Thanks for your consideration. It's an interesting idea to develop a completely open-source ERP system.
We tried that in the beginning. However, the idea didn't really work out for us, because we've found that ERP-like stuff is 1.) too boring for any volunteer to help, 2.) mostly too complex for a truely distributed OSS development process and 3.) OSS dynamics don't work well amongst companies that compete against each other.
Concerning your collaboration options: I'd be happy to collaborate with you on our GPLed modules, that's why we've GPLed them... In particular "DynFields" could be a good candidate for that. However, knowing about Cognovis' past track record and the fact that we're going to compete directly with each other (please see futher below) I ask you to choose option c) for everything else.
Here is the list of our GPLed packages:
> if we were to include your dynfields work in OpenACS,
> would you be interested in collaboratively maintaining
> it there or is your preference to keep the source code
We'd be interested to see "DynFields" as part of the OpenACS core. This is where it actually should be, and how it has been planned right from the the beginning. We basicly tried to complete the partially developed OpenACS "SQL metadata system" (acs_attributes table etc.) and to make it useful for real-world applications.
But yes, DynFields is kind of obscure (we had to implement a lot of stuff in very short time) so that I doubt whether it has the quality to go into the OpenACS kernel right now. It's really a complex area, and there are some good reasons why the ACS 4.0 developers didn't finish the package...
> P.S.: Does setting up a demo server with PO constitute
> a violation of the license rules for the open source /
> non GPL modules?
I guess you're fine to setup a demo server...
In http://www.cognovis.de/referenzen/successstories/e4 you say that you have been granted the right to commercially exploit ("vermarkten") the result of the "E4" project, so I have to admit that it appears kind of "funny" to me to see a competior asking us for permission to setup a system basicly in order to show his customers what exactly he's going to copy and reimplement for them.
Wouldn't it be better to accept that ERP software isn't very suitable for the "pure" OSS model, and to go together with us for a sustainable solution? There are many examples that show that service companies (and all "pure" OSS companies are service companies...) are not suitable to maintain a "product" (because a service company can't eliminate their own revenue stream if they'd really streamline their product to reduce training, customization and installation services).