Apache OFBiz (Architecture, Modules, Features, Pros, and Cons)

Last updated on by Editorial Staff
Apache OFBiz

The Apache OFBiz is an open-source business framework that includes a suite of tools for business automation, incorporating various technologies into one comprehensive solution.

This open-source ERP software provides a community of contributors working to create a robust enterprise-level framework for small businesses.

This article provides an overview of the software, its architecture, and how you can set it up on your system.

New version: Apache OFBiz 18.12.05

Released date: September 2022

What is Apache OFBiz ERP?

It is an open-source business-to-business (B2B) software suite for automating supply chain management processes.
The Apache Software Foundation developed it with input from volunteer contributors and users. The software provides an agile framework for managing information about products, suppliers, services, and transportation methods, specifically designed to make it easier to coordinate between various production levels throughout a global supply chain.

The OFBiz developers worked closely with hundreds of companies to create a flexible, scalable platform that you can adapt to meet your business needs, no matter which industry you operate in. 

It has been designed to be easy to set up and operate but powerful enough to handle the processing power of even the most critical data centers.

Unlike other Enterprise Resource Planning solutions designed for large data centers, it can run on your personal computer (without requiring special software or hardware).

Architecture

It is a Java-based web framework including an entity engine, a service engine, and a widget-based UI, allowing you to prototype and develop your web application quickly.

The common architecture allows developers to easily extend or enhance it to create custom features. In addition, it has shown its stability and maturity as an enterprise-wide ERP solution that is flexible enough to change with your business.

Development environment setup

Setting up the development environment is a straightforward process you can complete in simple steps. This article will outline the steps necessary to get it up and run on your local machine.

The development environment requires the following software:

  1. Java SE Development Kit (JDK) 8 or later
  2. Apache OFBiz 16.11.01 or later
  3. Git
  4. Maven 3.2.5 or later

Once you have installed all of the necessary software, you can proceed with the following steps:

  1. Clone the git repository: git clone
  2. Create a local ofbiz.properties file in the apache ofbiz root directory and add the following lines: i) sdk.dir=<path_to_JDK>/Contents/Home ii)java.vm.version=11
  3. Build using maven: mvn clean package
  4. Run using the following command: java -jar target/ofbiz-16.11.01-SNAPSHOT-distribution.jar

You can also create a startup script to make it easier to run in the future.

Pricing

As of writing this article, it is available entirely free of charge. (For more updates, refer to its official website).

Modules

  • Accounting( GL, AR, AP, FA): This ERP helps General Ledger reconciliation, deposit and withdrawal processing in FA, and creating account payable and account receivable invoices.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM): You can customize relationships freely and get granular control over user access and permissions.
  • Order management and E-commerce: Take orders from mobile, online storefronts, Electronic data interchange(EDI), and Point of sale POS. Process payments, track order status and fulfillment, and process returns, exchanges, and refunds.
ApacheOFbiz Order reports
 ApacheOFbiz Order Reports
  • Warehousing and Inventory Management: Warehousing includes packing catalogs, matching orders with inventory, managing different shipping methods, and tracking stock.
  • Manufacturing and MRP: A production schema is a plan that tells you how to make something. You can use it to make many of the same thing, or just one. A task is something you do to make something using a schema. You need materials to do the tasks and know how much of each material to use. The integrated Materials Resource Planning (MRP) system helps you keep track of all this.

Apache ofbiz Features

  • Product and catalog management
  • Promotion and pricing management
  • Supply chain Fulfillment
  • Contracts, Payments, and Billing

Advantages

  • It is entirely free. No upfront charges
  • It is a fully scalable, flexible, and customizable open-source ERP
  • It provides various features, including billing, invoicing, and vendor management.
  • It is developed and run by a foundation. Hence, a good and active community supports this software.

Disadvantages

  • Project management or scheduling is not available.
  • It would help if you spent more time understanding and handling the software.
  • It would help if you had the guidance of a person with experience handling this software.

Alternatives

Customers

  • Sonata Software Limited
  • Acepac International
  • HotWax Systems
  • SPEL Technologies

Apache OFBiz v/s Odoo

Apache OFBizOdoo
CategoriesBusiness ManagementERP, CRM, Accounting
Deployment model———Cloud, On-premise, Odoo. sh
Intended usersAll sizes (Good for small and midsize businesses)All sizes
Programming langaugesJava, Javascript, XML, Freemake, GroovyPython, XML, Javascript
LicenseApache License 2.0GNU Lesser, GPLv3, Proprietary
Supported devicesWeb apps, Windows, Mac, LinuxWindows, Web apps, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Language supportEnglishMulti-lingual

The future

The future looks bright for this ERP, and we expect to see more businesses adopting it as their go-to ERP solution.

We hope this has been a helpful introduction to Apache OFBiz. You can find more information on the project and its capabilities on the Official Website.

Conclusion

Apache OFBiz is open-source, enterprise-class software companies can use across industries.

It has shown its stability and maturity as an enterprise-wide ERP solution that is flexible enough to change your business.