Monolithon - ERPNext, Odoo +

Odoo 17.0 release

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The usual annual Odoo Experience conference this year, as well, introduced the upcoming, latest version of Odoo by Odoo S.A., which is Odoo 17.

Some keen observers might have already noticed, or those who have started a free trial version on the Odoo Online platform, that the overall appearance has changed. Not only the colors but also the icons make navigating tasks within Odoo a bit more challenging. Beauty is subjective, so while some might not like it, others might be enthusiastic about the new design. One thing for sure is that it’s fresher, perhaps aiming towards a younger audience, which might be a bold move for an ERP software, possibly aligning with the oft-mentioned generational shift in company leadership and the utilization of Odoo.

What innovations have arrived in Odoo 17? The most comprehensive view of the novelties can be found on the Release Notes page, and I’ve been cherry-picking from that along with testing and other sources.

Speaking of other sources and appearance, the Odoo forum has been updated as well. Both the app and the official Odoo forum are now running on the latest version, sporting an entirely new look. It used to resemble the Discourse solution and has been further refined. As usual, they generally follow industry best practices and successful software, drawing inspiration from them to build their own similar Odoo app.

Sticking with the ‘look,’ let’s continue with the website and the online store. As seen in the summary video below, Odoo is continuously developing this aspect. Despite Odoo 17 reaching a fairly good level in this area, in the heightened battle of online sales (unlike other business areas/apps where this strategy works very well), unfortunately, it likely won’t be sufficient.

But who cares about appearance and icons when we can now use the search function even faster, instantly accessing what we need? This elevates navigation to a new level, which might require learning/adaptation, but surely it will be quick and enhance our efficiency.

The subscription management has been revamped again, but the good news is that it has not just been revamped but also gained new features, simplifying subscription management via the online store.

The quoting process has also been simplified by selecting products for the quote, but this seems more of a showcase since there are numerous details besides the items that we can set in the traditional interface. The creation of quotes with additional content and in a unique design in PDF format has been further refined, something that, as it was before, the client can accept and pay the advance online. In reality—except for a few business models/industries—we believe that these personalized quotes, despite their design, are increasingly being sidelined in online sales. Customers prefer not to play ping-pong with details found in offers but rather buy not only physical products but also (potentially complex) services online.

As we’ve mentioned several times, we still swear by the integrated system, although there might be a need for other software, which might be necessary or advisable to integrate. Integration options have been introduced in Odoo Studio (only part of the Enterprise version) thanks to webhooks. This could be very interesting if these are also available in the Odoo Online version, where other APIs are likely hidden, as it could potentially allow integration without installing apps. However, we haven’t had time to try this out yet. As part of integrations, WhatsApp support has been introduced, which could be important in certain countries, but since this is currently a free messaging service owned by Facebook, we would not encourage its use as the rules can change at any time.

My feelings about the new Odoo release are mixed so far. However, the new POS and self-service system are undoubtedly a big leap, even if its Hungarian translation/localization may be pending. This is especially a significant leap because the competition is lagging not only in the self-service field but also in the ‘traditional’ POS aspect. The POS has been built around the restaurant system, just like this, so it’s no surprise that it also received an important missing feature: the management of kitchen and customer monitors. And they complemented this with the connection of the previously existing appointment scheduling module and the restaurant module. Also, don’t forget that one can now order from their own device in a restaurant using Odoo 17. This could be a real selling point, of course, considering the price as well.

Project management has been further refined, which actually saw a lot of development in the previous version already. These simplifications have made complex tasks more manageable with automation.

Within the manufacturing app, the screens and functions used on the shop floor have undergone significant changes, and while they were not bad before, they now offer an even simpler, more professional solution.

In addition to these, numerous minor modifications have been made in various apps, and new apps have been introduced, such as booking meeting rooms or managing visitors with access control.

It’s important to note that all of the above apply to the Enterprise version, usable for a license fee. So, the free Community versions have undergone far fewer developments, as has been the trend recently.

Previously, we recommended the Community version to our clients, but since the revised (reduced) prices with the release of Odoo 16, we now recommend the Odoo Enterprise version to everyone for whom Odoo is the right software.

Unfortunately, without the Enterprise version, Odoo Community is becoming increasingly less usable. Until now, it mainly lacked convenience features, but now they’re beginning to extract essential functions from the Community version. Just to name a few, without the full functionalities:

So, now more firmly than ever, we believe that in the case of Odoo, there is no choice; only Enterprise is usable nowadays, and the Community version is increasingly becoming more of a display to allow Odoo to be called open source, open-source software.

However, if Odoo Enterprise is still too expensive even with the reduced license fees, and based on the above, Community is not suitable, it might be worth examining other free, open-source ERP software, such as ERPNext.

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