Top 3 open-source subscription billing systems in 2018

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@darafshehShar Darafsheh

I’ve spent years researching and using open-source projects for my business processes. However, finding a useful application for subscription billing was a lot more difficult than I expected. So I decided to put together a list of 100% open source subscription management and billing automation tools.

I compiled this list with three basic criteria in mind. I have only listed open-source projects with commits within the past year. I have also only listed projects with public Github repositories. Lastly, I evaluated these applications based on certain critical features in a billing system, including:

  • Subscription billing: Being able to sell recurring (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) subscriptions to customers.
  • Free trials: Apply free trials to subscription offerings.
  • Split Pricing: Being able to split the price of a service into separate dynamic intervals. For example, if you have a $1,000 service, and you want 20% upfront, 30% after one month, and 50% after three months.
  • Self-service portal: Allow customers to request the subscription offering through a self-service portal.
  • Add-on pricing: Allowing add-ons to upsell subscription offerings.
  • Stripe Integration: Stripe is the most popular payment gateway system. It is important for a billing system to have a direct Stripe integration.
  • Integrations and APIs: APIs to integrate with existing applications and have an extensible architecture for building plugins.

Let’s take a look!

1- Servicebot

Servicebot dashboard

Servicebot is the newest open-source subscription billing system on the market. The development started early 2017 and is mainly focused on automated billing.

Demo Link: https://shardemo.serviceshop.io/dashboard

Demo Username: servicebot@rhyta.com

Demo Password: demo

Github link (Download): https://github.com/service-bot/servicebot

Start date: 2017

Built with: Javascript. NodeJS, React, Redux, PostgreSQL database.

⭐️ Feature 1 — Subscription Billing: ✅

⭐️ Feature 2 — Free Trials: ✅

⭐️ Feature 3— Split Pricing: ✅

⭐️ Feature 4— Self-service Portal: ✅

⭐ ️Feature 5— Add-on Pricing: ✅

⭐️ Feature 6— Integrations & API: ✅

2- Killbill

Killbill was the first subscription billing management solution I found. The platform is based on Java. Killbill focuses mainly on processing internal subscriptions online. An admin user can log in to the system and add users, manage subscriptions, and process payments.

Demo Link: http://demo.killbill.io/accounts

Demo Username: demo_ro

Demo Password: demo_ro

Github link (Download): https://github.com/killbill/killbill

Start date: 2010

Built with: Java & Ruby. MySQL database.

⭐️ Feature 1 — Subscription Billing: ✅

⭐️ Feature 2 — Free Trials: ✅

⭐️ Feature 3 — Split Pricing: ❌

⭐️ Feature 4 — Self-service Portal: ❌

⭐ ️Feature 5 — Add-on Pricing: ❌

⭐️️ Feature 6 — Stripe Integration: ✅ (Only through a plugin)

⭐️ Feature 7— Integrations & API: ✅

3- OpenSourceBilling (OSB)

OpenSourceBilling is also an internal billing system. The project is smaller than Killbill, but it does come with some useful features. It is directed mainly towards project-based billing with time tracking and project invoicing.

Demo Link: http://demo.opensourcebilling.org/

Demo Username: demo@osb.com

Demo Password: <Just press sign-in. The password is already entered>

Github link (Download): https://github.com/vteams/open-source-billing

Start date: 2013

Built with: Ruby on Rails. MySQL database.

⭐️ Feature 1 — Subscription Billing: ✅

⭐️ Feature 2 — Free Trials: ❌

⭐️ Feature 3 — Split Pricing: ❌

⭐️ Feature 4 — Self-service Portal: ❌

⭐ ️Feature 5 — Add-on Pricing: ❌

⭐️️ Feature 6— Stripe Integration: ❌ (But it does support PayPal)

⭐️ Feature 7— Integrations & API: ❌

Conclusion

Finding an automated subscription billing system is purely dependent on your needs. It is important to understand that open-source does NOT equal free. You need to host the application, install and configure it.

If you are a developer, I highly recommend using these open source applications to develop your billing system. If you are a startup needing a billing solution, book an appointment with me and I’ll be more than happy to assist you with your decision making process.

Lastly, make sure to star the open source projects and give credit to the amazing developers that help open source projects happen. Open source is the future.

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