Building software applications is unlike building anything else in the sense that you never stop building it (unless you run out of money..). Imagine building a two floors house, and while finishing the first one, you realize how useful it would be if you would build another floor, and then another.
ERP applications are very dynamic, much like the business environment nurturing it. For open source ERP vendors that means they will always need to build additional floors to make existing and future customers happier with their solution.
Our last development status report was almost a year ago, and it’s time to check on the different project’s development activities.
We begin with OpenERP, who have just announced the release of version 5 of their ERP solution. I believe this is the first major release under the new brand ( moving from TinyERP to OpenERP). OpenERP 5 provides user interface improvements (some drag and drop functionality, simple/extended mode), easier customization that does not require any coding ( workflow editor, object editor) and several important ‘peripheral’ features such as improved wiki, a BI cube and and integrated BPM engine. OpenERP are also making changes to their partner network with new partner plans (starter,silver,gold platinum), and revamp their extension modules policy.
- Integration of Hibernate to provide a data access layer. That will allow access to Openbravo’s data from outside the application, via REST requests, for example.
- Introduction of UUID, making sure no conflicting IDs are created by the application.
- Right-To-Left (RTL) support, making Openbravo an appealing offering to larger international audience.
- Remote background jobs submission through web service and other mechanisms.
The release date of 2.50 is pushed back a few weeks, but for a good reason – OB wants to keep the quality of this release high, and since the testing community grew so strong, many bugs are discovered now, before the actual release .In traditional ERP implementations, these bugs are usually discovered by customers. I also think Openbravo deserves a lot of credit for being so transparent about the release status.
Apache Ofbiz provides insight into its current and near future development targets through this page. The user experience is always an area of focus for OFbiz, and this month is no different, providing theme management capabilities for the E-commerce module, as well as french translation. Ofbiz should also complete its MyPortal module, which is similar to what Openbravo is working on – a customizable entry page for users, built from different ‘portlets’, providing access to frequently used functionality, objects (customers, products) and reports.
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