OpenERP 7.0 Release Notes
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The first breakthrough OpenERP is achieving with version 7.0, is to remove the complexity, inherent to any full featured ERP. This allows to reduce implementation time and lower costs, lower learning curves for new users, and make ERP accessible to every company. The fact that a user who had never been exposed to OpenERP can - without any training - complete a simple flow such as creating a sales order, delivering and invoicing a customer and registering a payment in less than 7 minutes, is certainly one of the achievements we are most proud of.
With version 7.0, OpenERP is making the switch from an ERP to a suite of integrated business applications. So far, the world was split between ERPs and best of breed applications. With 7.0, OpenERP combines the key benefits of stand-alone apps (ease of use, quick to deploy, highly customizable, ...) with the integrations and feature coverage only ERPs used to provide to their customers. This allows companies to quickly deploy one or two modules at a very low cost and increase the scope incrementally.
OpenERP 7.0 is not just a better and easier to use software. It also brings many improvements to existing features and adds a number of brand new features which will extend the scope of the business needs covered by OpenERP. Integration of social network capabilities, email aliases for each object, integration with Google Docs and LinkedIn, new contract management, new event management, new point of sales, new address book, new fleet management,... are only a few of the many enhancements brought by OpenERP 7.0.
We design software for users. We think that enterprise management software should not only sustain enterprise processes but also make every employee become more productive in their daily job. Bringing productivity to every employee is one of the major improvements of OpenERP 7.0.
We performed hundreds of user testing sessions to measure and validate these improvements. The following elements are significant achievements of OpenERP 7.0 in this area.
- On average all processes (e.g.: purchase → reception, create and renew contracts, configure products, etc.) are performed 38 % faster on OpenERP 7.0 than on OpenERP 6.1;
- We tested a full sales flow with lambda users, who had never been exposed to OpenERP. They started with an empty database, with no data or modules installed. We asked them to create a quotation, send it to a customer, convert it to a sale order, deliver the customer, invoice the customer and register the payment. On average, these new users took 7 minutes to perform the full sales flow ;
- A complete customization of the system to adapt OpenERP to a specific business takes on average 21 minutes with new users that have never been exposed to OpenERP. Only experienced users succeeded to perform the same task on OpenERP 6.1.
During the user testing sessions, we also used predefined, neutral metrics as means to represent the usability complexity of a business process. These are the number of clicks necessary to carry out the end to end process flow, the number of required keystrokes and the number of pixels the cursor moves between two successive clicks.
To continue along the lines of the same example - the aforementioned full sales flow - version 7.0 reduces the number of clicks and keystrokes by a quarter or more, and more than halves the distance traveled by the cursor. Comparable results were obtained with the other business process comparisons. . These metrics show very significant improvements between version 6.1 and 7.0.
As « time is money », OpenERP 7.0 will reduce implementation time and costs, lower the learning curve for new users and bring productivity to every employee.
To reach such a level of efficiency, we had to analyze and improve every detail of every screen, resulting in more than 500 points of improvement concerning the usability of OpenERP 7.0. Only the major ones are described below.
The new status bar has been re-designed to give the users a clear view of all the steps they will go through to complete a certain operation. Users are able to see the progress of their lead, quotation, sales order, etc. just by checking the status bar on the right hand side of their form view. The stage in blue indicates the stage that the OpenERP document is currently at.
Fig. 2.1.1. User productivity - Stages shown in the status bar
The buttons which will trigger the next actions have been aggregated on the left hand side of the page view and can carry different colors. Most of the buttons are placed in the vicinity of the status bar, in an order that follows the business flow. By having less buttons and having them more centralized on the page, the users will enjoy a more intuitive navigation and save time.
The red and grey buttons are designed to direct the users within the flows. The buttons in red highlight what is the next logical step, making the navigation from one screen to another more intuitive.
Fig. 2.1.2. User productivity - Action buttons in the status bar
Finally, the breadcrumbs make it possible to easily go back to the previous pages. This one is an exciting feature, since you can actually choose on which form you want to return. It’s similar to the function of a “Back” button, only better, since you have the possibility to return to the first or second or whichever page you want.
Fig. 2.1.3. User productivity - Page navigation
In OpenERP 7.0. the form view of each object has been redesigned so that the object the user is working on resembles a real document. So, now when a user is creating an invoice, the document which appears on his screen actually looks like a hard copy invoice, a sales order will be similar to a sales order print out and so on.
Fig. 2.2.1. User productivity - The redesigned form view bears much more resemblance with the real document
This will make users very comfortable working with OpenERP since they understand immediately what is the impact of the action they undertake. For instance, when they add a line on a sales order they actually see the second line of the sales order on their screen. Once the user has printed their sales order it will look very similar to the form view he just worked on.
The best thing about the new kanban view is that you can use it and customize it as you go. You don't need to configure by going through specific menus anymore: do it directly from the kanban view. You can add new columns, fold columns, reorder columns using drag and drop and edit/delete existing columns.
Fig. 2.3.1. User productivity - Kanban view fold feature
The overall look and feel of kanban views is much cleaner in version 7.0 than in 6.1. You can also add new records on the fly by typing directly your text without having to click the create button, simply using the plus icon. Also, before you had options like Send email or Schedule a meeting on the bottom of the record. Now you have them aggregated in a drop down menu within the record.
Fig. 2.3.2. User productivity - Kanban card drop down menu
We added an additional dimension to reduce potential user disorientation when using OpenERP. Animations kick into gear when you want to undertake an action and the current state of the view doesn't allow you to do so.
As an illustration, take a customer form: if you click on the customer name to modify it, while you are in view mode, the Edit button will start bouncing to catch the attention of the user, indicating that to make modifications to the form, he has to switch to the Edit mode.
Another example, when clicking on an empty space in the Kanban view, the plus sign will start to jump up and down to indicate to the user that he can click on the plus sign to create a new record.
The new search field is very simple, takes less space and, as such, the search results are displayed in a more structured way. For version 7.0, we have integrated all those filters that you had in 6.1. inside the search function. Now, you have only one integrated search field that doesn't look like a form anymore. It has been redesigned to genuinely look and serve as a search field. Here is a comparison between version 6.1 (on the left) and version 7.0 (on the right hand side):
Fig. 2.5.1. User productivity - The search function simplified
When you search for a keyword, it automatically searches on different fields and shows you the proposition in real time. Think of it like Google search: once you start typing the word or phrase you are looking for, instantly you get suggestions of your search.
Fig. 2.5.2. User productivity - The search auto-completion feature : typing “Oper” automatically adds filter “Events:Oper” to the search field and displays the found entries pertaining to the search criteria
This new smart search incorporates an advanced search dialog box to perform advanced actions like custom filters, add to dashboard, “group by” feature, etc. So, you can create your own filters, given the options in your search field. As an illustration, you want to see what are your sales orders (1) to invoice (2), by customer (3). You just have to click on these three filters, hit Enter and you get your search results.
If you want to use this custom filter again (sales orders, to invoice, by customer) you can save it and it will be added to the rest of the default filters in your search field, under Custom filters. You can also share this filter with the other users and add it to your dashboard.
Fig. 2.5.3. User productivity - Re-using your custom filter
In OpenERP 7.0, we have restructured the menus: the reporting and settings have been aggregated each in one place. Furthermore, the vast majority of the menus are now unfolded, the user no longer needs to click on the menu name to see the rest of the menu items, they are all visible, by default all the time.
Fig. 2.6.1. User productivity - Unfolded menus result in faster navigation
The number of menus has been drastically reduced as most of the configuration options are regrouped in our new settings screens, all reporting is centralized in a « reporting » menu.
To facilitate a faster and more centralized reporting, all the dashboards, reports and statistical analyses are now grouped in the same menu called Reporting. The Reporting menu is by default installed next to the Apps you have installed. When you access it, you have a message indicating how to add your first report into the dashboard.
Fig. 2.6.2. User productivity - The reporting menu contains dashboards, reports and more
As you follow the instructions, you will be able to visualize the data in “My Dashboard”. You have the option to minimize the different objects in your dashboard to navigate easier if you have added numerous objects.
Fig. 2.6.3. User productivity - an MRP dashboard located in the user’s dashboard section
Some customers were using the open and pending stages to track if they needed to take action or if they were waiting for the customer’s feedback. In version 7.0, OpenERP has created the Action Needed indicator to that purpose. It is a figure that appears in the main menu, on the same line as the relevant menu entry. It indicates the number of objects requiring action from the user. It can be the number of vacation requests to be validated by a manager, or the number of new resumes, which need to be reviewed by a recruiting officer.
Fig. 2.7.1. User Productivity - Need Action: numerical indicators behind the submenu entries invite the user to click on them to see which action is required.
To access your newest opportunities or leads, just click on the number that is next to them and you will only view the newest batch. You can easily go back to your entire list, by clicking on the Leads or Opportunities (whichever is applicable) menu entry on your left hand side menu bar.
Upon installation of the appropriate Apps, OpenERP 7.0 is ready for immediate use with no prior configuration required. As you will start using the software, you may need to customize to your specific goals. For instance, you will need to enter your company information if you want it to appear on your sales orders or your invoice.
Also, once you have installed the applications you wish, a centralized Settings menu will help you customize the software to match the way you work.
Fig. 2.8.1. Usability - Centralized configuration: the Sales specific configuration menu in the overall Settings menu
In the above example companies have different ways of billing their customers. The Configuration/Sales menu within the global Settings menu will allow the user to chose the one which best meets its company’s business. Other examples include defining the number of level of approvals for purchasing or tracking serial numbers for logistics.
In the older versions, in order to change your settings, you had to switch between the extended and simplified view. In the extended view, users were able to access all advanced features, even those which were not relevant to their business.
Fig. 2.8.2. Usability - the Settings menu entry
OpenERP 6.1 made the difference between two concepts: the stage was indicating where the user was standing in the process with a given object, whereas the state was showing if the object was new, open, pending or closed. The two concepts did overlap and created some confusion for certain users.
With version 7.0, we simplified this and only kept the stages. For example, in Opportunities you can now pick between different stages: New, Qualification, Proposition, Negotiation, Won or Lost.
This will help you understand and visualize better the status of your opportunities and decide what to tackle first, since there are no extra buttons or unnecessary tabs.
Fig. 2.9.1. User productivity - “Stage” and “State”: the Status bar depicts stages
The “state” is only kept for backward compatibility with previous versions of OpenERP, but is not longer used in version 7.0.
Underneath, as an example, you can see the modifications in the stage representation in the status bar due to the creation of an additional column.
Fig. 2.9.2. User productivity - “Stage” and “State”: the stages prior to inserting a column in the CRM Opportunities Kanban view
Fig. 2.9.3. User productivity - “Stage” and “State”: adding a column will result in adding a stage in CRM
Fig. 2.9.4. User productivity - “Stage” and “State”: the creation of a new column
Fig. 2.9.5. User productivity - “Stage” and “State” : the stages in the status bar after having inserted a column in CRM Opportunities Kanban view
The stages are now conveniently placed on the top right hand of each of opportunity. The same goes for tasks and the other items: once you open an item form you will be able to see the stages on the top right hand of the form.
Instead of having buttons to switch stages « Mark as Qualification », « Previous Stage », « Set to Negotiation », OpenERP 7.0's status bar is clickable. Just click on a specific stage to switch.
In version 7.0, the user’s interface is customized according to their rights. For instance, if a user has no permission to edit sales orders, the corresponding button will not appear in the view of a sale order.
Before, although a user did not have the right to edit a sales order, he still had the button Edit sitting in his interface. This would create frustration and might make the user think he is facing a bug. We have got rid of this issue, by eliminating the corresponding restricted buttons or views, instead of triggering error messages.
The system feedback has been made more explicit, for instance, when you load an App, the installation process indicates it is busy with the installation through a throbber on the screen underscored with an explanation.
Fig. 2.11.1. User productivity - System Feedback: more explicit system feedback
Another example is that when the user wants to save a form, the system detects if mandatory fields are not containing data. If this is the case, a system feedback popup will depict what is missing.
Fig. 2.11.2. User productivity - System Feedback : a system alert
Recent research shows (source: McKinsey Global Institute; IDC; http://tinyurl.com/cx8ja88 ) that we spend 61 % of our professional time either reading and answering email, searching and gathering information or communicating and collaborating internally.
Tools that focalize on these activities and integrate them into the regular business processes enrich and enhance users’ productivity. That is exactly why we brought the Business Apps and social networking together.
The Social Network App is based on the OpenChatter engine and has the following main characteristics:
- facilitates conversations with internal users or external ones (customers, suppliers,...), joining the power of instant messaging with standard emails ;
- organize groups of discussions, an alternative to traditional mailing lists ;
- extends the breadth of these conversations to incorporate discussions around and about business documents ;
- incorporates a subscription system to any business event, generating notifications ;
- displays all the messages and notifications in a threaded manner on the user’s unified feeds page.
OpenChatter provides a simple communication tool to discuss amongst colleagues or external contacts, either with an individual or with a group.
Two mechanisms are provided to discuss or exchange documents: a real time chat or an asynchronous messaging that provides an alternative to emails.
Fig. 184.108.40.206. New and improved Apps - Social Network: the conversation feature. Real Time Chat, an alternative to your internal Jabber
Fig. 220.127.116.11. New and improved Apps - Social Network: conversation feature. Your Feeds & Mailbox, an alternative to traditional emails
You can send messages to internal users or external contacts like customers and suppliers. The email gateway converts automatically incoming emails to clean messages in your wall and messages you write to an external contact to an outgoing mail.
Today, people are subject to what others decide to push to them. OpenERP 7.0 gives an alternative to the problem of overloaded inboxes by working both in a push and a pull mode.
OpenERP differentiates itself through:
- Messages "for information": you can pull them when you need specific information, they do not require to be read every day. You receive only what you decided to follow. It's 90% of your daily emails. You can read them from the « Inbox » menu.
- Messages "for action": they require your immediate attention; you need to process them all. You can read them from the « To : me » menu.
This allows users to focus only on the messages « for action » which are around 10% of the emails we receive daily. They can check messages « for information » only when they are looking for a specific information or if they have the time to process them.
Fig. 18.104.22.168. New and Improved Apps - Social Network: compose and send mails
Discussions can be organized into groups. You can create groups of discussions for any purpose, for example « Board Members », « Sales: best practices », « R&D », or « Marketing Ideas ».
Users can write messages to a group, attach documents to their messages, answer previous threads, vote on others messages and search in the history of all conversations. Users can join or be invited on groups. If they do so, they will receive every discussion concerning these groups into their inbox. Depending on the privacy of the group, you can also read the archives of the group, even if you decided to not follow this group.
Fig. 22.214.171.124. New and improved Apps - Social Network: the “Join Groups” menu
You can configure the privacy of each group as :
- Public: everyone can see messages related to this group, including your customers and/or suppliers through their portal. Example of public groups: « Company News », « Jobs », « Next Events », etc. ;
- Private: only followers of this group can see the messages. In order to become a follower, you need to be invited by an existing follower. Example of private groups : « Board Members », « HR », « Private Customer Project Y » ;
- Selected Groups Only: allows to select groups of users (like the groups used in access rights) that can access related messages. Example: « All Employees », « Sales Only », « Customers Only », « Car Policy, for employees having a company car only ».
You can also create groups on which users are automatically subscribed according to their access rights. As an example, when you install OpenERP, a group called « Whole Company » is automatically created with all your employees. This allows to easily send a message to all employees.
Fig. 126.96.36.199. New and improved Apps - Social Network: a user being added to a Purchasing Group through the Home/My Groups/Join a group menu
We wanted the OpenERP 7.0 messaging system to be a real alternative to traditional emails. We wanted users to take back control of their inbox by easily processing every incoming message in one click. OpenERP's inbox is between a traditional email inbox and a todo list, where you process every item to empty the list.
When you process your inbox, you can take five immediate actions in one click on a message or on a whole thread at once :
- Inline reply makes replying to a message super fast and easy. You do not need anymore to write a subject, lose the context, find recipients, etc. ;
- You can mark a message as a todo. It's removed from your inbox and put in a todo list for later process ;
- You can archive/mark as read the message to remove it from the inbox ;
- You can mark you agreement on a message in one click, with the « Like » button ;
- Zoom to the related document to take action on the business document. (like confirming a sale order or approving a leave request).
This way you can process your inbox and take actions very quickly.
Some actions are now specific to the state of the OpenERP document. For example, you can generate a mail (e.g. sending a request for quotation to a potential supplier). This action calls upon an extensible generic email composition assistant capable of using templates of emails. This facilitates sending a quotation to a customer, through a single click.
Furthermore, from within an object’s view, OpenERP 7.0 gives the user the possibility to initiate or participate in a conversation about the object. As such, the messages you sent or received from a customer is visible in your inbox, as well as on the history of the business document.
For instance, the OpenChatter integration with the Project App allows project participants to be notified and communicate around the project at hand and its different aspects.
By clicking on the Invite button, you can include users in the process of following the OpenERP object at hand. Through the use of the “Following” button, the user can opt to be informed about different aspects of the project.
Fig. 188.8.131.52. New and improved Apps - Social Network: conversation around objects. Select aspects of the project object to be kept informed about
When the user consults the page view of an object, e.g. a project, the entire history of the conversations around that object is displayed neatly underneath its form view. As such, the comments, messages and stage changes of the object can be consulted in a comprehensive way. As an example, a user can properly monitor what is happening with a selected object he owns, supervise the activities directly related to an object and intervene preemptively as a departmental manager, or as a quality manager perform a quality review by consulting the entire history of the object.
Fig. 184.108.40.206. New and improved Apps - Social Network: conversations about objects. User messages pertaining to (e.g.) an opportunity (top part of the screen) are displayed within the page view underneath the said opportunity (bottom part of the screen)
From within the feeds that appear on the user’s mural in his home menu, he can go directly to the object at hand (e.g. an opportunity, a project task or issue,...) through a simple click on the link.
The messages are integrated with the « need action » mechanism allowing users to see when they need to take action on a specific incoming message (e.g. a customer confirming a sale order by email).
Since events can generate a feed in OpenERP 7.0, the system can inform users about them. This creates an entirely new dynamism in user productivity and company performance. The user can keep an eye on a critical operation or a manager can invite a user to follow a process element he evaluates to be crucial. Through subscription to a group, the user is kept informed about all events related to a given department, an organizational cross-section or an ensemble of events.
Fig. 220.127.116.11. New and improved Apps - Social Network: the page view of a manufacturing order. The form on the left hand side and (in the red rectangle) the events “create” and “confirm” tied to this order.
The rejuvenated touch screen POS module meets all of our previously stated objectives:
- Increased productivity of the user since Web-based and easy to use ;
- Reliable, in consideration of the embedded connect/disconnect mode;
- Allows for integration with a great many POS-related devices.
Upon the straightforward installation of the POS module, you can immediately get to grips with it.
Fig. 3.2.1. New and improved Apps - POS: the new main menu and initial PoS screen
The comprehensive stage indicators in the status bar make sure you always know where you are at in your sales process. Simply enter your initial cash drawer content and start selling.
Fig. 3.2.2. New and improved Apps - POS: entering your initial cash drawer content
The enhanced touchscreen facilities (slider) together with the laptop mode (keyboard shortcuts) and our new design are responsible for significantly increased productivity of the cashier.
Fig. 3.2.3. New and improved Apps - POS: availability of sliders
Using either hierarchical product categories, instant search or a bar code scanner gets you quickly to the product at hand.
Fig. 3.2.4. New and improved Apps - POS: simplified search function
Through a single click you can start a parallel session whilst keeping your previous session available. The concurrent sessions are indicated by additional buttons in the status bar.
Fig. 3.2.5. New and improved Apps - POS: multiple sessions
In a few steps you can add different payment methods by going through the configuration menu and resume your sales session afterwards.
Fig. 3.2.6. New and improved Apps - POS: create or activate payment methods
Fig. 3.2.7. New and improved Apps - POS: an example of a debit card payment
Upon closing your session, at a glance you can perform your cash control, since OpenERP presents both the opening and closing cash overviews, including the summary by payment method. (re-) Printing of the receipt as well as order preparation and session reviews can be handled from within the overview screen.
We added the possibility to run self checkout interfaces, where the items are scanned by the customer himself.
Fig. 3.2.8. New and improved Apps - POS: the self-checkout interface (start)
Fig. 3.2.9. New and improved Apps - POS: the self-checkout interface (product or produce)
Fig. 3.2.10. New and improved Apps - POS: the self-checkout interface (payment)
Setup and configuration of the POS environment is made transparent, enabling our OpenERP partners to provide setups with different devices, such as scanner, cash drawer, weighing scale, receipt printer and payment terminal.
To help you develop custom modules for specific hardware, a standard API has been developed so that you just need to implement the driver on the existing API. In order to help you debug interfaces with external hardware, we also developed a debug menu that emulates the interactions with hardware.
Fig. 3.2.11. New and improved Apps - POS: emulate interactions through the Debug dialog, available when operating in the debug mode
When initially launching the POS client, all the products and product related images will be loaded locally, thus requiring a bit more time prior to becoming available for usage. The enormous advantage of storing locally a copy of this data is the possibility to continue working without a server connection.
Upon the availability of the server connection, the database will be synchronized with the transactions performed in offline mode. This non-connected mode has been improved a lot. There is no more limitation on the number of products, it provides for a super fast search across all products and manages most types of taxes (included or not in the base amount, percent or fixed price).
The role of OpenERP is not only to streamline business processes but also to make every employee more efficient in his daily activities. The new App « Notes » is meant to give you a space where you can write your own reminders, organize your ideas, organize your todo lists, your meeting minutes, etc.
Every user can customize its own columns, colors, tags and filters. So that users can design notes to reflect the way it manage its own information. As an example, the following screenshots show a user that is using the « Getting Things Done » methodology to organize his time.
Fig. 3.3.1. New and improved Apps - Personal Productivity: Notes. A GTD time management example
Notes are private. Only the user that created a note can have an access to this note. Nevertheless, you can invite other people to work on your own notes. This is very efficient to share meeting minutes for example. If you install the pad App, OpenERP has a collaborative writing approach so that several users can write on the same document at the same time. Once a note is shared amongst others users, the avatar of the shared users are displayed in the kanban view.
Notes can be displayed in a clean and fancy way in order to resemble traditional sticky notes. Here is a screenshot with the fancy look activated.
Fig. 3.3.2. New and improved Apps - Personal productivity: folding or unfolding columns, moving notes, adding a new note, dragging a note to a new location or into another column
Preparing and managing internal and external events becomes straight-forward with this new App. It covers the life cycle of a typical event:
- definition/description of the event ;
- the planning ;
- sending invitations and subscription confirmations ;
- registering event attendance ;
- automated verification of required min/max seat registrations.
Upon installation of the Events Organization App, you can start creating your first event right away.
Fig. 3.4.1. New and improved Apps - Events Management: creating the first event after installing the Events App
If this event would reoccur, you would typically create your first Type of Event and save it for later use. You can specify standard criteria:
- the minimum required registrations for the event to be held (e.g. an economical threshold) ;
- the maximum acceptable registration (e.g. an educational efficiency threshold) ;
- the email address you wish to link to this type of events ;
- the type of mail you want the system to generate for event confirmations and registration confirmations.
Fig. 3.4.2. New and improved Apps - Event Management: create and save an event type template
The Social Network App, which was automatically installed during the Events Organization App installation, permits extensive communication around this event. Registrations and participations will appear underneath this event, as well as all messages generated around it.
Fig. 3.4.3. New and improved Apps - Event Management: additional communication features for the object “Event”
When the user goes to the Event’s form view, the registrations can be confirmed or cancelled in the event’s form view. The registration confirmations can also take place by the contacts through the portal (e.g. an event mobilizing customers), if made available by the authorized person. From within the Registration menu, mails can be sent to the registered individuals and their attendance recorded. In the reporting section, the events statistics can be consulted.
Fig. 3.4.4. New and improved Apps - Event Management: the Kanban card of an event where the user clicked on the Subscribe button
With a supplementary App, the Event Moodle App, you are able to have your OpenERP instance interact with a Moodle platform. This App enables you to create participating students and courses automatically in your Moodle platform, thus increasing your productivity and augmenting data consistency. Only a few configuration steps are necessary:
- Activate the web service in Moodle ;
- enable the XML RPC protocol ;
- create the token ;
- activate the web service ;
- Enter the token or the user login and password in the Events/Configuration form of OpenERP ;
- Modify your Event Confirmation email for the given training event to include the URL to your Moodle environment, the registered student’s login and password.
The Contract management App gives you the opportunity to better
- manage the validity of the contract : duration, maximum number of hours/tickets, terms and conditions ;
- handle the invoicing spread in time : fixed price contracts, on time and materials basis, re-invoice expenses, invoice by phases, renewal conditions ;
- cover the price of the contract : price by hour depending on the user, fixed price, conditions according to quantities, etc. ;
- forecast the invoices, definite budgets, and analyze costs and revenues ;
- link contracts to analytic accounts (costs and revenues) and projects (manage related tasks, timesheets or issues) ;
- follow up: once a week, alerts for contracts renewals are sent automatically to a salesperson with the indication of what to do for each contract.
Fig. 3.5.1. New and improved Apps - Contract Management: the contract form view
When selecting the checkboxes “Timesheets” and “Tasks”, the contract will automatically generate a corresponding project entry in the Project Management list of projects for which you will be able to manage tasks. The “Cost and Revenues” button gives the user the opportunity to enter journal entry lines (income and expenditure) tied to this contract using the lined analytical accounting features.
Fig. 3.5.2. New and improved Apps - Contract Management: Invoicing of contract related elements
When a contract arrives at its renewal date, a mail will be automatically generated as to inform its upcoming renewal and the Action needed indicator behind the Contracts menu item will show up or will be incremented.
In order to facilitate the follow-up on each contract, the sales people have a screen to control the evolution of their contracts. They control the jobs done, the invoicing process, the renewals, etc. Templates of contracts can be defined to easily reuse a standard configuration (e.g. a prepaid one year support contract, a project invoiced on time and materials basis, a reseller program contract,...).
The Project App has been totally reviewed. Beforehand, when you selected Tasks, you were offered all projects, on which you then had to filter. The view incorporated many columns, which didn’t enhance the readability and ergonomics.
In OpenERP 7.0, you click on Project and you can create and entirely configure your new project.
Fig. 3.6.1. New and improved Apps - Project Management: the project definition view
This view centralizes all main configuration aspects of a project. Depending on your project, you can from within this single view:
- define the different stages ;
- create the tasks ;
- record the timesheet entry lines (based on the contract/analytical account) ;
- enter issues ;
- tie documents to the project ;
- define the team members ;
Clicking on the Kanban View card of the project will direct you to all tasks related to that project and not the tasks pertaining to other projects, simplifying the readability.
The integration of tasks and timesheet has been improved as well. When you create a timesheet line entry from a task within a project, the line appears in the timesheet entries in the Human Resources App and in the Tasks to Invoice Tasks Work view.
The Timesheets App has been largely revised with significant time gains for the user as a result. Within a single view, the user can now enter project per project on what and how much the time you spent.
Fig. 3.7.1. New and improved Apps - Timesheets: data entry per project with subtotals per day and per project.
As such, an employee can enter the attendances distributed over the respective projects for an entire week or a month. The window of time is based on the time sheet period the user specified. Totals are shown on a per day basis (columns) and on a per project basis (rows), offering easy verification.
On a separate Daily tab, you can review or modify your detailed data. The data appearing in the weekly tab is synchronized as you type in the Daily tab without having to save.
Fig. 3.7.2. New and improved Apps - Timesheets: the daily tab shows further details, allows creation of notes or modifications to be made
To simplify the process of registering your attendance in OpenERP, we developed a user interface control to sign in respectively sign out. The widget is placed right next to the user settings, in the top right hand menu panel of the browser window. Now a single click on this icon suffices to register your presence in the system. In previous versions of OpenERP, the user had to open the attendance wizard within the "Human Resources/Attendance : Sign-in or Sign-out" menu and select the appropriate action. The latter feature has been removed.
This widget-based feature becomes available when installing the Timesheets App.
Fig. 3.8.1. New and improved Apps - Attendance Management - single click to sign in or sign out
Now easily fed by the Sign-in/Sign-out facility the attendance entries and the timesheet data can be verified to see if everything is taken into account by the user.
Within the Timesheet view you can now compare the sign-in and -out data with the timesheet and, if necessary, corrections can be made or the concerned employee can be asked to update his timesheet entries.
Fig. 3.8.2. New and improved Apps - Attendance Management: sign-in/sign-out data vs. time sheet entries in the Timesheet view
A new app has been added to OpenERP enabling you to manage vehicles-related data of your company. You can keep track of vehicle contracts, car-related services and refueling logs. With this App you can easily keep records of your vehicles, assign an employee to them, update the odometers and so on.
Fig. 3.9.1. New and Improved Apps - Fleet Management: the kanban view
This App aims to identify and trace the money spent by your company for each of the fleet vehicles. The recurring costs of your contracts (for instance, leasing contracts) are automatically created at the beginning of each period (day/week/month/year) depending on the frequency specified in the contracts.
These costs can be displayed in a graphical view or in list view depending per your preferences. A quick look at the dashboard gives you a global view for the costs of your fleet.
Fig. 3.9.2. New and Improved Apps - Fleet Management: a dashboard section showing monthly costs and alerts
Fig. 3.9.3. New and Improved Apps - Fleet Management: another dashboard section showing service and fuel costs
You can also make comparisons/analysis between the different types of costs, which vehicle cost the most, which services has been performed on which vehicles, and so on, by using the reporting tool.
Fig. 3.9.4. New and Improved Apps - Fleet Management: a cost analysis report
Another interesting feature is that you won't have to remember all the contract renewal dates for your vehicles. When a contract reaches its expiration date you'll receive a warning mail and several visual tools are put in place to ensure that you remember to renew or end your contract.
The expense management process has been made leaner. It is not longer necessary to produce supplier invoices to reimburse the employee. All journal items are produced directly upon validation of the expenses.
It uses the new messaging system to automatically alert the manager when a new expense requires validation. It also allows the employee or the manager to discuss the validity of the expense note and for example explain the reason of the refusal. The new « need action » visual indicators in the menu reminds managers when expenses require validation from them.
The application uses analytic accounting and is compatible with the Contract Management App as to enable automatic re-invoicing of contracts related expenses to your customers.
In order to avoid any confusion when dealing with contacts in OpenERP, we made some changes. The former structure (partner, address, contact) was slightly complex when dealing and communicating with individuals and not with companies (B2C situations).
We kept the same features, merged the two menu items (contacts and companies) and kept the same functionalities. As a result, now when you want to add any contact details, you can specify if it's a company or an individual by using a checkbox.
The biggest change is that, for example, when creating an invoice, you can now select a company or an individual, thus better facilitating B2C business processes. Every business document has been simplified with this change as you no longer have two fields on each document (Partner & Address) but just one field: the contact, which can be a person working at a company or directly a company.
As an example, have a look at the company “Agrolait” holding two contacts, employee Thomas Passot being one of them:
Fig 18.104.22.168. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: a company as a customer
The Agrolait company contact Thomas Passot also works as an independent professional. He can therefore be created and defined as an individual in the system as follows:
Fig. 22.214.171.124. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: a person as a customer
When searching for Mr Passot in the customer section, you will then find both Contacts, one as a contact to the Agrolait company and one as an independent individual
Fig. 126.96.36.199. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: a company contact versus an individual person as a customer
Fig. 188.8.131.52. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: the customer entry field within a quotation view
Your address book can be accessed in Home/Organizer/Contacts, where all contacts are federated (users, customer and suppliers). Contacts can also be found in Sales/Customers and Purchases/Suppliers where only Customer respectively Supplier contacts appear. When removing the predefined filter in the search, all contacts can be made visible in the latter categories, though.
When you create a user, for example an employee or a third party (portal) user in OpenERP 7.0, automatically the corresponding contact is created.
This improvement yields an advantage: it avoids the former duplicate data you had for a given OpenERP user, appearing as a user and as a partner. Now, contact related information (avatar, email address, postal address,...) only appears once for a given user. Technically, it uses OpenERP inheritances.
Having a contact assigned automatically for each user has a lot of advantages: no duplication of data between users and contacts, you can have user's related journal entries in the accounting (for example in payroll, for expenses), etc. Furthermore, it is easier to give access as a user to the selected contact through the customer portal.
Previously, the user only could enter his contacts manually into OpenERP or upload them through the data import feature (this is still possible, of course). OpenERP version 7.0 offers you the possibility to populate your system with contacts through your LinkedIn account. This is a great time savings feature. On top of that, it ensures you data consistency and helps you in contacting people directly.
This feature is fairly easy to set up. It requires you to activate the LinkedIn integration in the Settings/Sales menu. Afterwards, you can start importing your first contacts from LinkedIn.
Fig. 184.108.40.206. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: LinkedIn integration. Activating LinkedIn integration in Settings/Sales/Configuration
Fig. 220.127.116.11. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: detailed setup instructions for the LinkedIn integration
As a result, when creating a new customer in OpenERP, a new button will appear next to the data entry field for the name of the customer. When clicking the button, the import process will kick in and you will be guided throughout.
Fig. 18.104.22.168. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: the LinkedIn button is situated next to the new customer name entry field
Fig. 22.214.171.124. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: logging into LinkedIn to obtain company information and contacts
When the user is connected, the given company’s contact information, avatar or logo included, will be loaded into OpenERP and significantly reducing data entry time to the user.
Fig. 126.96.36.199. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: the LinkedIn contact data in the customer form
Per default the address structure in the contact form follows the Anglo-Saxon format. When you enter your company’s address, OpenERP determines the format of the addresses in function of your country.
Underneath two examples illustrate the differences:
Fig. 188.8.131.52. New and improved Apps - Contacts Management: better internationalization, the address structure of contact Agrolait with your company address in the United States (edit view on the left)
Fig. 184.108.40.206. New and improved Apps - Contact Management: better internationalization, the address structure of contact Agrolait with your company address in France (edit view on the left)
Now, the currency format is adapted to the currency/country of each document: dollar amounts, when used, display the dollar sign followed by the dollar amount. The Euro sign will follow the Euro amounts. The forms, reports and the tax plan are respecting these country-based considerations.
Many companies order sandwiches, pizzas and other food items for their employees to offer them more facilities. Most often, the orders are place at regular suppliers. However, when the number of employees grows, a company requires proper meal ordering administration. The “Lunch Order” App has been developed to make this management easier but also to offer employees tools. In addition to a full meal and supplier management, this module offers the possibility to display warnings and provides quick order selection possibilities based on employee’s preferences. If you wish to save your employees’ time on this subject, this module is essential.
Fig. 3.13.1. New and improved Apps - Lunch management: manage suppliers
Typically the employees can:
- order their lunch either using a form or by using the quick selection based on preferences;
- visualize past orders and evaluate the state of their lunch account expenditure ;
The manager can manage the different products, product categories and suppliers. Furthermore, he can manage the orders from creation through reception and handle the lunch reimbursement of the employees. Employees can be warned about their lunch through a notification system.
The new Tags feature provides you with a very powerful tool for finding the appropriate data in the system. You can create a tag on the fly and do so multiple times, since more than one tag can be added.
We developed a new way for you to add tags to your customers: you just write the tag you want and it's automatically created. Just save the form and you are all set. The biggest benefits are the user friendliness and the timesaving.
The following objects can have tags tied to them:
- tasks ;
- contacts - customers ;
- leads and opportunities ;
- sales quotations and sales orders ;
- taxes on sales order lines ;
- contacts - suppliers ;
- members (Association App) ;
- issues ;
- employees ;
- H.R. job openings (applications) ;
To create a tag you just have to write the tag and click create (we associated the many_to_one quick create to the many_to_many). You are free to choose whatever tag you think is suitable for a particular contact. For example, you can add “OEM” and “AM” to a supplier to indicate that this company is apt to deliver both original equipment manufacturers’ components a well as aftermarket components. You will also be able to make a search on this tag in the list view.
Fig. 4.1.1. New and Improved Features - Adding multiple tags to a supplier
The importation of data into OpenERP has been completely redesigned as to enable much easier and transparent data import operations.
When setting the “Allow users to import data from CSV files” option in the Settings/Configuration/General Settings menu entry, the import/export tool will be made available throughout the App Suite. Once installed, the import option is available next to every Create button from a list view.
Fig. 4.2.1. New and Improved Features - Data import: the Import feature sits neatly next to the Create button
After selecting your data, you can preview them right away, thus resulting in a significant gain in time. In previous versions of OpenERP, you had to reiterate the import when the initial one did not meet your criteria. Now, the system analyses the file content and provides indications in case of errors or issues for every line at once.
In case of errors in the original file formatting, OpenERP proposes you alternatives and solutions on how to structure your document.
Furthermore, the mapping with the OpenERP data fields has been improved. The system even proposes available data alternatives, in case it does not find the data the user specified. Previously, the system would halt the import upon meeting an error. Now, it lists all the errors, allowing the user to correct on the spot prior to finalizing the import process.
Fig 4.2.2. New and Improved Features - Data import : OpenERP proposes solutions in case of errors
As you can see in the above screenshot, a frequently asked questions section has been added in the import dialog to help solving complex document transformation issues.
As of version 7.0, external authentication is made possible. Open Authentication (the open standard OAuth) is used to this means. Two service provider accounts can be defined in OpenERP: Facebook and Google.
- Facebook Graph is the platform that let us get information in and out of Facebook ;
- the Google APIs use the OAuth 2.0 protocol for authentication and authorization.
Fig. 4.3. New and improved Features - Single sign-on: the providers
The same mechanism will make SaaS users able to sign in their instance from the home page or our web site. Since most of the companies using OpenERP have more than one database, upon registration, you will have access to all your databases (e.g. your test database, your production database), where previously you had to login to each of your databases separately.
Version 7.0 gives you the possibility to use access keys in the page views of OpenERP, focusing on user productivity. When you press the “modifier key” in any screen, OpenERP emphasizes the shortcut for every button in the screen.
The most frequently used shortcuts are:
- modifier key + c : Create ;
- modifier key + d : Discard ;
- modifier key + e : Edit ;
- modifier key + s : Save ;
Since modifier keys are browser-specific, please consult en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Access_key for further details or the browser-specific documentation.
Extensive user experience tests have proven that the default dashboards might hinder the user productivity. And when really necessary, the per App-based dashboards, didn’t fully answer expectations. Reality shows that company information in dashboard format and the accompanying graphical representations are used on a when and as needed basis. Henceforth, all dashboards and reports are centralized under the “Reporting” main menu entry.
Fig. 4.5.1. New and Improved Features - Reporting - the overall reporting menu entry
Furthermore, if you like having a global view over your data in OpenERP, then you'll be glad to know that we have remodeled the graph views to make this possible. Besides having a great fresh and new look, the new graphs will help you better visualize your figures.
Fig. 4.5.2. New and Improved Features - Dashboard and graphs revisited
In version 7.0, the graphs have a cleaner layout than those of version v6.1. On top of that, 7.0 contains numerous extra features:
- 5 new modes:
- bar charts (stacked or not) ;
- pie charts ;
- areas (stacked or not) ;
- lines ;
- radar charts ;
- a new menu to dynamically modify the graphs:
- change mode, switch to grid, modify the title, configure the legend ;
- download data as CSV or export to a PNG image ;
- clean drawing and adapted to the window size ;
In general, many users have a multitude of tools and files to conduct their daily business. Besides using your ERP, many amongst us still use separate text and spreadsheet files to cover specific business needs. We now offer you to integrate text and spreadsheet files with OpenERP 7.0. This offers to the end user the possibility to take these files into account whilst using OpenERP 7.0. Its purpose is to offer a quick fix solution for those users, where the creation of a custom module to cover that particular user need would take some more time to obtain.
Take a job opening in the Recruitment Process App as an example of an OpenERP object: you can attach an interview evaluation form you maintain in Google Docs, and dynamically link it to the said job application. Then, you can share this Google Docs file with the persons you wish. Taking this example a step further, you can link a document template, say your interview evaluation template, and link them to all your job openings. And every time you have a need to hire, you can mobilize the Google Doc-based evaluation template.
Upon the one click installation of the Google Docs module, its configuration section allows you to specify models or templates. Prior to this, don’t forget to specify your personal Google Docs credentials in your User configuration menu.
Fig. 4.6.1. New and Improved Features - Google Docs integration: the Google Docs configuration screen
Currently, businesses are almost per default global, thus putting more and more emphasis on multilingual requirements. As such, you might have the need to be able to translate the information you manage within OpenERP. By giving you the ability to call upon external resources to translate, for example product descriptions in your instance, we provide you a possibility to do so.
We integrated Gengo with OpenERP 7.0. by creating a system level connection (not a browser plugin) with Gengo web-services, a human translations subscription service. The latter can be used from within OpenERP to translate information stored within OpenERP 7.0 such as payment terms, or marketing campaign email templates. You can even use it to have the content of your customer portal, or your newsgroup translated automatically for every new blog entry.
Fig. 4.7.1. New and Enhanced Features - Gengo Integration. Define your Gengo parameters in Settings/Companies/Companies: Your Company
On one hand, the OpenERP portal facility gives a limited access to your OpenERP system. In this way, the third party of your choice (e.g. customer, supplier) logs into your instance and views the information you gave him permission to visualize.
On the other hand, OpenERP can exchange EDI messages between two or more OpenERP systems. As an example, according to this mechanism, you can have one of your customers obtain your quotation and have him integrate it into his OpenERP system (as a supplier quotation). The appropriate server identity control takes between the two systems.
The EDI mechanism is mobilized when a user shares an OpenERP object (e.g. a sales quotation) with a customer. The mail message is the vehicle used to transmit the EDI file; a file that is signed with an auto generated key pair. The mail contains the link towards the object, allowing the customer to directly view that object in the originating OpenERP system. Furthermore, the mail contains the JSON attachment, which permits the importation of the data into the target system. OpenERP 7.0 automatically adds the instructions explaining how to import the document.
Typically, the customer can click on the link to visualise the data in a form view. An accompanying EDI panel provides options to either import the EDI message using the URL or get the JSON data to perform a manual import.
Alternatively, the customer can proceed by forwarding the message to the generic email address of his OpenERP instance. When the latter receives the EDI message and accepts the authentication information of the originating instance, the file will be imported. When authentication fails, the EDI message is held in a queue, ready for the authorized administrator to either reject the message, accept it once or to approve it. In the last scenario, the key and the originating OpenERP instance identity will be stored in the receiving database, thus enabling automatic acceptance of future EDI message from that source.
The portal feature permits the sharing of OpenERP documents with your customers. When a user decides to share for example a quotation, the intended recipient will have a limited access into the sender’s OpenERP instance allowing him to visualise only the shared document.
Fig. 4.8.1. New and Improved features - Exchanging data: sharing a quotation
Fig. 4.8.2. New and Improved features - Exchanging data: select the sharing method for a given quotation
By clicking “Direct Link or embed code “, this option gives you access to both a URL you can share with your customer/supplier and the code that can be inserted in the location where the user wishes to embed the said document.
Fig.4.8.3. New and Improved features - Exchanging data: select Direct Link or Embedded code method
Selecting the Email method, the customer will receive a mail in which an embedded link is specified. When he clicks on this link, he will be directed to the sender’s OpenERP instance on which the quotation will be displayed. Either View or Edit rights can be specified prior to generating this “sharing” invitation
When you want to send the quotation to users you previously shared OpenERP documents with, the system will present the logins the users already created. You can then decide to reuse them, delete them or create additional ones.
Fig. 4.8.4. New and Improved features - Exchanging data: select users you already shared with
Selecting the “existing groups method” gives you the opportunity to select previously defined groups within your instance. All members pertaining to the chosen groups will receive the notification they can visualize the quotation.
We have created a new format to incorporate descriptions for each available module in your OpenERP. The description has a sexier look and is also more informative. So, through this description the user will be able to know what the modules can do.
Fig. 4.9.1. New and Improved Features - A typical module description
You can access the descriptions in Settings/Modules and then just click on the name of the module you are interested in. When having just installed a new database, your homepage displays Apps and by clicking on them you will access the more explicit descriptions.
OpenERP 7.0 deploys a new concept called email aliases. The email alias can be given to a user and any OpenERP object. Thus, incoming emails can be integrated automatically in OpenERP. You do not need to configure several email gateways anymore. Each document may have aliases defined for it. These email aliases are based on a given mail alias model. As an example, an incoming mail about an issue can be used to generate a new issue entry in the CRM App.
The following Apps possess mail aliases:
- users ;
- discussion groups : allow to use groups like mailing lists with internal users and/or your customers ;
- applicants (HR). Example: every mail sent to job-developer@mycompany will create an applicant request automatically with the CV and motivation letter automatically attached to it and indexed ;
- CRM leads and opportunities. Example: mails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org may create new leads in the sales team « Resellers » ;
- Project tasks or issues. Example: a project may have a specific email alias to automate issues or tasks creation with your customer.
Make sure not to forget to specify the domain alias in the Settings/Configuration/General Settings menu, section “Email” for this major feature to work properly.
Fig. 4.10.1. New and Improved Features - configure an alias domain to ensure use of the email aliases
OpenERP provides so much automation facilities that it's not always easy to know how to configure the products to follow the process you want to automate. OpenERP 7.0 makes everything much easier by explaining in the product form the impact of the options you activated and the Apps you installed.
The same kind of feedback is available on most documents having a complex behavior: contracts configuration, delivery charges computation, global settings, etc.
When users go on demo.openerp.com or runbot.openerp.com, they will experience better and more integrated demo data. Throughout the modules, the data is linked and we have tried to get rid of the existing discrepancies.
As we have revised all demo data, you will find that, for example, an opportunity has a corresponding quotation linked to it. Also, the whole database of products has been made more consistent.
We believe that it was important to work on the demo data in order to offer a more realistic test and simulation environment to the users.
To speed up the creation of quotations, OpenERP 7.0 proposes two modes to encode quotations, depending on the level of options you need on each quotation line. By default, OpenERP allows to encode quotation lines directly in the grid mode, which is much faster than the version 6.1 method.
Fig. 5.1.1. Improved Business Flows - sales order: the order line dialog - create a quotation with inline editing of lines and multi-lines description.
But if you activate more options through the Settings, OpenERP will turn the quotation lines with a dialog allowing you to specify more information (e.g. make to stock/make to order, packaging, manufacturing properties, etc.).
Fig. 5.1.2. Improved Business Flows - sales order: the order line dialog after simple configuration adaptations, including UoM, cost price, discount and properties.
From within the quotation, you can now easily send the document to your customer contact by mail or printing it to send by regular mail.
Fig. 5.1.1. Improved Business Flows - Sales order improvements: action buttons
Furthermore, the invoice can be printed by simply clicking on the status bar button. A new stage has been defined to track if/when customer documents have been sent. The embedded mail function permits basic editing and adding attachments.
Fig. 5.1.3. Improved Business Flows - Sales order improvement: send mail
OpenERP supports two different methods to include the delivery costs in the quotation or sale order. You can include an estimation of the charge in the quotation and invoice the real amount depending on how you really delivered the customer, or you can include a fix price on the quotation which is the exact price that will be invoiced to the customer. The explanation on how to use these two methods is now very clear on the sale order.
The invoicing process based on sale orders has been considerably improved and simplified. When you want to invoice a sale order, OpenERP proposes you several invoicing options as explained in section “5.5. Invoicing enhancement” hereafter.
In order to track the delivery and invoicing of a sale order, the salesperson will be able to access every related document (invoices, delivery orders) from the sale order form. The buttons will automatically adapt to the type of quotation (invoice after delivery, invoice manually, payment before delivery, etc.).
Fig. 5.1.4. Improved Business Flows - Sales order improvement: buttons and stages in function of the invoicing method. Here, invoicing “before delivery” was specified for the quotation
Fig. 5.1.5. Improved Business Flows - Sales order improvement: buttons and stages in function of the invoicing method. Here invoicing “on demand” was specified for the quotation
Last but not least, the quotation and sale order form is fully customizable according to your business, using the Settings/Sales menu.
Fig. 5.1.6. Improved Business Flows - Sales order improvement: the quotation and sales order section of the sales configuration menu
In version 7.0 the Purchase Management workflow has been rendered more efficient by offering the “Send Request for Quotation” Action in the Purchase Order creation mode.
Fig. 5.2.1. Improved Business Flows - PO improvement: sending RFQ from within the draft PO
In this manner, you can automatically contact your supplier(s) by mail, while the OpenERP v7 generates a draft mail, which can be personalized by the end user. This action becomes a stage within the Purchase Order process and not longer a sideline activity. As a consequence, once performed this step shows up in the status bar.
Fig 5.2.2. Improved Business Flows - PO improvement: sending RFQ from within draft Purchase Order
The information shown in the status bar - the contextual action buttons, the highlighted stage in which the given document is in - will guide the user through the following logical step.
Fig 5.2.3. Improved Business Flows - PO improvement: Contextual Action Buttons and Stage indicator
Both the Purchase Order confirmation as well as the initial quotation can now be printed from within the form.
Fig 5.2.4. Improved Business Flows - PO improvement: print from within the Purchase Order
Technically, the « stock.picking » object has been split into two new objects inheriting from the same « stock.picking » object:
- stock.picking.in for reception ;
- stock.picking.out for delivery orders.
This allowed us to adapt the interface according to the nature of the document: adapted reports, adapted forms with default values, etc. As a result, the Delivery process has been considerably simplified in version 7.0.
The status bar indicates the next available actions depending on the context of the delivery process, and dynamically shows the stage in which the delivery process is.
Fig 5.3.1. Improved Business Flows - Delivery improvement : context dependent action buttons and stage indicators
The print button allows you to either print the delivery slip or the delivery item labels dependent upon which delivery approach you opted for; per product or per order. The delivery slip page view reflects closely the print copy format.
The delivery process generates its proper document, whereas in previous versions, the reception and delivery documents were identical.
In OpenERP 7.0, you can receive the products through clicking on the Receive Products button in the status bar of a given, confirmed purchase order. This heavily simplifies the flow, since the user stays within his context - the purchase order at hand - without having to go through other menus or submenus.
The advantage is applicable as well for the user wishing to enter the received supplier invoice. A simple click on the Receive Invoice button suffices.
Fig. 5.4.1. Improved Business Flows - Reception improvement: contextual Purchase Order buttons
Fig. 5.4.2. Improved Business Flows - Reception improvement: enter product reception data following status bar indications
Fig 5.4.3. Improved Business Flows - Reception improvement: enter product reception data
You can print the receipt slip of your incoming shipment from within the “Receive Products” stage of the confirmed purchase order. The Page View of the slip looks like its hardcopy document.
After approving a sale order, you can now proceed according to different scenarios. OpenERP version 7.0 provides different options :
- invoice the overall sale order ;
- cover a percentage of the total amount ;
- go for an upfront payment or deposit ;
- invoice only selected lines within the order at hand.
Fig. 5.5.1. Improved Business Flows - Invoicing improvements: multiple invoicing options
Depending on your choice, OpenERP will request further details, e.g. the precise percentage you wish to invoice, or the specific deposit amount.
Additionally, when working with contracts, you can now invoice on an annual basis, or, for example, for 40 hours of support (see also topic 3.5. Contract Management).
Fig. 5.5.2. Improved Business Flows - Invoicing improvement: enter the product and the corresponding deposit amount
When you wish to invoice only certain sales order lines, you can do so by selecting one or more lines, and clicking the More button to generate the actual invoice.
Fig. 5.5.3. Improved Business Flows- Invoicing improvement : invoicing per sales order line
Fig. 5.5.4. Improved Business Flows - Invoicing improvement: starting the invoicing on a per order line basis
Fig. 5.5.5. Improved Business Flows - Invoicing improvement: selecting the sales order lines and generate the invoice
Furthermore, attention has been given to the page view of the invoice, which now looks like the hard copy invoice document.
Payment registration has been simplified in OpenERP 7.0. From within an invoice you can take a payment into account by clicking on the Register Payment button.
Fig. 5.6.1. Improved Business Flows - Payment improvement: enter payment data from within the invoice.
This takes you to the form where you can enter (partial) amounts and select the payment method (cash, bank, checks,...).
Fig. 5.6.2. Improved Business Flows - Payment improvement: payment data registration window
The balance amount is immediately shown on the Invoice Lines tab, whereas the detailed payment information is updated on the Payments tab without reloading the Web client. As usual, all accounting entries are automatically generated.
The same philosophy is applicable for registering refunds and the corresponding credit notes.
By using the Refund Invoice button from within a given invoice, you will be able to enter all applicable information.
Fig. 5.6.3. Improved Business Flows - Payment Improvement: create a credit note from within the invoice
In version 7.0, the manual reconciliation in accounts receivables is heavily simplified. OpenERP 7.0 implements a smart algorithm that detects automatically which customer or supplier requests a manual reconciliation of his entries or not. This allows to save a lot of time finding what you need to reconcile or not according to the latest journal items appearing in your books, and the reconciliation you already made.
When clicking on the « Manual Reconciliation » menu, OpenERP proposes you automatically the customers or suppliers you have to manually reconcile. Journal items to reconcile are automatically checked by OpenERP as a proposition (if their debit and credit matches). From this list, you can take immediate actions in one click:
- select journal items and click on « Reconcile » to reconcile them partially or totally;
- mark the contact as « Nothing to Reconcile » even if some journal items are not reconciled yet. OpenERP will not ask you to reconcile this contact before new invoices or payments are created ;
- quickly filter on the journal items of a contact ;
- check the data of the contact (reminder level, open balance) ;
- navigate through contacts to reconcile using the « next », « previous » buttons.
Fig. 5.7.1. Improved Business Flows - the reconciliation screen
Fig. 5.7.2. Improved Business Flows - manual reconciliation
Fig. 5.7.3. Improved Business Flows - automatic reconciliation
The reconciliation from the bank statement line has been improved with an easy button to automatically reconcile a line.
With OpenERP v7, we were able to transform something as complex as an ERP into an extensive suite of applications by keeping the typical power of cross-departmental functionality. Together with our effort in simplifying its configuration, we significantly reviewed the dependencies of the OpenERP modules and processes, hence proposing a rich ensemble of independent business applications.
OpenERP 6.1 was already extremely modular, but not as much as required to be able to deploy just one module or two for a customer implementation. We did the following improvements to transform OpenERP 7.0 into an « Integrated Apps Suite », rather than an « ERP »:
- breaking dependencies between modules ;
- providing an « App Store » as integration means, enabling you to find and install any module (official or community ones), uninstall a module and update them in one click (described in the next main section) ;
- proposing an enhanced service through OpenERP Enterprise, so that the migration service can cover any module (including community or customer specific ones).
Of course, we did not break the « ERP » nature of OpenERP, on the contrary. When you install several independent modules, they will fully integrate together to streamline transversal processes.
Major advantages of the OpenERP v7 Apps Suite implementation are:
- heavily reducing decision cycles and budget impacts, enabling you to start with a reduced scope ;
- significantly diminishing project related risks ;
- better admitting phased implementations ;
- significantly shortening the sales cycle for our partners.
The following subsections depict the dependencies we removed as to sustain this transformation.
Sales management and warehouse management are now separate applications, providing the opportunity for service companies to start selling right away, without having to go through configuring stock locations they don’t use. Henceforth, installing the Sales App requires a single chart of accounts selection step and you can start generating sales quotations immediately
When you wanted to manage your proper calendar, in previous versions you had to install the CRM module. With OpenERP v7, you can install the Calendar App with one click, without having to install any other App. This separation has no incidence on the functionality of either App. Upon installation, the Calendar sits in your Home menu structure ready to .
Previously, when the project management module was installed, the accounting module was required. This was necessary since a project corresponded to an analytical account, allowing the project work and expenditures to be allocated.
In version 7.0, we lodged the analytical accounting functionality into a separate App. This permits the accounting App-independent installation of the Project Management App. This results in a fast track project setup within the system.
When an expense note of a user was confirmed, previous versions required a supplier to be defined for the expense amount to be paid out. Now, OpenERP v7 uses vouchers to handle this instead of invoices. Upon an expense note approval by a manager, the accounting entries are generated accordingly and the expense amount can be disbursed. Hence, businesses that want to perform employee expense management don’t have to install other modules.
The reception and delivery related document are made more independent one from another:
- receptions by shipments : by orders and by products ;
- internal moves ;
- deliveries : by orders and by products.
As a result, they are better focused on their specific purpose and result in a distinct treatment of the picking operations. This makes it easier for the partners and developers to extend delivery orders, internal moves and incoming shipments. These documents still reside in the same database table, but we now defined view heritage. The aforementioned 3 picking documents are well separated on a code level.
In version 6.1 there were no differences in the code for deliveries, incoming shipments and internal movements. They were the same objects and it was rather difficult to develop around it, as there was no difference made.
When it comes to the end user, we added the print buttons within the status bar, specific to the picking document at hand.
OpenERP users can now use the address book even if they did not installed the « Sales Management » or CRM applications. The « Contacts » menu appears in the left most menu «Emails» within the Organizer sub-section.
When you install the Timesheet application (hr_timesheet_sheet module), you can globally configure if you want to relate timesheets with employee attendances or not.
Having a global attachment feature on every document is not available anymore in OpenERP 7.0. This is not required anymore, since business documents have a chatter section allowing to discuss and/or attach documents to every message. This avoids the confusion of having several files with the same name in the same global menu (e.g. multiple versions of a quotation sent to a customer).
If you still need a global attachment menu that summarizes all files attached to any document, you can install the document management module that implements this feature.
One of the distinctive features of OpenERP 7.0 is the fact that we have embedded services in the software to provide customers who have subscribed to the OpenERP Enterprise a new level of convenience.
The enhanced OpenERP Enterprise services include:
- The one click installation of any certified or community modules and all its dependencies ;
- The ability to apply small bug fixes and security updates in a single click ;
- The possibility to perform updates in one click.
In version 7.0, all modules (certified and community ones) are available for installation in one click directly from the OpenERP interface, requiring no technical knowledge whatsoever. We also added the ability to uninstall modules. This allows to easily test new features (about 60 new modules are released every month by the community).
Some modules are tagged as being “certified”. These certified modules are those that are fully supported by OpenERP S.A, such as the core modules of OpenERP. At the launch of 7.0, only OpenERP core modules will appear as “certified” but during 2013, we will work with the partners and the community to define how we can integrate certain of their modules as certified modules and provide a consistent level of service and quality for modules developed by both OpenERP and other parties.
The one click installation will be available for any instance with less than four users in order to let customers test OpenERP. However this new service will require the subscription to the OpenERP Enterprise for the instances with four users and more. As all modules are open source and available on Launchpad, users who do not have an OpenERP Enterprise contract can still install any module and its dependencies manually, as in version 6.1.
As this "module repository" service is now part of our services, we expect to improve a lot the OpenERP Apps site http//apps.openerp.com in the near future: communication on new community modules, ratings on modules, statistics on most used modules, etc.
When a bug is reported to the support team, the support team will analyze it and will issue a patch. This patch will be merged into the stable version of OpenERP. With OpenERP 7.0, the customer will then be informed that a new update solving the bug is available. Subsequently, the customer will be able to update his instance in one click.
We realize that up to now OpenERP was sending within a few days a patch to the customer or partner, but was taking time to merge it into the latest stable version of OpenERP. We have reinforced the support team to ensure that the patches will be merged promptly. This reactivity process is more demanding on us, but will allow us to provide superior customer satisfaction.
Partners can still request to receive the patch and test it before, but you are invited to ask specifically for it when sending your initial request.
The software is enriched with corrections and improvements (bug fixing, performance improvements, safety patches,...) on a regular basis. Through the settings menu, which will display all available updates, customers will be able to update the applications they are using in a single click.
The updates will be published as soon as they are available. Nonetheless, customers will have the freedom to update their instance according to the frequency that best suits them (for instance once every two months if they wish to do so).
OpenERP will also send messages to the administrator when important updates have been published (for instance in the case of a security vulnerability). Of course, if you would like to use bzr pull to update the instance you have installed from Launchpad, you can still do it.
We would not pretend to be in a position to perform a migration to OpenERP 7.0 in one click. However, the support team has been working far in advance on preparing the migrations for our customers. New scripts and enhanced tests have been developed in order to be ready at the time of the launch to migrate customers in high volume.
OpenERP will commit to migrate any community module for a fee. Based on the number of OpenERP enterprise customers using a given module, we will make an estimate of the cost of migrating the module and will divide this cost by the expected number of customers who will request to migrate to the new version of the module.
The benefit of this approach is that we will be able to formulate a much lower cost for maintaining highly used modules such as localizations. The exact cost per module to migrate non-certified modules will be announced at the release of version 7.1.
The following table summarizes the services per module category under the OpenERP Enterprise subscription.
One click installation
One click update
Available in OpenERP Online
Table 7.5.1. OpenERP Enterprise subscription services per module category
- analytic_contract_hr_expense: a glue module between contracts and expenses, allowing the reinvoicing of expenses to customers ;
- auth_anonymous: implements the OpenERP anonymous mode, the first step to provide CMS features for OpenERP. You will see it in action in the official website of OpenERP.
- auth_oauth: Oauth support to login/register with Google, LinkedIn or Facebook ;
- auth_reset_password: a new « reset your password » feature ;
- auth_signup: a new « signup » feature ;
- base_gengo: autotranslation through gengo web services ;
- base_import: the import feature has been implemented in a separate module ;
- base_status: the module that implements the state/stage modifications ;
- contacts: the new « Address Book » application ;
- event_moodle: Interfaces between Moodle eLearning and the event module ;
- event_sale: allows you to sell events ;
- fleet: the new « Fleet Management » application ;
- google_docs: the Google Doc integration feature ;
- l10n_ar: the Accounting localization for Argentina
- l10n_be_coda: Coda support ;
- l10n_be_hr_payroll_account: the payroll localization for Belgium ;
- l10n_fr_hr_payroll: the payroll localization for France (only partial) ;
- l10n_in_hr_payroll: the payroll localization for India ;
- note: the new « Sticky Notes » application ;
- note_pad: the glue module to integrate sticky notes and Etherpad ;
- portal_claim: shows claims in the portal ;
- portal_crm: permits lead acquisition through the portal ;
- portal_event : show events in the customer portal ;
- portal_hr_employees: this App shows contacts within the company in the customer portal ;
- portal_project: displays customer projects and tasks in the portal ;
- portal_project_issue: shows customer issues in the portal
- portal_sale: allows customers to get their quotations and sales in the portal
- sale_stock: this is a glue module to integrate sale and stock ;
- web_linkedin: the new « LinkedIn Integration » feature ;
- web_shortcuts. By default, version 7.0 has no more shortcuts for menus as menus are much easier to understand and find. If you still need the shortcuts for frequently used menus, you can install this module.
Some modules have been removed from the official release and moved to community modules. The main reasons of such a decision are :
- the module is deprecated by an existing and better feature of OpenERP 7.0 ;
- the module is not working correctly or not good enough to fit OpenERP new quality standards ;
- the module is not used by more than 99.5% of the users.
This means that such modules are still available but not covered by the OpenERP Enterprise contracts anymore. If you use one of these modules, you should contact us, so that we can find a solution tailored to your needs, reusing existing modules or by developing a specific module that better fits new OpenERP features.
Here is the list of modules that have been removed from the official list:
- account_invoice_layout. The version 6.1 module account_invoice_layout provides the possibility to add titles, comment lines, subtotal lines, draw horizontal lines and put page breaks at the time of printing the invoice. It also allows to print all the selected invoices with a specific message at the bottom of it. In OpenERP 7.0, the invoices support by default multi-line descriptions and the reordering of lines, which were the most used features of account_invoice_layout. We have dropped this module as it was not clean enough to respect new OpenERP quality standards ;
- analytic_journal_billing_rate: deprecated by the new contracts feature that allows to set prices per person and control the invoicing of expenses ;
- auction. This feature is dropped as very specific to one vertical industry: auction houses. This module is now a community module that has been ported to version 7.0 ;
- base_contact: deprecated by the new Contact approach of OpenERP v7.0. We plan to release a specific module for the only feature which is not covered by the OpenERP 7.0 address book: one person working for several companies with different job positions ;
- base_module_doc_rst. This was a module developed to generate http://doc.openerp.com It is not longer used ;
- base_module_quality: this was a developer tool which is not used anymore, since it largely replaced by a strong test suite ;
- base_module_record: this was a developer tool we removed as almost no developer was using it. It was not clean enough to respect new OpenERP quality standards ;
- base_synchro: moved to a community module ;
- caldav: is removed as this feature has never worked perfectly. It was not clean enough to respect new OpenERP quality standards ;
- crm_caldav. Removed as this feature as never worked perfectly. It was not clean enough to respect new OpenERP quality standards ;
- crm_fundraising: this module was removed as this feature has never worked well. It was not clean enough to respect new OpenERP quality standards ;
- fetchmail_crm. Deprecated by the new email alias system ;
- fetchmail_crm_claim: this module was deprecated by the new email alias system ;
- fetchmail_hr_recruitment. Deprecated by the new email alias system ;
- fetchmail_project_issue: this module was deprecated by the new email alias system ;
- google_map ;
- html_view: this is deprecated as all views support HTML in OpenERP 7.0 ;
- import_base was not clean enough to respect new OpenERP quality standards. This module is still available as a community module ;
- import_google: this module was not clean enough to respect new OpenERP quality standards. This module is still available as a community module ;
- import_sugarcrm. It was not clean enough to respect new OpenERP quality standards. This module is still available as a community module ;
- profile_tools: deprecated with the new configuration system.
- project_mailgate: deprecated by the new messaging system of OpenERP 7.0 ;
- project_messages: Deprecated by the new messaging system of OpenERP 7.0 ;
- project_planning: this module was not clean enough to meet new OpenERP quality standards;
- project_retro_planning. Not clean enough to fit new OpenERP quality standards. A very small feature rarely used by OpenERP users ;
- project_scrum: deprecated by the new kanban view on projects ;
- report_designer: this module was deprecated as new reports will probably evolve to Webkit rather than RML ;
- report_webkit_sample: this was not a module bringing features, as such we removed it ;
- sale_layout: was removed for the same reasons as for the account_invoice_layout module;
- stock_planning: not clean enough to fit new OpenERP quality standards ;
- web_uservoice: this module was used by the demo server of OpenERP only. This module should not have been in an official distribution ;
- wiki: this module is deprecated by document_page ;
- wiki_faq is deprecated by document_page ;
- wiki_quality_manual is deprecated by document_page ;
- wiki_sale_faq is deprecated by document_page.
- users_ldap → auth_ldap ;
- wiki → document_page ;
- mrp_subproduct → mrp_byproduct ;