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Why spend thousands or even hundreds or thousands of dollars on a closed source application when you can get a comparable open source app for free? Even if you need commercial support, many open source programs now offer paid support that costs much less than the alternatives.
For this list, we looked for quality, open source alternatives to software that has a reputation for being expensive. Whenever possible, we included MSRPs for the expensive software, though in some cases, the pricing scheme is so complicated that it’s nearly impossible to pin down.
We published a similar list last year, and we’ve updated and expanded the list for 2011. If you have suggestions for next year’s list, feel free to note them in the comments section below.


Accounting

1. Edoceo Imperium Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting 2011 ($254.99) Web-based Imperium combines some business management features like CRM and job tracking with a full-featured double-entry accounting package. It’s built in XHTML/CSS and JavaScript, and it integrates with Google Apps. Operating System: OS Independent

2. FrontAccounting Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting 2011 ($254.99) Like Imperium, FrontAccounting is Web-based and includes some ERP functionality. It prides itself on being powerful, yet simple. Operating System: OS Independent

3. TurboCASH Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting 2011 ($254.99) This small business accounting package offers many similar features to QuickBooks and Sage. It tracks up to 10 bank accounts, 999 sets of books, 12000 accounts, 40000 debtors and creditors, and 64000 stock items. Operating System: Windows

4. XIWA Replaces QuickBooks Pro ($229.95), Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting 2011 ($254.99) First released in 1999, XIWA is an older accounting program for Linux only. One benefit for owners of very small businesses is that it offers the option of using double-entry accounting or not, depending on the background of the user. Operating System: Linux


Audio Recording/Editing
5. Audacity Replaces Apple LogicPro ($499), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199) Apple’s audio editor aims to let amateur musicians create professional sounding mixes—Audacity does the same thing without charging you an arm and a leg. With it you can record live audio, convert files to different formats, cut and splice tracks, change pitch and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

6. Frinika Replaces Apple LogicPro ($499), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199) This Java-based audio editor includes a sequencer, midi support, soft synthesizers, audio recorder, piano roll/tracker/notation editing and more. It’s billed as a “complete platform for making music with your computer.” Operating System: OS Independent

7. Linux MultiMedia Studio Replaces Apple LogicPro ($499), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199) LMMS is a music composing and mixing tool designed as an alternative to FL Studio. The name on this app is a little misleading: Although it says “MultiMedia,” it’s really an audio tool, and although it says “Linux,” it also runs on Windows. Operating System: Windows, Linux
Business Intelligence

8. Jaspersoft Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($2,000+) The self-proclaimed “most widely used business intelligence software,” Jaspersoft products offer reporting, dashboards, analysis and data integration capabilities. The link above primarily promotes the commercial versions of the software, which include paid support. More info on the community versions can be found at JasperForge.org. Operating System: OS Independent

9. Pentaho Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($2,000+) Pentaho likes to calls itself “the open source business intelligence leader.” It claims to reduce BI costs by 90 percent, and it’s also available on an SaaS basis. Operating System: OS Independent

10. Palo BI Suite Replaces Oracle Business Intelligence Standard ($2,000+) Palo offers planning, reporting, analysis, dashboards, consolidation and more. The community version essentially extends the capabilities of Excel or OpenOffice, while the paid premium verison adds more reporting and OLAP modules. Operating System: OS Independent

11. JMagallanes Replaces SAP Crystal Reports ($495), DBxtra ($490 and up) If you only need reporting capabilities, JMagallanes might be right for you. It leverages code from several other open source projects to create static reports, Swing pivot tables for OLAP analysis, and charts. Operating System: OS Independent

12. OpenReports Replaces SAP Crystal Reports ($495), DBxtra ($490 and up) Another Web-based reporting-only BI tool, OpenReports offers flexible scheduling, a variety of output formats, fine-grained security controls, built-in auditing and more. The paid professional version adds capabilities like dashboards, conditional scheduling, and others. Operating System: OS Independent
Business Process Management

13. ProcessMaker Replaces Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite ($10,500+) Web-based ProcessMaker helps simplify workflows with tools for modeling workflows, automatic notification, reporting and optimization. It’s available in a free community edition, a subscription-based enterprise edition or in a cloud-based version with a free trial. Operating System: Windows, Linux


CAD

14. BRL-CAD Replaces AutoCAD ($3,995.00 and up) For more than 20 years, the U.S. military has used BRL-CAD for solid modeling. Key features include interactive 3D solid geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing support, network-distributed framebuffer support, image and signal-processing tools, path-tracing and photon mapping support, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, an embedded scripting interface, and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.

15. Archimedes Replaces AutoCAD ($3,995.00 and up) Designed for architects, Archimedes is a Java-based CAD program with a fairly minimal feature set. Note that this is different than the GNU Archimedes program for semiconductor design and testing. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
Customer Relationship Management

16. Sugar Community Edition Replaces Sage ACT! ($229.99 and up), Microsoft Dynamics Used by companies like Coca-Cola, Avis, Chevrolet and thousands of others, SugarCRM includes sales and marketing support, e-mail integration, reporting, mobility and support for social networking. In addition to the open source community edition, it’s available in a variety of on-premise and cloud-based paid editions. Operating System: OS Independent


Database

17. MySQL Replaces Microsoft SQL Server Standard ($7,171 per processor) Calling itself the “world’s most popular open source database,” Oracle-owned MySQL’s customers include Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Alcatel-Lucent, Google, Nokia, YouTube, Craigslist, Sears and Zappos.com. In addition to the free download, it’s also available in supported standard, enterprise and cluster carrier-grade editions which are priced per server. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X

18. Firebird Replaces Microsoft SQL Server Standard ($7,171 per processor) Going on 30 years old, Firebird boasts “excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers.” This community-based project isn’t owned by any commercial entity, but you can get paid support from a variety of third-party partners. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X, Solaris

19.Kexi Replaces Microsoft Office Access 2010 ($139.95), FileMaker Pro 11 ($299) Calling itself “a long-awaited competitor for programs like MS Access or Filemaker,” KDE’s Kexi offers a set of features similar to both applications. Those features include tools for importing files from spreadsheets, Access, CSV files, MySQL or PostgreSQL or for exporting to CSV files, MySQL or PostgreSQL. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


Desktop Publishing

20. Scribus Replaces InDesign CS5 ($699), QuarkXPress($799)
Suitable for professional graphic designers and other artists, Scribus includes features like color separations, CMYK and spot color support, ICC color management, and support for the latest PDF formats. Commercial support is not available, but a wealth of documentation is available both online and in book format. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


Development Tools

21. KDevelop Replaces Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN ($1,199.00) KDE’s integrated development environment (IDE) includes a source code editor, project managers, GUI designer, front ends for the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Debugger, and more. It offers code completion for C/C++, as well as some support for Perl, Python, PHP, Java, Fortran, Ruby, Ada, Pascal, SQL, and Bash. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

22. MonoDevelop Replaces Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN ($1,199.00) Designed for .NET developers, this IDE from Novell makes it easier to create C# applications for multiple platforms. It also supports Java, Boo, Visual Basic.NET, Oxygene, CIL, Python, Vala, C and C++. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

23. SharpDevelop Replaces Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN ($1,199.00) Like MonoDevelop, SharpDevelop (or #develop) was created as an alternative to Visual Studio for Microsoft’s .NET platform. It supports C#, VB.NET and Boo. Operating System: Windows

24. Open BlueDragon Replaces Adobe ColdFusion 9 ($1,299) If you’d like to create Web apps using the ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on your development tool, Open BlueDragon gives you an open source option. It describes itself as “the world’s first truly open source GPL Java and Google App Engine CFML runtime.” Operating System: Windows, Linux


E-mail/Collaboration/Groupware

 25. Zimbra Replaces Microsoft Exchange ($699 and up) Humbly calling itself “the most capable open source email and collaboration suite available today,” Zimbra supports e-mail, shared calendar, shared contacts and document sharing. It works with most e-mail clients (including Outlook, Thunderbird or the Zimbra client), and it’s also available in commercially supported versions. Operating System: Linux, Unix, OS X

26. Citadel Replaces Microsoft Exchange ($699 and up) Citadel offers Web-based e-mail, calendar, contacts, bulletin boards, IM, wiki, chat and more. The full version is available for free or you can purchase the hosted service. Operating System: Linux


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

27. OpenERP Replaces Microsoft Dynamics, SAP This full-featured app includes modules for CRM, accounting, point of sale, project management, warehouse management, human resources, purchasing, manufacturing, marketing, invoicing and an application builder. It’s available in a free community edition, a paid enterprise edition for on-site deployment, or a subscription-based online edition. Operating System: Windows, Linux

28.Openbravo Replaces Microsoft Dynamics, SAP With more than 2 million downloads, Openbravo boasts that it is the “world’s leading Web-based open source ERP solution.” In addition to the free community version, it also comes in paid basic and professional editions that can be deployed on-site or in the cloud. Operating System: OS Independent

29.ADempiere Replaces Microsoft Dynamics, SAP This community-based app offers ERP, CRM and POS functionality. It also integrates with several other open source apps as part of a full suite that adds Web 2.0, authentication, telephony, document management, BI, intranet and data repository capabilities. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others

30. Phreedom Replaces Microsoft Dynamics, SAP This ERP suite is based on the PhreeBooks accounting software which is incorporated in the package. It includes contacts, inventory, payment, PhreeBooks accounting, reporting and shipping modules, and other add-on modules are also available. Operating System: OS Independent


Foreign Language

31. Step Into Chinese Replaces Rosetta Stone Chinese ($479) While it’s admittedly not as full-featured as Rosetta Stone, Step Into Chinese does include information to help you learn the characters, meanings, and pronunciation of more than 26,000 modern Chinese words and concepts. It also has a helpful flashcard feature for learning through repetition. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

32. Zkanji Replaces Rosetta Stone Japanese ($379) This Japanese learning tool includes dictionaries, a flashcard tool and stroke animations. It also has thousands of example sentences and inflection/conjugation information. Operating System: Windows.

33. ZWDisplay Replaces Rosetta Stone Chinese ($479) ZWDisplay aims to help Mandarin students become better readers of the language. It includes both English-Chinese and Chinese-English translation capabilities and a built-in flashcard app. Operating System: Linux


Gateway Security Appliances

34.Endian Firewall Community Replaces Check Point Security Gateways ($675 and up) If your small business has a good IT person, you can build your own security appliance using Endian’s community version of its software and an older PC. It includes a firewall, application-level proxies with antivirus support, e-mail virus and spam filtering, Web content filtering and a VPN. Endian also sells pre-configured appliances based on its open source software if you don’t want to build your own. Operating System: Linux

35. Untangle Replaces Check Point Security Gateways ($675 and up) Similar to Endian, Untangle can also be used to create your own security appliance, or you can purchase pre-configured appliances. It boasts the “lowest total cost of ownership of any network gateway solution on the market today” and is currently used by more than 30,000 organizations around the world. Operating System: Windows, Linux


Graphics/Drawing

36. Dia Replaces Visio Professional ($559.99) Dia describes itself as “inspired by” Microsoft Visio. Like its inspiration, it makes it easy to draw org charts, UML diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, and many other types of charts and diagrams. Operating System: Windows, Linux

37.Gimp Replaces Photoshop CS5 ($699) Short for “GNU Image Manipulation Program,” GIMP is a professional-quality image manipulation program that’s intuitive enough for amateurs to use. It includes a full suite of painting and image re-touching tools, layers and channels, sub-pixel sampling, quickmask, file format conversion tools, animation capabilities and much more. For the Windows version, you’ll need to download Gimp-win. Operating System: Windows, Linux

38.Inkscape Replaces Illustrator ($599), CorelDraw($399) Another tool for graphics professionals, Inkscape is a vector graphics drawing program with many advanced features. The Inkscape website also includes links to a library of open source clip art that you can use freely in your illustrations. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

39. Paint.Net Replaces Photoshop CS5 ($699) This Photoshop alternative has been described by reviewers as “impressive” and “just about perfect.” It boasts an intuitive interface, fast performance and some advanced tools like layers, special effects and unlimited history. Operating System: Windows


Mathematics

40. Sage Replaces Mathematica Professional ($1095 and up) Like Mathematica, Sage can solve a wide variety of higher-level math problems and is suitable for advanced students and researchers. You’ll get the most functionality out of it if you know the Python programming language. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

41. Genius Replaces Mathematica Professional ($1095 and up) This tool began as a simple calculator but has morphed into a powerful tool with many similar features as Mathematica (although it doesn’t have Mathematica’s full feature set). It has its own language (GEL), which can be used by researchers to create new functions. Operating System: Linux, OS X


Office Productivity

42.OpenOffice.org Replaces Microsoft Office ($499) This alternative to Microsoft Office includes word processor (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation (Impress), graphics (Draw), math/science notation (Math) and database (Base) software. It both reads and writes to Microsoft Office formats, making collaboration easy. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

43.LibreOffice Replaces Microsoft Office ($499) LibreOffice is a community fork of OpenOffice.org. It has all the same capabilities as OpenOffice.org, plus a few new features all its own. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

44. KOffice Replaces Microsoft Office ($499) KDE’s office suite includes KWord (word processing), KCells (spreadsheets), Showcase (presentations), Kivio (diagrams and flowcharts) and Artwork (vector graphics). The interface is quite a bit different than Microsoft Office’s, but it is still easy to use. Operating System: Windows, Linux

45.NeoOffice Replaces Microsoft Office ($499) In 2003, there was no version of OpenOffice.org for Macs, so the NeoOffice team created one. Even though OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice now offer versions for OS X, development has continued on NeoOffice, and it offers very stable operation and some Mac-specific features that aren’t found in the other suites. Operating System: OS X, iOS
Operating System

46.Ubuntu Replaces Windows 7 Professional ($299.99) Canonical’s Ubuntu has become one of the most popular Linux distributions. It’s very easy for Linux newbies to learn, and it comes in desktop, server and cloud versions.

47. Fedora Replaces Windows 7 Professional ($299.99) Fedora offers a community-supported (free) version of Linux that’s very similar to and managed byRedHat. Critics have called it an “amazingly rock-solid operating system.”

48. openSUSE. Replaces Windows 7 Professional ($299.99) This is the free version of Novell’s SUSE. It comes in both desktop and server versions, and you can find a great deal of documentation and support online.

49.Debian Replaces Windows 7 Professional ($299.99) Debian is the foundation for many other Linux distributions, including Ubuntu. In addition to the core operating system, it includes 29,000 packages of open source software for a wide variety of purposes.


PDF Tools

50.PDFCreator Replaces Adobe Acrobat X Standard ($299) This helpful app lets you create a PDF file from virtually any Windows program. It also creates PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS and EPS files as well. Operating System: Windows

 
Point of Sale

51. Openbravo POS Replaces QuickBooks Point of Sale Basic ($999.95), AccuPOS ($745 and up) Openbravo’s POS offering integrates with its ERP software. It’s designed to work with touchscreens and includes master data management, warehouse management, reporting and restaurant management capabilities. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

52. Lemon POS Replaces QuickBooks Point of Sale Basic ($999.95), AccuPOS ($745 and up) Designed for small or micro businesses, Lemon POS offers an easy-to-use interface, a price checker, search capabilities, and more. It can run multiple terminals from a single server and it includes role-based permissions and other security features. Operating System: Linux


Project Management

53. Dotproject Replaces Microsoft Project Professional ($865.95 and up) This eleven-year-old Microsoft Project alternative takes a Web-based approach to project management. Key features include a clean interface, e-mail based trouble/ticket system, hierarchical task lists, discussion forums, and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux

54. GanttProject Replaces Microsoft Project Professional ($865.95 and up), Primavera P6 Professional Project Management ($2,500) While it isn’t as full-featured as Project or Primavera, GanttProject does a good job of scheduling tasks, assigning resources and creating Gantt and PERT charts. It reads and writes Microsoft Project files. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

55. Onepoint Project Replaces Microsoft Project Professional ($865.95 and up), Primavera P6 Professional Project Management ($2,500) Onepoint aims to combine a powerful set of features with an easy-to-use interface. It’s available in a variety of editions: Basic and open editions are available with a free, open source license. Professional, master, group, and enterprise editions require a paid, commercial license. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

56. OpenProj Replaces Microsoft Project Professional ($865.95 and up), Primavera P6 Professional Project Management ($2,500) Downloaded millions of times, OpenProj is very similar to Microsoft Project and can open both Project and Primavera files. It hasn’t been updated in a while and the former Web site is no longer functional, but you can still download the files from SourceForge. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X

57. openXprocess Replaces Microsoft Project Professional ($865.95 and up), Primavera P6 Professional Project Management ($2,500) This unique app combines project management capabilities with process improvement and resource management capabilities, and it includes special features for development teams using Agile or Scrum methodologies. Like most of the others in this category, it can also import Microsoft Project files. Operating System: Windows, Linux

58. ]project-open[ Replaces Microsoft Project Professional ($865.95 and up), Primavera P6 Professional Project Management ($2,500) Used by more than 1,000 companies around the world, project-open (or “po”) combines ERP and project management functionality. The core modules are free, but additional modules and support require a fee. Operating System: Windows, Linux


Screenplay Writing

59. Celtx Replaces Final Draft ($299) If you have a great idea for a movie or a TV show, Celtx can help you format your screenplay properly, storyboard scenes and sequences, sketch setups, develop characters, breakdown and tag elements, schedule productions, and more. According to its owners, it’s “the world’s first all-in-one media pre-production system.” Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


Video Tools

60. Blender Replaces AutoDesk Maya ($3,495) Blender offers professional-level 3D animation capabilities. Check out the gallery on the website to see some truly impressive artwork created with this open source tool. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

61. Cinelerra Replaces Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 ($799) Cinelerra invites movie makers to “unleash the 50,000 watt flamethrower of content creation in your UNIX box.” It offers professional-quality audio and video compositing and editing. The link above takes you to the corporate-owned project, but there is also a community fork at Cinelerra.org. Operating System: Linux

62. OpenShot Video Editor Replaces Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 ($799) Another Linux-only video editor, OpenShot offers features like multiple tracks, video transitions, compositing and overlays, 3D titles, rotoscoping and more. It also includes features that make it easy to upload your videos to YouTube. Operating System: Linux

63. Kdenlive Replaces Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 ($799) Kdenlive is a video editing tool designed to meet the needs of both amateurs and professionals. It claims to be “the most versatile video editor available today.” Operating System: Linux, OS X

64. Avidemux Replaces Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 ($799) While Avidemux isn’t quite a full-featured as some of the other video editors on our list, it’s good for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. If you’re looking for a basic, free video editor that works on Windows, this is a good choice. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


Web Site Design

65. Kompozer Replaces Adobe Dreamweaver ($399), Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Web Professional ($149) Designed to make website design as easy as possible, Kompozer offers an intuitive WYSIWYG editor, clean coding tools and integrated file management. Other features include a tabbed interface and support for CSS, JavaScript and XML. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

66. Bluefish Replaces Adobe Dreamweaver ($399), Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Web Professional ($149) For Web designers who are more comfortable writing code, Bluefish offers exceptionally fast performance. It comes with an auto-completion feature that supports CSS, CFML, HTML, HTML5, XHTML, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, SQL, XML and other programming languages. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

67. SeaMonkey Replaces Adobe Dreamweaver ($399), Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Web Professional ($149) This unique app combines a Web browser, e-mail, chat and a feedreader with an HTML editor. It’s based on Mozilla code, so it should feel familiar to FireFox users. Operating System: Windows, Linux

2 comments:

I want to add one more mobile app. It is Superflashcard app. I have been using this to teach my students. It makes them feel excited with subjects. Superflashcard app allows downloading free on your smart device.

I totally agree the standpoint of upstairs. I often surfing on this forum when I m free and I find there are so much good information we can learn in this forum!
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