Today was the first day of the official Odoo open days. It always begins with the plenary session presented by Fabien Pinckaers the Odoo CEO and technical visionary. Here is a link to the full session on YouTube: https://youtu.be/BV2AECfUzP0
33 developer talks;
95 countries were represented;
12,800 community apps;
734 contributors on the master branch;
5,912 commits on community version;
1,899 commits on the enterprise version;
28M Euro revenue;
450kEuro monthly profit (up from 450k Euro losses in 2015);
734 contributors to official version;
40,000 live chat sessions;
2 marriage proposals through live chat;
67% increase in revenue this year;
927 partners; and
6 offices around the world.
Odoo has reached a mature stage in its development, so whilst there are some impressive new features, much of the basic technical architecture has remained stable (which is a blessing because it means easier upgrades of custom modules). So many of the version 11 release features are focused of usability improvements:
An Italian designer was employed to make the Odoo interface pixel perfect – it is one of those things you don’t immediately see but subtly improves the look and clarity of all views and gives the impression of a very polished product.
The standard reports like invoices and sales quotes can now be configured on the fly and can be chosen from several templates. Once selected the configuration is automatically saved.
The mobile interface experience has been improved covering all features and allows swiping gestures where appropriate. And of course the iOS version of the app using native widgets is now available in the Apple store.
The is support for bigger screens with the chatter sections of all forms moving automatically to the right side of the screen when space allows.
A gimmick rainbow animation appears when certain actions occur like winning an opportunity?
Configuration for all modues has been consolidated into one view with each of the installed modules appearing in a left hand menu. Also there is the ability to search for config parameters globally.
Performance has been significantly improved – 3 times faster and improving to 5 times faster as the database gets larger.
A really useful feature is a completely integrated ability to schedule personal activities or tasks for other users. This is very closely integrated with all scheduling features of Odoo like calendars, phone calls, email, VOIP etc. Activities are easily created in the chatter section and you individual activities to do are accessed near the chat icon at the top of the screen. I think this will be a very well used feature and certainly goes to improve the user experience.
There is a new automation feature which can be applied to marketing campaigns of several other objects like sales orders. This is really impressive and in true Odoo style has been made applicable in a generalised manner to work across many areas of the system in a consistent manner. A powerful illustration was given of a marketing campaign – our marketing department will love this. From my experience this feature matches or exceeds similar features in high-end CRM applications like Salesforce. This feature was attempted in version 7 of OpenERP but was way too technical. In version 11 it has been implemented in a very intuitive manner and capable of use by normal users.
The project module has been enhanced especially for service companies and includes a dedicated dashboard showing key KPI’s specifically for time metrics. Timesheet lines can be done against specific associated sales order lines, eg a line can be allocated to a senior or junior programmer which is specified on the associated sales order. Automated actions can be configured to send emails to users if their deadlines or time allocations have been exceeded. The off-line version of the timesheet entry has also been enhanced.
The website builder has been enhanced with new themes and a new theme selector. A lot of small items have been improved. There is also the ability to publish/unpublish a specific page. There is now a css editor and an improved html editor. The website dashboard has been improved. There is now a native URL manager and redirector – a 3rd party module was previously required. The media manager has been improved, and there is now a native product comparator. There is a unified payment manager for both the web and back ends.
A new meeting scheduler is available – a calendar is created with specific parameters like meeting time increments and cancellations constraints etc. The calendar can then be published on the website and be accessed via a url so customers can book appointment times . This will be very useful.
Inventory management new features: Posted transactions, like a validated delivery order, can be reversed with all associated transactions like accounting moves likewise reversed. There are also speed improvements.
Improved barcoding features (he did not go into details)
Definition of steps to perform at a work centre.
Create lots or prompt for serial numbers etc at a work centre.
Improved PLM – multi user versions with github like merging.
3-way matching, Sales Order, Invoice, payments – not sure how this works.
Payments in batches.
One payment multiple invoices.
Anthony Lesuisse, the CTO, then presented the new or improved technical features. A couple of important announcements were made:
Odoo V11 now uses Python v3.5 exclusively. There was a specific session on the compatibility implications which Richard will address.
Odoo has developed a specific development and deployment platform for partners to host customers Odoo instances. It incorporates a complete continuous improvement platform exactly like Odoo uses for their own development procedures. Pricing has yet to be announced. It is referred to as “Odoo.sh”. Servers are currently situated in Europe, US & Hong Kong. Dedicated servers can be located in Australia but a considerably higher price (yet to be announced). We have yet to evaluate how this will affect our own hosting offerings.
After the plenary session, the individual presentations on various topics started. The presentations are divided into different tracks and I mostly attended the interesting developments presented by partners.
Visualising Your Warehouse
This Odoo extension allowed you to configure your warehouse locations and display them visually in 3D. Each bin location (referred to as a slot) could be inspected and a hover message would display the stock item and the quantity available in that location. If a slot was running low it would change colour. A picking wave could be represented visually showing the store person where to do the picking. The application was developed for large warehouses and in this environment, it could be potentially very useful. Of more interest to me was the ability to visualise and manipulate any 3D image potentially opening up the possibility to do some do some sort of CAD work?
MyOdoo by BHC
This is an offline salesman application designed to be run on tablets. It allows the salesperson to plan routes, take notes, see a customers history, make sales like POS, make new appointments and take notes. It is something that is missing from the Odoo environment and I can see it being immediately useful. Unfortunately, it had been developed for a particular European customer and was not available for sale.
Cycle Count by Eficent
This looked like a very useful module for anyone interested in keeping good control of their stock. It provided 3 different methods of cyclically counting stock. Only a portion of the stock is counted in each cycle. The cycles are user defined or can be automatically triggered by incorrect stock levels indicated by picking errors. There were many other features which if used fully would definitely result in stock levels a company could rely on. The Eficent partner from Spain does some excellent work lead by Jordi Ballister.
Demand Driven Materials Requirements Planning by Eficent
Traditional stock requirements are handled using manual forecasting or lean stock control method using minimum and maximum stock constraints. Demand driven management conceptually combines some elements of both. It uses forecast factors to work out demand, but also looks at actual demand. Users and identify critical stock items and set up buffer values based on several factors such as supplier reliability and lead times. In a manufacturing environment setting factors and the top BOM level will have a cascading effect on all dependant sub-BOM components. Although designed for complex manufacturing environments it works equally well for more simpler cases where manufacturing is not involved. Another great effort by Eficent.
Then it was off to the dinner…