Compiere User Community Splits; Code Forks

A longstanding disagreement between Compiere and some of its users has resulted in the creation of a new, spin-off open-source project known as Adempiere, which was set up on SourceForge.

A longstanding disagreement between open-source ERP and CRM company Compiere and some of its users has resulted in the creation of a new, spin-off open-source project known as Adempiere.

The new Adempiere project was set up on SourceForge in September.

An open-source developer who asked not to be named told eWEEK that the dispute between the two essentially centered around the fact that the user community felt Compiere was increasingly ignoring their contributions and concerns.

They also felt that ComPieres venture capital partners and paying customers were driving the future direction of the product rather than the user community at large, he said.

That is borne out by one of the discussion posts about the issue, from Red1 in Malaysia, who is also the leader of the Adempiere community.

Red1 says that while Compiere is a "very valuable and quality open-source ERP/CRM project," many do not see it as community-friendly as would be expected from such a "potential-filled" open-source project.

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"Now so with the recent funding, one would consider that Compiere has the highest motivation to make available resources, as well as the political advantage to do so … Compieres direction seemed to be housed within its Partners Club, which is only via paid membership," the post says.

"There is no open, continuous and contributive exchange between the initiators of Compiere and the more robust outside world," it says.

Many of ComPieres worldwide network of consultants pay the company for the right to become a partner, for which they get technical and sales and marketing support as well as training services.

Those partners then provide implementation and consulting services to customers using the products.

The the Adempiere community Web site describes it as a community-driven project that develops and supports an open-source business solution of the same name that delivers enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and supply chain management functionality.

"The Adempiere project was created in September 2006 after a long-running disagreement between Compiere Inc., the developers of Compiere, and the community that formed around that project.," it says.

"The community believed Compiere Inc. placed too much emphasis on the open-source nature of the project, rather than the community nature of the project, and after an impassioned discussion decided to split from Compiere giving birth to the Adempiere project," it says.

The project name comes from the Italian word meaning "to fulfill," but with additional context of "to complete, reach, practice, perform the duties of, or free [discharge], as well as to honor and respect, "which was felt was very appropriate to what the project wished to achieve," the site says.

The Compiere application and source code are licensed under the Compiere Public License, which is based on the Mozilla Public License.

In a 27-page PDF document titled "Adempiere ERP-CRM-SCM" that gives the architecture, roadmap and plans going forward, the Adempiere Council says that "we have a dream: to create a project that evolves from Compiere.

The PDF file can be viewed here.

"A project with edge technology where everyone can share their ideas, [licensed under the] GPL, where the problems of the end users are listened [to], where we can integrate our job with the job of others, where the requirements of our clients are listened [to], where our clients feel they have a real support. [It] is for that reason that we dare to invite everyone interested in this proposal, with [the] desire of working and to support this dream together," it says.

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Jorg Janke, the founder and CEO of Compiere, said in a recent SourceForge posting that Compiere is fully committed to open source and an open development model with community participation.

"The Compiere product is open-source and will remain open-source. There is certainly no plan to cripple the product or discontinue or privatize functionality—the very opposite is the case. We will continue to develop substantial new functionality and hope to increase open-source contributions from the community," he said.

But Compiere could decide to create Compiere extensions that would be sold to customers under, for example, an "Enterprise" product offering, he said, adding that "again I expect the vast majority of revenue and growth to be based on services to help users and partners with the implementation and support of our system."

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