Of all the topics I get asked about, licensing stands out as the most common, and the one surrounded with the most misconceptions. And it's not hard to see why, open source and enterprise don't usually mix. So today I want to take some time to explore what the licensing model is and what that means to your business.
The Current Landscape
Looking at it today, Odoo community houses over 80% of the functionality, including nearly all of the big names: sales, purchasing, inventory, e-commerce, manufacturing. While there's some features for each of these that are exclusive to enterprise, they are all still extremely powerful in community. The exception here is the accounting module. In recent versions, Odoo has decided to hide many of the accounting functions from users and claimed it was only in the Enterprise edition. This is a little bit of a stretch, the core accounting functionality still lays in the community edition, but many of the features that make it usable such as bank feeds and financial reports are locked away in enterprise.
The LicenseTo get these features, you need to an Odoo enterprise license, in which you will pay a monthly fee for each app, and for each employee. The price of these vary country to country, but in Australia most of these range from US$12 to US$48 per app per month and US$25 per user per month. This fee covers not only your use of the apps, but your covers migration of your data between versions.
What Defines Community vs. Enterprise
Since Odoo first did the split, they have been trying to better define what is part of enterprise, and what is community. Their stance is if it is a general app that a large number of people would use and would draw in a large number of users, it goes in community, while specialised apps that are designed for a more niche market will be added to enterprise in the hopes of converting them into paying customers.
The CatchWhat catches a lot of people out is that every app that includes enterprise improvements must be paid for once you move to enterprise, there's no longer an option to use the free version. So even though you can use a majority of the sale app in the community version, as soon as you start using any enterprise app,you will need to pay an enterprise subscription to the sales app, even if you aren't using any of the enterprise improvements to that sales app.
This leads to some interesting scenarios.
But the moment you want say social media marketing, you will need an enterprise license. But this license won't just be the US$36 a month for social media marketing, you'll now be paying for all of that functionality you were previously using for free. Ecommerce, inventory and accounting, all now cost you US$12-36 per app per month, and each of those 15 employees now cost US$25 a month too. Suddenly, a single app starts costing you a little over US$5,000 a year.
This is a worst case scenario, it's incredibly rare. Every business I've worked with either uses multiple enterprise only apps or requires some of the enterprise improvements to community apps. but it helps to highlight the structure of the licensing system.