It has been 2 years since our team began enhancing the OpenERP web-client. It all has started with tabs. A simple enhancement that was so needed by us and our clients in the day-to-day operation…
I like to multi-task and my system must support that as well. As an example – I can view the support tickets in one tab to see how the technical department is doing, instantly switch to another tab to see what the sales department is working on, switch to another tab – check the debtors and who owes us money and then get back to support tasks to give some feedback to the technical department. I get a call at the same time, then I must really have all those tabs there for me waiting when I am done so I can then continue from where I left. Not a very unusual request we hear you say? Precisely!
I can continue with the accounting department: If I am recording some transactions, lets say – payments. Suddenly the boss is asking – can you please have a look at the history of ABC customer and check when did they last pay? Surely I can navigate to that customer see the activity, answer the question and then get back to my original payment recording.
So following the tabs, we started fixing more and more issues one after another and adding features to the current version of the client+server framework, so now we have a robust framework built for scalability and real businesses:
- Web-tabs for multi-tasking.
- Right-click events on list views for added functionality like duplicate line or custom functions such as email, print etc.
- Total reorganisation of the interface to ensure all is within reach of a button, ergonomic and as intuitive as possible.
- Rebuild of how the system uses and addresses the browser memory, so even with older computers the system still can operate.
- Improvements in the server memory utilisation.
- Enhancements to allow out-of the box sub-domain operation: user.db.server will just prompt for the user to enter the password to be logged in as user in the db database.
- Added support for materialised PostgreSQL views, so they can be used for heavy analysis views, so data is cached and refreshed periodically.
- Replaced the old DHTML graphing libraries with the cutting edge d3.js technology – now more functional/faster/cleaner.
- Replace the old calendar libraries with the speedy and light Jquery plugin, so that minimised the code.
- Modified the way right-hand side actions/reports work – now we can choose to show/name them for the type of transactions we want: be it incoming or outgoing shipment will allow different actions present with no custom code writing.
- Fixed the way in-line editing works, so its almost as typing in a spreadsheet on steroids.
- Fixed how the documents are stored by default – to dynamically create a folder like structure in the filestore such as: Documents/invoices/month/customer/attachmentname-version.extension – this can be configured per requirement.
- Added direct network/web printing to documents. So when we confirm a sales order, that can automatically send a pick-sheet to the warehouse printer without presenting the user with pdf printouts.
- Added tons of security and enterprise enhancements that makes possible to deliver functionalities made for a business, not the other way around.
Below is a short screen-cast of some features from above in action:
On the other hand, OpenERP S.A. has been busy with other things instead:
- OpenERP/Odoo has been busy writing e-commerce when there are plenty solidly-built integrations with existing market players like magento/prestashop etc.
- OpenERP/Odoo has been busy writing CMS addons for the ERP when there are plenty of current options like wordpress/drupal etc.
- OpenERP/Odoo has been busy simplifying the interface in hope that will make the users more productive/platform more intuitive, when users demand otherwise.
- OpenERP/Odoo has been busy changing their name from OpenERP to Odoo, when the partners worldwide demand stability in everything.
Their new focus seems to be ignoring the ‘mid-size’ companies according the the linked in post made by OpenERP CEO. A number of partners will perhaps follow Odoo, but quite a few will drop and follow their own path like Enapps – continue to serve the market we are in: SME that have real requirements and real need for a solid ERP system without locking in licence and user fees.
As always, we release our core framework code to the public on github – server and web.
Please share the joy!