Our Magento Open Source page explains the core features of the unlicensed version of Magento 2. So, what extra features do you get when you sign up for Adobe Commerce?
On the other hand, Adobe Commerce is aimed at mid- to enterprise-level businesses that do require these features ‘out of the box’.
Magento Open Source can be modified with the addition of third-party modules / microservices to replicate some of these functions. But the performance would be better with the adoption of Adobe Commerce. You would also have to consider the maintenance costs for those third-party modules, and whether this would outweigh the automatic upgrades provided by an Adobe Commerce license.
Added to this, as of version 2.5, the core elements of the Magento code base will stabilise, with predicted enhancements being delivered by microservices, so that the Magento installation itself will not be upgraded over time. This might negate some of the differences, since the microservices that power Magento may not be available to Open Source.
In summary, if you have a high predicted turnover or product catalogue, or you have a complex attribute set and pricing/discounting rules, then Adobe Commerce is for you. Alternatively, if your business isn’t at this scale yet, then Magento Open Source still provides an excellent and feature-rich eCommerce solution, including the ability to integrate ERPs.