100 Open Source Replacements for Expensive Applications

Enterprises, SMBs and home users can see significant savings with these open source alternatives to popular software.
Posted November 18, 2014
By

Cynthia Harvey


(Page 1 of 4)

Certain types of software have long had a reputation for being very expensive. As cloud computing has become more popular, many popular software packages have switched to a monthly subscription model rather than charging users a one-time fee. While these subscriptions often look inexpensive on a monthly basis, the fees can really add up over time.

While there are many good reasons to consider open source applications, the ability to avoid or reduce these fees continues to be a primary factor for many users. With that in mind, we've updated our annual list of open source applications that can replace expensive closed source apps.

This year, the list is longer than ever with 100 good choices for enterprises, small businesses and home users. Whenever possible, we've included the price for comparable paid software. Please note that while the open source applications on our list provide the same functionality as the closed source applications they can replace, they generally don't have identical features.

As always, please use the comment section below if you know of additional applications that should be on our list.

Accounting

1. Edoceo Imperium

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($249.95), Sage 50 Accounting ($299–$5,499)

Designed for small and medium businesses (SMBs), Edoceo Imperium combines accounting and invoicing capabilities with some basic customer relationship management (CRM) features. It integrates with Google Calendar, Maps and Gmail, and it can support up to 4 billion users with varying levels of access. Operating System: OS Independent

2. FrontAccounting

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($249.95), Sage 50 Accounting ($299–$5,499)

Also designed for SMBs, FrontAccounting includes some basic ERP features, such as inventory and manufacturing tracking. The website includes a helpful demo so that prospective users can see it in action. Operating System: OS Independent

3. TurboCASH

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($249.95), Sage 50 Accounting ($299–$5,499)

This accounting package aims to offer all the features most SMBs will ever need, including debtors, creditors, general ledger, stock control, invoicing, reconciliation, trial balance and reporting. It supports multiple companies and multiple users. Operating System: Windows

4. XIWA

Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($249.95), Sage 50 Accounting ($299–$5,499)

For Linux only, XIWA (pronounced zee' wuh) stands for "Xiwa Is Web Accounting." Under development since 1999, it boasts multi-user support, multi-company support, payroll, stock/investment tracking, reporting and more. Operating System: Linux

Audio Recording/Editing

5. Ardour

Replaces Apple LogicPro ($199.99), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199), Sonar X3 Producer ($349), Adobe Audition ($349 or $49.99 per month), Sony ACID Pro ($149.95

Created to meet the needs of professionals, Ardour is a full suite of sound recording, editing and mixing tools. Key features include unlimited tracks and busses, both non-destructive and destructive recording, support for dozens of file formats, the "most flexible mixer architecture in the industry," hundreds of plugins, full sample accurate automation, a video timeline and more. Operating System: Linux, OS X

6. Audacity

Replaces Apple LogicPro ($199.99), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199), Sonar X3 Producer ($349), Adobe Audition ($349 or $49.99 per month), Sony ACID Pro ($149.95

A good option for amateur musicians and home users, Audacity is an easy-to-use recording and editing application. It can also convert tapes, records and CDs to digital files, and it supports WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis file formats. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

7. Frinika

Replaces Apple LogicPro ($199.99), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199), Sonar X3 Producer ($349), Adobe Audition ($349 or $49.99 per month), Sony ACID Pro ($149.95

Frinika describes itself as a "complete music workstation." The interface and features aren't quite as advanced as some professionals will want, but it does offer a sequencer, midi support, soft synthesizers, audio recorder and notation editor. Operating System: OS Independent

8. Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS)

Replaces Apple LogicPro ($199.99), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199), Sonar X3 Producer ($349), Adobe Audition ($349 or $49.99 per month), Sony ACID Pro ($149.95

LMMS includes a song editor, beat and bassline editor, piano roll, 64-channel FX mixer and more. Originally developed for Linux only, it now also has a Windows version. Operating System: Windows, Linux

9. WaveShop

FL Studio Producer Edition ($199), Sonar X3 Producer ($349), Adobe Audition ($349 or $49.99 per month), Sony ACID Pro($149.95

Less full-featured than the other options on this list, WaveShop is a Windows-only tool that emphasizes fast performance and a small footprint. Noteworthy features include normalizing, fading, sample rate conversion, audio generation, unlimited undo, extensive help and peak, RMS and spectral analysis. Operating System: Windows

Business Intelligence

10. Jaspersoft

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($6,264 and up), IBM Cognos Insight ($546 per user), SAS Analytics Pro ($8,700)

One of the most popular open source business intelligence tools, Jaspersoft offers dashboards, visualizations, self-service reporting, rich analytics, mobile support and more. The link above provides information about the open source community versions of the software, and the company also offers paid commercial versions at Jaspersoft.com. Operating System: OS Independent

11. Jedox

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($6,264 and up), IBM Cognos Insight ($546 per user), SAS Analytics Pro ($8,700)

Formerly known as Palo BI, Jedox is a full business intelligence suite that includes an OLAP server, Excel add-in, ETL and mobile support. The Base version, which includes only the OLAP server and a limited version of the Excel add-in, is available with a free open source license, while the premium on-premise and cloud versions require a fee. Operating System: OS Independent

12. Pentaho

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($6,264 and up), IBM Cognos Insight ($546 per user), SAS Analytics Pro ($8,700)

Used by companies like Lufthansa, Halliburton, Nasdaq and Edo, Pentaho offers data integration, business analytics and big data tools. The link above primarily provides information about the paid versions of the software, but the open source community version is available for download at community.pentaho.com. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

13. SpagoBI

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($6,264 and up), IBM Cognos Insight ($546 per user), SAS Analytics Pro ($8,700)

Spago claims to be "the only 100% open source, complete and flexible business intelligence suite." It builds on a wide variety of other open source projects and offers modules for reporting, OLAP, charts, KPI, interactive cockpits, ad-hoc reporting, location intelligence, data mining, dashboard, collaboration, ETL, master data management and much more. Operating System: OS Independent

14. KNIME

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($6,264 and up), IBM Cognos Insight ($546 per user), SAS Analytics Pro ($8,700)

Used in more than 60 countries, KNIME describes itself as "the leading open platform for data-driven innovation helping organizations to stay ahead of change." The core analytics software is free and open source, and commercial extensions are available for a fee. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

15. OpenI

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($6,264 and up), IBM Cognos Insight ($546 per user), SAS Analytics Pro ($8,700)

This plug-in that extends the capabilities of Pentaho and Jasper promises to get new users up and running with its analytics tools in just 72 hours. It includes dashboards, interactive reporting, ETL, dimensional modeling, OLAP cube design, and predictive modeling. Operating System: OS Independent

16. BIRT

Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($6,264 and up), IBM Cognos Insight ($546 per user), SAS Analytics Pro ($8,700)

Less full-featured than the other options on our list, BIRT focuses on creating reports and visualizations that can be embedded within applications. It's sponsored by Actuate (which offers a variety of related resources), Innovent Solutions and IBM. Note that in order to use it, you will also need Eclipse. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

Business Process Management

17. ProcessMaker

Replaces IBM Business Process Manager Express (tens of thousands of dollars or more)

This self-proclaimed "#1 open source workflow and BPM software" offers tools for modeling workflows, running processes, creating reports and optimizing workflows. In addition to the open source version, it comes in paid on-premise and cloud-based versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux

18. Activiti

Replaces IBM Business Process Manager Express (tens of thousands of dollars or more)

Java-based Activiti boasts lightweight size and fast performance. Paid support is available through Alfresco. Operating System: OS Independent

19. Bonita Open Solution

Replaces IBM Business Process Manager Express (tens of thousands of dollars or more)

This full BPM suite includes tools for mapping organizations, defining data structures, building user interfaces, creating actionable reports and more. In addition to the free community version, it comes in paid "teamwork," "efficiency," and "performance" versions that add more features. Operating System: OS Independent

CAD

20. BRL-CAD

Replaces AutoCAD ($4,195 and up)

For more than two decades, the U.S. military has used this collection of more than 400 tools to model its weapons systems and analyze lethality. Key features include interactive 3D solid geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing, network-distributed framebuffer support, image and signal-processing tools, path-tracing and photon mapping support, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, an embedded scripting interface and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others

21. FreeCAD

Replaces AutoCAD ($4,195 and up)

This 3D parametric modeling tool was designed to be easy enough for home users and hobbyists to use. Its modular architecture makes it very easy to customize or extend. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others

22. Archimedes

Replaces AutoCAD ($4,195 and up)

Downloaded hundreds of times each week, Archimedes offers a simplified CAD solution with a minimal feature set. It's built on Eclipse's Rich Client Platform. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

Customer Relationship Management

23. Sugar Community Edition

Replaces Sage ACT! ($269.99 and up), Salesforce.com Professional ($780 per user per year)

Used by millions of people worldwide, Sugar offers tools to connect sales, marketing and support teams with prospects and customers. The link above goes to the free community edition; paid cloud versions can be found at SugarCRM.com. Operating System: OS Independent

24. vTiger

Replaces Sage ACT! ($269.99 and up), Salesforce.com Professional ($780 per user per year)

This CRM suite boasts that more than ten thousand organizations use it. Features include email marketing, project management, customer portal, calendar, task management, reporting, file management, access control, inventory management and more. The link above primarily provides information about the paid, cloud versions of the software, but a free open source download is also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

25. Orange Leap

Replaces Sage ACT! ($269.99 and up), Salesforce.com Professional ($780 per user per year)

Formerly known as MpowerOpen, Orange Leap offers constituent relationship managment to aid non-profits in their fundraising. Paid versions of the software are available on the main website, and you can download the source code from SourceForge. Operating System: Windows.

26. SourceTap

Replaces Sage ACT! ($269.99 and up), Salesforce.com Professional ($780 per user per year)

SourceTap aims to help sales teams improve the accuracy of their forecasts, close more deals, shorten the sales cycle, improve collaboration and recognize trends. It's available with a commercial or an open source license. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

27. SplendidCRM

Replaces Sage ACT! ($269.99 and up), Salesforce.com Professional ($780 per user per year)

Splendid comes in a wide variety of on-premise and cloud, paid and free versions. The latest version has better Twitter integration, Twilio integration, undelete capabilities, recurring calls, an HTML5 calendar and more. Operating System: Windows.

28. ConcourseSuite

Replaces Sage ACT! ($269.99 and up), Salesforce.com Professional ($780 per user per year)

Java-based ConcourseSuite incorporates tools for sales force, marketing and customer service teams. In addition to the free version, it comes in paid cloud and on-premise versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.


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Tags: Linux, applications, open source software, Open Source App


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