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Employee/Human Resources Open Source Packages? 47

Linker3000 asks: "I'm a great fan of Open Source software (I just wish my programming skills allowed me to give something back) and I have already impressed my boss by implementing a company intranet based on eGroupware, our broadband connected servers are monitored by Nagios, staff can participate in online surveys using PHPSurveyor and they can also attend online learning using Moodle, but so far I have not found anything to take care of our Personnel/HR requirements - a simple tool that would keep employee details, allow the Web-based booking, signing off and tracking of holiday requests and act as a repository for personnel-level correspondence and activities between staff and Area Managers. I have had a look through Sourceforge, Freshmeat and Google without finding anything even near to ideal (there's a few things in various states of readiness and planning), so am I missing that 'one' Open Source HRMS (Human Resources Management System) that 'everyone talks about' or do I need to start looking at commercial apps? Either way, your advice and experiences would be appreciated."
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Employee/Human Resources Open Source Packages?

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  • by Naikrovek ( 667 ) <jjohnson.psg@com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:52PM (#12168890)
    If you have any SQL skills, and Perl or PHP, you could probably write your own in fairly short order.

    at one of my previous employers, the new entry-level support guy wrote something just like this, just to teach himself Perl & SQL. His also included meeting room booking, and vacation autoresponders. It was his first foray into programming anything, and he did it in about two weeks.

    Can't be that hard.
  • Northwind? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Attar81 ( 574867 ) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:54PM (#12168912)
    I know this company, Northwind, that has a pretty sweet employee database that they made. Maybe I can find the samples I have somewhere...
  • Options (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kaamoss ( 872616 )
    I suppose you have two simple options....learn the skills you would need to write your own app and release it to the community, or ask the community to write one. Sounds like a realativly simple project to me. You could ask around on dirrent forums or even post the job on [] and you could ask people to do it for free.
    • Sounds like a realativly simple project to me.

      Unfortunately, it's really not, at least not if you're going to get any useful long-term benefits from it.

      OK, for a small, local outfit maybe something simple would have some value. However, for larger companies, and certainly for those with staff in multiple jurisdictions, the amount of red tape and regulations you have to deal with just to employ someone these days is staggering.

      SAP is a monster, it's true, but it didn't become so just because.

  • CRM (Score:3, Informative)

    by slashjames ( 789070 ) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:05PM (#12169047)
    Use "CRM" as your search term. Compiere [] might fit your needs.

    Disclaimer: I've never used it, just ran across it when I was researching something similar to you. For our purposes, a request tracker did what we needed better than a fullblown CRM package.
    • Re:CRM (Score:2, Informative)

      by portscan ( 140282 )
      CRM is customer relations management. it is for tracking customers, not employees. the software you linked to is also ERP, which is enterprise resource planning (closer, but still not spot on). searching for CRM will not get him anywhere.
  • Excuses excuses. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheTomcat ( 53158 ) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:06PM (#12169062) Homepage
    [Yes, I know this is offtopic. I'm posting without the bonus, however, I do half-expect to get modded through the basement for it. Please be gentle.]

    "I'm a great fan of Open Source software (I just wish my programming skills allowed me to give something back)"

    "I don't have good programming skills" is a pathetic excuse, when it comes to Open Source. There are tons of ways to give back, without having high-end C/C++/Java/whatever skills.

    Two ways that come to mind, immediately, are:
    • Help with a project's documentation []. Many OSS projects have mediocre documentation. It doesn't take a lot of skill to fix typos, expand sections and write up HOWTOs on things you've done. Perhaps you even know a language other than English, and can help with translation? The same concept applies to projects' User Interfaces, if you're artistically inclined.
    • Help newbies. Many projects have general-inquiry mailing lists [] that are flooded with simple-to-answer questions. You've probably already overcome some of the hassles of installing the software that you use on a given configuration. Share your knowledge.

    Other areas in which you can help are: sysadmin, mailing list moderation, meta-projects, hosting... etc.

    If you already do [some of] these things, then kudos to you--you DO give back.

    (as you might've guessed from the links, I'm involved with PHP's documentation, but I don't write much C. Though I don't frequent php.general, I do give back in a number of ways []..)

    • Thanks for your comments but you are assuming that I *don't* give back in other ways - as it happens, I frequent a number of mailing lists and often contribute on subjects with which I am familiar (ie: Centos, Nagios, Moodle, MailScanner) - I was just expressing the wish that my coding skills were up to the task of writing a full blown package - maybe with a little time and study....
      • No, I'm not assuming that.

        If you already do [some of] these things, then kudos to you--you DO give back.

        See? (-:
        Always good to hear of others giving back to projects from which they take.


  • by bergeron76 ( 176351 ) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:23PM (#12169252)
    In my experience, HR types typically _hate_ when IT guys get in their business. I've found that they hold on to the little bubble of power that they have, and don't want Sys. Admins knowing anything about anything HR related (who gets paid what, etc).

    That's just been my experience. I tried to have the HR girl at one of previous jobs use an "Add new employee" intranet page that would add the user to the network, phone system, and even print them out a little sheet of paper with their phone extension, user sign-on's etc. She reluctantly obliged my department half of the time. The other half of the time, it was a pissing match about "it's not my job to add users" (I told her it was a user-add "request").

    Anyway, just be weary of HR types when you try to come into their space to make their lives easier.

    • Yeah, how dare they want to keep the confidential employee records out of your grubby little fingers.

      The nerve!

      (coming to you from the son of a HR manager)
      • We could have inferred that last line anyway. It's not like anyone else would have that opinion aside from actual HR types.
      • So he is good enough to be trusted with all other company's data but not with precious HR database.

        Give me a break.

        • He's not trusted with SS#s, any direct deposit related bank information, and the rest of the stuff I listed.

          Human Resources deals with a lot more sensitive data than you people think.
    • Anyway, just be weary of HR types

      Believe me, we are all already "weary" of them. Perhaps you meant "wary", which is certainly true also.

    • HR has to fight more to justify their existence than even IT. I recently applied for a job and they had me take a two-hour "personality profile" test. At my previous job, I had to talk to four people just to change my mailing address. Sigh.
  • Resume Handling (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by mutterc ( 828335 )
    I've got a great procmail script for resume handling:

    Seriously, since I'm always jobhunting, I always thought it would be good to have software that cataloged return email addresses from people who sent in applications for a particular position. This would enable the HR person to, with the press of a button, shoot off a "fuck you, we hired someone else" email to all of them.

  • Web Calendar (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gavinjolly ( 584983 )

    If you have put the total of your requirements in your post then your requirements are as follows:

    • keep employee details
    • allow the Web-based booking, signing off and tracking of holiday requests
    • act as a repository for personnel-level correspondence and activities between staff and Area Managers

    Think about using eGroupware. You already have it installed and know the application. Try to make it meet your requirements.

    Can you add custom fields to eGroupware? If so you could store a lot of this informatio

    • Useful insight but eGroupWare won't fit the bill without a lot of compromise and I don't want to customise the data structures - especially because there's a new head version that will change quite a lot when it goes 'live'.
  • HR-XML (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    About HR-XML []

    The HR-XML Consortium is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of a standard suite of XML specifications to enable e-business and the automation of human resources-related data exchanges.

    Human resources-related e-business -- or any inter-company exchange of HR data -- requires an agreement among participants about how the transaction or data exchange will be accomplished.

    The mission of the HR-XML Consortium is to spare employers and vendors the ri
  • I'm guessing that if the HR system goes down, you don't meet payroll and not only are you fired but the company will lose most of its high performing talent. How many people are going to be willing to work with the 0.0.1 version of an OSS system? HR is mission critical stuff, if many times very prosaic. Its nonexistence might be because it's so risky to get wrong, even once.
  • ABRA (Score:2, Informative)

    by sgent ( 874402 )
    is probably the way to go for this type of situation. It is *relatively* cheap (1-5k), and interfaces with all of the major accounting packages. BTW... In most cases the accounting people don't interface with HR data. The might see agregate data -- but don't have access to individual employees, which is all in the HR Dept. This type of project doesn't lend itself well to OS solutions since it requires constant updates due to changing legal and regulatory requirements. Contrary to what many here have s
  • Wow. I'm suprised nobody had jumped down this guy's throat for using eGroupware, the bastard child of phpGroupware. eGroupware is *not* GPL compatable. it was a splinter group of phpGroupware that took off when they started rejecting their CVS submissions because they weren't licensed GPL compatable.

    Amusingly enough, eGroupware just split again because the guy who started the whole mess took off and decided to take his code with him. Because the code wasn't GPL'd the rest of his little crew of insurgents w
    • Hmmm.. interesting insight. I did look at phpGroupware and about 5 other 'groupware' packages before going with eGroupWare - mainly because it had a cleaner interface. I will certainly follow up on your comments - thanks.
    • Hi,

      no idea who wrote this inflamouse nonsense.

      Anyway it's not true!

      We had admin-election the last week, the result will be published today noon (2005-04-09 12:00:00 UTC). It will be announced on like the constiution vote.

      eGroupWare is GPL! If anyone leaves, he can't take the source with him.

    • I now find you may well be Chris Weiss, Support Coordinator for phpGroupware. Is that correct?
      • Ok, correction on my part: it seems from your Web site that you co admin at with Chris Weiss. If correct, your comments may be taken as biased and possibly inaccurate from my further research. Comments please.
  • Try eHRMS... [] Very slick.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison