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

See the new Odoo user documentation.

See the new Odoo technical documentation.

The Architecture of OpenERP

To access OpenERP V7 you can:

  • use only a web browser pointed at the OpenERP client-web server.

It is best to use the web browser if the OpenERP server is some distance away (such as on another continent) because it is more tolerant of time delays. The web client is also easier to maintain, because it is generally already installed on users' computers.

An OpenERP system is formed from three main components:

  • the PostgreSQL database server, which contains all of the databases, each of which contains all data and most elements of the OpenERP system configuration,

  • the OpenERP application server, which contains all of the enterprise logic and ensures that OpenERP runs optimally,

  • the web server, a separate application called the Open Object client-web, which enables you to connect to OpenERP from standard web browsers.


The architecture of OpenERP


Terminology: Client-web – Server or Client?

The client-web component can be thought of as a server or a client depending on your viewpoint.

It acts as a web server to an end user connecting from a web browser, but it also acts as a client to the OpenERP application server.

So in this book its context will determine whether the client-web component is referred to as a server or a client.


PostgreSQL, the relational and object database management system.

It is a free and open-source high-performance system that compares well with other database management systems such as MySQL and FirebirdSQL (both free), Sybase, DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server (all proprietary). It runs on all types of Operating System, from Unix/Linux to the various releases of Windows, via Mac OS X, Solaris, SunOS and BSD.

These three components can be installed on the same server or can be distributed onto separate computer servers, if performance considerations require it.