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

See the new Odoo user documentation.

See the new Odoo technical documentation.

Introduction

Usability book goals

OpenERP is a full-featured business application suite, with more than 700 modules. Despite the complexity of technical work and the importance of the community members in the development of such a huge project, our goal is to make software that is easy to use, user friendly, and consistent while remaining fully open.

That's one of our main challenges: provide tons of features while remaining easy to use.

OpenERP SA has setup a usability team whose role is to continuously simplify the software, its installation and its configuration. This team is responsible for maintaining this document that covers all usability guidelines for OpenERP developers.

The guide is in two parts: one description of every concept of OpenERP and their impacts on usability and a set of guidelines at the end of the book.

A goal for this manual is to include the opinions, advice and help of the community. Indeed, everyone can contribute to the writing of the usability manual thanks to the tools used to write it. The notes of the Usability team will be inserted on the web site and in the manual. The community can also add notes or send its ideas.

Continuous improvement process

With about 200 full time developers, OpenERP is evolving every day. The usability team continuously looks for ideas to simplify OpenERP for new users.

These ideas are discussed between OpenERP SA, the official partners and members of the community. In order to discuss about ideas, we have setup an open usability team on Launchpad to discuss every proposition.

You can also subscribe to the usability mailing list to be part of the main discussions about how to improve OpenERP's usability.

Once an improvement is approved by the usability managers, the community of OpenERP SA develops the software according to the proposed improvements. You can check the developer guide and documentation process for more information on how to contribute to OpenERP.

Main usability improvements are reported in this book as a set of guidelines. The usability team is responsible for synchronizing the book content with the best practices on OpenERP. If you want to contribute to this book, you can work on the Launchpad documentation branch.

All changes done, regarding important improvements, will be posted on the OpenERP blog where you can also leave your comments, advice or ideas.

In order to benefit from the feedback from any visitor on this web site, everyone can leave a comment on any page of this book. The usability team will review all comments every month and update the book accordingly if required.

The book is written only in English, then translated by community members into several languages.

In order to check that all OpenERP modules respect the usability guidelines, the check of these guidelines is part of the quality certification process of new modules by OpenERP SA. So, we check that all official modules respect the above guidelines in order to make them become official.

The usability team is also in charge of educating the developer teams. So, when the usability team detects developments which do not conform to these guidelines, they must contact the authors and ask the author of the module to improve his code according to specific guidelines. In this feedback email, the usability team links to each guideline that was infringed.

Having set this process, a full-time team of several developers and functional experts, we expect OpenERP's usability to improve very quickly over time. If you want to propose a new improvement, the easiest way is to write to the usability mailing list with your suggestion.

If your improvement is validated by the usability team, we will assign a developer and a member of the usability team will improve the guidelines.