Comparison of ERPs

Hello, my name is Nik, I am an IT guy from online school and we were looking for an open-source system to manage our school with most standard features like attendance tracking, timeline, schedule with calendar etc. I found Gibbon, but also few other sources. For example in India there are two systems in development: Fedena and Sunbird ED. Fedena is built on RoR/Ruby/Rails same as Gibbon, a monolith architecture. It needs to be deployed as a single entity. Sunbird claims to have plenty of services deployable in containers to the cloud. But I see their architecture overcomplicated and built for other purposes. They can serve thousands of async users while ERPs like Gibbon and Fedena are more focused on a single school ERP. Am I right? Or my research got biased somewhere?
So, I have more questions about Gibbon:

  • Can I connect external MySQL database easily or I would need to fork and edit code for that?
  • Can I connect another SQL-db like Postgres or MariaDB instead of MySQL ?
  • Can I write a plugin to add functionality? (especially in another programming language)
  • Is it possible to deploy to a cloud like AWS or GCP, maybe in form of a container or needs to be a dedicated server ?
  • Ho big is community of developers who actually push changes to the codebase ? (if I will be joining)
  • Is there a comparison of school ERPs including Gibbon and Fedena in detail ? (not auto-generated bullthing)

Open for the public or even private conversation.

Hi Nik, thank you for your post and your patience for a reply, generally we aim to reply within a few days, but it’s been a busy couple weeks here and the forums are all run on a voluntary basis.

Great to hear you’ve discovered Gibbon and are investigating it’s use for your school. I will say, not as the program’s creator but it’s current maintainer, that if you’re looking for a greenfield service-oriented architecture application, Gibbon is not that. The core functionality was lovingly crafted by Ross, the Gibbon founder, over a number of years as a legacy-style PHP monolith. Since coming onto the scene I have been working to refactor many areas of it to move it towards a more modern PHP architecture with service containers and routing, and this is currently an ongoing process.

That said, Gibbon has a fair number of schools using it in many areas of the world, especially in areas where paid school management systems are prohibitively expensive. Gibbon has an excellent set of features that meet the needs of many different schools, and this flexibility and internationalization shines through in it’s volunteer translators, who have translated Gibbon into more than 22 languages, with many more in the works. We do new stable releases twice per year, as this has proven to be a sustainable rate of change for schools who value security and stability in their management system.

To help answer some of your questions:

  1. You can connect to a non-localhost MySQL database with a specific domain and port.
  2. MariaDB is supported but currently not Postgres, as it is less of a drop-in MySQL replacement, and there is yet much legacy code that needs abstracted away from MySQL before this is possible.
  3. Yes, Gibbon has a modular system for extending the core functionality, however these currently are written in PHP. You could certainly write a PHP REST API to connect to another API in other languages should you choose.
  4. Yes, I've worked with schools who have deployed Gibbon using AWS. There is a community-created Docker image:
  5. The dev community is rather small, with myself as the core maintainer and a handful of developers who regularly contribute pull requests. There is a Slack channel of about 50 developers from over the years, of varying levels of activity and skill.
  6. We don't necessarily have a comparison to other ERPs, since as an open source project our aim generally isn't marketing focused.

Hopefully this helps you get a sense of the project.

@nik I checked that Fedena is available for an annual charge and offers quite a lot of features but considering that Gibbon is available as an open source makes it considerable for schools with limited budgets. Sunbird ed on the other hand is learning management system and not quite a school management system.

@dkikan I have tried both fedena and gibbon, my humble answer is that they are just incomparable. Gibbon is far far more capable and more advanced. fedena has a mobile app and is more friendly to non-techy, but in many aspects its just horrible, especially in regrade to UX/UI. from an engineering point of view, its a Fiat against Mercedes.

Fedena charges 1000$/yr , Gibbon as a code is free, but to run it into production may cost you more (I guess quite propable you will need someone dedicated to maintain such a powerful system at least for a reasonable period of time).

one thing that is very unique about gibbon is being “built by teachers for teachers”, something you’ll appreciate when you use it.

Thank you Taha for your kind words about Gibbon, it has certainty evolved into a full-fledged piece of software over the years, and continues to be a labor of love for the teachers who actively develop it.

Gibbon is, by a long margin, better than Fedana (I’ve used many systems over the years). I absolutely love Gibbon. Your use case is perhaps different from running a school. Your tool will depend on what your online experience needs.

Thank you Taha for your kind words about Gibbon, it has certainty evolved into a full-fledged piece of software over the years, and continues to be a labor of love for the teachers who actively develop it.

I’m not gonna say much Sandra, but your contributions with Ross to This LMS is just inspirational in many aspects. We are so grateful and happy to use Gibbon, and always looking for the next upgrade.

Sorry of My late reply :wink: