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MRP Module: How OpenERP can help you?

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The rationale of an MRP system is to create detail production schedules with realtime data and to maintain a correlation between materials, its arrival and availability of labor. Similar to other ERP systems the MRP module in OpenERP too is developed keeping this logic in mind. This includes creating multi-level bills of materials, sequencing the assembly line, running the scheduler etc.

If you install the MRP module in OpenERP you get three functions:- primarily manufacturing,warehouse management and purchase management.

Schedule your Resources:

Resources can be the raw material used for the production of the finished good or the human resource needed to be employed at each checkpoints of the production cycle. So your resource can be number units used to complete one production cycle or the time taken to complete that cycle.

The basics of manufacturing is dividing the entire process into units called Workcenter. Defining a workcenter helps us in making forecast of our production plans and capacity. For example, for a CPU manufacturer the workcenters can be Assembly workshop,Testing Workshop,Repair Workshop. The basic idea of a Workcenter is as a logical and physical production area used for routing and scheduling operations. Routing presents us with an idea on the requirement to produce a given item, the order or sequence in which it needs to be done, allocation of labor etc. So in an assembly line which batch of raw materials should move first for operations is decided via Routing.

Fig 1: Routing Workcenters

Using OpenERP MRP you can specify working time for each workcenters. This can be done from Manufacturing → Configuration → Resources → Working Time.

What about Bills of Materials?

Bills of materials are the set of raw materials which we use to produce a finished product. So for a general CPU your bills of material becomes Motherboard,Processor,SMPS kit, DDR RAM, a body etc . Hence you can define the Bills of Materials, define its type: phantom or normal based on how we have to set the BOM structure. Multi-level BOM is also possible, example for the SMPS you need on place - power input,fans, output chords etc.

How to run Manufacturing and Planning?

Every organization has the process and the resources in place but how they schedule them in manufacturing forms the key in gaining competitive advantage over a competitor.
Every organization produces its products based on two principles

1)Make to Order
2)Make to Stock

Traditional method was to produce products and maintain a sustainable inventory till they are shipped to market(make to stock). A minimum stock rule is maintained and once the stock falls below the line the scheduler automatically puts a purchase order. Otherwise the procurement is done from the warehouse management module.

In Make to Order the idea is to keep the inventory to bare minimum and hence a purchase order is placed for the materials every time a production order is issued. Though not suitable for all products it reduces the holding costs. Scheduler once again puts order for every raw material(sub-products) keeping in mind of the date w.r.t the production schedule.

OpenERP also provides partial production hence you dont have to put assembly line on hold, you can complete the production of the limited batches you have.

Fig 2: Production Order

In both cases procurement orders are generated automatically by the system. The user comes in the picture only if there are some unexpected problems or exceptions which have to be handled manually. Such procurements fall under the category unscheduled procurements.


Fig 3: Procurement Order

The status of each production order has been categorized: Orders to Start,Orders in Progress,Orders is waiting etc. This helps you in tracking the orders easily.

Generate Reports

Reports can be generated based on workcenter loads for a given period. This can be used to allocate if there is an overload/underload in any given workcenter. The measurement is given in hours(human resources) and cycles(for machines). Stock Value Variation helps us in tracking the progress of manufacturing activities like the amount of raw materials used, finished goods produced etc.

Fig 4: Weekly Stock Value Variation

Efficiency and effectiveness can be achieved in your production process using OpenERP's MRP module. So when are you exploring these features for your organization?

Date : 23rd December, 2010

Getting the most out of HRM module in OpenERP

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Understanding the core competencies of your workforce is very important as not only can you map the current requirements but also you can make predictions about your future needs. Only through such analysis can you evaluate the compatibility of your employees’ goals in your organization as well as build a corporate culture throughout the organization. And that’s what OpenERP kept in mind when designing the Human Resource Management module.

Where should you start with the HR Module?

One of the first steps you should take is to decide who will be the users of your system. Employees roles and functions must be understood before they are defined in OpenERP. The next step is defining the employees as well as defining the hierarchy of reporting which might alter based on the organizational structure. A new employee can be defined from:
  Human Resources -> Employees -> New Employees.

The entire profile of the employee can be maintained by filling out the address and other contact details; keep a track of debit and credit accounts – i.e. keep track of the salary payments.

Keep track of the employee contracts

Using the module hr_contract one can link employee records with their contracts. All the details of the contract including Employee functions,starting and ending dates, working hours per day and wage type can all can be mentioned. Hence if the employer wishes he/she can bring a lot of transparency in the employee-employer relationship.

Enter your attendance

One might remember the attendance register in the good old days to keep record of sign-in/sign-out timings. Well hr_attendance module in OpenERP takes care of the entire process, including entering the project you are working on. Many times employees forget to Sign out at the end of the day, in such circumstances they can manually feed the timings the very next day.

Integrated with holiday requests

Using the module Hr_holidays we can put forward a holiday request. The number of permissible holidays for the user would be available there. The request then is forwarded to the manager and the HR department who would make the decision on whether to grant the holiday or not.

Fig 1: Holiday Request

Use timesheets for projects as well

When your employees are working on multiple projects it becomes necessary to calculate the amount of time they spent on each project. So an employee fills the time spent on each project every day. This sheet is directly submitted to the project Manager for validation. The validation can be triggered by specific period of time (weekly, monthly, annually) etc. You can also remunerate your employee if you are charging your client on an hourly rate. Hr_timesheet_invoice module handles the analytical accounting part.

Fig 2: Daily timesheet

Track expenses per project

Compatible with the Hr_Timesheet_Invoice module this enables us to automatically re-invoice our customer’s expenses based on the work done on the project. Thus it becomes easier to reimburse the employee.

Payroll

We all know the importance of payroll module in maintaining the salary accounts of the employees. Not only can we maintain the salary heads of the employee but also in case of asynchronous employee bonus one can define the commission or incentives individually.

Plan periodic evaluation

OpenERP allows you to choose between several types of evaluation processes: bottom-up, top-down, self evaluation and final evaluation by the manager. Interview Requests are generated automatically by OpenERP according to the employee's evaluation plan. Each manager and eventually colleagues receive automatic emails and requests to perform an evaluation for a given employee.

Follow recruitment

OpenERP is integrated with your email gateway so that incoming emails are directly delivered into HRM as an application request along with attachments. You can define your own recruitment process at the same time you can also define templates which would be automatically send at various stages of recruitment process.

Reporting

We already discussed about generating invoice via timesheets. Monthly and yearly analysis of timesheets can be done based on the invoice generated which in turn can be used to generate expense reports. Similarly an analysis is possible based on analytical accounts.
Reports on available holidays,leaves in the month and leaves taken by department can also be generated in the Reporting module.

So start installing all the modules related to HR, explore them today and see how much your company can benefit from them.

Date : 6th December, 2010

Revised bug policy

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Two weeks ago we presented our community a new bug policy. There was quite a strong reaction from our community, so we decided to get to a compromise. OpenERP listens to its community and wants to continue the good relationship that has grown during the years.

 

For the explanation in detail of our revised bug policy, please follow this link:


http://doc.openerp.com/contribute/11_bug_tracker.html#bug-management-policy

   

We have revised the ideas and the regulations to get to a a policy that would satisfy both our community and partners, but also help the OpenERP team focus on our version 6. So, made some changes in the bug management, we now have a clearer and milder triage.

 

Also, for other questions, please follow this link for the Bug Management FAQ:

http://doc.openerp.com/contribute/11_bug_tracker.html#bug-management-faq

Date : 29th November, 2010

Merged l10n_ modules. Thank you, OpenERP Community!

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You might have noticed that we merged some of what our community contributed regarding the l10n_ modules. You can see the complete list of the merged modules here:

http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~openerp/openobject-addons/trunk/files

We would like to thank all our contributors for the various localisation modules. Everybody from openerp-expert-accouting and openerp-expert-localization, and all the people we forgot to mention in the following list:

l10n_ar  Luis Falcon (Thymbra)
l10n_br Raphael Valyi (Akretion)
l10n_ca Maxime Chambreuil (Savoir-faire Linux)
l10n_ch Joel Grandguillaume (Camptocamp sa)
l10n_cr Carlos Vasquez (ClearCorp S.A.)
l10n_de Thorsten Vocks (Openbig)
l10n_ec Cristian Salamea
l10n_es Albert Cervera, Borja López, Jordi Esteve (Spanish Localization Team)
l10n_fr Syleam, Sistheo Zeekom CrysaLEAD
l10n_gt José Rodrigo Fernández Menegazzo (solucionesprisma)
l10n_in OpenERP and Axelor
l10n_it Davide Corio, Lorenzo Battistini, Servabit srl
l10n_ma Herve Proust, kazacube
l10n_mx RelTek Mexico
l10n_nl Veritos - Jan Verlaan
l10n_pl Grzegorz Grzelak (Cirrus)
l10n_ro filsys
l10n_th David Janssens Almacom
l10n_uk Seath Solutions Ltd
l10n_ve Nhomar Hernandez (Netquatro)                                                                                                          

This incredible work could have never happened without your contributions, your effort and time.

Our merge criteria can be summarized as KISS:

  •  No python code unless really needed.
  •  No new fields unless really, really needed.
  •  Correct and clean xml files with a chart of account template and default taxes. 
  • All legal requirements.

We would like to get some constructive feedback about those merges, and are willing to accept improvements and fixes:

  •   if they fit the above criteria
  •   if they are proposed by making an up-to-date launchpad merge proposal to
    openobject-addons/trunk from a feature branch named l10n_<CC>_<NAME> where
    <CC> is the country code and <NAME> is any name for your improvement
  • one feature branch per feature/fix so that we can cherry pick

More complete instructions about the creation of branches and merge proposals can be found here:

http://doc.openerp.com/contribute/15_guidelines/contribution_guidelines.html#merge-proposals-patches 

 

Date : 23rd November, 2010

Project Management in OpenERP

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Project Management from traditional times has always been segmenting the problem and solving different issues (of that problem) individually. This not only helps the user to understand the problem but also in looking at the whole problem and thinking two steps ahead at a time.

Thus planning, scheduling and managing resources become key for completion of projects regardless of the nature of their complexity. In OpenERP, Projects are considered as a set of tasks. Projects can be structured into phases and sub-phases.

Defining a Project and Task in OpenERP

You can start with naming your project from the project management module(Project Management → Projects → Projects) . If the project is a part of an umbrella project you can assign it as child to that parent project. You can also assign the starting and expected ending dates of the project.
Once the project is created you can define the tasks by creating one and assigning it to a new or existing project. The Warn Manager aids you in sending automated request once the task is completed. And by checking the Warn Customer box an automated email is sent to the customer on completion of the task. The status of your project is defined whether its open,closed, canceled or if the task is completed (done).

Fig 1: Creating an New Project

 

Assigning Roles

Project companies usually have two distinct responsible domains who maintain the project. One is the Account Manager who is a beneficiary of the client who approves client requests, writes sales proposals and is responsible for the functional definition of the clients needs. The other side of the domain is the Project Manager who is responsible for the technical tracking i.e. organizing, sub-contracting and scheduling the project tasks. At OpenERP we use the scrum approach hence these roles adapt w.r.t to the methodology.

 

The Traditional Approach(project_long_term)

The traditional phased approach identifies the sequence of steps to be completed. Faces library is used for scheduling of phases and task base on calender resources. So resource availability or resource leave are tracked using this tool. The Gantt chart allows you to easily manage his/her resources and plans by mere drag & drop. The Calender view also helps you map your deadlines and tasks needing attention.

 

Fig 2: Project Phases

 

Agile Approach(project_scrum)

In OpenERP we use Scrum methodology, an iterative and incremental approach which is part of Agile software development. There are some discretions in assigning roles in Scrum methodology hence here the Account Manager would be considered as a Product Owner while the Project Manager would be considered as the Scrum Master.

Now the Product Owner would create a product backlog from which the Scrum Master(Project Manager) would create a sprint allocating some tasks to his team from the backlog. Also he could conduct meetings with his team members to discuss previous work,planned work and backlogging points.

 

GTD method(project_gtd)

While working on a project it becomes quite necessary that each member is managing his/her time precisely. Ineffective time management leads in stress which never contributes to a project. Also there remains a threat of the team member being lost in the task clutter where he/she finds it difficult to concentrate on one task. We can solve these problems by using the Getting Things Done method(GTD) developed by David Allen. It not only allows the user to organize his/her thoughts but also helps them in differentiating between urgent and important tasks. One of the feature is Timebox which allows you define your tasks among various time periods. So you can record your daily,weekly,monthly and long term tasks which helps you in planning your day and allocating time for each tasks. Visit Project Management → Configuration → Time Management → Timeboxes → My Timeboxes to define your tasks. You can look at the documentation for more information
.

 

Reporting: Through reports clients can have a precise look at the bigger picture and can make out whether the project is moving in the right direction. The reporting section aids the Project Manager to prepare reports and analyze the state of tasks and issues.
The Dashboard option allows to look at the current status of the project along with a graphical representation of the same.

1)Project Dashboard:
Here every team member can view their Project, its deadline, priorities of their tasks as well as the progress of their Sprints. The right side of the dashboard one can view the graphical representation of planned vs Total Hours, remaining hours in project etc.

 

Fig 3: Project Dashboard


2)Project Manager Dashboard: The invoice related information with regard to the project can be retrieved here.

3)Project Issue Dashboard:
Here the Project Manager can make out the Current Issues and Pending Issues he needs to address. Graphical analysis of issue by state and stage is available.

4)Scrum Dashboard:
This dashboard provides you information of Project on scrum like Sprint name, Progress, Effective hours, planned hours, starting date and Scrum master.

The Task Analysis provides you information on various Projects, number of tasks in that project, number of days, planned hours, effective hours, average plan effectiveness, overpassed deadline, Progress etc. Filters are provided to narrow down the search in case of large number of projects.
The Issue Analysis has issues relating to Projects, average delay in opening and closing them, emails etc.

So, go through the Project Management module today and see the features yourself and do give us your feedback.  

Date : 22nd November, 2010

Progress towards OpenERP V6.0 RC2

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The long awaited RC1 of OpenERP V6.0 was published in October and the work on bug fixing has started immediately. As we were mentioning in a previous post, we hope to release RC2 by the end of the year. But before this is made possible, there are a set of bugs to be fixed.

Meanwhile, in order to make this process more efficient and faster, we have introduced a new bug handling process. All the details can be found in our previous post, describing the main problems the OpenERP team has encountered while fixing bugs randomly, and how we are trying to improve this process. The new process itself is explained here

Below is a quick overview of the progress we are making with the processing of your bug reports on Launchpad, prioritizing and fixing everything that needs to be corrected for the final release of v6.0:

 

 

We hope to finalize this by the end of the year, and you are of course welcome to help by doing more testing and report what you find, as described in the documentation. You may also help fixing them by proposing patches.

Another very important topic is the translations of all modules to the many languages used by the OpenERP community. Our R&D Team has recently done a series of improvements to make sure that all translation templates are the latest and greatest on Launchpad, so everyone is invited to go to the translations interface and start translating or reviewing the proposed translations. More details about the translations can be found in the documentation. Members of the official translation teams for each language are specifically invited to organize themselves to review the translations as soon as possible.

Last but not least, don't forget that when RC2 will be out, you'll be able to download it from our usual download area.

 

Date : 16th November, 2010

Bug Reports and Bug Processing

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As of November 2010, OpenERP has started to implement a new policy, meaning that you may be surprised to learn that some of the Launchpad bugs were closed with status Invalid or Won’t Fix because they only affect stable versions and the Launchpad Team is not allowed to modify the stable branches.

OpenERP uses Launchpad as the bug tracker platform. Anyone is free to report new bugs or give feedback on existing ones in OpenERP’s Launchpad bugtracker. Just sign up on Launchpad and join the OpenERP Community team.

 

Definition of a bug

Is usually considered a bug:

  • Any system failure with a complete stop or traceback

  • Any abnormal behavior of the system resulting from an issue with OpenERP code, without changing the original functional scope or specification

  • Any security breach in the code of the software

  • Non compliance with the law for an existing feature of a certified accounting module

Is usually not considered a bug:

  • Non compliance with a customer specific need

  • Abnormal system behavior due to defective installation or configuration

  • Security breach resulting from defective installation or configuration

  • Any usage of the software which would not comply with some industry standard

Everything else is probably either a wishlist or should be made into a blueprint for change/improvement.

 

Bug Processing

The following figure depicts the generic Bug Handling Process currently applied at OpenERP.

The processing of bugs is divided up into several successive main stages:

  1. Incoming bugs are reported on Launchpad by the whole OpenERP Community

  2. Qualification of new bugs is performed by a dedicated team within OpenERP SA, assisted by the Drivers Team.

  3. Actual bug Resolution is usually performed by the various OpenERP R&D teams, unless the Qualification step was directly able to take care of the fix, for example thanks to patch contributed along with the bug report.

  4. The last step before a bugfix is fully released into the official trunk branches is a final technical and functional review of the fix by the Team Leader and/or the Quality Team.

 

OpenERP Bug Policy

The official OpenERP policy is to handle Launchpad bugs only in the trunk (a.k.a development) branch, to limit the risk of regressions on stable branches. Any issue detected on a stable version should instead be reported via the OpenERP Publisher’s Warranty to the Support/Warranty Team, who is specifically in charge of guaranteeing the stability of these branches.

  • Even when a Launchpad bug is reported on a stable branch, the fix will only be applied on the trunk by the Launchpad/Community Team.

  • If a Launchpad bug is not applicable to the trunk, it will be closed, to avoid confusion.

  • Any issue that affects stable releases used by Customers should be reported via the OpenERP Publisher’s Warranty instead.

  • The Support/Warranty Team will provide a fix for these issues as soon as possible. They may also backport a fix from the trunk if the need arises, or implement a more conservative fix to ensure maximum stability.

 

Rationale for the bug policy

OpenERP used to have developers working randomly on all bugs reported via Launchpad, regardless of the OpenERP release they were reported on. A few years of working in this way has shown us that this is not efficient, leads to long processing times for some bugs, and too often leads to the introduction of regressions in the stable branches.

 

As a result, OpenERP SA has assigned an additional team to the resolution of bugs, and the process has been split up, separating the managing of general purpose community bug reports (improving the product for the future) and the management of day-to-day issues encountered by customers on production systems (ensure stability in a conservative manner):

  • The Launchpad team is dedicated to processing all bugs reported via Launchpad, qualifying them as quickly as possible, and getting them solved by the R&D teams.

  • The Support/Warranty team is in charge of receiving issues reported directly by customers via the OpenERP Publisher’s Warranty, provide quick workarounds when possible, and carefully select the fixes to apply to the relevant stable branches. .

This way the responsibilities of the teams are clear, and we can appropriately implement continuous improvement, with distinct goals!

 

For more information, please access the full document on Bug Reports and Bug Processing!

 

Date : 10th November, 2010

Outlook and Thunderbird Plugin in OpenERP.

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Where do you start from?

The OpenERP plug-in for Outlook and Thunderbird allows the user to work with OpenERP from their email client. This will not only simplify the work and save time but also provides the user a lot of options without the dire need to switch between applications.

 

The configuration of OpenERP plugin is quite easy. We have to initiate the plugin during the OpenERP installation and then configure it from our email client from the Menu bar(Tools → Configuration) by passing parameter for the server.

 

The Documents Tab in Configuration allows the user to add the documents to the default object list like CRM meetings or Partner information.

 

 

 Fig 1: Documents Tab allows you to upload and remove documents.

 

 

Using this Plugin the user can make use of their email client for different functions and tasks.

 

I. Synchronizing Contact Details

 

The plugin allows you to sync the contact details based on your email conversation. You can create a Partner and add partner information directly from the email client and without navigating to the CRM to do so.

 

All you have to do for the respective email is to click on “New Partner”, you write the name of the partner and save it. If the partner already exists you would be notified so. A new partner would be created without contact details at OpenERP client.

 

You can also fill the contact information via the plugin by clicking on the create contact and searching the partner from the existing database and filling out the information. Now you will find this information available when you visit Sales → Address Book → Customers.

 

II. Push to OpenERP

 

Suppose, your customer sent you an order as an attachment to your email and you want that order in your OpenERP. You can directly export it to OpenERP instead of replicating the entire conversation in your CRM.

 

This can be done by clicking “Push to OpenERP” from the tool-bar, dialog bar will appear with the search option. You have the option of personalizing your search if you know the category where the file can be found. Make sure that document is installed in the document list.

 

 

Fig 2: Dialog Bar “Push to OpenERP”

 

 

The user can see the changes in the OpenERP client. We can go to the specific product, attachments would be shown like its shown in the menu bar of the client. In case there are no attachments with the selected mail then it also creates an email history which one can find from Sales → Configuration → Mail → Emails. Here mail history will be created for the current record with the Resource ID of the record to which mail has been selected to archive.

 

 

Fig 3: Resource Id assigned to every Record.

 

 

III. Creating New Resources from Email

 

We can create an email to Lead, Project Issue or Applicants using “Push to OpenERP” and by clicking new document.

 

So, instead of creating a new lead directly from the client you can use the email from the customer, click on “Push to OpenERP” and in type of Document drop down box select CRM lead. A new lead based on the information would be created. You can also create project issue or applicant for the HR module using the same facility.

 

 

The Plug-in is a great resource to align your OpenERP tasks with your email client. So install the plug-in in your Outlook or Thunderbird today.

Date : 4th November, 2010

Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for Version 6.0.

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After months of hard work for the OpenERP team, but also from our community and partners, we are happy to have finally released Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for Version 6.0. 

A second release candidate is targeted next month and if all goes well with the RCs, the stable 6.0 release is scheduled for the end of the year.

An OpenERP Release Candidate is an almost final version of OpenERP, including all planned features. This means the software has reached a point where it should only have minor adjustments and bugfixes, but no additional development. The main purpose of a Release Candidate is to make pre-release software available to everyone for testing and reviewing. This will facilitate to have as many people as possible help our R&D Team mature the RC into a final product. 

As some of you are aware, the new v6 Web interface is already included in RC1, even though it has not reached RC quality yet. We have included it so it is now possible to start testing the completely renewed v6 web interface immediately, and we expect to have an official RC for the web in OpenERP v6 RC2 (next month). 

Another noteworthy point is that we are still working actively with the community to review and certify all mature localization modules, before the final stable release. 

It's not too late to join us and work with the other contributors [http://pad.openerp.com/6-test-accounting-localisation] if you want your localization to be officially included in v6!

For those of you who can't easily setup an environment to test OpenERP v6 RC1, we will make it available in our online offer in a few weeks. You will be able to register for a free trial and test it in just a few clicks.

So, what are you waiting for? Go to [http://www.openerp.com/downloads], install RC1 and and start testing!

And if you notice an issue - and we hope you will find some! - just report it on Launchpad [http://launchpad.net/openobject], our community platform. 

You can add the [6.0RC1] on the title of the report to help classifying issues. 

Thank you in advance for your feedback, and happy testing!

Date : 19th October, 2010

New Partners Update

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Hi All, 
This week was an excellent week for us and I'm now pleased to anounce that some new Partners joined the community. 
Spain:
- Opentia (Ready Partner)  located in Madrid & Malaga . 
France:
- Thomas Rogeau  (Ready Partner) located in Hazebrouck .
And last but not least in Norway ;
- Iterate ( Ready Partner) located in Oslo .
We wish them a lot of success !
More questions ?  ask to your dedicated account manager.
 

Date : 15th October, 2010

Beginning review of accounting localization modules

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According to a past article where we were calling our community to help with their contributions, we have begun to review the process of the accounting localization modules. The goal is to identify those modules that match OpenERP quality standards and integrate them in the official addons.
 

 

The localization pad that centralizes all information about the development of the modules can be found here:
http://pad.openerp.com/6-test-accounting-localisation

 

Also, there is a pad containing the guidelines for localization modules development:
http://pad.openerp.com/6-test-accounting-localisation-guidelines

 

 

 

Date : 14th October, 2010

Lead Automation with OpenERP Campaign Module.

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It becomes quite difficult for a marketer if he/she couldn't integrate their marketing plan in their CRM software. The situation is a potential deadlock and is similar to a chess player unable to visualize the steps ahead of his/her game. Every marketer wants his marketing program to be feeded into his CRM which in turn guides him with passing time.

Marketing Campaigns are one of the most effective methods whereby one can sequence a chain of activities on his new or modified product/service. Marketing Campaign confronts every customer with a proposal and based on the response he presents, we trigger the next chain of events. Unlike traditional methods of marketing where key success factors were Reach and Gross Audience, a well researched and defined marketing campaign emphasizes on direct communication with prospective customers leading to a higher ratio of response rate.

How does OpenERP respond to this?

Lets take an example for a case

Suppose you own a magazine, more importantly you have differentiated yourself as a technological magazine. In order to increase your sales you made a major revamp in the design and the type of content in your magazine. Now you wish to run a campaign which would increase your sales. You kick-start your campaign by understanding your segment, which in case of a technical magazine can be a tech conference or community.

The first step in the campaign can be the formal announcement of your enhanced magazine with a free sample to people who fill up the information form. 4-5 days later you ask for a review from these customers followed by an option to subscribe the magazine. You could also leave a subscription form in your magazine. From the set of all these customers you focused, two subsets are formed. Those who responded to our campaign by subscribing the magazine or stating other interest and who never responded to our campaign.

Now the unresponsive set becomes our target and we send another letter asking for feedback and the reason for not subscribing. Even the sales team arranges a call to have a direct interaction with the customer. The feedback and responses are recorded and based on them a set of dissatisfied customers would be send suggestion forms and maybe another copy in the future asking for another review.

What are the questions you should focus on?

Designing every marketing campaign is mostly a long term process and the success of any campaign depends on the research and the effectiveness in the selection of customers in the campaign. There are certain questions that every marketer always asks while designing his/her campaign.

What would be our marketing campaign?
Who would be the target audience on whom our respective campaign revolves around?
How would we measure the effectiveness of our campaign?

What about the OpenERP Marketing Campaign?

The OpenERP campaign works on the basic principle of lead automation whereby a lead is created based on a specific response by a customer towards a stimuli. Eg: Filling the subscription form in your website or based on the preferences he/she selected while creating account in your discussion forums etc.

The first step is defining the campaign i.e. the sequence of steps we would be undertaking in the course of time. On defining the campaign we trigger a set of activities in the marketing campaign module of OpenERP.

Based on the lead automation we define the sequence of steps we ought to follow, the modes of creating and processing these activities and the cost involved with these campaign. Thus after each activity and based on its respective stimuli we can trigger the next event of the respective campaign.

Fig: Campaign Tab - How activities of our campaign are lined up.

Why is the Segment important?

The two most important points for any campaign to be successful is adoption of a concrete methodology of execution and choosing the right segment: a target loop of customers on whom our campaign would be directed. Inappropriate focus on segment would result in the campaign being misfired and our efforts would reach deaf ears.

Using the Segment tab in the Campaign module we can define our segment w.r.t the Campaign activity, since it is possible that with every step downwards our segment gets narrowed in terms of number. You can also synchronize the entire campaign steps based on our defined segments.

Fig:Defining a Segment

How is Marketing Campaign related to CRM?

The Marketing Campaign module is closely synchronized with the CRM module. Initially,let us consider the segment we cater in the campaign as Leads. Goals are set for each campaign which would be considered as a desired state. Once a lead accomplishes our objective criteria of goals we change their status by converting them into Opportunity (i.e. we should give focused attention to those leads). Once the lead satisfies our final objective we would consider them as a partner/customer and close that lead.

Lets go for a more discrete example with the email marketing campaign we follow at OpenERP for our SAAS offer.

Whenever someone subscribes to OpenERP online he/she fills a form which in-turn becomes the lead of OpenERP SaaS offer Campaign. Our SaaS salesperson triggers the marketing campaign by sending an introductory email of services we offer and thanking for subscribing for the one month free trial. Based on the response we plot whether the lead is interested in OpenERP SAAS offer,Training or buying the OpenERP book. Significantly these are our subsets and based on their cues we send them email catering that respective needs. If they respond back with the interest they are converted into the opportunity and thereby on subscription of our services they become our partner.

In lack of response we sent them another reminder regarding the offer after a weeks duration. If they still did not respond our salesperson gives a voluntary call inquiring their needs. Hence like a flowchart we can trigger a respective activity for every possible cues. The chances of lead going unattended thus goes very low, and for every lead we have a predefined method of treating it and we could measure it with our goals. Based on the goals we can also evaluate the effectiveness of our campaign and analyze if there is a room of improvement.

Fig: Diagram representing the flow of marketing campaign

So explore & run your own campaign by installing the marketing campaign module from OpenERP trunk.

Date : 7th October, 2010

Get an online overview of the OpenERP new version V6.0!

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Hello there!

 

How are you today?

 

Did you attend yesterday's webinar on the OpenERP new version?

 

The whole team is really proud of the result. This first session has been a full success with more than 250 people connected during two hours, sharing Fabien's desk and listening to his live explanations regarding OpenERP new version's improvements!

 

This episode was the first of a series of five. Here is the calendar of next sessions:

 

  • October the 12th, 10.00 am (Brussels time): Part 2/5: Manufacturing and Logistics

  • October the 20th, 10.00 am (Brussels time): Part 3/5 : Accounting and Finance

  • October the 27th, 10.00 am (Brussels time): Part 4/5 : HR and Project Management

  • November the 3rd, 10.00 am (Brussels time): Part 5/5 : Technical Presentation

 

All webinars are public, so don't hesitate to register online! Visit www.openerp.com/events to have a look at all our event's dates and book your seat in a few clicks.

 

You missed the first session? This is not a problem, you are warmly invited to join other webinars. Please just keep in mind that you need to be acquainted with the OpenERP solution a little to understand the webinars.

 

The OpenERP Team is looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Date : 7th October, 2010

Contribute to the OpenERP news with your blogs

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One of the main aims OpenERP has is to communicate better and engage more with its community. In order to facilitate this even more, we are asking our top contributors to share with us and consequently with the whole world their blogs. Thus, if you are part of our community and you have a blog on OpenERP, you can have it posted here in the section reserved to our Community News.

 

This is a place for mainly technical news and we want to offer the opportunity to showcase your opinions and experiences with OpenERP. This is one of the reasons why we want to offer a common platform where global OpenERP news and blogs are aggregated. If you are interested, please contact us on our facebook or twitter account.

Date : 6th October, 2010

Open ERP 6 performance improvements

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Various performance improvements have been made, especially regarding the number of sql queries generated by the Open ERP server and its addons.

A summary of these improvements is available here:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AsI9h53mJ-C_dHV1YkNmYmU5MXJzSmlON2h3R2JXZ0E&hl=en_GB&authkey=CMjWkN8C

 

 

For the moment, we only worked on optimising read access, not write access or search. So, there is room for more improvements, and our team is working on it.

A small xml-rpc script was made to help the process detect which objects needed improvements.

 

The script can:

  • list object models
  • output all field values of all objects for a certain model
  • output performance statistics about all models as csv (model, number of objects, number of queries)

 

Moreover, a new project was created for all these xml-rpc scripts:

https://launchpad.net/openerp-xml-rpc-scripts

 

For the moment, only the ''performance test'' script is available.

Feel free to contribute to this project with your own scripts if you think they will be helpful for the rest of our community. Just access the link on launchpad and add you contribution. 

Date : 30th September, 2010

OpenERP webinars for Version 6.0

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For the last few months, OpenERP has been preparing for the release of version 6. In our effort to give a deeper insight to our community in the new version, our team has started a series of webinars focusing on the new functionalities and features of version 6.

These webinars are online demonstrations where Fabien Pinckaers, OpenERP CEO, explains the main features and benefits of OpenERP version 6 through a Webex conference. Each session will take approximately 2 hours and is free to join: the only requirement is to subscribe online.
 

There will be five webinars on the various functionalities and features of the version 6, each presenting different items such as:

 

    1. The first webinar will focus on the new ergonomy, CRM and Marketing Campaign - 6th October

    2. The second webinar will focus on Manufacturing and Logistics - 12th October

    3. Third webinar will give an overview on Accounting and Finance - 20th October

    4. Forth webinar will present HR and Project Management - 27th October

    5. Last webinar from this series will be a technical presentation – 3th November

 

Each of these webinars will be followed by one hour of Q & A reserved to the OpenERP partners.

We kindly remind you that these sessions require knowledge of the OpenERP software. Fabien will present the new features of OpenERP V6.0 and we recommend that you already attended a training session to be able to follow the webianrs properly.

This webinars will be a great upgrade for those who followed our trainings in 2010. So, keep an eye on our events page and subscribe for the webinar relevant to you. You will find the calendar of all our events, including webinars, on our brand new website.

Interested? You can already register online

 

Date : 28th September, 2010

OpenERP Webinars

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Using OpenERP for the first time, whether it is online or onsite, can be difficult when you do not know how to do basic configurations and administrations. Therefore, the OpenERP team took the initiative to host webinars to ease the use of OpenERP for our community. Webinars are online demonstrations where one of our team members explains the main features and benefits of OpenERP through a Webex conference. Every session lasts approximately one hour and is free to join: the only requirement is to subscribe online.

There are a number of webinars meant to meet the different needs of our community.

 

I. Let's get started with OpenERP Online (functional)

This webinar is a great way for new users of OpenERP to quickly learn about the advanced possibilities of managing your instances using the administration tool provided with their account. It enables newcomers to the OpenERP community to learn the must-have knowledge to start testing the system properly. It's advisable that if you have been using OpenERP before and are familiar with the Control Center functionalities, this session should be followed at least once.

 

II. Main Features and Benefits CRM and Sales in OpenERP (functional)

During this webinar, the users will be given a general presentation of the main features of the CRM and Sell:

1. How to get leads in the CRM

2. How to manage leads and opportunities in the CRM

3. How to create a Partner in the CRM;

4. How to make a quotation

5. How to make an invoice.

 


III. How to create a module in OpenERP (Comment creer un module dans OpenERP)

This webinar is in French and will present how to create a module in OpenERP. It will be a technical webinar which requires knowledge in technical OpenERP, python and xml.

 

 

IV. OpenERP Functional Demonstration

The webinar can be followed in English or in Spanish and will explain the following functionalities:

- Get informed about the installation process of OpenERP

- Find out how to configure the software, discover GTK client and Web client

- Discover how to install modules

- See how to encode data, convert leads to partners and business opportunities (CRM)

- Travel through the whole software.

 

V. OpenERP V6.0 Overview

These webinars are online demonstrations where Fabien Pinckaers, OpenERP CEO, explains new features and upgrades of OpenERP version 6 through a Webex conference. Each session will take approximately 2 hours. These webinars are a series of five episodes, each presenting different items such as: new ergonomy, CRM and Marketing Campaign; accounting and finance, and so on.

People need to know OpenERP, it's an upgraded training, non-introductory. Each of these webinars will be followed by one hour of Q & A reserved to the OpenERP partners.

We strongly recommend you follow the five sessions!

 

Why follow these the OpenERP webinars?
According to our chief of Saas, Maxime Glorieux, the sessions done so far gave the opportunity to new customers to get started faster with their system, they are now almost completely independent in the management of their ERP system and could highly reduce their ERP usage, infrastructure and maintenance costs.

To be able to join any webinar, you have to register and you will receive a Webex ID and a phone number to call by email about one hour before the session. You will find the calendar of all our events, including webinars, on our brand new website  .

 

 

Date : 28th September, 2010

Modules Quality Certifications

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The Module Quality Certification is a service delivered by OpenERP SA that allows  customers to integrate specific modules in their OpenERP Publisher warranty contract or in the OpenERP Online offer.

Once your module is certified and covered by the OpenERP Publisher's Warranty , you benefit from the warranties and services you need to safely use  this module in production:

  • A complete review and feedback of your module including the technical and usability guidelines, scalability for high volumes of transactions or users, bugs detection, future migration troubles detection, etc...

  • Unlimited bugfixes ticket on this module at no extra costs

  • Evolution of the module to each new stable version of OpenERP (once every 6 months) and migration service of the data from one version to another, at no extra cost.

  • The module becomes available in the OpenERP Online offer.

Once the module is certified, you have two versions of the module: the partner or community version where new features are developed and the stable version where OpenERP applies code freeze and bugfixes.

Why did OpenERP SA setup the quality certification service ?

OpenERP, like every good software publisher, maintains in parallel several versions of the software: a trunk branch and several stable versions (v5, v6, v6.1).

  • The trunk branch is comprised of all the new features and is used only by developers. As it evolves a lot, there is as always a risk of introducing bugs. The quality tests applied on each commit on a trunk branch are minimal (peer code review and automated scenario tests only)

  • The stable branches (v5, v6) are the ones used by the customers in production. Only bugfixes are added to a stable branch, no new features in order to minimize the risk of introducing new bugs, API or usability changes. Each improvement in a stable branch is strongly tested (peer code review, manual tests and automated scenario tests)

Both branches are very important, since on one hand we need to develop quickly new features in the trunk but on the other hand customer needs stable branches on which he can rely for the long term. New modules have to follow the same release policies as the trunk/stable branches of OpenERP. This exactly the purpose of the module quality certification services.

Let's see how it works:

The partners develop new modules and new features. Each partner manages his own module development and adds features when he needs it. Therefore, the partners manage the trunk branch of their module.

OpenERP SA, through its OpenERP Publisher Warranty service, applies Quality Insurance on the code of Quality Certified modules: code freeze, only bugfixes, evolution to each new version, etc. Meaning that OpenERP SA maintains the stable branch of these modules.

Both versions are important and will benefit from each other. OpenERP SA will benefit for the new features developed in community modules (to be eventually integrated in future versions of OpenERP) and the community benefits from bugfixes and evolutions of the module to each new stable version. (one new version every 6 months)

The Module Quality Certification process clearly defines the role of each actor involved in the OpenERP development. These roles follow the source of revenues of each actor: the partners are usually paid to develop new modules in OpenERP and, on the other hand OpenERP SA is paid to maintain the software in the long term and make it evolve smoothly from one version to the other.

Why is the Module Quality Certification process important for the OpenERP Software ?

If you look at other open source software that have a strong modularity (ex: Joomla), you encounter the following issues:

  • At each new version of the software, you lose at least 50% of the contributed modules because the original author did not make the adaptations. (or probably made the adaptations only for the version he is using)

  • Every migration of the software is very expensive in time and money as most of the modules or customizations are not easy to handle.

  • If you have a bug in your system, you must contact the author of the module to ask him to fix it.This is not acceptable as an OpenERP instance has more than 100 modules tightly integrated together. You cannot afford taking 100 different maintenance contracts.

  • The main software publishes a new stable version once every two years in order to avoid amplificating this effect. Again, not acceptable due to the fast growth of OpenERP.

The OpenERP Quality Certification process allows having a strong base of modules that grows each year.

What's the relation between the Publisher's Warranty, the Online offer and the quality certification ?

The OpenERP Online offer includes services like: hosting, incremental backups, technical support, monitoring, unlimited bugfix tickets, migration to all versions, long-term guarantees on the modules used. All this is at a low-cost service: 39€ per user*month.

In order to deliver quality services at such a low price, we need to be sure that the modules available in this offer are bug free, checked against security issues and maintained in the long term. This is why the Module Quality Certification is a requirement that must be integrated in the Online offer. Including non quality certified modules in the Online offer would result in serious problems if we discover bugs or security issues in these modules or when we release a new version of the software with which the modules might not be compatible.

Can I use non  certified modules in the OpenERP Publisher Warranty or the Online offer ?

Yes, but you have to pass the Module Quality Certification.

If you need to use a community module in the Online offer, you just have to pass a Module Quality Certification. If the module passes the certification, it becomes available for all customers of the online offer. If it fails, as we mentioned earlier you will have to fix some issues before retrying the certification (or we can do it for you at an extra-cost).

It's exactly the same reason for the OpenERP Publisher Warranty. In order to provide unlimited tickets for bugfixes or migration services, we need to control the quality of the modules that are covered by this contract.

How to integrate the Module Quality Certification process in your continuous implementation or development project ?

If you are doing your own implementation of development project, your modules are evolving every day and you can not freeze the code.

In that case, the quality certification process is the opportunity to synchronize your effort with OpenERP SA and the official version of OpenERP. During this process, you get all the feedback you need to be sure that the module follows the direction of OpenERP's future version. This will help you avoid complex issues when a new OpenERP version is released.

You continue working in your own version of the module but you can merge periodically bugfixes and adaptations to new versions made by OpenERP on the frozen branch. As OpenERP SA manages the evolution of the core of OpenERP, we are the most ready to adapt your module to new version requirements.

With the OpenERP Publisher's Warranty, once a module has been certified it can still evolve and this is fine. The only limitation is that if a bug or a problem in the migrations results from changes which happened after the certification, they will not be covered by the bugfix guarantee.

What about vertical or country legal dependant modules ?

The OpenERP Publisher Warranty contract considers as a bug any non conformity of an existing feature according to the law in a Quality Certified module. This ensures a fast continuous improvement of the accounting modules in OpenERP, because all non conformity to the law are fixed by OpenERP.

So, the Quality Certification is a guarantee that, if the customer finds an issue or a non conformity of an existing feature to the law, we will fix it at no extra costs.  It's worth clarifying that we don't follow legal changes in the law for each country. It's the partner or the customer who have to report to us all the troubles and we fix them for free if the module is Quality Certified. Some partners can offer services on top of our OpenERP Publisher Warranty for legal advices.

The procedure that we put in place and we want to build on it meant to follow a continuous improvement process in the long term development of OpenERP and all his modules. We want to achieve the same quality control and evolution we had in our official modules to legal or vertical modules.

Before the Quality Certification process, only a few accounting localisations where clean enough to be put in production.

Does this mean that non certified modules are not clean ?

No, as some of the modules made by the partners are very clean and bug free. The OpenERP Publisher's Warranty cover instances comprised of both certified and non certified modules but for the non certified modules, you don't have the following guarantees:

  • warranties on bugfixes

  • warranties on the migrations to future versions

  • long term maintenance (>4.5 years)

What's the cost of the Module Quality Certification ?

The cost of testing if your modules comply with OpenERP Quality standards is :  400€ per module + 400€ per 1000 lines of code. So, if you want to certify 4 modules of 300 lines of code each, this will costs 2400€ (400€ x 4 + 400€ x 2).

To be more precise, OpenERP guarantees to review the customer's module and provide feedback. Afterwards, it's decided if the module will be certified or not, depending on the quality.

In case your module fails, you are given another chance to correct and improve it, taking in consideration the feedback provided by OpenERP. If the module fails a second time, the customer will have to pay again to have it certified. 

OpenERP provides a very comprehensive set of services ranging from the complete review and feedback of your module, to bug fixing, migration and so on for a very cheap price. Therefore, it's only fair to say that for OpenERP it's an investment to improve the software. And in the end, our community will have to benefit from it. 

Date : 22nd September, 2010

The OpenERP partnership program

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Instead of working directly with customers, OpenERP focuses on building partnerships. This might be a different approach compared to what the market is used to, but there are some good solid reasons why we support this strategy.

 

What does a partner actually do?

 

OpenERP partners distribute and implement the OpenERP project at customers. They provide all business services including analysis, development, deployment and data migration. They represent the crucial link between OpenERP and the customers. Therefore, a good partner is committed to fulfil the customer needs and has a very good knowledge of the OpenERP software.

 

 

Why does OpenERP work with partners?

 

Working with partners enables OpenERP to get a worldwide reach. This together with the fact that OpenERP decided not to work with customers directly, allows us to focus on the OpenERP software system and improve it, rather than travelling to build business opportunities. In addition, partners have better knowledge on special sectors and local market specifics, such as language, local legal specifications, business culture, etc. This strategy enables OpenERP to meet worldwide demand.

 

So, who can become a partner and what requirements are there to become a partner?

 

Any ICT company that is able to develop the required competency levels on OpenERP can become a partner. The most important is that the company needs at least one certified consultant (can be either functional or technical) for the Ready level. Then, for the next level (Silver) one functional and one technical person is a must. And finally Gold partners must have at least 2 technical and 2 functional certifications, depending on the business plan specifications. Below you can find a more detailed explanation for each level.

 

What are the 3 partnership levels and their benefits ?

 

The OpenERP partner program has three membership levels: Ready, Silver and Gold. Each level has individual requirements and benefits.

 

Ready Partners: This level empowers Partners to begin and develop their OpenERP competencies.

 

Silver Partners: At this level Partners have committed to gain the knowledge and ability to carry out and execute high quality OpenERP projects.

 

Gold partners: Gold partners have a strategic relationship with OpenERP. They benefit from the highest visibility in the OpenERP partner channel and are committed to acquire the highest level of expertise on OpenERP. They have access to significant resources which helps them to develop and deploy OpenERP solutions.

 

Benefits?

 

  • Recognition

All the OpenERP partners will be listed on our official webpage depending on their level of partnership, alongside with a detailed description. Through this, Partners will be viewed by the thousands of daily visitors. As well, Silver and Gold partner may submit to us Press Releases with regard to their corporate activity or activity related to OpenERP.

 

  • Training benefits

To be able to share the functional and technical knowledge, OpenERP has available a complete set of functional and technical trainings. These are accessible either through a certified OpenERP Training Center or at OpenERP headquarters in Belgium.

For each training session attended, the participants will be able to take an online certification exam.

Partners are committed to certify a minimum of one (Ready), 2 (Silver) and 4(Gold) people.

 

  • E-learning Benefits

The partners will be able to use the e-learning platform, which offers access to the following courses and documents :

• Implementation project methodology

• How to efficiently sell OpenERP

 

  • Sales Benefits

With the help of its leads generation program, OpenERP provides leads to its partners, easily accessible by the free download of the OpenERP applications. Leads will be allocated according to the geographical proximity, the level of partnership and specific expertise required to meet the customer's demand.

 

  • Marketing Benefits

OpenERP partners are allowed to use he OpenERP official Partners logo on their marketing materials in order to can promote themselves. Also, there are a series of marketing materials made available on the partner's portal.

 

  • Technical Support

The OpenERP team is available to support partners with issues that may occur while deploying OpenERP projects, as well as with intricate projects that necessitate support from technical experts at OpenERP.

 

  • Training Partner

Besides the training sessions at the OpenERP headquarters in Belgium, we count on a network of Certified Training Partners worldwide. Being a Certified Training Partner allows access to updated training material designed by OpenERP, the training sessions are advertised on OpenERP website, etc.

 

 

The process a potential partner goes through to become an OpenERP partner :

 

The first step is to request or show that you are interested to become a partner either directly through the OpenERP website, or by sending an email or by participating at one of our Open Days where you can talk to the sales reps.

 

As soon as your company has officially become an OpenERP partner, an OpenERP account manager is assigned.

 

Partner Management

 

The account manager will do a business study with you. This includes the company description, your capacity and whether or not there's demand on the pipeline. At all times, the account managers will be arranging support for the partners, but most importantly, they will encourage the usage and promotion of the OpenERP Publisher's Warranty. The OpenERP Warranty enables partners and customers to start critical business projects with the right level of support . As in any mission critical project, it is essential to secure the appropriate services for support, bug fixing and migration services, in order to successfully implement OpenERP. OpenERP Publisher’s Warranty covers you from the early beginning of your projects and all the way to future migrations.

 

In addition, partners will be supported with finding leads and creating opportunities, which will help them respond to demand and consequently grow. Besides support, the account managers will offer advice and consultancy on different issues related to the OpenERP project. Furthermore, they will get involved in the events the partners organize and also help them plan their own training for technical and functional people.

Date : 20th September, 2010

Call for contributions

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In response to Davide Corio's initiative on the OpenERP forum, we are launching a call for contributions. The new version 6.0 of OpenERP is soon to be released and we are in need for help from our community members to build a quality product. Therefore, we want to support this initiative and aggregate the community's contributions in one place for a development sprint of one week. At least 20 developers at OpenERP SA will be dedicated to work here for one week with members of the community, between the 11th to the 15th of October if they are enough contributions.

There are a couple of pads where our community can contribute on four different areas: click here if you want to contribute and check out the explanatory pad. There is a pad on the test of version 6,  where you can add your contributions on the different applications. Moreover, we are keen on integrating accounting for different countries, so please add your contributions there as well. If you think you can help us with translation, there's also a set up pad for this. Last but not least, you can help if you have ideas for new features as extra addons .
If you want to contribute, access one of these four sections and write what you can do, how, in which launchpad branch and by when. Don't forget that you can also write if you need help from OpenERP SA.
 
 
Summary:
1) Reviews for the different applications of the v6.

http://pad.openerp.com/6-test-index
 
2) We plan to review community's effort in localizing OpenERP for V6.0
http://pad.openerp.com/6-test-accounting-localisation
 
3) It's important that we have OpenERP translated in a lot of languages before the release of the v6.0.
http://pad.openerp.com/6-test-translation
 
4) New features as extra addons
http://pad.openerp.com/6-test-new-features
 
 

Date : 16th September, 2010

Improvements in OpenERP Accounting version 6.0

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One of the developments in the new version is refining and enhancing the Accounting System. There has been a lot of effort in making the accounting module simple to explore and user friendly. There are small but important changes in terminology of the accounting terms, mature reports, easy predictable navigation of menus, and utilization of new features built for the OpenERP Framework Version 6.0.

 

If we list out some important developments and enhancements, it will be as follows.

 

  1. Restructuring of Menus - now its very easy to predict and find the desired menus.

  2. Inbuilt multi-company feature - no need to install any module.

  3. Inbuilt multi-currency feature - no need to install any module.

  4. New legal reports - Profit & Loss account and Balance Sheet.

  5. Common Filter system for all Accounting Reports - filtering on dates, periods, journals, etc..

  6. Simplified entry system for accountants - Sales, Purchase, Payment and Receipt Entries.

  7. Improved Tax calculations.

  8. Cash Register.

  9. Easy Tracking Invoices and Accounting Entries.

New menu structure of Account application.

Easy and simplified Menu arrangements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legal Reports - Profit and Loss account, Balance sheet

 

Profit and Loss Account

 

Balance Sheet Report

 

Reporting and common filters

 

Now you can see common report filter on all accounting reports, which will give you the facility to filter on the chart of account, Fiscal Year, Journals, Periods, Start and End Dates, also provide you the facility to change the display of reports like sorting on Date, Partners, Journals and Reports formats and other parameters.

 

  

Simplified Entry System

 

Now it is very easy to do Sales, Purchase, Bank/Cash Payment and Bank/Cash Receipt just in one click, you can also add the tax and due dates while dealing with the Sales and Purchase receipt, also no need to remember outstanding bills and amount for any customers or suppliers, payment and receipt will automatically detect them.

 

Sales Receipt

 

Sales Payment

 

 

Reconciliation

 

 

Cash Register

Now its possible with the OpenERP 6.0 to maintain the cash book like the Bank statements. Open / Close a cash box daily, weekly or monthly based on the needs.

 

Open Cash box with Initial Balance

 

Cash Transactions

 

Closing Cash Box

 

Moreover, this way we have a complete track on the cash box, from the next statement . No need to enter the opening balance manually, the closing balance of previous statement will be carry forward to the next statement, also you can modify the carry forwarded balance too.

 

We would soon return to you with similar developments, hence visit the New section regularly.

 

Date : 16th September, 2010

Free software by the community and for the community

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For years OpenERP did not count on complex Marketing strategies or external agencies to be promoted. Our mentality is this: if we are good at what we do, our customers, partners and community will speak on our behalf. A great example in this matter is ''Medical''.

Who is Medical? 

 

''Medical is a free (GPL license), centralized Health and Hospital Information System for OpenERP''. This project is unique in the way it uses OpenERP due to the industry is part of and by using a free software with the scope of social activism.

Medical is part of GNU Solidario, a NGO that distributes education and health solutions using free software. Its main aim is to ameliorate '' the quality of life of the underprivileged'' by facilitating a free software through which ''health promotion and disease prevention'' is improved.

 

                             ''Medical is Free software by the community and for

                               the community, helping thousands to improve their

                               quality of lives, specially the underprivileged.'' (Luis Falcon)

 

What are the main functionalities?

  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR)

  • Hospital Information System (HIS)

  • Health Information System

Features like writing prescription, billing, reports, patient examination and history, patient administration, medical stock and supply chain management are just a few that help integrate information and makes is so easy for the medical staff to access it and centralize all the data.

 

Who came up with this idea how is OpenERP involved?

 

Luis Falcon, founder of the GNU solidario project affirmed that he chose OpenERP and Openobject for Medical because he was aware of its ''its potential as a development platform since 2005''. Working in the medical industry he had a clear insight of ''the reality of doctors in primary care institutions and hospitals around the world''. This helped him understand that a system was lacking which could encompass all important features of the Health care. These included doctors, health centers, as well as government health authorities.

 

Medical has built up a strong community including some governments, such as Brazil and the European Community. Also, it involves organizations and hospitals in Africa and Asia (like Africa Next Door) that focus on women and children in Ghana and use Medical in their public software de

pository.

 

With the help of OpenERP and Openobject, Luis was able to connect a series of Medical objects to the business items of ERP, CRM and BI in order to integrate and make it run well. He is content to see that these ''functionalities are possible today, and the best part is that they are available, for free, to everyone, anywhere in the world, in their own language. After all, that's the way it should be.''

 

Date : 15th September, 2010

Open Source: Free as in Freedom, not free as in Free services

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If you look at different open source companies, there are mainly two business models for an open source publisher:

  1. Releasing a light and open source version of the product and selling closed-source modules with additional features. Some examples are SugarCRM, OpenBravo or Compiere.
  2. Having 2 versions: an open source version and an "Non Open Edition" that differ in some areas: Alfresco releases bugfixes only in the non open edition, MySQL has editions with different performances, Magento has more features in the Non Open Edition.

At OpenERP, we believe in open source, and we think there is a third option: release everything we do for free.

So, for years, we have looked for alternative ways to finance the R&D while keeping our software fully open source. We never wanted the "Light Open Source Version" or the "Non Open Edition" model. 

We have tried different models: getting money for implementation services, shared funding modules, etc. None of them was a real success for the community and the product.

Today we can say that our business model is strong and allows us to support our vision: making Business Applications available for everyone, to sustain R&D and to satisfy customers. All of this while keeping our software and all the extra modules 100% free.

 

So why should I pay for an open source software ?

 

The software is free, but not the services (free as in freedom, not free as in free services).

If you need support services from a partner, you will have to buy a support contract. If you request maintenance services from OpenERP, you will have to buy the OpenERP Publisher's Warranty contract.

This is necessary since the partners and the publisher have to get money for their services. No other industry can provide services for free. In addition OpenERP would not be able to continue improving the software.

OpenERP SA has only three sources of revenue to finance the development and maintenance of the OpenERP software: 

  • the Online offer: to finance hosting, maintenance and R&D of OpenERP
  • the OpenERP Publisher's Warranty: to finance the maintenance and R&D
  • the services to partners: to finance the service team (trainers, partner managers, pre-sales suppport, etc.)

The first two lines of revenues are very sane, because each $ won through these services goes directly in the development of OpenERP, and will benefit to the community. Our business is in phase with our ideas.

We consider the bugfix guarantee or the migration guarantee as a service. You can still report a bug on Launchpad (our community platform) and we will try to fix it. But if you need to interact directly with us or if you need a guarantee of response time, we need to charge for this service.

The same applies for migrations. Migrations in all ERP software are very complex. We do our best to simplify this in the OpenERP automated migration engine, but it remains a project in itself just to migrate one customer. So, we decided to include the migration service in the OpenERP Publisher's Warranty contract. This is also a way to make sure our partners and customers will not face unexpected costs when we release a new version.

Do I have to buy services if I want to use OpenERP ?

 

No. We guarantee through our AGPL License that everyone has the freedom to use the source code, and no-one is bound to buy services from us or our partners.

And we like this: if you want to do it yourself, we give you the source code, the documentation, and a community platform.

We make sure that you always have a choice. For customizing the software you may opt for development services from an OpenERP partner, or do it yourself. The same applies to bugfixing and migrations: you may either purchase OpenERP Publisher's Warranty, or if you feel you have the internal resources, you can manage it yourself.

I often mention that partners deliver one2one services and activities (sales, implementation services, training, consultancy), while the Publisher delivers one2many activities (R&D, Marketing, Maintenance Services).

Given that we publish improvements delivered under the OpenERP Publisher's Warranty, our paying services directly contribute to the quality of the software, and everyone benefits.

 

Why is migration a service? Doesn't it rely on simple scripts to develop and reuse ?

 

It is not as simple as it seems. Our previous (v4.2) method was indeed to send a migration script to our partners, ask them to apply it and then we had to troubleshoot during weeks all the unexpected problems.

It was a waste of time for the partner and for us (it's very difficult and time-consuming to debug migrations remotely, just based on an error log, without having access to the database). On average it took 7+ emails to complete the migration.

We think migrations are so complex that a script will fail most of the time (custom modules of the customer, custom environment, unchecked modules, different intermediary versions with a different schema, etc.) In order to deliver the quality service everyone is expecting, we have to control the quality, adapt the process for each customer, and build continuous improvement.

If we just sell or publish a migration script, we know we will be creating many frustrations. That's why we decided to do and control migrations ourselves. When we deliver the migrated database to the partner or the customer, we will have already fixed the issues ourselves and our quality control team will have tested the results.

What can I do if I don't want to rely on your services ?

 

If you don't want to subscribe to an OpenERP Publisher's Warranty contract, you are free to manage it by yourself. The good thing about open source is that you are free to spend money or time doing it yourself. 

If community members want to work on migrations scripts, we will of course welcome these contributions, but past experience has taught us that it might not be the most efficient way. 

That's why we consider that the publisher has to offer an extra Guarantee service for customers that are willing to pay to avoid unexpected problems and costs.

 

How does OpenERP see the relationship with the Community ?

 

As the founder and CEO of OpenERP I'm passionate about open source. My dream is to build the best enterprise management software and make it accessible to everyone.

OpenERP benefits a lot from its active community and their contributions. Our community is great and we value its work. So, we also have to help members of the communities in order to make them understand OpenERP, how to contribute, etc. That's why we launched the Mementos, collaborative development platform, community managers working on launchpad with contributors, etc. In a few days, we will launch a series of interviews of contributors on the website in order to thank them for their contributions to OpenERP.

But we are in a low-cost business model: we have limited resources, and can't pay people to do everything we'd like to. So we have to prioritize the activities which benefits the community as a whole and not individual contributors such as :

  • communicating with the community at large before discussing with some individuals
  • fixing bugs for everyone rather than supporting individuals that have questions on OpenERP (that's why we work more on Launchpad than on the OpenERP forum)
  • developing new features for everyone, not the needs of just a few
  • release public source code and documentation instead of doing support to some individuals

 

Why does the Community need Partners, Customers and the Publisher?

 

Purely community-based ERP projects like Adempiere, GnuEnterprise and Ofbiz have built great communities but ultimatly they have failed to build a great product.

I think the best way to build a great product is to have a healthy relationship between the Partners, the Customers, the Community and the OpenERP Publisher. Why ? Because each party brings something the others can't do in OpenERP.

As an example, they are three types of developments in OpenERP:

  1. Adding new features which create added value for the end-user
  2. Improving the usability, the user interface which makes the software easier to learn
  3. Improving the kernel: no direct value but simplify further developments

Partners and customers will often contribute new features (1) because the customer is willing to pay for it to support his business needs. In this case the Publisher's main added value is to garantee the modules will comply with future evolutions of the software.

Regarding the second point, the customer will never want to pay for it. So, the partner will usually not work on these improvements. Who would pay 100 days to redevelop the UI where you can just pay 5 days to train your own users? It's the role of OpenERP to invest in such improvements. -> This is why nearly all partner's contributions are new modules, not contributions in the web or GTK client.

For the third point, I would say the contributions are a mix of improvements made by the community and the R&D team of OpenERP SA. The community usually does continuous improvements (lots of small improvements/features), whereas OpenERP SA works on big bang/rewrite from scratch (view views on all modules, replacing wizards by osv_memory, writing a bunch of automated tests, etc.)

As a summary, to build a great product, you need:

  • Customers: to finance the improvements (through services to partners for new features, through OpenERP Publisher's Warranty for long term maintenance and evolution)
  • Partners: to develop new features and support customers (mainly points 1 and 3)
  • Community: to continuously improve the quality of the software, by providing constant feedback and contributions
  • OpenERP SA: to improve the product (mainly points 2 and 3)

 

Date : 13th September, 2010

Process of the new release V6

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In case the news hasn't spread out there by now, OpenERP is preparing to release a new version, version 6. But before we dive into the release and migration process of the new version 6, I want to refresh your memory about the services that OpenERP offers. They are split in a couple of categories. Partnership, Support and Maintenance, which means bug fixing and migration, and OpenERP Online SaaS.

But let's go back to our subject. Currently, the OpenERP team is at the stage of verifying and testing each function and button of the new version before it will be release in October as a release candidate. The exact date is not set yet, but for sure it will happen soon. The major difference is that OpenERP doesn't want to present itself as a ERP software, but as a suite of business applications. Meaning that if a company just wants to start with CRM for example and later on continue with more applications he has the freedom and possibility to do so.

The release will be done in two steps. The first to be released are the server with most of the addons, which as we speak are individually checked by our developers. You can take a peek inside our office and see the different set of applications and their full menu lined up on one of our walls.

 

The team is working with a basic visual aid to keep track of what has been done. Also, it is easy to see the process right away, without implementing any fancy tool just to have it visualized.

 

The second step of the release, date is not known yet, will have to do with the localizations per country and the web interface.

After the this second step is finalized, the migration process can be initiated. OpenERP is among the few companies that offer migration services at a fixed price, this service is part of the Maintenance offer. A migration service has been designed in order to exclude hidden costs, which ensure the migration from one official version to a future one. OpenERP has a dedicated migration team who will proceed with the following actions: migrate the data, run quality control on the migrated data, then provide an access to an online version of the software to help the customers view the result and finally set up a migration platform to repeat the process.  You can see below a scheme of this process.

The migration process is done in two steps. The initial step is that the customer's database is uploaded to OpenERP's servers, followed by the migration and a number of tests to make sure that it's working on the new version. After the primary migration is done and if everything is in order, the migrated database is available online for the partners. If the partner is satisfied with his online test, the OpenERP team sets up an automated migration server tailored to the customer's data.

 Once the customer has validated the database on the online version, he can start the actual migration process. This process should not take more than a couple of hours. During the entire migration process, the customer is provided with technical support. To ensure such a service, the maintenance contract covers only certified modules. In case the database includes non-quality certified modules, the migration is performed only on the official modules. which means that the validation server will include only those.

 Moreover, if the customer doesn't want to send his data to OpenERP, they can receive a script to anonymize all the sensitive data, before they send it to be migrated. Of course, at the end of the process, a script is provided to reverse to the actual data.

 So, until the we go live with our latest release, keep on checking our website for news.

 

Date : 6th September, 2010

The Increasing Presence of OpenERP in India

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In the past few years the wave of open source has been able to reach the urban and the rural parts of the subcontinental country equally. The awareness of open source has resistlessly grown and moreover with schools and other non-profit institutions moving the open source way we can only presume the future will be “OPEN”.
 
And the positive about this change is it has not been sector specific, but on a holistic level. Today we at OpenERP can feel the same winds of change, as there are a number of inquiries from various sectors, without a distinction of big or small, private or public, profit or non-profit about OpenERP. Today a lot of organizations consider OpenERP as - worthwhile and economic alternative while making a business decision on their Enterprise solution. With the ever increasing penetration of open source we believe that OpenERP would also be among the optimum open source products. We dont want to fall into a situation where we have a problem of plenty. Precisely over the past few months we have had an increase in channel partners with more organizations actively choosing OpenERP in their business decision and who believe that our solution is capable for a turnaround in the Indian Market. Currently India stands third along with Switzerland in the number of channel members after Belgium and France again reinforcing the fact.
 
Today we have a coherent ERP system(under the version name:5.0.12) with over 700 modules and over 250 certified modules. Sensing a dire need of an module complementing accounting regulations of IAS(Indian accounting standards), Indian Accounting module was developed last year. And now our focus would be on customizations based on the Indian environment. Through our Project on Launchpad; we expect an active involvement from community and Partner Network. OpenObject – The OpenERP community has been a lyceum of OpenERP debates and its improvements.
 
With the buzz around the release of version 6.0 we get a lot of anticipation calls and we expect the interest from partners and customers to replicate. Small & medium business enterprises are the backbone of Indian Economy and with the growing IT spending by them, there is a huge room for us to occupy which becomes our long term objective. Our growth around the globe only contributes towards this cause as OpenERP now has a partner network over 37 countries suggesting we are taking big steps towards our goals.
 

Date : 3rd September, 2010

New OpenERP website, new direction

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Be the first to see what OpenERP has been working on. A fresh new look and a more user friendly website to easily meet your needs and questions on OpenERP.

 The new website has a more intuitive interface which allows users to access easier information, whether its learning more about the product or taking part in the community, everything now is just a click away. The user interface is now more structured emphasising the most important features for the users.

 One of the most essential changes is that it's designed to engage more with the community and emphasize its importance for OpenERP. The community plays a needed role for the development and improvement of our product.

 You can also see that there is a new logo which stresses the fact that OpenERP is a suite of business applications, not just a simple ERP software. Also, the page is cleaner and the content has been reduced to push forward the most relevant data.

 Take a first glance at the new website now check it out live!

We'd love to hear your first impressions on the site, click on the following link and tell us what you think: http://bit.ly/bLJcSm.

 

 

Date : 27th August, 2010

Community Manager

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Hello,
 
OpenERP is in the phase of transformation and such a change cannot be achieved without the support of the community. The appointment of Nicoleta Gherlea as the Community Manager is only the prefix to the incoming developments in OpenERP. As a part of this initiative I would be joining her in understanding the community's needs and weighing importance where it matters. Our focus is substantiated mostly to our activities online, and keeping you informed with the developments from OpenERP.
 
 
Do feel free to contact me or Nicoleta for any queries,concerns or ideas you want to share.
 
--Rahul Nair
 

Date : 25th August, 2010

OpenERP announces first Partner in South Africa, Gijima

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Gijima is a proudly empowered South African Information and Communications Technology Company listed on the JSE. It has gained recognition as the complete ICT partner to a considerable client base of large technology users in both the public and private sectors.

Gijima's competencies and vertical market focus include broad experience and market penetration in the financial services and retail market, manufacturing, mining, telecommunications as well as National and Provincial Government departments and State-owned enterprises.

As one of the leading technology companies in southern Africa, in terms of physical infrastructure and geographical footprint, it has the capability and capacity to provide services to large organisations as well as small and medium sized entities. With more than 70 offices and service centres throughout southern Africa, it is well positioned to add value to all its clients.

Gijima has a diversified and comprehensive range of ICT consulting and delivery capabilities. Together with an in-depth knowledge of systems integration, the Group has a solid foundation from which to develop vertically integrated, industry focused solutions for its clients across a broad spectrum of industries.

Employing more than 3800 professionals, Gijima's specialised business knowledge in the financial services and retail, mining, manufacturing and the telecommunications industries as well as Government enable it to provide comprehensive, integrated solutions to clients in those markets. The Group's proven strategy incorporates client care and the plan-build-run-leverage cycle of technology solutions which found favour internationally.

Date : 10th August, 2010

More than 900 OpenERP community members and contributors, and counting!

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A recent survey of the dozens of OpenERP teams registered on Launchpad (our open source collaboration platform), reveals a quickly growing number of unique community members, most of them active participants and contributors. The counter has just passed 900 in the beginning of August 2010, with more than 700 active members in the OpenERP  Community Team, the main entry point for contributing to OpenERP projects. The other members are found as direct contributors in related projects, initiated by local OpenERP communities across the world, such as the numerous modules from the Spanish Community, the Swiss Community, or the Brazilian Community, to name but a few.

This expanding community is what makes OpenERP so great, in a true Open Source tradition, providing feedback, domain expertise, contributions, business activity, visibility, and so on…

It’s great to have you around everyone!

For those who are just starting, contributing to OpenERP is not difficult, and the first step is tocreate a free Launchpad account, which grants access to all community tools. Once logged in, there are plenty of areas where you can participate, learn and then contribute yourself:

Translations - The first area where the community is visibly collaborating is the translation of OpenERP. Launchpad provides a web interface where everyone can suggest and review translations in their language. For OpenERP v6 the translations are even automatically synchronized .

Documentation - Not only can you read the online documentation and add comments, but you can in fact improve it, amend it or extend it. This process starts here, and if you publish your changes on Launchpad they will be visible online after a few hours.

Bug Reporting - A useful way to make OpenERP even better is to help identify and solve the quirks as you notice them. You can even help further by providing a fix directly, or testing those provided by others.

Code contributions - Of course one major area to directly improve OpenERP is to learn its programming framework and start crafting new modules, which can then be published via Launchpad.

You can also propose patches or improvements to the core parts directly (via merge proposals), to be reviewed by the R&D team and possibly directly integrated in the next release of OpenERP!

Blueprints - Launchpad also features a whiteboard-like system to collaboratively elaborate and discuss specific enhancements to OpenERP.

Communication - Last but not definitely not least, the OpenERP Community is active in many different medias where it is easy to find answers and discuss OpenERP: the Launchpad FAQ, the forum, the expert mailing-liststwitter, etc.
 

Date : 6th August, 2010

New Release of OpenERP 5.0.12

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We have the pleasure to announce a new revision of OpenERP 5.0.

This release contains lots of bug fixes which you can find in this brief summary.
But if you want to find more details you can look at the Changelogs [1]

Server:

 

  • ORM
    • Proper recursive copy of translations through one2many relationships during copy()
    • Correct computation of parent_store for specific cases with duplicate/copy()
  • Report
    • Provide time module in report context as documented in technical documentation and technical memento
  • Translations
    • Update the translations of all modules
    • Don't commit when updating translations, to preserve transactions
    • The cache is updated when we change the translations
  • Others
    • Remove the 'No LSB modules are available.' error
    • Compute should work when to_currency is not supplied
    • There was an error in the context during updating the user preferences
    • Missing attributes(limit,usage,auto_refresh) added on RNG validation for act_window

Addons:

  • account
    • Use the sequence with an associated fiscal year for an invoice.
    • Hide the parent of the sequence in the 'fiscal years' tab
    • When Payment is done by bank statement with a different currency, amount should be converted to company currency
    • Centralize movement fixed
    • Validation of moves create relevant account analytic entries
    • Aged trial balance report corrected
    • Fiscalyear closing wizard: entries of account with defferal method=='unreconciled' that are reconciled on a next fiscalyear
    • Bank statement problem corrected for partial payments
  • account_followup
    • Efficiency problem fixed. The report always timed out when there were lots of unreconciled entries (even if we selected only one partner to followup)
  • purchase
    • Avoid to copy the default move lines on the stock picking during
  • l10n_be
    • VAT periodic declaration: fixed the version of the xsd used in the xsi
    • VAT declaration: the tax code 91 can only be send for the declaration of December
  • product
    • Product packaging sequence was not used for _order
    • Fix a typo in the product template (Track Incoming Lots, Track Outgoing Lots)

Tarballs

Windows Installers

 

Date : 12th July, 2010