TL;DR: The software is free to use, but nothing is really ever free.

Software License Cost

We occasionally get questions about pricing for OpenBoxes. Therefore, we've decided to spell it out using this handy pricing table.

  • Hosting
  • Installation
  • Implementation
  • Development
  • Support
  • Self-Hosted
  • Do It Yourself
  • Do It Yourself
  • Do It Yourself
  • Community
  • Included
  • Included
  • Included
  • Included
  • Included

Yay! So OpenBoxes is FREE!!?!?
Yes, but please keep reading ...

Total Cost of Ownership

Obviously, it's not that easy. Yes, free and open-source software (FOSS) is free to download and use. But using software is never actually cost-free. There are always costs and fees that need to be considered before adoption.

With that said, free and open-source software can sometimes be more cost-effective than commercial systems. You just have to figure out which software is better for your organization in terms of your requirements and budget.

To assist you in estimating the cost of adopting OpenBoxes, here are some startup and operational costs that you should take into account. Total Cost of Ownerships (TCO) estimates should look out over a period of between 3-5 years in order to accurately compare costs between open-source (which may have heavy maintenance costs) and commercial systems (which may have heavy upfront costs).

Hosting Whether you want to host OpenBoxes in the cloud (AWS, Heroku, Digital Ocean) or on on-premise (e.g. your personal laptop or a beefy server you just bought), hosting software can be somewhat cheap or really expensive. A relative cheap cloud-hosting option will run you about $20 per month while a dedicated cloud hosting solution may cost hundreds per month.
Configuration / Implementation The costs involved in installing, configurating and testing the software as well as implemeting your organization's workflows. This can usually be done in-house but may require external resources in cases where technical experise is not available. This should also include the cost of data backup / restoring processes and contingency plans if the software becomes unavailable due to power/Internet outages and hardware failures.
Training The cost to train employees to use the software, which may include training materials like documentation, tutorials, videos, etc. This will likely be an on-going cost as you'll have to train new employees and update training materials as the software evolves.
Staffing You may not need to hire anyone, but the time spent on using and supporting the software should be factored into the total cost of ownership. IT staffing capacity (sysadmins, developers) is an important consideration here. Depending on your user support requirements you may need to hire full-time staff to provide support.
Support The cost of supporting users who use the software on a daily basis, from IT support (restarting servers) to application-related help desks (debugging issues with the software).
Data Migration If your organization is using another software system (even if it's just Excel) to manage your supply chain data you'll probably want to move that data to OpenBoxes. In either case, you will need to export (e.g. download as CSV), transform (e.g. re-format the data to be imported), clean (e.g. remove duplicate and obsolete data) and most importantly test your data before you can start using the new system. This process can range from manual data-entry to automated data importing using APIs and other data migration tools.
Integration At some point your organization may want to ingrate with an external system like accounting software. Integration costs depend on how complicated it will be to communicate between the two systems. Today, most software utilize REST APIs to facilitate communication between systems while older systems use EDI (electronic data interchange). Integration costs should also include updates to standard operating procedures (SOPs) which may require re-training.
Custom Development Hopefully OpenBoxes does everything you need. But let's be honest, it probably doesn't. Therefore, you may want to hire a developer to build new features or fix bugs.


We'd be happy to discuss these costs with you to help you figure out whether OpenBoxes is the right fit for your organiation. We can also help you find implementation and development partners that can accompany you through the adoption process.