Odoo Review – Is Odoo the right Open Source ERP for you?

Odoo Logo

This is our detailed review of the open source ERP software Odoo. Not sure what any of that means? You can learn what ERP is here. Find out more about other Open Source ERPs here.

Background

Odoo is a Python based open source ERP software package. The first official release was in 2005 and is made by the Belgian based company Odoo SA.

Odoo has undertaken a couple of name changes over the years starting out as TinyERP and being renamed to OpenERP in 2009 before the latest name change to Odoo happening in 2014.

Odoo is a generic platform providing all-in-one business tools. This means it is designed in a way to by able to be used by many different businesses.

Note that there are many modules available for Odoo that are not open source. As this is part of a review of open source ERP systems I will be limiting the review to what is available in the community edition.

Languages

Odoo has an official translation portal for user supplied translations. At present v13 has 39 language projects have been created with vaying levels of translation completed.

License

Odoo is released under the GNU LGPLv3 license.

As of v9 (2015) the system has moved to an open core model with many of the more advanced modules being released under commercial license.

What type of business should consider Odoo?

Odoo uses an extensible architecture, which allows for many modules to be created. Some of these are free and open source, however many are commercial.

Since there is a wide range of modules that have been developed most businesses can benefit from using Odoo. However there are a number of businesses that are specifically catered for including:
– Services
– Retail and Wholesale
– eCommerce
– Manufacturing (although note that the advanced Manufacturing module is not included in the OS version)

User Interface

Odoo has a clean and modern looking user interface. The included modules all have a similar user experience.

Odoo screen from our in depth review of Odoo Open Source ERP.

Mobile Friendly

Most screens are mobile friendly although some do require a bit of side scrolling to be able to view all information.

Mobile App

An iOS and Android application are available for Enterprise customers only.

Note that there is at least one 3rd party mobile application available that will connect to the community edition, however we did not test it so can’t comment on it’s capabilities.

Ease of Installation

Odoo is written in Python using a custom framework it uses Postgres as the database back end.

The simplest way to install it is to use one of the packaged installers, which are available for Windows and Linux.

Since Odoo relies on Postgres you will need to ensure that you have installed this before attempting the installation.

Our recommendation is to use Linux for any production servers.

Can Odoo Run In Docker?

There is also an official docker image available for those that prefer to use docker to run their applications.

Hosted Enterprise Version

Odoo offer a hosted Enterprise version of their product.

Using the Enterprise edition also unlocks features like the official mobile application and the Studio app, which allows for easy customisations.

Pricing starts at USD $20 per user per month with additional monthly fees depending on the apps and modules you need enabled.

Standard Features

  • CRM
    • Sales Pipeline
    • Opportunity and Lead Management
    • Sales Stage Tracking
    • Email Campaigns
  • Accounting
    • Quoting
    • Point of Sale Support
    • Sales Invoicing
    • Purchase Orders
    • Multicurrency
    • Payments
  • Inventory
    • Warehouse management
    • Stock Items
    • Price Lists
    • Packing Slip
    • Stock Reconcilliation
    • Stock Level Reporting
  • Manufacturing
    • Bill of Material
    • Work Orders
  • Project Management
    • Projects
    • Task Tracking
  • HR
    • Attendance and Leave Tracking
    • Recruitment
  • Customer Portal

Extensibility

Odoo Community Edition provides a core system that is expanded by installing and enabling apps.

As well as the official apps created by Odoo, many of which require the Enterprise Edition, there are a large number of 3rd party apps available.

There is a central repository provided by Odoo where many of these add ons can be found. Obviously as they are provided by 3rd parties there is no guarantee on the quality of the apps so make sure you do you homework before relying on one of these apps for your business.

Customisability

One of our biggest issues with the Community Edition is how limited the number of modules that are available. The biggest problem is that the studio app, which enables all customisations is not available. This effectively limits any easy customisations from being made to the Community Edition.

This limits most customisation of this edition to being handled by code only.

Software Development Within Odoo

As we have mentioned previously, Odoo uses a custom Python framework. To develop in this framework requires fairly extensive knowledge of the framework.

Most changes require Python code, XML data configuration files to develop new modules.

While the coding experience is not overly complicated it is not something we would recommend an inexperienced developer to undertake.

Integration

Out of the box Odoo does not support many integrations, however there are many 3rd party apps that can enable integration with most popular services.

API Access

An XML-RPC based interface is available for building custom integration with your existing business applications.

Odoo Community Association

While the community edition of Odoo has many limitations the Odoo Community Association exists to help with wider the adoption of the system. They provide many modules free of charge to make up for these limitations.

If you are interested in Odoo then it is worth checking out what they provide.

Summary

Odoo is a very popular and well developed platform that has continued to improve over the years.

As an open source advocate it is disappointing that since v9 they have been slowly crippling the community edition of their software. With many of the advanced modules being limited to customers on their paid Enterprise tier.

Are you considering using Odoo for your business? Do you need expert advice that is tailored to you and your business? Create an account here and we would love to help get the advice that you need.

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