Building ERP and BI platforms in Drupal

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Big companies have achieved serious productivity gains through the deployment of ERP systems (such as SAP) that integrate sales, production, purchasing, etc. into so-called ERP systems This made it possible to gather more data and actually use that data for more efficient forecasting, to set up warning systems for management to prevent impeding catastrophe, etc. Without ERP, there would be no just in time manufacturing and global supply chains would still be a bureaucratic nightmare.

Business intelligence (BI) systems are applications that help companies to gather, provide access to, and analyze data and information about their company's operations. A good customer relationship management (CRM) system should contain BI functionality (e.g. dashbords, brakedown of sales by salesrep/customer).

Currently the classic ERP/BI software developers are moving into the medium sized entreprises market, where one of the cheapest solutions is now from Microsoft for only 10000 euro. So nothing yet for small companies.

For my company I looked at existing groupware/CRM systems to get some of this functionality. But most systems make a range of assumptions that in the best case force a company to adapt its business processes or that predetermine a system for a specific sector (e.g. civiCRM for non profit, sugarCRM for IT companies). Of course if you know php you can go modify the system, but then you'll affix yourself to a specific release and lose a whole lot of future functionality.

Drupal on the other hand already did a couple of strategic assumption liberating steps: CCK, Workflow and Views have all taken hard coded assumptions out of the system in favour of user friendly flexibility. At this point it is definitely not unimaginable to make an affordable custom made CRM for an SME in Drupal, especially if you can start recycling CCK nodetypes.

It is even not that hard to imagine an ERP system for an SME in Drupal. At this point I see 3 big needs:
-a Business Intelligence module that could be used to define queries that analyse the Drupal database. (we'll soon post a spec)
-a dashbord module that is run with cron and that can triger actions (e.g. send an email to a salesrep when a customer is ordering 30% under his average)
-a synchronisation tool that makes it possible to run a local version of an application and that can do some CVS magic (we have been building something like this in VB, when it's finished I'll put it up for download with it's sourcefiles. Maybe somebody interested in porting it to php?)

Are there any other people/organisations interested out there?
What roadblocks do you see?
Would you be interested in collaborating on this?

wanflap's picture

Baltimore Drupal Camp will offer a full day's course for Drupal beginners

Baltimore Drupal Camp will offer a full day's course for Drupal beginners, NO extra charge! It will be taught by a professional Drupal instructor and offered as an additional track.
Mark your calendar OCT09. More details to follow soon.

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FCUpgrade's picture

Drupal-BI Solution Architect | FCF

Employment type: 
Part time
Employment type: 

Need help understanding the capabilities of embedding Pentaho dashboards into a new Drupal website and then with implementation.

The project is extremely interesting in that it will deliver rich data visualizations for one of the world's largest and most interesting B2C industries.

More and private details provided to qualified responses.

Look forward to hearing from you.


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idevit's picture

BOF @drupalcon: Business Process Modelling and Drupal workflow

2014-10-02 14:15 - 15:15 Europe/Amsterdam
Event type: 

With rules, context, VBO and CRON we can cover about any linear business logic.
But what if we need iterations, feedback loops, flexibility and complex solutions?

Then we need a flexible and adaptable environment to facilitate dynamic and demanding work processes.

Rigid processes can be limiting and become the actors slowing down growth especially when they are hardcoded into the software.

A living Process enables you to beak the rigidity and empower your end users to be able to provide feedback and continuously improve the process.

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manuelBS's picture

ERP Distribution für service providers needs more testers

ERPAL is a drupal distribution ( that provides ERP functions for service based companies. To get a first release, we would be happy to get some more testers and more feedback on the architecture as well as on the overall functionality.

ERPAL provides many usefull functions such as:

  • CRM
  • Project, Task and Ticket management
  • Document management
  • Employee management
  • Calendars
  • Invoicing

And many other features.

Join the issue queue and help testing!

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drecute's picture

Drupal distribution (EduERP) for Educational Institutions is Released!

EduERP is student and staff adminstration software for educational institutions. It is available for download and immediate use.

The student information system can do admissions, clearance, course registration, grading, exams processing and transcripts. With plugins for creating and synchronizing user accounts on e-mail servers, payment administration, HR management and a flexible reporting system, most schools can automate student and staff management with EduERP.

Notable Features



  • Student Registration
  • Clearance
  • Course Registration
  • Read more
    Riverstone's picture

    B-B calls for Software Industry

    daneelcm's picture


    Anybody knows how did I can change the target database via hook_query_alter or other hook launched before the execution of a query?

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    nedlilly's picture

    xTuple ERP / CRM / accounting

    If anyone's interested, xTuple has done quite a bit of integration between Drupal and our own open source ERP system (which has been the #1 most active project on Sourceforge for almost two years). It's productized as the xTuple Web Portal, and includes Customer Support functionality integrating with a CRM backend, and Business to Business Sales for order management. There's also an Ubercart connector for business to consumer shopping cart applications.

    Ned Lilly

    CEO, xTuple

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    mojzis's picture

    Forena reporting module?

    Have you seen the module Forena Reports ? It looks like a pretty good idea. I am just about to give it a second test drive, this time on a live site. Will write down some ideas here.

    Forena Reports will be a reporting application that is designed to compete with other enterprise reporting systems

    edit: i just realized the name of the project is rather cryptic so I slightly updated this post to make it clear ...

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    singularo's picture

    ERP project

    Just a quick note to let people know that the erp project is nearing the launch of beta3, and has had a huge amount of development in the last four months.

    If you are interested, now is a good time to check it out. There are certainly rough edges, and things not implemented fully, but we are using it to run our business, so there is a lot in there, and we are improving and finalising things every day.

    Expect beta3 early next week, but for now, grab the dev release to try it out.

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    ar_howard's picture

    Adempiere ERP/CRM Web Shop in Drupal

    We are currently implementing Adempiere ERP/CRM with an implementation partner in Australia.

    In our implementation project, our marketing department want to have a Webstore integrated in with general website content (e.g. latest news with various shopping artifacts (specials, checkout links, buy this) spread around the website. Further down the track marketing may wish to "customise" the way the web site works for particular customer profiles (both for Adempiere sales, and for Web2.0 collaboration type applications).

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    emjayess's picture

    Pentaho B.I. Suite?

    Has anyone here implemented or worked with the Pentaho open source B.I. Suite? I'm curious about what potential avenues and possibilities exist in bringing Drupal & Pentaho together for reporting & B.I.

    Thoughts? Discussion? Experiences?

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    kvantomme's picture

    CCK versus Taxonomy for node referencing

    I had been looking for a way to have a two-way reference between 2 nodes. You would need this for basic CRM functionality e.g. to be able to link a person to a company or an action to a project. This way you can go to a person and see what company he is part of or go to that company and see all the people that are working in that company.

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    mlncn's picture

    Trying the ERP Module

    What are folks' experiences with the ERP module package?

    We've only just installed it but it looks impressive. Has anyone used it with CiviCRM?

    Thanks, and we'll be reporting back also.

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    cryztov's picture


    In order to make a CRM in drupal that has a local and a remote version I had to try to synchronise the two.
    I have tried to do that in three steps

    Good to know is, that I made the synchronisation program in, my knowledge of PHP was to small to make it in PHP.
    It will only work with mysql 5 because that has the table with meta-data (information_schema)
    I don't know if mysql 4 has this but I have been told that it hasn't.

    The program is dual layered. It has a data connection layer that handles the connection between the program and mysql.

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    BI platform

    I have made a little word document with a (very) small how to on how we can use such a module.
    I think the idea of building such a module is very good, and with the right people on the right place we can make this project one of the most usefull ones.

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