|Stable release||5.4.6 / August 2010|
|Operating system||Linux, Unix|
Whereas most ERPs are based on business field specific models and culture dependent ontologies, ERP5 uses a single model, called the Unified Business Model, that is used to describe all its components. This approach to enterprise modeling was introduced in 2002 by Smets and Carvalho. The UBM relies on 5 generic concepts, namely Node, Resource, Movement, Item and Path. According to Carvalho, abstraction and genericity not only reduce the complexity of ERP5 systems but also increase code reuse incentive and sustainability. Thanks to this unification, a typical ERP5 implementation thus consists of 20 to 30 tables whereas the implementation of an ERP based on traditional enterprise modeling requires thousands to tens of thousands of tables because they need to piece together several components.
ERP5 was created and is still mostly developed by Nexedi, an open source software publisher based in Lille (France), Dakar (Sénégal), Tokyo (Japan), Campos (Brazil) and Dresden (Germany). The first ERP5 implementation at Coramy, a midsize swimsuit manufacturer in the north of France, was awarded “Best ERP project” in 2004. Little information is provided by Nexedi about the companies that use ERP5, apparently as part of corporate policy to protect trade secrets. Notable public users are EADS Astrium, Bet'Eire Flow and Sénégal Government.
Recently the project's activity has rapidly declined - commits fell by 70%, the project wiki is not being edited, and the developers' mailing lists processes 3-4 occasional emails a month. The project leader is not publishing any announcements about the project development or plans for the future. At this moment, the status of the projects is unknown, and its future seems a bit uncertain.
The implementation process of ERP5 has been extensively researched and described through academic research. Campos and Carvalho describe the document oriented analysis approach which is considered for the implementation of large ERP5 systems in existing organizations. The ERP5 implementation process consists of collecting paper or electronic documents in the organization, mapping each terms and underlying concepts of each type of document to the UBM abstraction, and modeling the decision process materialized by signatures through document workflows. Unit tests, functional tests and performance tests are developed using built-in quality assurance frameworks in order to make sure that the implementation matches specified document oriented use cases and in order to prevent regressions.
This approach departs from data structure oriented modeling and from the idea that ERP implementation should at the same time change the processes of an organization and its information system. Rather than forcing organizations to adopt preset business processes, or so-called best practices provided by the ERP vendor, the ERP5 implementation process tries to capture efficient practices which are already implemented in the organization and map them to the UBM model. The risk of failure and the implementation costs of ERP implementation in large organizations are thus reduced through this approach. The ERP5 implementation process was successfully applied to the computerization of business processes of a Central Bank.
However, this implementation approach does not fit with the budget constraints of small companies or with the time constraints of newly created organizations. An alternative approach, based on Software as a Service, was later suggested by Carvalho and Johansson and implemented by SlapOS (previously TioLive LLC) which now provides ERP5 SaaS. Based on a small list of questions, which any CEO of a company can answer to in less than an hour, a standard ERP5 configuration is generated with preset business processes and custom nomenclatures (so-called categories in ERP5 terminology). This approach is now being automated with data mining and artificial intelligence tools.
A third alternative consisting of the combination of both approaches, namely the use of preset business processes and their extension at the core of ERP5, seems also possible but has not been covered yet by academic research.
Nexedi is part of multiple research projects and research clusters with a strong focus on cloud computing and on ERP5: Compatible, NEOPPOD, Geoblabla, Data Publica, TioSafe, EDOS, Systematic Paris-Region.
- Smets-Solanes, J-P; Atem de Carvalho, R (July–Aug 2003), "ERP5: a next-generation, open-source ERP architecture", IT Professional 5 (4), pp. 38–44, ISSN 1520-9202.
- de Carvalho, RA; Monnerat, RM (June 2007), "21: ERP5: Designing for Maximum Adaptability", Beautiful Code, Leading Programmers Explain How They Think.
- Zope-based ERP5 Awarded Best ERP out of 400 Projects
- erp5-users mailing list Fri Jan 13 09:48:51
- ERP5 Implementation at Infoterra, an EADS Astrium company
- TioLive SaaS completes implementation of the largest customer support application in Ireland
- Senegal Turns to Open Source Software
- ohloh code analysis http://www.ohloh.net/p/erp5
- 1539 commits in 2012, compared to 5130 in 2011
- Recent changes on wiki http://www.erp5.org/RecentChanges
- As of June 21st, the last email on developer list is dated March 26th
- de Carvalho, RA; de Campos, R (2006), "A Development Process Proposal for the ERP5 System", IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, pp. 4703–8.
- de Carvalho, RA; de Campos, R; Monnerat, RM (2008), "Quality Assurance in the ERP5 Development Process", Research and Practical Issues of Enterprise Information Systems II 1, pp. 677–87.
- Bull supports the first successful implementation of an Open Source ERP in a Central Bank, for 80 million people in 8 countries (press release), Bull.
- de Carvalho; Johansson, Enterprise Resource Planning Systems for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (PDF), DE: Uni Koblenz.
- Switch from TioLive to SlapOS
- ERP5 Lecture Configuration Evaluation, OSOE Project.
- Klaus Wölfel, "Automating ERP Package Configuration for Small Businesses", July 21, 2010.
- TioLive SaaS completes successful implementation of the largest customer support application in Ireland
- Compatible Project Provides Consistency to Open Source Cloud Computing (in French)
- Data Publica
- System@tic Paris Region