Odoo is an enterprise resource planning tool (ERP) that has been designed to be all-inclusive, to give businesses of any size the best chance of successful use thanks to a two-tier platform that lets them choose between the Community and Enterprise versions.
Odoo Community is a free-to-use ERP that allows users to take advantage of an open source in exchange for limited functionality. For anyone looking for more operational tools, the Enterprise iteration offers more applications and features supported by a monthly license fee.
The basic features in Odoo Enterprise and Community
Before taking a closer look at the differences between Odoo Community and Enterprise, it's worth understanding just what exactly it is that you get with each version.
- Tag sales in a separate window using a colour coded system
- Localisation for greater GST accounting integration.
- Sales receipts available
- Invoice management
- Website module gives access to SEO tools such as Google Analytics.
- Inventory management and operations, such as replenishment
- Point of sale and payment integration
- Control manufacturing quantities.
- All of the above
- Screen customisation
- Report design
- Menu editor
- App creator
- Ecommerce tools
- Public and/or private cloud hosting
- Project planning and forecasting tools
- Platform updates
- Unlimited tech support.
How to choose between Odoo Enterprise and Community
The above covers the basics of what comes packaged as part of Odoo Enterprise and Community. In order to make a fully informed decision though, and choose the ERP that will work for you, there are some areas where the differences between the two options needs to be examined more thoroughly.
Upgrades, support, and bugfixes
It is important to take into account the fact that Odoo Community does not offer a dedicated support package to users. Those using the Enterprise ERP however, have access to 24hr support, as well as bug fixes and system updates. There is upgrade assistance available to Community users, but only when they are moving from Community to the more comprehensive Enterprise model.
Odoo Community allows users to handle their own hosting using on-premise servers or hosted service. Enterprise also gives you this option, but there's also the opportunity to use Odoo.sh cloud hosting, as well as Odoo SaaS. The latter is not as customisable as the Community instance though, as it is a multi-tenant model where others rely on access to the same software.
Apps and modules
While Enterprise comes with several useful applications built in, Community instances have access to far fewer options.
In most cases, Community gives users the basics that small companies need to get started, while Enterprise has a much more in depth offering to suit bigger businesses.
When it comes to sales, for example, Community gives you the use of the CRM and Customer Portal modules, but an Enterprise user will also have access to eSignature functionality and the Subscriptions module amongst others.
There is also a library of additional apps that you can download and integrate into an Enterprise instance. As it stands, around 90% of the applications and modules that Odoo can use are free, with the remaining 10% available at an extra cost from the Odoo app store.
For more information, the Odoo website provides a comparison of the modules available in each option.
Of course the price has to factor into any software-buying decision. As has been mentioned, Odoo Community is free to use. While it's possible to use it straight out of the box, the reality is that most businesses will want to take advantage of its open source nature to customise and develop their iteration in order to make it work best for their business, and that will come with a cost.
On the other hand, Enterprise users not only pay a license fee, but must also consider that any additional apps and modules may also have a price tag attached.
There is no right or wrong option when it comes to choosing between Odoo Enterprise and Community, just be sure that the option you plump for has the full extent of features and capabilities that your business needs to go forward.