80 Open Source Replacements for Really Expensive Applications – Datamation

Datamation

80 Open Source Replacements for Really Expensive Applications

 

These open source apps in some cases offer considerable cost savings.
August 23, 2012
By

Cynthia Harvey

(Page 1 of 4)

 

Datamation’s annual list of open source replacements for really expensive applications has proven to be highly popular. Huge thanks to the many commenters on last year’s list. We tried to incorporate as many of your suggestions as possible into this year’s version.

One note: When we list an open source app as a “replacement” for another app, that doesn’t mean that the open source version has exactly the same features and capabilities as the commercial app it’s meant to replace. Sometimes the open source apps offer a more basic feature set and don’t meet the needs of high-end users.

However, in some cases, the open source apps actually offer more features and a better interface than the commercial equivalent. The purpose of the list is to point users to open source software that is roughly similar to commercial software they might be considering in the hopes that some of them might find a better fit for their needs and save some money.

Also, we understand that licensing is just a small part of the total cost of ownership when talking about enterprise apps. Still, many users report that they reduce their TCO with open source solutions, particularly when they choose an open source option that offers commercial support and services.

With that said, here are 80 outstanding open source applications that might help you save hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars on licensing costs. If you know of other apps that should be on the list, please note them in the comments section below, and we’ll consider them for next year.

Accounting

1. Edoceo Imperium

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage 50 Complete Accounting ($369.00)

Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, this Web-based app offers billing and accounting capabilities, plus basic CRM and job tracking. It integrates with Google Calendars and other Google Apps, and it can import IMAP email. Operating System: OS Independent

2. FrontAccounting

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage 50 Complete Accounting ($369.00)

Another Web-based option, FrontAccounting offers financial management and some ERP functionality. It boasts more than 100,000 downloads, and a helpful demo is available on the site. Operating System: OS Independent

3. GnuCash

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage 50 Complete Accounting ($369.00)

GnuCash combines personal and small business accounting functionality into a single app that’s great for consultants, freelancers and other independent professionals. It offers double-entry accounting, investment tracking, financial calculators and import/export with common financial file types. Operating System: OS Independent

4. TurboCASH

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage 50 Complete Accounting ($369.00)

Used by more than 80,000 small businesses around the world, TurboCASH claims to offer all the capabilities most small organizations will ever need, including multi-user and multi-company features. It supports multiple languages, and it comes with a standard chart of accounts for U.S. or U.K. users. Operating System: Windows

5. XIWA

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage 50 Complete Accounting ($369.00)

Short for “XIWA is Web accounting,” XIWA is now more than a decade old. Key features for this Web-based accounting app include basic payroll functionality, double-entry accounting, stock and investment tracking, and support for multiple users and multiple sets of ledgers. Operating System: Linux

Audio Recording/Editing

6. Audacity

Replaces Apple LogicPro ($199.99), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199.00)

An excellent option for garage bands and other amateur musicians, Audacity offers live recording, file import and export, multi-track and multi-channel recording, intuitive editing, unlimited undo, pitch adjustment, many special effects, analysis tools and much more. The 2.0 version, released earlier this year, offers improved special effects, a new Sync-Lock Tracks feature, a device toolbar, automatic crash recovery, fast “on-demand” import of WAV/AIFF files and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

7. Frinika

Replaces Apple LogicPro ($199.99), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199.00)

Frinika’s audio editing capabilities aren’t quite as advanced as Audacity’s, but it adds other features like a soft synthesizer and a notation editor. It aims to be “a complete platform for making music with your computer.” Operating System: OS Independent

8. Linux MultiMedia Studio

Replaces Apple LogicPro ($199.99), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199.00)

Specifically designed as an alternative to FL Studio, LMMS includes a song editor, beat and bassline editor, piano roll, FX mixer, and more. The site includes many sample songs created with LMMS. (Also, note that while it says “Linux” in the name, it also supports Windows.) Operating System: Windows, Linux

Business Intelligence

9. Jaspersoft

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($25,000.00 )

The “world’s most widely used business intelligence software,” Jaspersoft offers interactive, Web-based reports, dashboards and analytics built for the cloud, mobile and big data. For the free, community versions of Jaspersoft, see JasperForge.org. Operating System: OS Independent

10. Pentaho

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($25,000.00 )

Pentaho combines data integration and business analytics tools in a single platform. In addition to the open source version, the company offers basic, professional and enterprise versions that offer additional functionality for an annual subscription. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

11. JedoxPalo BI

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($25,000.00 )

Palo offers offers an open source suite that combines OLAP Server, Palo Web, Palo ETL Server and Palo for Excel, or you can download the apps separately. Jedox offers a paid version that adds more capabilities to the core Palo product. See the comparison chart for details. Operating System: OS Independent

CAD

12. BRL-CAD

Replaces AutoCAD ($4,195.00 and up)

The U.S. military has been using this open source app to model weapons systems for more than 20 years. It’s recently completed one of its biggest updates ever, which greatly expanded its feature set and improved overall performance. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.

13. FreeCAD

Replaces AutoCAD ($4,195.00 and up)

Built for mechanical engineers and product designers, FreeCAD is a general purpose parametric 3D modeler that imports and exports from numerous industry-standard formats. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others

14. Archimedes

Replaces AutoCAD ($4,195.00 and up)

Created with architects in mind, Archimedes is a simplified but extensible CAD program that’s best for designing buildings. It’s based on Java and Eclipse, so you can use it on any platform. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

Customer Relationship Management

15. SugarCRM

Replaces Salesforce.com Enterprise ($125.00 per user per month), Microsoft Dynamics CRM ($1,555.00 and up) Sage ACT! ($229.99 and up)

SugarCRM’s customers include Coca-Cola, Avis, Chevrolet and many other companies. It offers management tools for sales, marketing and customer service, and it’s available in both cloud and on-premise versions. See SugarForge.org for the free open source version. Operating System: OS Independent

16. vTiger

Replaces Salesforce.com Enterprise ($125.00 per user per month), Microsoft Dynamics CRM ($1,555.00 and up) Sage ACT! ($229.99 and up)

vTiger boasts more than 100,000 customers for its SaaS product and 2.8 million downloads of the open source version. It provides sales and marketing, support, inventory management, project management, calendar, mobile apps, reports and analytics, private customer portals, document sharing, email integration, quotes and invoicing, and many other capabilities. Operating System: Windows, Linux

17. SplendidCRM

Replaces Salesforce.com Enterprise ($125.00 per user per month), Microsoft Dynamics CRM ($1,555.00 and up) Sage ACT! ($229.99 and up)

SplendidCRM comes in three SaaS versions, commercially supported on-premise versions and the open source on-premise version. It can back up or import Salesforce.com data, and it can sync with iCloud, Google Apps or QuickBooks. Operating System: Windows.

18. ConcourseSuite

Replaces Salesforce.com Enterprise ($125.00 per user per month), Microsoft Dynamics CRM ($1,555.00 and up) Sage ACT! ($229.99 and up)

Java-based ConcourseSuite claims to be “the first front office application suite to integrate customer relationship management (CRM), Web content management and team collaboration capabilities into a single, easy-to-use Web application.” It comes in free and commercially supported versions for use on premise or in the cloud. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Database

19. MySQL

Replaces Microsoft SQL Server Standard ($898.00 and up)

The self-proclaimed “world’s most popular open source database,” Oracle’s MySQL claims to be able to reduce total cost of ownership 90 percent compared to Microsoft SQL Server. In addition to the free community edition, it comes in numerous supported versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X

20. PostgreSQL

Replaces Microsoft SQL Server Standard ($898.00 and up)

PostgreSQL might not be the most popular, but it does consider itself the “world’s most advanced open source database.” It’s more than 15 years old and is standards-compliant. Support is available through third-party vendors. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X, Solaris

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