The Role of the ERPNext Foundation (Points from the Conference)

I am posting the points I have written down during our live session regarding the role of the ERPNext foundation during the ERPNext Conference 2018 in Mumbai.

I am not claiming this is without bias or a 100% representation of what was said but I do believe I tried my best to include all relevant points here. This is not my personal opinion but these were points brought up during the discussion. If you disagree or believe something is missing please add to this. Edits have been made afterwards for clarity.

I would like this to be a starting point for our foundation reboot!

Role of the ERPNext Foundation

These are not easy things to fix!

What are the goals of the foundation?

  • The foundation survey results show that 65% of users gave the reason for joining the foundation as “to give back”
  • We should be a foundation for the end user rather than a platform for the service providers
  • Service providers can not be expected to do charity work

What should we not be doing?

  • Should not develop features
  • Should not be marketing ERPNext

What should be the role of the foundation?

  • Make sure that we have a sellable, stable product
  • Act as a moderator between users, developers and service providers
  • Making informed decisions of what should be included and left out
    • Counter argument: This should be done by the maintainers
  • Be responsible for quality checks because we don’t want the product to deteriorate
  • Protect Frappe Framework and ERPNext (including from commercial interest) for years to come
  • Hire developers to do
    • cleanup
    • testing
    • documentation
  • Marketing of ERPNext
    • Counter argument: foundation should not do marketing
  • Certification for Developers (some time down the road)
  • Make sure we have good documentation
  • Promote open source software
  • Help train developers
  • Real user testing, not just test cases
  • Organize code sprint events and meetups
  • Hire technical writers to improve documentation

Should the foundation hire more developers?

  • We need to define who manages the foundation developers
  • We need to define the goals of what the developers should do
  • Developers should be hired for cleanup, testing, documentation

How should the foundation be governed?

  • We should be careful to not have commercial interest completely control the foundation (reverse incentive)
  • There is currently no way to explicitly vote in the bylaws, we have 4 directors, Rushabh with 99% voting rights
  • We should consider a leadership council


  • Service providers are being alienated, they are also part of the community
  • Leadership of the foundation should be organized from the users
  • We should consider outsourcing development to service providers as the foundation
  • Nobody has time to volunteer
  • Nobody is taking responsibility

Again! This is not my personal opinion but these were points brought up during the discussion.


Thanks @dominik for your notes!

Since there is no bandwidth to get anything “done”, I have another proposal (see link)

thanks for this concise representation of the discussion

Dominik, thanks for bringing this executive summary up. I will catch up and watch all the videos next week. Meantime, your clarification is right on point.

I do agree that governance is a sticky subject but clarifying the roles is important so we get the ball rolling. Clear “property rights” is crucial. I agree Frappe Pvt. Ltd. is not a utility. If we want stuff, we need to contribute back.

As a foundation member, I believe that having a voting structure is important, to start moving with binary go/no go decisions to move forwards to the vision of what the foundation will ultimately do. This makes it right on point.

As a starting point for a reboot example, what does MariaDB do? who markets and who develops? What is Mariadb Inc. role? What is MariaDB foundation role. I believe that is a successful model to follow.

Again Dominik, thank you for this wonderful summary and your leadership. It will help immensely with all the goals desired and give the legal framework to enhance and perpetuate ERPNext and all of our contributions.

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Might be interesting to see benefits of a Linux Foundation Membership: Why Join | Linux Foundation

Industry Leadership

  • Ability to govern and create new open source projects with The Linux Foundation
  • Ability to join Linux Foundation projects such as the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Hyperledger, EdgeX Foundry, Automotive Grade Linux, and Core Infrastructure Initiative
  • Access to Linux Foundation executives for open source strategy discussions
  • Entry to exclusive, invite-only open source leadership summits focused on technical, compliance, and business topics
  • Prominent placement of your organization’s brand on The Linux Foundation’s social networks and web properties, which receive more than 1.4 million unique monthly visitors
  • Potential seat on the Board of Directors

Legal Leadership

  • Invitation to exclusive legal conferences to discuss and help shape the industry’s open source legal strategy, including our annual Legal Summit, Open Compliance Summit, and legal tracks at the Open Source Leadership Summit
  • Access to bimonthly legal counsel conference calls
  • Direct access to our open source compliance experts for ad hoc discussions ranging from potential new projects to internal program office structures and processes

Technical Leadership

  • The ability to create new technical workgroups and collaborate in a neutral setting to solve pressing Linux or open source issues
  • Direct access to technical decision-makers of the Linux platform
  • Opportunities for leadership roles in Linux Foundation initiatives

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  • Invitations to guest speak at member events
  • Ability to attend Open Source Leadership Summit
  • Ability to participate in our Matchmake a Mentor program, where you’ll pair up with a prolific open source developer to get advice on technical and open source matters
  • Seminars on working with the open source community and driving member contributions to upstream projects

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  • Press release announcing membership
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@dominik thanks for putting up notes from conference.

How about foundation providing user training certification? Here in India, its easy to find a user who has hands on experience on tally but handful for ERPNext.

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