Best open source HRM and ERP solutions

Today I continue to tell you about non-SAP ERP solutions, the topic I started earlier.

You’ve been reading about Microsoft Dynamics and some Open Source ERP systems already.

Now let’s re-read what Jack Wallen named Best open source HRM and ERP solutions in his article on Techrepublic.

It’s been often mentioned that enterprise-level companies have fully embraced open source. From the reliable, secure Linux operating system, to the unsurpassed LAMP platform, open source has quite a lot to offer the larger business systems. One area where open source has been solid for years is the HRM/ERP (Human Resource Management and Enterprise Resource Planning) solution. Any company looking for such tools will have either looked at open source solutions or chosen an open source solution to empower their human resource and other departments.

If you’ve not taken a look at one of the many open source HRM or ERP solutions, I’ve brought together a list of the best of the best. From this list, you can decide for yourself which solution is the best option for your company. And, since these solutions are open source, you can give easily give them a test run to see if they meet the needs of your company.


Orange HRM is one of the most powerful of the open source HRM tools. Orange is a flexible, modular system that can handle all of your human resources needs. If your organization has five or 5,000 employees, Orange HRM can easily meet your needs. Modules include:

  • Administration
  • Leave
  • Personal Information Management
  • Time, Employee Self Service
  • Recruitment/Applicant Tracking
  • Performance
  • Audit Trail

Even better, you can visit the Orange Marketplace and purchase tailored modules such as:

  • Training
  • Budgets
  • Enterprise Leave Management
  • Job and Salary History
  • Document Management
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Insurance Benefits

Orange HRM is actually quite simple to install (over a pre-existing LAMP stack) and has one of the finest interfaces of all the HRM tools. Orange can be used by associations, freelancers, large enterprises, midsize business, non-profits, public administrations, small businesses, and more.

Waypoint HR is all about managing information about employees and doing so easily. With an intuitive five-step wizard, you can quickly have a new employee added and ready to manage. Waypoint HR features:

  • Personal details and emergency contact information
  • Holiday, sickness and absence history
  • Employment, contract, job and salary details
  • Discipline and grievance records
  • Performance appraisal records
  • Exit interviews and employment termination
  • Current and historical data
  • Retain similar information on all employees
  • Interchangeable screen grid or table view
  • Company multi-site layering facility
  • Interchangeable record view
  • Multi-tier departmental layering facility
  • Interchangeable employee or department view
  • Expandable department onscreen view
  • Create company reports on staff data
  • Print company and individual employee reports
  • Export reports to PDF
  • Instant search facility for employees by name
  • and much more

Like Orange HRM, Waypoint HR can be quickly set up on an existing LAMP server and can store unlimited resources.

SimpleHRM is targeted to small and medium enterprise organizations and focuses on ease of use and pares down the modules to just those necessary to manage human resources. Modules include:

  • Employee information management
  • Leave
  • Travel
  • Expense Management
  • Employee Daily Reporting
  • Benefits Management
  • Reports and Statistics
  • Letter template designer

SimpleHRM is used in over 180 countries and is one of the fastest growing HRM tools on the market. It doesn’t have the power or community as does either Orange HRM or Waypoint HR, but that doesn’t detract from how solid and simple a solution SimpleHRM is for your human resources department.


OpenBravo ERP is one of the finest ERP solutions on the market. With both professional and community editions, OpenBravo ERP can meet the resource planning needs of nearly any size company. OpenBravo is a modular, 100% web-based business management system, written in Java, and can take on a broad range of tasks, such as: finance, supply chain, manufacturing, and more. OpenBravo ERP features:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Purchasing Management
  • Sales Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Project Management
  • Production Management
  • Point of Sale
  • Business Intelligence

You will find plenty of documentation for OpenBravo ERP as well as a number of ways you can contribute to the ever-growing OpenBravo community.

ADempiere is more than just an ERP solution. ADempiere is an industrial-strength combination ERP, CRM, MFG, POS, and SCM that blending together for the business process. This is a monster of an application with a feature list that shames most other software of its kind. ADempiere can handle:

  • Sales
  • Purchasing
  • Manufacturing
  • Material Management
  • Finance
  • Human resource management
  • Project management
  • Maintenance management

and much more. Within each of the above categories there are sub systems and secondary features, such as:

  • Quotes to Invoice
  • Proposals
  • POS
  • Sales Orders
  • Work Orders
  • Invoicing
  • Shipment
  • Purchase Requisition
  • RfQ
  • Purchase Order
  • Material Reciept
  • Invoicing
  • Product Life Cycle Management
  • Pool Resource Management
  • Manufacturing_Workflows
  • Forecast Management
  • Planning Management
  • CRP
  • MRP
  • DRP
  • Discrete Manufacturing
  • Maintenance Management
  • Quality Management
  • Costing Management

And that’s just the first two categories! ADempiere gives you complete control over your business process. The only caveat to ADempiere is that it doesn’t offer the simplistic and user-friendly interface you’ll find in some of the other tools listed.

There’s a reason why enterprise “gets” Linux and open source. The tools necessary to smoothly run such a business have been around for quite some time and have grown into massively powerful applications that can empower larger companies in ways much of the competition cannot.

But don’t think these tools are only for the Fortune 500. Small to medium sized businesses can also benefit from making use of these tools. And since each of these tools are open source, they won’t affect your budget — so even the smallest shop can take advantage of the same power and flexibility as do some of the largest companies in the world.

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