACM and IEEE Computer Society journals and proceedings, whereas more numerous articles have been published in non-academic industrial trade magazines.” Although nowadays more research work has been done on FOS-ERP, this subject is still a new one, with many topics to be explored and tendencies to be confirmed, since the number of adopters and the operation times are still small in relation to the P-ERP figures. In fact, FOS-ERP is a barely explored research subject. As said before, the first academic paper on this specific subject was Smets-Solanes & De Carvalho (2003); the first paper on evaluating FOS-ERP is De Carvalho (2006); and the first international event on FOS-ERP was held in Vienna, Austria, also in 20062. These facts show how FOS-ERP is a young research area, with relatively very little academic effort put on it until now.

However, some good work on related topics can be found. Currently the most in-depth analysis of the economic impact of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) in enterprise systems was the one conducted by Dreiling and colleagues (Dreiling, Klaus, Rosemann & Wyssusek, 2005). The authors argue that “standards that supposedly open development by ensuring interoperability tend to be interpreted by enterprise systems global players according to their interest”. The authors follow this reasoning showing the deeper consequences of this: “[global players interests] might be incongruent with the interests of the software industry at large, those of users organizations, and may also have effects on local and national economies.” And more: “despite control of interfaces and standards by few software developers, even integration of the information infrastructure of one single company with one brand of enterprise system cannot be consolidated over time [citing many other authors].” On the open standards subject, they conclude, “software engineering principles and open standards are necessary but not sufficient condition for enterprise software development becoming less constrained by the politics of global players, responsive to user interests, and for ensuring a healthy software industry that can cater for regional market.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

ERP: Enterprise Resources Planning, a kind of software which main goal is to integrate all data and processes of an organization into a unified system.

Free/Open Source ERP: ERP systems that are released as Free Software or Open Source Software.

Free Software: According to the Free Software Foundation, is a Software that gives to the user the freedom to run the program for any purpose, study how the program works and adapt it to his/her needs, redistribute copies, improve the program, and release his/her improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

Free/Open Source Software Adopter Types: According to Xu (2003) it is possible to classify a software user company in accordance to its positioning in relation to a FOSS: Consumer: a passive role where the adopter will just use the software as it is, with no intention or capability of modifying or distributing the codes, Prosumer an active role where the adopter will report bugs, submit feature requests, post messages to lists. A more capable Prosumer will also provide bug fixes, patches, and new features. Profitor: a passive role where the adopter will not participate in the development process but simply will use the software as a source of profits. Partner: an active role where the adopter will actively participate in the whole open source development process for the purpose of earning profits.

Open Source Software: According to the Open Source Initiative, licenses must meet ten conditions in order to be considered open source licenses: 1. The software can be freely given away or sold. 2. The source code must either be included or freely obtainable. 3. Redistribution of modifications must be allowed. 4. Licenses may require that modifications be redistributed only as patches. 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups. 6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor. 7. The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties. 8. The program cannot be licensed only as part of a larger distribution. 9. The license cannot insist that any other software it is distributed with must also be open source. 10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral The official definition of Open Source Software is very close to the definition of Free Software, however, it allows in practice more restrictive licenses, creating a category of “semi-free” software.

ERP Business Models: Broad range of informal and formal models that are used by a vendor to make profit from an ERP system deployment, customization, and maintenance.

ERP Evaluation: Process of selecting an ERP package, among various alternatives and in accordance to business processes, information, technology, and strategic requirements.

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Table of Contents
Preface
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma, Mohammad A. Rashid
Acknowledgment
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma, Mohammad A. Rashid
Chapter 1
Nancy Alexopoulou, Panagiotis Kanellis, Mara Nikolaidou, Drakoulis Martakos
Efficient response to change, both upon expected and unpredicted contingencies, is a critical characteristic for modern enterprises. This chapter... Sample PDF
A Holistic Approach for Enterprise Agility
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Chapter 2
Hossana H. Aberra
SAP Business Blueprint is a vital part of SAP implementation exercise. A well-defined business blueprint may set the foundation for successful... Sample PDF
What is SAP Business Blueprint?
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Chapter 3
Rogerio Atem de Carvalho
This chapter introduces the key aspects of Free/Open Source Enterprise Resources Planning systems (FOS-ERP). Starting by related work carried out by... Sample PDF
Free and Open Source Enterprise Resources Planning
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Chapter 4
Brian H. Cameron
Business process modeling (BPM) is a topic that is generating much interest in the information technology (IT) industry today. Business analysts... Sample PDF
The Changing Nature of Business Process Modeling: Implications for Enterprise Systems Integration
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Chapter 5
Alok Mishra
In the age of globalization, organizations all over the world are giving more significance to strategy and planning to get an edge in the... Sample PDF
Enterprise Resource Planning Systems: Effects and Strategic Perspectives in Organizations
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Chapter 6
Gary P. Moynihan
An executive information system (EIS) is a software system designed to support the informational needs of senior management. The EIS is... Sample PDF
An Overview of Executive Information Systems
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Chapter 7
Joseph Bradley
Enterprise Resource Planning systems have proven difficult and costly to implement. Organizations must consider the risks and rewards of embarking... Sample PDF
Enterprise Resource Planning System Risks and Rewards
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Chapter 8
Andrea Masini
After observing that the pervasiveness of IT may soon render it strategically irrelevant, management scholars have recently questioned the value of... Sample PDF
ERP-Driven Performance Changes and Process Isomorphism
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Chapter 9
Ronda R. Henning
The application software life cycle considers the functionality of a given collection of components within the context of a consumer’s requirements... Sample PDF
Application Integration within the Enterprise Context
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Chapter 10
Sanjay Mathrani, Mohammad A. Rashid, Dennis Viehland
A significant investment in resources is required for implementation of integrated enterprise systems as technology solutions while the... Sample PDF
The Impact of Enterprise Systems on Business Value
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Chapter 11
Charlotte H. Mason, Aleda V. Roth
Growing competitive pressures and escalating customer demands have led businesses to sophisticated information technology to manage costs and... Sample PDF
The Right Path to SCM-CRM Integration
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Chapter 12
Euripidis Loukis, Ioakim Sapounas, Konstantinos Aivalis
This chapter is dealing with the alignment of enterprise systems with business strategy and its impact on the business value that enterprise systems... Sample PDF
Enterprise Systems Strategic Alignment and Business Value
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Chapter 13
Sanjay Mathrani, Mohammad A. Rashid, Dennis Viehland
The market for enterprise systems (ES), continues to grow in the post millennium era as businesses become increasingly global, highly competitive... Sample PDF
Enterprise Systems in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
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Chapter 14
Kerstin Fink, Christian Ploder
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a vital and growing part of any national economy. Like most large businesses, SMEs have recognized the... Sample PDF
Integration Concept for Knowledge Processes, Methods, and Software for SMEs
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Chapter 15
Tobias Schoenherr, Ditmar Hilpert, Ashok K. Soni, M.A. Venkataramanan, Vincent A. Mabert
Although the research on integrated enterprise systems (ES) is proliferating, the knowledge base about ES implementations, usage and experiences... Sample PDF
Enterprise System in the German Manufacturing Mittelstand
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Chapter 16
Darshana Sedera
Organizations invest substantial resources in acquiring Enterprise Systems, presumably expecting positive impacts to the organization and its... Sample PDF
Size Matters! Enterprise System Success in Medium and Large Organizations
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Chapter 17
Joseph Bradley
ERP implementation projects normally involve a single vendor providing the packaged software for the entire system. Although most companies follow... Sample PDF
Implementing Best of Breed ERP Systems
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Chapter 18
Ganesh Vaidyanathan
Enterprise resource planning systems are complex yet single, integrated software programs that runs off a single database so that the various... Sample PDF
Enterprise Resource Systems Software Implementation
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Chapter 19
Calin Gurau
This chapter considers the importance of business modelling for implementing e-CRM systems. The introduction of e-business models requires the... Sample PDF
Restructuring the Marketing Information System for eCRM: An Application of the Eriksson-Penker Method
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Chapter 20
Albert Boonstra
At the present moment, many hospitals are going through a process of change directed at the integrated delivery of health care. Enterprise Systems... Sample PDF
Analyzing an ES Implementation in a Health Care Environment
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Chapter 21
S. Padmanaban
ERP systems have become key enablers of businesses today. While many organizations wish to adopt ERP for competitive advantage, they find choosing... Sample PDF
Designing to Deploying Customisable ERP Cost Effectively
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Chapter 22
Mateja Podlogar, Katalin Ternai
This chapter introduces the ERP systems, their complexity, and especially their integration in higher education as a significant challenge for many... Sample PDF
ERP Systems in Higher Education from Regional Perspective
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Chapter 23
Valentin Nicolescu, Holger Wittges, Helmut Krcmar
This chapter provides an overview of past and present development in technical platforms of ERP systems and its use in enterprises. Taking into... Sample PDF
From ERP to Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture
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Chapter 24
ERP and Beyond  (pages 329-345)
Suresh Subramoniam, Mohamed Tounsi, Shehzad Khalid Ghani, K. V. Krishnankutty
Enterprise-wide automation has already transformed the relations among suppliers, purchasers, producers, and customers. Conventional ERP helps only... Sample PDF
ERP and Beyond
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Chapter 25
Gita A. Kumta
The chapter introduces the essence of ERP in government as a tool for integration of government functions which provides the basis for citizen... Sample PDF
E-Government and ERP: Challenges and Strategies
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Chapter 26
Manish Gupta, Raj Sharman
A paradigm shift is occurring in identity management philosophy. User-focused identity management is one the emerging and most promising paradigms.... Sample PDF
Emerging Frameworks in User-Focused Identity Management
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Chapter 27
Ramón Brena, Gabriel Valerio, Jose-Luis Aguirre
From the Knowledge Management perspective, Knowledge distribution is a critical process in organizations. As many of the other Knowledge-related... Sample PDF
Next-Generation IT for Knowledge Distribution in Enterprises
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