[Discussion] Who Are We?

You mean create a group which is even further subset of accounts module group? If yes, why?

I understand that in group dynamics some members would be active, some would be less active, and some are passive. But. it’s not a good idea to keep making smaller and smaller separate groups, just to drive active conversations.


I think you have oversimplified the issue and left me more confused than I was before! Our goal is to build a great ERP product which should be used by millions of people freely out of the box. But we don’t have enough resources to do that and asking for volunteers to help build this dream. However we don’t mind end users freely using it without contributing anything back. Why? Because it is our dream to build something great for them to use it freely. We are fine end users getting all the benefits for free but not happy with service providers making some money using ERPNext similar to end users. Is that because it is highly profitable being a ERPNext service provider and they have become too greedy not to contribute back? I don’t know. It would be really great if someone can share some data about that. If that is not true, you are not on the right track to solve this problem of community contribution. The more ERPNext becomes end user friendly, less profitable it becomes for service providers. I am not a service provider yet(unlikely I will become one), but I wish to make some contribution back. Why? Because I have already spent a lot of time on this great product and I realize a lot of things are better contributed back for maintenance purpose rather than keeping it to myself!
I am also surprised to see so many people people stressing too much on code. What about understanding users problems and putting a nice design that explains clearly how to solve the problem? Isn’t that as important as coding? Sadly, we don’t see much of that which makes the whole development less transparent making enthusiastic contributors difficult to enter the development circle. If we are aiming to make the lives of millions easier for free, we shouldn’t shy away from getting something back from them. That will help us reach millions more. If we already have the resources, but somehow failed to deliver, I am not sure what you are really trying to convey in this discussion.


I agree 100%, particularly with the statement about stressing with code… Design is as much if not more important than coding. When a user understands a use case or a particular business and is able to put that in writing, the life of the coder is greatly simplify.

So all those business and subject mater expert out there can contribute with design ideas and use cases… It’s a win win in my book

As for me, I greatly appreciate ERPNext and the community. My experience coming from the Multiple O company has been very smooth and the community has been very responsive on the forum. I hope to be pushing ERPNext to my clients… Any and all modification or addition I will create will be given back to the community. My logic is the make money on knowledge and services not on software and apps.


Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts!

Maybe my disclaimer for end users was still not clear. Of course you are welcome to contribute… and we value your contributions.

My greater point was that those who are interested parties must be mandated to contribute otherwise it’s no point helping them for free on the forum, hoping that one day they will turn around. This just creates a bad culture.

Again this is just my view, primarily as a giver. If there are other givers who have a lot of free time to donate, please go ahead!

Also this is just beyond code, you can report issues, test pull requests, help in documentation, translation etc.


Dear fearless leaders of ERPNext,

Labelling the entire community into one of the two buckets is divisive (good people /bad people). It is a false dichotomy. “You are with is or against us” is not unifying. Nor it is a message of hope. So much so that some people feel compelled to identify with one or the other and “come out”.

It might be “a way” of addressing some issues related to perceived value people bring to this community. But keeping a more positive tone and a positivie leadership approach would be better.

The one thing i note lately is an increased bitterness in posts and a sense of “broken marriage” when one complains that the other one is not doing enough! Might be a perception and most of the time it is just that.

No matter how great a programmer or innovator or visinary we are, we need a constant reminder that LEADERSHIP is about how to bring the best out of everyone. Let’s find clever ways to do that.

It is not about “who we are”. It is about “Who do we want to be?”.

Wish all type 1,2…to type n people the best beginnings in whatever you do.

My wish and hope for 2018 is I can learn a lot as much as possible and contribute as much as possible.


Thanks for sharing your views.

I don’t think negativity is necessarily a bad thing. Every society / group has its way of telling its members that a certain behaviours are not acceptable if they want to be in the group, and you need both carrot and stick to do that.

The behaviour (Type 1) we specifically are talking about is that goes like this “XConnector or XReports are only for my customers and I will not share them with the community. I have invested by developer time building them, so all the benefit should accrue to me”. While this may be a rational way of thinking, but it does not help the community.

What we want is this (Type 2). “My customers use ERPNext and its 203 features for free, I make my money helping my customers setup / use ERPNext. I think XConnector or XReport will be great for my customers, so let me have it added it ERPNext so they can use it, along with everyone else”

If everyone thinks like Type 1, ERPNext as a community will never improve and will fragment into walled gardens. The customers also lose in the long run, as service providers may then keep increasing charges for upgrade and may even refuse to upgrade.

If some people, on reading this post will say, “This is not the community for me, I want full value for my investments” then its fine, there are many places you can go. We want everyone who is able, to put in contributions first to ERPNext before they ship them to their customers, even if it takes a bit longer because they know its right for the customer and the community in the long run. Even if this number is small, this is the only community we should care about, because they will help us reach the goal faster.


I am also not saying negativity is a bad thing. Just that positivity is better. Works in your/our favor.

I have experienced such positivie leadership and it is far more engaging. Negative leadership (by fear, threat) gives short time gains but long term it will take more investment ( continued and growing: anger, resentment, bitternes, stress…) Your own health and time is worth more than anything. Dial back. Remember the pareto distribution: 80% of donations are by 20% people. Applies here to. This is a natural distribution and occurs in nature all the time. You can’t change that. As the numbers grow, we will see more of all kinds of people. People who take and people who give.

The community is a bit of a teenager. It will learn its lessons. It is not suicidal, so let it figure it out.

Further, it is a bit better to say: we had a great year in 2017 thanks to the contributions of so many in so many ways. It could have been even better if those passive contributors got engaged. Wish you all a great 2018.

Wish you all a great year of positivity !!!



This post shows how naive the leadership of this project is.

Making money by helping end users using your open source project is no shame nor evil, it is just why everyone on earth build a business. I mean seriously you’re building an ERP software… a software that has one major goal, which is helping companies make more business/money …etc. I would contribute whenever I can and whenever I want.

  • In order to reach your goal, you should help the service providers make more money. because without service providers, no serious company would trust you enough to move one of the most critical parts of their business to your software (what if something gone wrong, what if we grow and needed to scale the system, or needed an additional features?) and your project will end up dead. and you should make your project a profitable project, not naively offering all of your time and effort for free. And don’t ask people to do your job for free.

Hi buddy, it is funny you joined as a new user to make a comment? care to identify yourself?

There is no restriction on making money. However there is some responsibility as a user or service provider to give something back.

Probably not your cup of tea to be generous.

Please note:
You don’t have to use ERPNext. You are not doing anyone a favour other than yourself.

No one owes you a profit model. Figure that out yourself.

Most importantly identify yourself.


I do not subscribe to this point. Because implementation/training/setup is one part of the service providers activity. Which will always remain irrespective of how simple it becomes. I’m saying this from my experience of helping people on QuickBooks: setup, training, report customization -And I charge a reasonable fee for my time. Even though QuickBooks is much simpler/lean than ERPNext with 9-6 hotline support available, many users do not want to take pain doing on their own.

So, I feel implementation, training, and customization of ERPNext will remain.

Coming to next point, many of the service providers (coders, functional, management guys) are learning ERPNext and want to service companies on their specialization. For eg- We as an accountant wants to make money from servicing on KPI, dashboards, accounting, controls and other services for people using ERPNext. And I assume that ERPNext adopters would prefer service providers for their needs on condition that whether they know the system or not.

I’m with you. The process of contribution on other areas (design, testing, etc.) needs to be simpler to encourage more participation.

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can we have a dislike button also on this forum. Only heart is not sufficient. Some comments needs dislike as i do not want to spend time negatively criticizing some negative commenters

@qualitymarkup: Friend, ERPNext is Open Source and it needs be driven the way top givers think. I’m sure all of us agree that, people who give more to community have more louder voice and i completely support @rmehta call of asking commitment for contribution.

However, I really like the approach of @Not_a_countant of being positive to attract more positives :+1:


Your post shows a lack of understanding of Rmehta’s post and of open source in general.

No one is asking service providers not to make money, you can make enough from customisations, implementation and provision of services.

Rmehta’s point is, whatever customisation’s or features you add to the software, make it available to the community, that way ERPNext is stronger and we do not have to be reinventing the wheel individually. Is that too much to ask? Meanwhile the people who hoard their customisations are always very quick to come on line to ask for help when they are stuck. That is selfishness and should be discouraged.

I hope I have explained this simply enough for you to understand? I am sure you did not understand else you would not have been so quick to label a group of people naive. That was tactless and uncalled for.

Warm regards


I understand frustration from @qualitymarkup.

However, service providers should realise this.

  • ERPNext does not owe us anything
  • We can look at other open source projects for our clients.

To me ERPNext has a huge potential but it seems they are looking more to users instead of service providers. I do agree that ERPNext should be looking at service providers too with ERPNext looking at taking a cut from projects. This allows ERPNext to have another avenue of funding to make ERPNext a much stable project. Maybe make it mandatory for service providers to share the customization too.

Also, service providers are able to give more case studies and use cases as they work with multiple companies and rarely stuck to a certain domain or industry. This will give ERPNext more insight of companies’ requirements globally.

It is not impossible for service providers to work closely with ERPNext, newmatic.io is one very good example.

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The last time(two months back?) this discussion came to forefront, we took some measurable actions like forming the module volunteers group to increase the contributions like forum answers, github issues, feature development etc. That seemed to have improved the contributions to some extent, but perhaps no where near we expected. I am assuming this discussion wouldn’t have opened if that was hugely successful. It is very easy to be emotional and come up with inspirational messages, but that will do very little unless it translates to measurable actions(even better quantified with data). I feel it is too early to write off the module volunteer initiative and should do some kind of retrospective to check what should be done differently to be more successful at it.

Earlier I said I have just 1% of selfless dedication that rmehta has. Despite a lot of talk, I feel that is true for majority of the active members and nill for a lot of others. As a start, I worked on a bank statement feature. Despite a lot of progress, we are yet to get it to a working state as a community project.

That is impractical for most of the people. Anything that goes into ERPNext should meet certain level of maturity, else it has the potential to damage more than the benefit it adds. If everyone sends a pull request to whatever they are doing, do we even have the bandwidth to review/manage all those pull requests? Unlikely, and in most of the cases it might be just a waste of crucial gatekeeper time.

When I started using ERPNext for our business, I had to import some data from Tally. I couldn’t find any plugins for Tally data import, so I went ahead and wrote few lines of code to import the data. Now, why don’t I give it back to the community?
Two reasons.

  1. I am ‘greedy’ and want to make money from what I did
  2. What I did was very minimal and needs a lot of effort before it can be used by others

I belong to (2) and the code is available in my github profile or anyone to use. However, truly speaking the difference is minor between (1) and (2). It basically boils down to the amount of time I am willing to give to the community. Ideally we should give a fair share of what we have received from the community. But the problem is identifying what that ‘fair’ share is and making it ‘mandatory’ to make that contribution. We cannot make anything mandatory by asking people to contribute. Neither can we exclude people from community. That doesn’t leave us with many options. In any case, I suggest

  1. We continue to make progress with our earlier initiative of module ontributors
  2. Look objectively at the ways to take fair share of the community contributions back

I am sorry if I have been rude about it. What I meant to say is that ERPNext should evaluate a way to generate some profit so they use it to fund the project, and they surely cannot rely on the community and contributors at this stage.

I do like ERPNext and currently building extensive customizations to use it in my own business, but seriously, not sure if it is feasible to share these customizations with the community when they’re tailored to my own needs.

Its really nice going through the posts and seeing commens of diverse variants. In my opinion, the case of type 1 and type 2 is a natural phenomenon. It exists in every system.

All that is needed is to encourage the type 1s to see the global picture of the goal of ERPNext and tap into it. Excluding them from the community would mean excluding vital info or added solution that may later come from them.
I dont write coees and not a programmer, but i have given suggestions in some of the modules that meets universal standards, even though they are are yet to be implemented. I have recommeneded ERPNext to businesses too and even deployed.

So every type1 person should extend their hands of fellowship by either recommending or contribute professional ideas that would bring ERPNext to be the foremost ERP every business would want to use.

I also want to use this medium to ask. We were ask to suggest where we would like to function in terms of module review. I have stated the modules i want to be part of, but till date not even one meeting or discussion from that angle for those in charge of the module review. Am i missing something?


maybe this post skipped your view: List of module volunteers - #31 by revant_one
If not, you could contact module lead mentioned in above link for the domain of your interest and start getting involved.

For eg: I’m part of accounts module, and our Lead has decided to create Telegram group to discuss ideas and other things. We also had 1-2 meetings also. Once something substantial gets discussed or initiatives being taken, it is brought to the larger forum.


Hi everyone,
I’m new in the open source area/culture, initially I have worked with oracle ERP for long period as functional SCM.

Back to your thoughts, I’ll suggest a win-win approach putting end users (final client of ERPNext), service providers (SP) and a central development center (DC) (exist or not I don’t know) where it should be managed by strong processes/communication/development tools…

To be franc I’m interested to make business using ERPNext as SP but the problem how much I will invest in developer/functional resources with a risk to not get any project.

Here the idea, at ERPNext headquarter or somewhere a development center (DC) will be implemented.

1)Free-Free option: SP will request development services from headquarter to implement new feature on top of ERPNext community product, SP will give functional spec, Testing and so on in the other hand DC will perform development and QC.

2)Paid option : SP will request development services from headquarter to be delivered to end user (final client) most of the cases it’s a customization requested by client who will be charged, it’s a cost plus approach, DC will charge SP for the development hours, the same will add a margin of 20% for example and bill his client. DC will own delivered features and the same can be used as contributions.

other option, keep showing SP membership active only if minimal requirements are met (3 valid contribution per year for example).

Similarly, final client/freelancer can use this model.

Benefit : ERPNext keep growing with more and more features and free for download.
ERPNext DC get source of revenu
SP business is gowing on
final client will be happy.

Drawback : opensource ethics should be respected. like SP will not request an enhancement using Free-Free option instead they are charging final client :frowning:

Just thoughts…Happy to join the team I need your guidance.

Nofal Mami


This is a pure open source software project and we are quite passionate about it. Either one contributes or doesn’t. Everything goes into the pot. Not sure this community is open to a paid option. And i support that philosophy.

Suggestion to you: go through the previous discussions and see where or hearts are.