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Is this the most usable Open Source ERP?

Openbravo, the leading developer of professional, web-based, open source ERP solutions designed specifically for small and medium businesses, is pleased to announce its most powerful release to date - Openbravo 2.21.

Openbravo provides web-based resource planning for SMBs through a range of capabilities spanning key business functions, including customer management (CRM), billing, procurement, inventory, project management, financial/accounting and business intelligence (BI). The new release 2.21 also incorporates new functionality and capabilities, code adjustments and bug fixes.

Manel Sarasa, CEO of Openbravo explains: "Since its inception, Openbravo has always been committed to innovation, quality and cost-effectiveness. With Openbravo Release 2.21 we have taken this strategy to new levels, incorporating standards of quality, functionality and usability for professional SMB hitherto only available to the very biggest enterprise companies."

Openbravo 2.21

Openbravo Release 2.21 comprises several important new modules and capabilities. Specifically, these include:

Material Requirements Planning (MRP): is a software-based production planning and inventory control system used to manage manufacturing processes. MRP help companies keep a lower level of inventory, plan activities & schedules, and ensure that materials are always available.

Automate the processes that define the work requirements and the procurement orders. This includes defining the processes that generate the requirements based on sales orders, product stocks, sales forecasting & other input data, and functionalities that impact the allocation of resources.

Each product has its own planning method and can be assigned to the documents to be used (sales & purchase orders, sales forecasts, work requirements, material requirements and/or initial stocks). Lot types, quantities, and process times for each product are defined here.

The product BOM is expanded such that all related products are planned for.

After both the purchase and the manufacturing processes are complete, the user can modify lines and recalculate each plan.

Manufacturing Module: Updated processes for calculating real and standard costs. A new Manufacturing Cost Report compares real vs. standard costs in a period of time, detailing costs for consumed materials, machines, employees and indirect costs, while allowing access to the detailed cost of materials.

Service Projects Management: Now including: project definition, tasks management, time and expense reports, invoicing to customers, generation of expense invoices from employees and profitability reports.

Price adjustments / Discounts: Redefined as a price modifier. Now more than one offer or discount price can be applied to an order or invoice line. Also, new filters (price list and quantity intervals) can be used to define offers.

Multicurrency Support: Fully reviewed across the entire application to include currency conversions and conversion charges.

International Support: Full UTF-8 support to allow for localizations to any language as well as any date format and numbering format configuration.

Security Enhancements: More security between different organizations in the same installation and better security access data level.

Taxes: Extended tax model allowing different tax ranges to be applied depending on individual business partner tax category. Also, taxes can now be defined using a cascading approach.

New Cash Flow Forecasting Report

Manual Settlement and GL (General Ledger) Journal can be defined as templates and then used for generating new Manual Settlements and GL Journals.

PLUS: A number of `nuts and bolts' technical fixes to make Openbravo even more efficient, including: New application menu options for preparing test environments; a new Combo generator and the reorganization of code into smaller projects; and fixing133 bugs for the new release.

Openbravo has already been installed by a number of innovative SMB enterprises such as: Galenicum Health (, a solutions provider to the pharmaceutical and healthcare verticals, specializing in sourcing and product development; Huesker (, a regional distribution and service center for a multinational in synthetics and textiles which needed to streamline their operations; and Frilac (, a distributor of frozen foods for both wholesale and retail companies.

"Any company that is looking for a new and efficient way to handle data and processes in a cost-effective and sophisticated way is going to be looking at open source in 2007," said Ismael Ciordia, CTO for Openbravo.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.