Open Source Business Software

What is open source business software?

Open source business software is software that’s used to automate, streamline, track, and connect business processes and functions across an organization. Open source in this case typically means two things:

First, it means that the software is made available for use under a particular kind of license known as an open source software license. Second, it means that the software's source code is "open", and thus can be used and further customized to fit the particular needs and requirements of any particular business. 

Open source business software spans industries, from accounting to e-commerce and manufacturing. There are different communities that contribute to the maintenance and development of the software, and the choice of which one to use is dependent on many factors including what the business is looking for and their budget.

Graph with five points describing open source business software

What are three examples of open source business software?

Apache OFBiz™

Apache OFBiz is an open source business application framework that can be used across industries. It has a comprehensive selection of different modules including e-commerce, CRM, manufacturing, accounting, and warehouse management that can be connected and built out to create a customized software solution that’s robust and responsive. 

Businesses typically choose OFBiz for their open source business software needs when they want a very comprehensive, scalable, flexible solution that they can count on as their business grows and markets change.

The OFBiz community is also large and very active, which means the software is consistently under the care and maintenance of thousands of volunteer developers who donate their time to making OFBiz better. 


Moqui is an open source, low code business application framework that was created by the same person as OFBiz, and is known for its cost-effective, multi-instance advanced tools and applications. Where OFBiz is very robust with a large selection of ready to go applications and extensive code base, Moqui is more lightweight and streamlined, with a smaller code base. Both have their respective use cases where they really shine. 

Moqui software has application modules for things like ERP, CRM, e-commerce, and project management. It's built to be scalable, efficient, extendable and comprehensive. Custom business software consultants and enterprises alike benefit from Moqui's quick and powerful infrastructure.

Our Moqui development services are used by end-user organizations that need custom software, from existing system augmentation to complete end-to-end systems.

Apache NiFi

Apache NiFi is an open source data processing and distribution software that's used by thousands of companies across the world and every industry. It has a user friendly interface that makes it easy and intuitive to use, while also being powerful and reliable. 

NiFi shines when used to track data from beginning to end, and just like other Apache projects such as OFBiz, the community around NiFi is highly engaged, which lends itself to creating better software, faster.

We rely on Apache NiFi for client and internal projects that require seamless, accurate processing and distribution of data, performance in high volume production environments, an intuitive interface, and ability to seamlessly communicate with external systems.

Graph comparing three examples of open source business software

What is the biggest advantage of open source software?

There are many advantages that come with using open source software, especially if the software is from a project that’s been around a long time, has a large and active community, and of course is used by many businesses around the world. But by and large, one of the biggest advantages of open source software is the ability to customize the system as needed.

While there are certainly use cases that fit an out-of-the-box software model (including our Accelerator), for businesses that know they have particular needs or requirements, a customized system often provides the greatest value. This is because they:

  1. Don't have to worry about paying for features that automatically come with an OOTB model but that they don't need
  2. Don't have to cope with having their requirements met 75% by an incomplete, off-the-shelf solution

Where an out-of-the-box solution can be limiting, the whole point of a custom solution is to erase previous limitations so that the business can grow free from technology constraints.

Other advantages of open source software include access to innovation (thanks to the large community and ability to make changes to the system), scaleability, and lack of recurring license fees.

Looking for open source business software for your business? Get in touch.

DATE: Jun 25, 2024
AUTHOR: HotWax Systems