If your company is looking for a free ERP/CMS solution for your data center, look no further than Apache’s OFBiz.


Image: iStockphoto/monsitj

Apache OFBiz is also known as “Open For Business” and is an open source, free ERP/CMS system that can serve your business well. Within Apache OFBiz you’ll find modules for accounting, warehousing, inventory, order management, manufacturing, pricing, product and catalog management, promotion and pricing management, supply chain fulfillment, contracts, payments, and billing, as well as a complete CRM solution.

I want to walk you through the installation of Apache OFBiz on an instance of Ubuntu Server 18.04 in your data center. The installation does take some time, but it’s not terribly difficult. 

SEE: Change control management: 10 critical steps (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What you’ll need

How to install the necessary dependencies

The first thing to do is install the dependencies. Log in to your Ubuntu Server and install a few regular applications with the command:

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates wget dirmngr gnupg software-properties-common unzip -y

Once that completes, we need to install Java. We first need to add the required GPG key for a specific repository. To do this, issue the command:

sudo wget -qO - https://adoptopenjdk.jfrog.io/adoptopenjdk/api/gpg/key/public | apt-key add -

If you get an error that the key isn’t signed, issue the command:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 8AC3B29174885C03

Once that completes, add the repository with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository --yes https://adoptopenjdk.jfrog.io/adoptopenjdk/deb/

Finally, install Java with the command:

sudo apt-get install adoptopenjdk-8-hotspot -y

How to install Apache OFBiz

Now we’ve reached the portion of the installation that takes considerable time. It’s not that there are a lot of commands to run, it’s that one command in particular will take a while to complete–between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the speed of your network connection and hardware. 

Download the installer with the command:

wget https://archive.apache.org/dist/ofbiz/apache-ofbiz-16.11.05.zip

Unzip the downloaded file with the command:

unzip apache-ofbiz-16.11.05.zip

Change into the newly created directory with the command:

cd apache-ofbiz-16.11.05

Now it’s time to run the installer. This is where you should either sit back and drink a cup of coffee, or set about to take on some other admin tasks. To run the installer, issue the command:

sudo ./gradlew cleanAll loadDefault

When that finally completes, you’ll see the build was successful and the time it took (Figure A).

Figure A

The results of the installation.

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The results of the installation.

Seed the installation with demo data using the commands:

sudo ./gradlew "ofbiz --load-data readers=seed"
sudo ./gradlew "ofbiz --load-data readers=seed,seed-initial,ext"

The above commands are another instance where you might want to have something else to do, as they can take some time.

It’s time to start Apache OFBiz. Do so with the command:

sudo ./gradlew ofbiz

It’ll take some time for the instance to build, so hold off on continuing until you see the startup has completed.

How to access Apache OFBiz

Once Apache OFBiz is running, open a web browser and point it to one of the following URLs (depending on the tool you need):

  • Default dashboard: https://SERVER_IP:8443/ordermgr/control/main. 

  • e-Commerce: https://SERVER_IP:8443/ecommerce

  • WebTools: https://SERVER_IP:8443/webtools

  • Catalog Manager: https://SERVER_IP:8443/catalog

Where SERVER_IP is the IP address of your hosting server.

Once you’re presented with a login page, use the default credentials admin/ofbiz.

That’s it. You now have a powerful, business-ready ERP/CMS solution at your service. Start digging around and configuring OFBiz to work for your business.

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