Odoo Community vs Odoo Enterprise. Which is best for my business?
As Australia’s most experienced Odoo partner, we are often asked different questions about Odoo, such as its suitability for specific usage cases, its ability to be modified and of course, its cost.
One of the most common questions I am asked is, ‘Which version of Odoo should I use? - Community or Enterprise?’
I believe this is a very important question and should be addressed by analysing the pros and cons of both before any major development work is commenced.
Odoo’s object-oriented framework means that the Enterprise version is simply an extension of the Community version and both versions evolve together. This is unique in the open-source world where quite often a free community version might be one or two versions behind the enterprise/paid version.
However, there are several differences between the two versions of Odoo that could render either one not suitable for your business. So, I think it’s important that we as an experienced Odoo partner, share the following to assist you when considering what is the right choice for your business.
Odoo Community vs Enterprise. What’s the difference?
Essentially the Community version of Odoo is a lite version of Enterprise, although it is Odoo’s intention to make the available Community modules fully functional. Odoo was developed with the vision of providing affordable, powerful and user-friendly software to businesses across the globe. Hence why it is split into Community and Enterprise versions to capture both Enterprise and smaller clients. This model has generated a huge community following and spawned an incredible marketplace for add-on modules.
Odoo Community edition contains the open-source entry-level components of Enterprise and is available without any licensing from Odoo – no one-off licences, yearly licenses, or user licenses. The core functionality is included, however, the main difference is that fewer Odoo S.A. authored modules are available. In some instances, notably the finance module, only “cut-down” versions are available. For businesses with modest requirements and budget, Odoo Community is a fantastic cost-effective choice, especially if it is interfaced to a popular accounting package like XERO.
Both the Community and Enterprise versions can be extended by adding modules from the Odoo apps store or by the custom extensions WilldooIT can develop. Unlike Odoo Community, Odoo Enterprise requires a license from Odoo. The exact cost of this license depends on the number of users and Odoo modules selected.
As discussed above, Odoo Community is the completely licence-free version of Odoo, making it extremely cost-effective if your business does not require the in-depth functionality present in Enterprise. The only cost will be hosting, any modifications you require and support from your local partner.
The primary Odoo modules of concern not included in Odoo Community are those relating to accounting and financials. As such, Odoo Community cannot really be used as a substitute for an accounting package. Generally speaking, when we perform an Odoo Community edition implementation, the client will continue to use their existing 3rd party accounting package (such as Xero, MYOB, etc.).
For those businesses who are happy to retain their existing accounting package, this is an excellent solution as it provides an otherwise near-complete ERP package, with the following modules included:
Basic Human Resources
Invoicing & Payments
Point of Sale
The features continue to improve with every Community version release. Excluding finance functionality, Odoo Community is a very functional ERP package. However, there are many additional features that can be found in Odoo Enterprise.
Additionally, Odoo Community also allows for 3rd party module installation and modifications.
This now brings us to the major drawbacks of Odoo Community edition. As I have mentioned a couple of times, the first would be the lack of inbuilt accounting and financial functionality. The need to use a 3rd party accounting package can be a major disruption unless an API has been written.
Secondly, Odoo Community does not have an interface for Mobiles and Tablets. Instead, on these devices, the standard desktop web interface will be shown. This can be a distraction depending on how often you and your employees use mobile devices to access Odoo.
Finally, there are several features that most businesses require that are not available. Features like eCommerce integrators, PLM and more. See the full comparison here. Some of these missing features can be added using modules from the app store, although it then may require support from several different vendors.
In short, the Community version should be viewed as a wonderful extension to an existing financial package like XERO. However, unless you are very technically competent you will need the support of an experienced partner (like WilldooIT) to implement it successfully.
Odoo Enterprise is the full-featured version of Odoo, able to use all Odoo S.A. authored modules, including the full accounting and finance modules. In addition to all the modules available for Odoo Community edition, Odoo enterprise includes:
Advanced Human Resources
(Payroll, Appraisals, Approvals, Department Dashboard)
Flows & Financial Consolidation
(Advanced MRP, Maintenance. PLM, Quality)
Inventory Barcode Support
Shipping/Logistics Provider Integration (DHL, UPS, & More)
eCommerce (Including Amazon & eBay Integration)
(Builder, Blogs, Themes, Form Builder, Versioning, A/B Testing, Call-to-Action Blocks)
PoS Loyalty Card Support
IoT Box Functionality
(Events, Email Marketing, Live Chat, SMS Marketing, Social Marketing, Lead Scoring)
As you can see, Odoo Enterprise edition contains Odoo S.A. authored modules/features simply not available in Odoo Community edition. The most important discrepancy for many of our clients is the accounting and finance application and extended features that allow complete integration with all other Odoo modules enabling a complete, fully integrated ERP package. Overall, the full-featured ERP contains everything you need to operate and manage all areas of your business.
Odoo S.A. has developed a viable marketing model for an open-source product and their main income comes from the recurring enterprise licence fees. A viable marketing model can often be a problem in the open-source environment. Odoo S.A.’s model allows both the Community and Enterprise versions to evolve and the licencing fees for the enterprise are more than competitive with its competitors.
The licencing in Enterprise is allocated based on an application, per user module. If you have ten staff that utilise ten modules, you will require licenses for each module and user. Check out the pricing model here.
Ultimately, it is up to you to determine which Odoo edition is right for your business. As I have discussed in this blog, both the Odoo Community and Odoo Enterprise versions have advantages and disadvantages. It depends on your business and your specific usage case as to which edition will be more suitable and cost-effective.
If you require help in working out which Odoo edition is more suitable for your business, feel free to give me a call (0400 017 444) or contact us here. We can draw on our extensive experience implementing Odoo to define your business scope and help determine which edition of Odoo is most suitable for your needs.
Jonathan Wilson – Chief Sales and Innovation Executive, WilldooIT
If you are a CFO, MD or CEO of an innovative and forward-thinking organisation seeking a simpler and more effective method of tracking your business performance via integrated ERP and eCommerce software solutions, perhaps I can help.
With over 40 years of verifiable success in the IT industry, including roles as Director of Sales – Odoo and Chief Sales and Innovation Executive at WilldooIT, Managing Director of WillowIT and CTO at Nexus Business Software, I understand the importance of an integrated ERP and eCommerce solution that has the potential to meet the functional processes and financial requirements across all the departments of your organisation.
My skills include partnering with senior leaders of a business to determine business needs, risks and functionality and aligning solutions in support of strategic and tactical objectives to satisfy cost-effective business requirements and deliverables.