There has been a lot of discussion regarding open source ERP. This movement is designed to rebel against the highly proprietary ERP software, which is currently implemented, and seeks to provide a more transparent solution in the ERP market. After having reviewed various open source ERP initiatives, I did not come away overly enthusiastic about any of them. While open source is a nice concept, it has led to relatively few real marketable solutions. Linux is the preeminent example, and Firefox is another. However, there are an number of browsers that compete with Firefox such as Chrome and Safari that while they do not have the developer community that Firefox does, are still great alternatives to Firefox (I use all three). However, it would seem that whether a solution is open source is less important than whether it is reasonably priced and highly functional.
I have come across just such software for ERP. It is not an open source project, but is both reasonably priced and highly functional. It is called Fishbowl Inventory Management and it is billed as a way to integrate operations with Quickbooks. Fishbowl is not called ERP software on their website, however, to us that is what Fishbowl is emulating, but in a more simplified way. In our mind Fishbowl is mini-ERP. What immediately became apparent to us was how easy it was to use and how transparent the system was. Getting data on other ERP systems is a chore, compared to the ease of doing so with Fishbowl.