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

See the new Odoo user documentation.

See the new Odoo technical documentation.


In Open ERP, a partner represents all the entities that you can do business with. Some possible different types of partners are:

  • suppliers,

  • manufacturers,

  • customers,

  • clients,

  • employees,

  • prospects.

The concept of a partner here is much more flexible than in many other management applications because a partner can correspond to one type or a combination of several of these types. This avoids double data-entry and provides greater flexibility in the features available.

So a partner can be both your supplier and your customer at the same time. This feature is particularly important when you have subsidiaries or franchises since transactions between the parent and its subsidiaries in these cases will generally be two-way.

To get a list of partners using demonstration data, use the menu Partners ‣ Partners.


A partner form

To the right of the partner form you'll find all of the actions, reports and shortcuts available to the selected partner. This enables you to quickly send an SMS message, for example, or review a partner's order history, or print a reminder letter.


Send an SMS message

To send an SMS message from standard Open ERP you'll have to place an order with the bulk SMS gateway operator Clickatell™

You'll then receive an API number, a login and a password which you can use in Open ERP to send SMS messages to your partners.

Or you can just develop a new module based on the inbuilt SMS functions, targeted at any of the other SMS service suppliers, and use that instead.

To send an SMS message to a partner or a selection of several partners, first select the partners then click the Send SMS Action icon.

To create a company in Open ERP (that is – a new partner) you should at a minimum enter the company's Name in the partner form.


You can have several contacts for one partner. Contacts represent company employees that you're in contact with, along with their address details. For each address you can indicate their type (Default , Invoice , Delivery , Contact or Other ). Based on this, Open ERP can supply an address that matches the contact's function when generating documents at various stages through an Order process.

Contacts can be entered into the first (General) tab of the Partners form, or you can get direct access to the list of addresses through the Partners ‣ Partner Contacts menu.

You can search for a subset of Partners and Contacts using their company Name or Contact name or part of the address, or any of the other search fields in either the Basic Search or the Advanced Search tab.


Independent partners or physical people

If you want to represent a physical person rather than a company, in Open ERP, that person's name can be typed directly into the Name field on the Partner form. In this case don't put in any Contact Name.


Open ERP uses hierarchical categories to organize all of its partners. To reach the list of available partner categories, use the menu Partners ‣ Partners by Category.


Example Partner Category structure

Double-click one of the categories in the partner category structure to get a list of the partners in that category. If you click on a category that has sub-categories you'll get a list of all of the partners in the main category and in all of its subcategories.

Because categories are structured in a hierarchical manner, you can apply an action at any level of the structure: a marketing promotion activity, for example, can be applied either to all customers, or selectively only to customers in one category and its subcategories.

The tree structure is also very useful when you're running the various statistical reports. You can structure reports at any level of the hierarchy using this partner segmentation.

In the following sections you'll see how to assign partners to categories manually (perhaps for a newsletter subscription or as a hot prospect), or automatically using segmentation rules.

Use the menu Partners ‣ Configuration ‣ Categories ‣ Edit Categories to define a new category.

To try Open ERP's partner capabilities described here for yourself, log into your database as admin/XXXXX then click Partners ‣ Configuration ‣ Categories ‣ Edit Categories and create a new category of Small Suppliers whose parent is Suppliers . Then create a new Partner whose Name is Susan Trent ``\  and category is \ ``Small Suppliers .

Click Partners ‣ Partners by Category and then click Suppliers ‣ Small Suppliers to find just Susan Trent . Do this again but now click the Suppliers category in Partners by Category and you'll find that both Plumbing Component Suppliersand Susan Trent are in the higher-level category: Susan Trent is there because she's in a child category.

Add new contact Graham Strong to Plumbing Component Suppliers . Graham's Address Type is Invoice . Click Partners ‣ Partner Contacts and see that both Susan and Graham appear on that list.