Top 10 open source alternatives

We run down the 10 best open source alternatives to the business software we use every day.

VirtualDub

Alternative to Adobe Premier, Corel VideoStudio

Vdub

For video capture and editing we've opted to recommend Avery Lee's VirtualDub. It's an easy to use and powerful tool which was originally geared towards editing and transcoding .AVI files but it now supports many different file formats with plugins widely available for the popular choices such as MP4/3GP, MPEG2, WMV, Flash Video and QuickTime.

It boasts support for fractional frame rates, batch-processing and a number of other invaluable tools for cleaning up and exporting your captured media. It's also quick to pick-up and takes the fuss out of performing simple tasks.

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While it's a great piece of software we don't see it as a direct replacement for Premier, as Adobe's software has more editing power. But for simple jobs it can't be beaten.

Our view: 4/6

xTuple Postbooks

Alternative to Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One, Syspro

PostBooks

This well-crafted accounting software is aimed at small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Developed on Postgres, it offers all the tried and tested functionality that one would expect of a high-end proprietary application, including inventory and shipping, sales and purchase order, database reporting and A/R and A/P plus a lot more to boot but without the cost.

Whilst it doesn't offer the universal support and documentation supplied with an enterprise competitor such as SAP's Business One or Microsoft Dynamics, it does offer solid performance and stability. On the downside the UI is set out in some interesting 1970's colours and is somewhat Spartan. But don't let that put you off. There's a greatly usable piece of software underneath that nausea-inducing colour scheme.

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We'd like to give an honourable mention to Openbravo in this field. It represents another great open source alternative and offers more documentation than Postbooks, but we found xTuple's offering a little more user friendly and in the world of small business, we feel that this counts for a lot.

Our view: 4/6

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