DAY 3: OpenDays
Author: Jon Wilson
Day one of the Odoo opening days started with the plenary session with Fabien.
The opening plenary session is always interesting as it reviews all the new features in the current version V10. The launch date for V10 will be tomorrow October 6th. Tomorrow’s plenary session will look at the future plans for V11.
Today's session started with some Mac verses Microsoft type videos which were quite humorous showing how fast, flexible and accessible Odoo is compared to Mr.ERP (representing the established vendors).
One of the main focuses in V10 was on usability which is hard to demonstrate. Some obvious examples were the addition of search ability on the Odoo desktop (launch pad), which can quickly get a user to any menu item. Accessing new modules or features for the first time the user is prompted for next actions with pop-up messages and bouncing pointers. Configuration settings have been improved also.
The web page builder has been re-written for V10 with improved speed and a lot more widgets and customisations within an object. Pictures can have animation actions like fade-in/out etc. There are also new wizards for creating blogs, jobs and events etc. Additionally, the mass-mailing editor has also benefited from these improvements.
Another big announcement was the Odoo studio. This is a customisation app that is installed like any other Odoo app and allows a user to design/change the visual aspects of an application. It does not allow the entry of complex python code to automate the object or implement workflows etc. It could be compared to writing a module that has no methods etc. It will be a great tool for consultants to develop prototypes in the early stages of project development. Its use should be restricted to specific users for sure. I guess from a developer's perspective allowing the end-user to change and manipulate views could cause some maintenance and documentation problems. Some features:
There is a new help desk application, which looks useful, including live chat integration, creation of tickets from chat window, creation of tickets from email, integration with web chat, SLA policies, canned responses, publish on website with search, rating system for users.
A new matrix widget has been developed which has initially been used in a new timesheet module but is available for use anywhere in Odoo (if applicable).
And of course there is the new MRP module, which I have described in detail on the previous 2 days.
On the technical side (presented by Anthony Lesuisse CTO) the code has been refactored to remove all the old api's which involved over 160,000 lines of code. This has improved performance and made programs easier to debug as there are less lines of code to perform an operation. An interesting fact is that the total lines of code in the base Odoo have not increased from V8 although many new features have been added. The qweb interpreter now uses just in time compilation, which speeds up reports somewhat. They have done a lot of work on memory optimization, which was mostly focused on the SaaS platform but has also improved performance for individual server instances. The CSS has been simplified improving page load times.
Next up were the changes in the partner program presented by Xavier Panceaers (COO). He first had a statistic that enterprise licences sales have increased 83% in the last 12 months - this is no doubt due to the change in licencing policy and the division of the product into community and enterprise. There were some new announcements:
1. New partner knowledge base to be launched in mid-October
2. New e-learning centre - previously training was 2,500euro, down 125euro/user/month, or 1,000euro/year unlimited users. A new team is dedicated to this program. See http://training.odoo.com.
3. Certification program is back. linked to website. launched q1 2017 and linked with e-learning. It will be a requirement that silver partners have at least 2 certified employees and 4 for gold partners.
4. New partner portal launched with improved lead management and follow-up, and a better way to interact with the Odoo sales team.
5. New enterprise pricing. US$360/user/annum, still minimum of 5 users (although flexible?). Applies from 2017.
6. New method a reaching silver or gold status which is based on the number of users not $'s turnover.
7. Reinforce joint sales activities. - roadshows, slides, Single and exclusive sponsor ships. Account manager will help.
9. Improved customer journey
10. New partner on boarding team
There was a really interesting presentation by Fabien on project management strategy for larger projects. The good news is that it was almost a summary of WilldooIT's project management strategy. Basically it boils down to a good manager with contributions by key developers, limiting user expectations, phased implementation focusing initially on minimum features to get a working and stable implementation, then later working on other features. I totally agree with this approach.
I spent the rest of the day going to selected presentations, some highlights:
Integration with document management application Alfresco from IT IS AG and Ascone.
A nice MS office365 (Outlook) email client integration to Odoo
--Jon Wilson 2016.10.06