ERP software is different from regular software in many ways. One of the most significant differences is the effort required to take an installed system and make it usable for end users. If you install a spreadsheet software, for example, all you need to do to start using it is just launch the application. On the contrary,it might take a year or more from the moment an ERP systems is installed until users can start using it. Open source ERP software made a huge step in simplifying the installation processes, and its now almost as easy to install open source ERP as it is to install your favorite Office suite (we recommend Openoffice).
The next series of posts will demonstrate how easy it is to set up a vanilla (software system that was just installed and did not undergo any changes,configuration or customization) open source ERP installation to a point where users can start using the system.
Prerequisite: Install Openbravo – follow our Openbravo installation wallkthrough.
After Openbravo is installed and running,point your browser to http://yourhost:8080/openbravo, replacing yourhost with the host name of the machine running the Openbravo server. Login to your server with the default system user – Openbravo, password – openbravo.
The first step in setting up Openbravo is to create a Client.
A Client in Openbravo (as well as some other ERP systems) is the top-most level of configuration and data. That means that all configuration – accounting,logistics,users and access authority as well as customers,vendors,work order,inventory etc. are managed within that Client.
If you plan to use Openbravo only within the boundaries of your organization, you need to define only one Client – your company name is a good choice for Client name.
If you are an application service provider and plan to offer Openbravo as a hosted solution and would like to go for multi tenancy, the Client is the means to implement it – create a separate Client for each company you are hosting.
The second step in setting up Openbravo is creating Organizations.
Organization are the second level of configuration and data.Each Organization belongs to a single Client only, while a single Client can have multiple Organizations.
You can decide how you want to define Organizations – if you have a small company,one Organization might be all you need. If you have multiple branches – located in different cities or in different countries, you can create multiple organizations,a single Organization for each branch.
Each customer, vendor or product will be defined per organization. All organizations will share between themselves configuration that is managed at the Client level.
You will also need to define initial users – one user that will be the administrator of the Client, and another user that will be an Organization-level user.
Aside from creating a Client,an Organization and the relevant users, we will need define several accounting parameters.
First, you can define accounting dimensions – those will be used to produce dimensional accounting reports. There are 5 dimensions to select from and you can select more than one.
You will also have to import an accounts file for your chart of accounts. Openbravo provides some accounts files in their Sourceforge download page. I downloaded the file AccountsSimplifiedUS06.csv – it contains some basic accounts and it is very easy to implement.
Its fairly simple to do all the above steps – just login to Openbravo with the Openbravo default user,click on General Setup->Client->Initial Client Setup and fill the required information.
You can use the Openbravo Add New Client wiki page to guide you through Client creation.
After completing the Initial Client Setup step, we have the skeleton of our company’s implementation. We can now proceed to define basic system configuration,create customers and products and start taking customer orders.
When you logged in into Openbravo with the default Openbravo user, you did not work within a specific Client. If you want to start working “inside” you newly created client, you can use the default Openbravo user to do that – click on ‘Openbravo’ on the top left side of the screen. In the pop-up screen, click on ‘Role’ and select the Client username you created in the Initial Client Setup screen. Click OK, and you will see your screen’s menus have changed – that is because you are now logged into your own Client area of the system. Everything you will configure and create within this Client will be relevant only to itself.
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