Open Source Strategies

A blog about open source software and business models, enterprise software, and the opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Suite.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

opentaps Quarterly Update

As the opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM community continues to grow, I will try to publish a regular update to keep all our users, contributors, and services providers up to date with our progress.

Recent Developments

The past few months have been a period of significant changes in opentaps. By incorporating several new open source applications into our core framework, we are now positioned to transform opentaps from an ERP application to an enterprise-wide application platform. The new opentaps 1.0 will offer a full range of capabilities, including mobile connectivity and a choice of open source business intelligence tools, on top of our core ERP and CRM features.

Some of key developments include:
  • Integration of the Funambol Data Synchronization via the Spring framework to allow users to share contacts and calendars between opentaps and mobile phones and desktop applications such as Outlook and Evolution.
  • Integration of both JasperReports and Pentaho business intelligence suites into opentaps.
  • Integration of FCKEditor for web-based email and marketing applications.
  • New tools for integrating opentaps with, eBay, and Froogle.
  • Voice Over IP integration into opentaps CRM.
  • New opentaps Ajax UI framework tools have been developed and will now allow us to re-design much of the legacy static screens and forms.
  • New warehouse management applications for managing inventory, shipping (including UPS/DHL/FedEx integration), manufacturing.
  • New purchasing application for managing suppliers, purchase orders, and automating the procurement process.
  • Support for lot-level inventory management for food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries.
  • New sales order entry systems in the CRM module, with enhanced support for bulk mailings and customer address validation.
  • Support for payroll, commissions, third party billing, and contract-based billing.
  • New library of tools for building online stores for opentaps with other languages and frameworks, developed in conjunction with the open source Joomla! content management project.
  • Last but not least, we have created a new opentaps documentation site which will be professionally developed and freely available to all opentaps users.
Coming Soon

Our immediate goals are to consolidate the significant progress of the past few months and lay the foundations for significantly greater growth in the future. As opentaps the application continues grow, it becomes imperative that we maintain consistency and quality. Meanwhile, as the opentaps community grows, we need to help new and existing users better understand how to leverage the full potential of opentaps.

Therefore, some of our most important investments right now are improving our documentation and unit testing. We are in the process of updating and re-writing many of the manuals for opentaps 0.9 on our new documentation site and plan to make it directly linkable from the opentaps, so all opentaps users could give live help from their screen. We are also in the process of implementing unit tests for some key application components.

Once we have made sufficient progress on these fronts, we will be ready to make the official opentaps 1.0 release.

Looking Ahead

Our fundamental goal remains the same: to make opentaps the enterprise application of choice for as many companies as possible.

Today opentaps is an open source ERP and CRM application with a strong out of the box feature set for product-based e-tailers, retailers, manufacturers, and distributors. We will continue to expand our offerings for these industries, but we also plan on broadening the feature set of opentaps to services companies. Some of the specific features planned are:
  • Fixed asset accounting
  • Improved manufacturing support, including enhanced Material Resources Planning and support for non-discrete manufacturing processes.
  • Support for services companies, including process/task and standard contract billing.
  • Improved marketing automation tools and supporting analytics
Simultaneously, we want to make opentaps technically more accessible, so that users could build extensions in a variety of languages and frameworks, be it Java, PHP, or Ruby On Rails. Finally, we plan to continue to improve our usability and documentation, so that it becomes increasingly easier for companies to implement and support opentaps.

Thank you again for using opentaps and being a part of our community!

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