Open-Source Warehouse Management Systems Myths Dispelled
Warehouse management software falls into three primary categories: hosted WMS software, commercial off-the-shelf WMS software and proprietary WMS software. For all of these types, the vast majority of software is what information technology (IT) solutions providers would call closed source systems. A closed source system is one where the licensing of the source code, the programming language calls and functions, is not generally available. Modifications to the warehouse management system that is a closed source system requires a contract for services with the software vendor.
If you are looking to engineer a warehouse management system of your own, using open-source software may be your solution. One such open-source implementation is called myWMS. This solution is an open-source project and modular framework for the development of Warehouse Management Systems. Open-source projects provide the source code and can be used and enhanced by anyone to create a product of their own.
An open-source WMS project IS a framework for implementers offering a platform for the development of a WMS including most standard warehouse operational features. Using such an open-source project allows developers to design and implement a system that is independent of the computer operating system. In addition, numerous non-proprietary interfaces are available.
An open-source WMS project IS NOT a full-featured warehouse management system. Typically, the libraries of a framework and the documentation for a framework are the building blocks for a commercially viable WMS. Another myth about open-source software is that it's free. Although the license fees for open-source WMS software are insignificant to the costs associated with commercial off-the-shelf WMS software, these fees are still payable to the authors if the source code is to be used in a commercial application.
If your enterprise has an IT department, and is willing to staff or outsource the technical resources required to design, code and implement a WMS, the open-source route may be for you.