Top Open Source Contracts

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Open Source Contract Management Software Options Part 1

Top ten open source contract management software options that are free for commercial use are Conga Contracts, Contract Works, Contract Safe, Plexus Gateway, Agiloft, Incertis Contract Management, Dolibarr ERP/CRM, Openbravo, iDempiere, and Concord. We filled all the required data into the attached spreadsheet.

PROJECT CONCORD

congra contracts

  • Conga Contracts has 850,000 commercial users.
  • Conga Contracts has an open source contract management software which requires a number of licenses which can be obtained here. The main license needed is called Apache.

contractworks

  • ContractWorks is the number one provider of contract management software options with close to a million users.
  • ContractWorks offers an open source solution but does not specify whether a license is required for download.

openzeppelin

  • ContractSafe is used by 400,000 different commercial users.
  • OpenZeppelin is ContractSafe's version of the open source contract management software and it requires an MIT license.

plexus classwords

  • While the number of users is close to a million, Plexus raised the largest industry capital rise in 2018.
  • Plexus Gateaway's open source contract management software is called Plexus Classwords.
  • Kong is the license that is required for Plexus Classwords.

agiloft

  • Agiloft offers a free, open source version of their contract management software, on their website.
  • Agiloft installs with a free copy of the MySQL database by default, and it can also be used with the user's own licensed copy of MS SQL if preferred.
  • Agiloft has been downloaded 3 million times.

Incertis Contract Management

Dolibarr ERP/CRM

  • Dolibarr ERP/CRM is an open source and web-based ERP/CRM for small and medium-sized companies.
  • It is released under the GPLv3 license.
  • This software has been downloaded close to a million times so far.

Openbravo

  • OpenBravo is an open source and web-based contract management software that requires a OBPL1 license.
  • The software has been downloaded over 700,000 times.

iDempiere

  • iDempiere is an open source and web-based contract management software that requires a GPLv2 license.
  • The software has been downloaded over 500,000 times.

Research methodology

For this research, we focused on identifying contract management software which meets two criteria: it's open source, and it's free for commercial use. In order to successfully meet the research criteria, we consulted several pre-compiled lists that feature top contract management software, and looked into whether the software has an open source, free for use version, and identified the top options as those with the most downloads.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Open Source Contract Management Software Options Part 2

The top 10 open source and freely available (in varying forms) contract and document management systems are WebERP, OpenSourceCM, LogicalDOC, Activiti, Kimios, Maarch Courrier, Jarvis Legal, ]project-open[ EPM, bitfarm-Archiv DMS, and CiviHR. Except for the first three and Jarvis, all utilize an open-source license under a standard (GPL) or slightly modified version.

Contract and Documentation Management Systems

  • Depending on the needs of an organization and its size, documentation management systems and contract management systems can serve the same purpose.
  • Open source contract and document management software packages generally use either an LGPL, AGPL, or GPL license agreement.
  • The Jarvis Legal family of software, including the free version, are considered by Capterra to be contract management systems for small and medium legal offices.
  • Since the release of Maarch Courrier version 1.4, the software has grown from being primarily focused on email management to document management, including contracts more generally.

Open Source Contract Management Software

  • webERP has seen 26,111 downloads via SourceForge (its primary download site) in the last year.
  • OpenSourceCM has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on GetApp with over 1,000 engaged users via Facebook.
  • LogicalDOC has seen 38,049 downloads in the last year via its primary download site, SourceForge.
  • Predictive Analytics Today rates the Alfresco Activiti business process management system a 9.3 out of 10, noting its widespread use in a variety of business processes and environments (scale, sector, function) worldwide.
  • The Kimios document management system software has seen a total of 2,319 downloads in the past year, with the highest frequency in the United States.
  • The Maarch Courrier document management system has seen a total of 1,997 downloads on SourceForge in the past year.
  • Predictive Analytics Today rates the Jarvis Legal document and case management system a 7.6 out of 10, noting its effective functionality for smaller firms.
  • The ]project-open[ project management software system (including the enterprise free software which is integrated into all download packages) has seen a total of 24,645 downloads in the last year.
  • The bitfarm-Archiv document management system has seen a total of 728 downloads in the last year, with a total of 25,000 downloads since 2009.
  • The CiviCRM relationship management software package (the parent to the CiviHR extension for contract and personnel management) has had a total of 12,003 downloads in the last year.

Research Strategy:

Our initial search examined sources (reviews — both professional and user-based) of the top open source and free contract management software packages. This yielded a number of blogs and news articles from key industry sources. Additionally, it also yielded information from sites where one can download these packages directly and statistics on their download frequency. However, the search did not yield ten software packages that were explicitly contract management alone that met the free and open source criteria. What it did yield was information pertaining to how different organizations use document management and contract management systems interchangeably, depending on the scale of operations.

Leveraging this insight, we assumed that contract and document management systems could both be of value in this research. We then expanded our search to include document and project management systems that had a financial/contract management component or extension that possessed either a completely free version, a limited free version, or a free test of the software. These were analyzed against the same review and download frequency information we found during our initial search. This was to verify that they were of interest and considered "top" for their purpose (document or contract management). As not all companies provided information pertaining to the frequency of downloads for a given package, we relied on reviews from trusted sources and the software's social media visibility (e.g., via Facebook). Again, this was to provide insights as to the quality of each respective software package, on the assumption that these quality reviews on trusted sites would be leading to higher frequencies of downloads for those software options.

This approach yielded the balance of the software packages, with many that possess contract management capabilities within a larger project/business process management system. For each of these, we then searched for information on the organization's website or through a third-party service that provides a platform to download the software information pertaining to their respective license agreements. And then, finding information for all but three that did not appear to provide that information publicly.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Both the GPL and the Enterprise version of the bitfarm-Archiv DMS are under GPLv2, which means that no license fees are charged and you have access to the source code. The GPL version is also available for free download. "
Quotes
  • "Free licensed code is "commercial software", but with a fixed license fee of €0. It allows you to use and modify the software for your internal purposes but restricts your right to redistribute the software. You need to become a "[partner]" in order to redistribute the code to customers."
Quotes
  • "Get things done faster thanks to all of our automated processes: 3-click billing, automated time-tracking and centralized case management."
Quotes
  • "In sum, CLM systems are specifically targeted for the management of an organization’s contracts. They facilitate each phase of contract management, automating much of the process. Document management systems are not ideal for enterprise-wide contract management but can be useful for some aspects of contract management within the law department, where they can serve multiple functions. "
Quotes
  • "LogicalDOC Community Edition (LogicalDOC CE) is an open source document management system available under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version 3. The source code of LogicalDOC CE is available for the entire community, which is free to use, modify and redistribute it on the premise of such license."
Quotes
  • "Full report on contract/job variances from quoted costs"
Quotes
  • "Business document management : Added new collection named “business” to manage workflow of invoices, orders, contracts, human resources. Added new actions for indexing, validate and process. Uses the new features of diffusion lists and sequential workflows."