Should this blog cover OpenMFG?

OpenMFG builds its solutions using open source tools. But it has a hybrid license, one not approved by the OSI. So should I be talking with Ned Lilly at all?

OpenMFG logo
Life is good these days at OpenMFG.

The ERP software company, with products "powered by open source software such as Linux, PostgreSQL, and Qt," continues to expand its channel, its customer base, and its product's capabilities.

One of those channel partners, Yellowdog of Canada (no relation to the political consultancy ) has now delivered wireless functionality, add-on software allowing scanners and barcode readers to interact with an OpenMFG database.

But should I be spending my morning chatting with OpenMFG CEO Ned Lilly? He openly admits to having a "hybrid license," not OSI approved. He worries that free downloading, and unlimited community support, may hurt more than help.

"It’s a question of walk before you run," he explained.

"A lot of projects can’t handle the input from the community. The code gets sloppy, the maintainers are perceived as indifferent, things spin out of control. Then people start talking about forking.

"It’s more important to us to get a good stable, happy set of customers who have been using this in production for months and years."

OpenMFG has such a set of customers. And its mission is important.

"In the U.S. there are 300,000 manufacturers with sales of $1-50 million, and as many as two thirds haven’t made any meaningful investment in ERP. You see $40-50 million companies trying to run on QuickBooks. It hurts."

OpenMFG builds its solutions using open source tools. But it has a hybrid license, one not approved by the OSI.

So should I be talking with Ned Lilly at all?

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