ComPiere to offer ERP suite on Derby database

ComPiere will release a version of its open-source ERP software for the Apache Derby database later this year, it said Tuesday.

ComPiere is developing a version of its open-source ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite for the Apache Derby database, giving users the option of using an open-source database with its applications for the first time, the company's founder and president said Tuesday.

ComPiere's suite includes modules for a range of ERP tasks including inventory management, sales and accounting. It also includes CRM (customer resource management) capabilities such as tracking help desk calls. It's aimed primarily at small- to medium-sized businesses.

The suite is designed to run on Oracle databases but ComPiere plans to release a version later this year for Apache Derby, which is based on the Cloudscape database that IBM released to the open-source community last year.

"We're working together with the Derby development team and we'll provide a complete open-source solution based on Derby and Cloudscape in six to nine months," said Jorg Janke, the company's founder and president, speaking at the Solutions Linux conference in Paris

ComPiere also plans to add additional applications for the manufacturing industry and government users, he said.

ComPiere had started porting its applications to the PostgreSQL open-source database, according to its Web site, although Janke did not mention this Tuesday.

The software is distributed for free under the Mozilla Public License. ComPiere, based in Oregon, makes money selling services and support, which are also provided by about 60 partners worldwide.

The company has 200 paying customers, mostly in services, retail and distribution, Janke said. The software has been downloaded more than a million times, according to Janke, although every download doesn't lead to an install.

The company has several open-source rivals, including SugarCRM and French startup Nexedi, which makes the ERP5 suite.

ComPiere picked Oracle as its first database because Janke once worked for Oracle and was familiar with the software, and because it provides a stable platform that is easy to develop on, he said.

The company has no performance metrics for its software but is working on some with IBM, according to Janke. "On a single server, a normal box, you should get at least 50 to 100 users without problems," he said.

The company recently bid on a project for the Hong Kong government involving 4,500 users and "passed all their performance tests," according to Janke.

The first version of ComPiere was installed in 2000 and the company has been profitable since 2003, he said.

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