What's happening since the release of version 7.0 in December 2012?

The organizational model of customer data / providers OpenERP has been modified and does not get support from most skilled integrators. This is the first major change in the central elements of the operating logic of OpenERP since its first publications in 2005-2006. Impossible to accurately describe the reasons for this change (see reference), but its first positive effect is expected to simplify the use of the ERP. But poorly managed and poorly tested, this modification leads to errors in several key areas of ERP, accounting in particular.

Is it important?

It is more than it seems unfortunately, because the way the ERP organises the companies, their respective addresses, means of contact and their characteristics are taken into account in all the other functions and partly determines what will be possible to do and what will not be possible to do with this ERP. It is therefore not surprising that this part of the ERP is that by which a major change in the ERP begins, nor does an uncontrolled or buggy change causes big damages.

Is this an improvement or a degradation of OpenERP functionality ?

In the current state, it is not easy to say in which cases would be more effective OpenERP V7.0 than OpenERP 6.0 or OpenERP 6.1 which use traditional modeling. To see clearly, the OpenERP software V7.0 should at first be stable and consistent. This is not the case while all software changes which are required are being programmed when we observe collateral issues.

What are the objections to this?

At the beginning, first comments came from OpenERP integrators worldwide. In fact they found that it was not possible to run on version 7.0, without significant changes most of third-party modules that bring the accounting for each country and verticalisations which provide additional features for related trades and industries . A bunch of alerts was then observed.

Then, these integrators have shown that the evolution of the organization of customers / suppliers in OpenERP V7.0 would probably prevent to address the enterprise market correctly. This market is dealing with other companies and needs some sophistication to encode relationships between companies. Without risk, we can say that the overwhelming majority of companies who buy the services of specialized integrators today to deploy OpenERP desperately need this feature.

Why turning from discussion to opposition?

All key partners (gold partners and contributors to the community) who spoke stressed the errors that are present in OpenERP V7.0 and can not, from their point of view, install the product as it is among customers. More fundamentally, they all need to keep management clients / suppliers necessary features for business between companies. According to some integrators, the viability of their business is at stake (see references)

OpenERP-sa is found isolated (nobody took time to speak for their defense), but persists in its decision to change the model and simplify it. Is it the experience of their SaaS (online) that directs them to this solution ? users of small businesses targetted by the Saas may be sensitive to simplification ? Do they have goals to improve the performance of Saas through simplification of data structures? (See references)

Is it the first opposition ever ?

No, there have been precedents where OpenERP clashed with key partners. Partners have been successful at the very beginning to ensure that the software TinyERP remains under single license free, and that the code is available on the public server launchpad. In contrast, partners, divided, were not listened to when it comes to the use of decimal calculation accounting or changing the license on the code in favor of OpenERP-sa, some years ago.

But version 7.0 has already been the reason for several disagreements. The sudden abandonment of the GTK client version 7.0 in September 2012 at first, then masking passwords in the database, and finally the new rules on customers / suppliers. In all three cases, the unanimity of the partners appeared spontaneously and in all three cases, the point of view of OpenERP-sa was not affected.

Is there an impact on my project to install OpenERP for my business in the short term?

Yes and no.

Yes, because it tells us that OpenERP V7.0 is not fully operational and stable and that the software will receive significant corrections in the coming weeks. These corrections will impact probably the work you are planning, in terms of initial setup and formatting documents. Of course, the addition of modules is not recommended unless you know exactly what you are doing. Moreover, four months after the release of version 7.0, the library modules (apps.openerp.com ) still does not list modules tested and identified for v7.0.

No, if you intend to use an ad hoc subset of OpenERP, and you have verified that the features you want are not affected by the current faults. The upgrade does not affect you if you think you will probably move to something else later. Not also, if you are in a big company and you have the resources to deal with any eventuality and manage your own version of OpenERP.

Should we then prefer OpenERP V6.0 or V6.1 for a new project?

Investment (time + average) on an ERP requires a roadmap to be clear and credible, at least in the medium term. Using an old version does not solve the problem.

Partners come together now to prolongate the viability of earlier versions of OpenERP, but this alternative has yet to be proven.

Apart from occasional use, so it is better to postpone for a few weeks and decide after this period of crisis.

SISalp temporarily suspends its recommendation for OpenERP to the small businesses.

SISalp is currently not able to make a recommendation to companies to use OpenERP V7.0 as we see the situation is fraught with risks. When you adopt an ERP, you populate with your data and you need to migrate to another solution if you drop software. Therefore, you should certainly choose a solutionwhose future is clearly delineated.

To check if OpenERP V7.0 suits you, it currently requires to control every type of customer or supplier, all associated documents and all implications for accounting entries. On the other hand, the fixes that are already under consideration are likely to disrupt a real execution environment and in turn require revalidation of settings and functions.

Should we migrate from OpenERP 6.x to OpenERP V7.0 now?

OpenERP SA claimed at the beginning of april 100 successful migrations, then 350 + a few days later, but never said what was the impact of changing model of customers / suppliers on these clients. These clients are very discreet and no accompanying integrators spoke about this.

SISalp recommendd to clients who contracted "OPW" (OpenERP Publisher Warranty) which includes the upgrade to defer the upgrade service. Will customers of Saas from OpenERP-sa have the same possibility ?

When will SISalp recommend again to use OpenERP in small businesses ?

situation bounces every day, we follow it like a soap opera. We plan to upgrade our recommendation in the following cases:

  • version 7.0 is recognized as consistent and stable and OpenERP-sa has published a fix for most current errors,
  • or a plan to correct and to migrate existing databases is available

We will then recommend this solution to all those who will be satisfied with the new features of simplified customer / supplier model. The recommendation by SISalp is not conditioned by the cessation of hostilities between OpenERP-sa and its partners, although this opposition is a bad signal for everyone.

If you are not satisfied with this new way to manage customers / suppliers, we will be listening to OpenERP-sa if they indicate how this need can be covered in version 7.0 and later versions. Regarding the creation of a dissident branch by a community of partners, SISalp waits to evaluate whether partners and service providers together are able to offer a credible alternative and a verifiable long term plan. There is no evidence that such an initiative could eventually converge to a later version of OpenERP.

We will draw better long-term consequences of the dispute when the dust settles on the ring. OpenERP-sa and its partners have to find an agreement and they know it. OpenERP-sa can not offload integrators, and integrators do not want to fund the development of a cloned product.

With free software, we do what we want

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In case you decide to use OpenERP in the current context, SISalp respects your choice and offers a free and a paid hosting to professionnals.
Your personal experience and the results that you want to share with us are the first sources of information that allow us to build the recommendations that we publish.


The full story is being written directly here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/openobject-addons/+bug/1160365
The objections are raised here: http://brochures.sisalp.fr/OpenERP_v7_contacts_issue.pdf
The rationale for the change is documented here:http://brochures.sisalp.fr/OpenERP_v7_contacts_objectives.pdf