[FoRK] Open-Source Communities and ERP-Software?

Frank Bergmann fraber at fraber.de
Mon Jun 14 07:27:25 PDT 2004

Maybe sombody could tell me just simply to abandon the project, 
but the idea to fight M$ & Co. with open-source is just so tempting...

It's ....
... I'm one of the founders of Project/Open, an "open-source based" 
project management and collaboration software. We've just released
the version 2.0 (http://www.project-open.org/ -> Download) if
you want to try. It requires a recent Linux or Solaris system with
Oracle 8.1.7. We're planning a PostgreSQL port for later this year. 

The main problem of Project/Open is a conflict between the open-
source idea and the ERP software environment. They just don't seem
to fit together. OSS developers are repelled by "boring" ERP stuff
(think accounting ...) while customer really don't mind to pay quite 
some money for the "information backbone" of their company. So is there 
any chance to succeed with the open-source idea in this arena and to 
get some serious market share? 

Our current thinking deals with the question _who_ really is suposed
to participate in an online developer community. We think that maybe
(small) IT companies could be candidates, if we could convince them 
to contribute their software to a common body of (GPLed?) source code.
But IT companies act more or less rationally in the economic sense,
so we need to create some kind of restrictions to the use of the code 
in order to enforce the "desired" code-sharing behaviour.

So we have come up with a distinction between GPLed "commodity" software
and proprietary "added-value" modules. Maybe we could convince our small 
IT companies to use GPLed software to cover the 80% of the functionalty
that is identical amongst all ERP systems, so that they can concentrate
in their sectorial knowledge to create customized solutions.

So my question is:
Would _you_ participate in such a scheme?
Or: How should the scheme look like in order to be more attractive?


mailto:frank.bergmann at project-open.com

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