Minimalism is the key
There is one particular feature where the Odoo ERP system still differs significantly from its counterparts, especially the classic software product
There is always a process somewhere in the daily routine that has to be classified by a user and then created, filed, or edited at the appropriate location. The type can be an order, a delivery, an invoice, an inquiry, a complaint, or return shipment, etc., and the topic of one or several communication processes. Based on this communication, the process changes in terms of content or its current status. To put it differently, if perhaps a bit exaggeratedly, all processes revolve around communication. It is the system’s responsibility to present it as a logical structure to help measure progress and ensure that different persons can follow or work with it.
Since this is a fundamental activity Odoo, process, communication, and versioning form a chronological unit.
This feature has an added advantage that also answers the question regarding intuitiveness. This communication usually contains much more information that a system can actually process. Since this information is directly tied to the transaction, forming a unit that is instantly accessible, Odoo does not need to collect all data as a part of the transaction but can reduce them to a minimum.
Here is a summary of a practical, real-life example on the subject of approvals, orders, and correction:
Here is what you see:
- When was the document generated, and by whom? à Two pieces of information that do not have to be displayed in separate masks since they are taken from the current document version.
- Who has been asked for evaluation, when, and by whom? – Again, this does not have to be recorded in separate fields.
- Who has reviewed the document when, what has been reviewed, and what was the feedback? à This information indeed cannot be recorded without communication; in classic systems, you would only get a default status for this kind of transaction.
- When has the document status been changed, and by whom?
This example, however, only illustrates how internal communication works in Odoo. Of course, external communication may also be conceivably part of the process.
Apart from the fact that the example above is really easy to follow, this feature clearly saves up to ten transaction fields in a classic set-up, even after weeks and months, or years.
How can you lose this intuitiveness?
Actually, adjustments are the biggest risk. Why? Because they are often caused by requirements, and these are usually (or at least in our experience) formulated with the “classic“ set-up in mind. If users come from other systems, they are accustomed to this multitude of fields. For them, Odoo often appears incomplete, and they are afraid that they cannot find anything ever again. However, since messages, as well as the Chatterbox, are searchable, a process can be easily found even without fields.