This is the documentation for older versions of Odoo (formerly OpenERP).

See the new Odoo user documentation.

See the new Odoo technical documentation.

Module Structure

The Modules

  1. Введение

  2. Files & Directories


    3. XML Files
      1. Actions

      2. Menu Entries

      3. Reports

      4. Мастера

  3. Profiles

Modules - Files and Directories

All the modules are located in the server/addons directory.

The following steps are necessary to create a new module:

  • create a subdirectory in the server/addons directory

  • create a module description file:

  • create the Python file containing the objects

  • create .xml files that download the data (views, menu entries, demo data, ...)

  • optionally create reports, wizards or workflows.

The Modules - Files And Directories - XML Files

XML files located in the module directory are used to modify the structure of the database. They are used for many purposes, among which we can cite :

  • initialization and demonstration data declaration,

  • views declaration,

  • reports declaration,

  • wizards declaration,

  • workflows declaration.

General structure of OpenERP XML files is more detailed in the XML Data Serialization section. Look here if you are interested in learning more about initialization and demonstration data declaration XML files. The following section are only related to XML specific to actions, menu entries, reports, wizards and workflows declaration.

Python Module Descriptor File

The file

The file is, like any Python module, executed at the start of the program. It needs to import the Python files that need to be loaded.

So, if you create a "" file, containing the description of your objects, you have to write one line in

import module

OpenERP Module Descriptor File

In the created module directory, you must add a file. This file, which must be in Python format, is responsible to

  1. determine the XML files that will be parsed during the initialization of the server, and also to

  2. determine the dependencies of the created module.

This file must contain a Python dictionary with the following values:


The (Plain English) name of the module.


The version of the module.


The module description (text).


The author of the module.


The website of the module.


The license of the module (default:GPL-2).


List of modules on which this module depends. The base module must almost always be in the dependencies because some necessary data for the views, reports, ... are in the base module.


List of .xml files to load when the server is launched with the "--init=module" argument. Filepaths must be relative to the directory where the module is. OpenERP XML File Format is detailed in this section.


List of .xml files to load when the server is launched with the "--update=module" launched. Filepaths must be relative to the directory where the module is. OpenERP XML File Format is detailed in this section.


True or False. Determines if the module is installable or not.


True or False (default: False). Determines the modules that are installed on the database creation.


Here is an example of file for the product module

    "name" : "Products & Pricelists",
    "version" : "1.1",
    "author" : "Open",
    "category" : "Generic Modules/Inventory Control",
    "depends" : ["base", "account"],
    "init_xml" : [],
    "demo_xml" : ["product_demo.xml"],
    "update_xml" : ["product_data.xml", "product_report.xml", "product_wizard.xml",
                    "product_view.xml", "pricelist_view.xml"],
    "installable": True,
    "active": True

The files that must be placed in init_xml are the ones that relate to the workflow definition, data to load at the installation of the software and the data for the demonstrations.

The files in update_xml concern: views, reports and wizards.


All OpenERP resources are objects: menus, actions, reports, invoices, partners, ... OpenERP is based on an object relational mapping of a database to control the information. Object names are hierarchical, as in the following examples:

  • account.transfer : a money transfer

  • account.invoice : an invoice

  • account.invoice.line : an invoice line

Generally, the first word is the name of the module: account, stock, sale.

Other advantages of an ORM;

  • simpler relations : invoice.partner.address[0].city

  • objects have properties and methods: EUR),

  • inheritance, high level constraints, ...

It is easier to manipulate one object (example, a partner) than several tables (partner address, categories, events, ...)


The Physical Objects Model of [OpenERP version 3.0.3]


The ORM of OpenERP is constructed over PostgreSQL. It is thus possible to query the object used by OpenERP using the object interface or by directly using SQL statements.

But it is dangerous to write or read directly in the PostgreSQL database, as you will shortcut important steps like constraints checking or workflow modification.


The Physical Database Model of OpenERP

Pre-Installed Data

Data can be inserted or updated into the PostgreSQL tables corresponding to the OpenERP objects using XML files. The general structure of an OpenERP XML file is as follows:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <record model="model.name_1" id="id_name_1">
      <field name="field1">
        "field1 content"
      <field name="field2">
        "field2 content"
    <record model="model.name_2" id="id_name_2">

Fields content are strings that must be encoded as UTF-8 in XML files.

Let's review an example taken from the OpenERP source (base_demo.xml in the base module):

<record model="" id="main_company">
    <field name="name">Tiny sprl</field>
    <field name="partner_id" ref="main_partner"/>
    <field name="currency_id" ref="EUR"/>
<record model="res.users" id="user_admin">
    <field name="login">admin</field>
    <field name="password">admin</field>
    <field name="name">Administrator</field>
    <field name="signature">Administrator</field>
    <field name="action_id" ref="action_menu_admin"/>
    <field name="menu_id" ref="action_menu_admin"/>
    <field name="address_id" ref="main_address"/>
    <field name="groups_id" eval="[(6,0,[group_admin])]"/>
    <field name="company_id" ref="main_company"/>

This last record defines the admin user :

  • The fields login, password, etc are straightforward.

  • The ref attribute allows to fill relations between the records :

<field name="company_id" ref="main_company"/>

The field company_id is a many-to-one relation from the user object to the company object, and main_company is the id of to associate.

  • The eval attribute allows to put some python code in the xml: here the groups_id field is a many2many. For such a field, "[(6,0,[group_admin])]" means : Remove all the groups associated with the current user and use the list [group_admin] as the new associated groups (and group_admin is the id of another record).

  • The search attribute allows to find the record to associate when you do not know its xml id. You can thus specify a search criteria to find the wanted record. The criteria is a list of tuples of the same form than for the predefined search method. If there are several results, an arbitrary one will be chosen (the first one):

<field name="partner_id" search="[]" model="res.partner"/>

This is a classical example of the use of search in demo data: here we do not really care about which partner we want to use for the test, so we give an empty list. Notice the model attribute is currently mandatory.

Record Tag


The addition of new data is made with the record tag. This one takes a mandatory attribute : model. Model is the object name where the insertion has to be done. The tag record can also take an optional attribute: id. If this attribute is given, a variable of this name can be used later on, in the same file, to make reference to the newly created resource ID.

A record tag may contain field tags. They indicate the record's fields value. If a field is not specified the default value will be used.


<record model="" id="l0">
     <field name="model">account.invoice</field>
     <field name="name">Invoices List</field>
     <field name="report_name">account.invoice.list</field>
     <field name="report_xsl">account/report/invoice.xsl</field>
     <field name="report_xml">account/report/invoice.xml</field>

Field tag

The attributes for the field tag are the following:

name : mandatory

the field name

eval : optional

python expression that indicating the value to add


reference to an id defined in this file


model to be looked up in the search


a query

Function tag

A function tag can contain other function tags.

model : mandatory

The model to be used

name : mandatory

the function given name


should evaluate to the list of parameters of the method to be called, excluding cr and uid


<function model="" name="search" eval="[[('name','=','Operations')]]"/>

Getitem tag

Takes a subset of the evaluation of the last child node of the tag.

type : mandatory

int or list

index : mandatory

int or string (a key of a dictionary)


Evaluates to the first element of the list of ids returned by the function node

<getitem index="0" type="list">
    <function model="" name="search" eval="[[('name','=','Operations')]]"/>


Improving Translations

Translating in launchpad

Translations are managed by the Launchpad Web interface. Here, you'll find the list of translatable projects.

Please read the FAQ before asking questions.

Translating your own module

Изменено в версии 5.0.

Contrary to the 4.2.x version, the translations are now done by module. So, instead of an unique i18n folder for the whole application, each module has its own i18n folder. In addition, OpenERP can now deal with .po [1] files as import/export format. The translation files of the installed languages are automatically loaded when installing or updating a module. OpenERP can also generate a .tgz archive containing well organised .po files for each selected module.



Defining the process

Through the interface and module recorder. Then, put the generated XML in your own module.


Technical Specifications - Architecture - Views

Views are a way to represent the objects on the client side. They indicate to the client how to lay out the data coming from the objects on the screen.

There are two types of views:

  • form views

  • tree views

Lists are simply a particular case of tree views.

A same object may have several views: the first defined view of a kind (tree, form, ...) will be used as the default view for this kind. That way you can have a default tree view (that will act as the view of a one2many) and a specialized view with more or less information that will appear when one double-clicks on a menu item. For example, the products have several views according to the product variants.

Views are described in XML.

If no view has been defined for an object, the object is able to generate a view to represent itself. This can limit the developer's work but results in less ergonomic views.

Usage example

When you open an invoice, here is the chain of operations followed by the client:

  • An action asks to open the invoice (it gives the object's data (account.invoice), the view, the domain (e.g. only unpaid invoices) ).

  • The client asks (with XML-RPC) to the server what views are defined for the invoice object and what are the data it must show.

  • The client displays the form according to the view


To develop new objects

The design of new objects is restricted to the minimum: create the objects and optionally create the views to represent them. The PostgreSQL tables do not have to be written by hand because the objects are able to automatically create them (or adapt them in case they already exist).


OpenERP uses a flexible and powerful reporting system. Reports are generated either in PDF or in HTML. Reports are designed on the principle of separation between the data layer and the presentation layer.

Reports are described more in details in the Reporting chapter.


Here's an example of a .XML file that declares a wizard.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
     <wizard string="Employee Info"

A wizard is declared using a wizard tag. See "Add A New Wizard" for more information about wizard XML.

also you can add wizard in menu using following xml entry

<?xml version="1.0"?>
     <wizard string="Employee Info"
             name="Human Resource/Employee Info"


The objects and the views allow you to define new forms very simply, lists/trees and interactions between them. But it is not enough : you have to define the dynamics of these objects.

A few examples:

  • a confirmed sale order must generate an invoice, according to certain conditions

  • a paid invoice must, only under certain conditions, start the shipping order

The workflows describe these interactions with graphs. One or several workflows may be associated to the objects. Workflows are not mandatory; some objects don't have workflows.

Below is an example workflow used for sale orders. It must generate invoices and shipments according to certain conditions.


In this graph, the nodes represent the actions to be done:

  • create an invoice,

  • cancel the sale order,

  • generate the shipping order, ...

The arrows are the conditions;

  • waiting for the order validation,

  • invoice paid,

  • click on the cancel button, ...

The squared nodes represent other Workflows;

  • the invoice

  • the shipping