Odoo: An Opensource ERP and CRM

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Odoo (former OpenERP) is an all-in-one business software that offers a range of business applications that form a complete suite of enterprise management applications targeting companies of all sizes. It includes integrated solutions for CRM, website/e-commerce, billing, accounting, manufacturing, warehouse and inventory management, and project management.

The Community version is the open source version while the Enterprise version supplements the Community edition with commercial features and services.

The source code for the OpenObject framework and core ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) modules is curated by the Belgium-based Odoo S.A. The last fully featured open source version was 11.0 (LTS), available on GitHub under AGPLv3.

Source Code Model:

From inception, Odoo S.A / OpenERP S.A have released software as open source but starting with the V9.0 release, the company has transitioned to an open core model which provides subscription-based proprietary enterprise software and cloud-hosted software as a service, and a cut-down community version.

Community and Network

In 2013, the not-for-profit Odoo Community Association was formed to promote the widespread use of Odoo and to support the collaborative development of Odoo features. This organization has over 150 members who are a mix of individuals and organizations. However, there are over 20,000 people that contribute to the Odoo community. Odoo S.A. switched its focus from being a service company to focus more on software publishing and the SaaS (Software as a Service) business. Customized programming, support, and other services, are provided by an active global community and a network of over 700 official partners and integrators.

Modules / Components

The main Odoo components are the OpenObject framework, about 30 core modules (also called official modules) and more than 3000 community modules.

Educational Use

Odoo has been used as a component of university courses, and it became a compulsory subject for the baccalaureate in France, just like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. A study on experiential learning suggested that Odoo provides a suitable alternative to proprietary systems to supplement teaching.

Odoo also offers a completely free program called Odoo Education, which allows teachers and/or students to create an Odoo database for academic purposes.

Software Architecture

Odoo uses Python scripting and PostgreSQL database. The software is accessed via a web browser in a one page app developed in JavaScript. The Community edition repository is on GitHub

Vendor Support

The three last LTS versions are supported in parallel. This means that when a new LTS version is released, an older version reaches its end-of-life and is not supported any more. As an example, 9.0 LTS will be supported along with 10.0 LTS and 11.0 LTS, but it will reach end-of-life when 12.0 LTS is released.

Company History

In 2005, Fabien Pinckaers, the founder and current CEO of Odoo, started to develop his first software product, TinyERP. Three years later the name was changed to OpenERP. The company started to evolve quickly and in 2010, OpenERP had become a 100+ employee company.

In 2013, the company won a Deloitte award for being that fastest growing company in Belgium, with 1549% growth over a five-year period.

In 2014, OpenERP moved beyond the boundaries of traditional ERP players and the company was renamed Odoo, a name without restrictions, to allow the company to grow in whichever direction.

In 2015, Inc. Magazine placed Odoo in the top 5000 fastest-growing private companies in Europe.

Core Advantages of Odoo:

The fundamental advantage of Odoo is an integrated businesses process that saves time & cost, and helps management to make decisions faster and with. Tasks that benefit from this integration include:

  • Sales forecasting- that allows inventory optimization.
  • Chronological history of every transaction through relevant data compilation in every area of operation.
  • Order tracking, from acceptance through fulfillment
  • Revenue tracking, from invoice through cash receipt
  • Matching purchase orders (what was ordered), inventory receipts (what arrived), and costing (what the vendor invoiced)

Odoo centralize business data, which:

  • Eliminates the need to synchronize changes between multiple systems—consolidation of finance, marketing, sales, human resource, and manufacturing applications
  • Brings legitimacy and transparency to each bit of statistical data
  • Facilitates standard product naming/coding
  • Provides a comprehensive enterprise view (no "islands of information"), making real–time information available to management anywhere, any time to make proper decisions
  • Protects sensitive data by consolidating multiple security systems into a single structure

Technical Benefits Provided by Odoo

  • Odoo improves quality and efficiency of the business. By keeping a company's internal business processes running smoothly, Odoo can lead to better outputs that may benefit the company, such as in customer service and manufacturing.
  • Odoo supports upper level management by providing information for decision making.
  • Odoo creates a more agile company that adapts better to change. It makes a company more flexible and less rigidly structured so organization components operate more cohesively, enhancing the business- internally and externally.
  • Odoo improves data security. It offers a common control system, that ensures zero percent risk of organizational data compromizing.
  • Odoo provides increased opportunities for collaboration. Data takes many forms in the modern enterprise like documents, files, forms, audio and video, emails. Often, each data medium has its own mechanism for allowing collaboration. Odoo provides a collaborative platform that lets employees spend more time collaborating on content rather than mastering the learning curve of communicating in various formats across distributed systems.

It's true that "Odoo is shaping the future of work"!

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org and https://www.odoo.com

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