Open Source Replacements for Popular Small Business Software: Page 3

The best open source applications for office productivity, accounting, collaboration, ERP, security and more.


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40. Dia

Replaces: Visio

"Roughly inspired by" Visio, Dia is a basic drawing program that's great for creating org charts, network diagrams, flowcharts and other simple diagrams. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles as Viso, but it's very good for small businesses that need to create charts only occasionally. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

41. Gimp

Replaces: Photoshop

Gimp is a professional-quality photo manipulation tool with a full feature set that rivals Photoshop. It's a very good choice for small businesses creating their own websites, brochures, reports, sales flyers and other materials. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

42. Inkscape

Replaces: Illustrator, CorelDraw

Like Gimp, Inkscape is suitable for use by professionals, but it is a vector graphics program rather than a photo editing tool. Use it to create logos and other simple artwork or to edit existing clip art. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Human Resource Management (HRM)

43. OrangeHRM

Replaces: Halogen software, iCIMS, Ascentis

Used by organizations like Lufthansa, Sandals, Red Hat and Stanley/Black & Decker, Orange calls itself the "world's most popular HR software." It comes in open source, professional (meant for SMBs) and enterprise versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X.

44. WaypointHR

Replaces: Halogen software, iCIMS, Ascentis

Designed by experienced HR managers, Waypoint aims to be secure, flexible and easy to use. It comes in a free community download or in a subscription-based cloud version. Operating System: OS Independent.


45. Simple Invoices

Replaces: FreshBooks, Bill.com

This Web-based invoicing solution makes it easy for small organizations to send PDF invoices and track finances. Host it on your own Web server or use one of the service providers listed on the site. Operating System: OS Independent.

46. Siwapp

Replaces: FreshBooks, Bill.com

Another Web-based invoicing option, Siwapp allows users to create professional-looking, secure invoices with a minimum amount of hassle. Check out the screenshots and demo on the site to get a feel for how easy it is to use. Operating System: OS Independent.

Office Productivity

47. AbiWord

Replaces: Microsoft Word

Similar to Microsoft Word, AbiWord is a word processing program that can open and save .doc files. The latest versions include a number of collaboration features. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

48. Calligra

Replaces: Microsoft Office

Formerly known as KOffice, this office suite for the KDE desktop includes Words (word processor), Sheets (spreadsheet), Stage (presentations), Plan (project management), Krita (drawing and painting), Kexi (database), Karbon (vector graphics), Flow (diagramming) and Braindump (mind mapping). It can import and export Microsoft Office documents, and it has a very easy-to-use interface. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

49. FreeMind

Replaces: MindJet MindManager

This mind mapping tool is like a whiteboard for your computer. It's great for brainstorming sessions and for organizing many different kinds of information. Once you try it, you'll likely find lots of different uses for it. Operating System: OS Independent.

50. Gnumeric

Replaces: Microsoft Excel

Free, fast and accurate, Gnumeric is an intuitive spreadsheet application that can import and export files from many similar programs, including Excel. The online user manual has a wealth of information to help both beginners and advanced users. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

51. LibreOffice

Replaces: Microsoft Office

Forked from OpenOffice (see below), LibreOffice has quickly become extremely popular among Linux users. Like its predecessor it offers Microsoft-compatible word processor (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation (Impress), database (Base), graphics (Draw) software and math formula editing (Math) software. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.


Replaces: Microsoft Office

Downloaded more than 100 million times, OpenOffice is a very popular office productivity suite that offers the same applications as LibreOffice (see above). Because it can open and save to Microsoft file formats it's a good option for small businesses who don't want to purchase Microsoft Office. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

53. PDFCreator

Replaces: AdobeAcrobat

Working with PDF files can be frustrating for small businesses that don't want to spend money on the full Adobe Acrobat package. PDFCreator offers an easy way to create, merge, encrypt, sign and make small changes to PDF files. Operating System: Windows.

Operating System

54. Debian

Replaces: Windows

A good choice for technically savvy users, the Debian distribution of Linux comes with more than 37500 packages of pre-compiled software. It's popular among long-time Linux users and has been used as the foundation for many other Linux distributions.

55. Fedora

Replaces: Windows

Many larger businesses run Red Hat EnterpriseLinux, but Red Hat requires a subscription fee. Fedora is the open source version of the same software, and it does not require a support subscription.

56. Linux Mint

Replaces: Windows

If you're looking for a very user-friendly version of Linux for a desktop computer, Linux Mint is a great option, and has recently been growing in popularity. It offers four different interface options, including a couple that should feel very familiar for Windows XP users who don't want to upgrade to Windows 8.

57. openSUSE

Replaces: Windows

Like Red Hat, Novell's SUSE is very popular with large enterprises, and it also requires a support subscription. OpenSUSE, which comes in both desktop and server versions, is the free, community-supported version of SUSE.

58. Ubuntu

Replaces: Windows

By most counts, Ubuntu is the most popular desktop distribution of Linux, and it also comes in server and cloud versions. It's fast and easy to use, and it comes with thousands of free applications built in.

Point-of-Sale (POS)

59. OpenbravoPOS

Replaces: Epicor POS System, RetailSTAR

This POS solution integrates with Openbravo's other business software. It runs on touchscreens and supports standard receipt printers, displays and scanners. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

60. UniCenta

Replaces: QuickBooksPoint of Sale, AccuPOS

Downloaded more than 130,000 times last year alone, this easy-to-use point of sale solution boasts that users can get it up and running in minutes. It works for retail establishments of all kinds and includes extensions for restaurants and bars. Operating System: Linux.

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Tags: open source, Linux, small business, small business IT support, Open Source App

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