Posts by Nicolas Serrano:
our FAQ about product localization. But is this realistic?
The first point is to realize that localizing an ERP is an endless task, as is the development of the ERP itself. But we can say that we have a basic localization when you translate the interface and create a chart of accounts for your country. The standard answer is a month for translation and a week for the chart of accounts.
We have tested it this month, we wanted to finalize the localization for French for the Solutions Linux 2008 and we decided to take charge of it. There was a partial translation for a previous version of the product that was about three quarters of the total translation, so there was the need to finalize it and verify it.
To create the chart of accounts we started from scratch with the information available from the “Ministère de l'Économie, des finances et de l'emploi”.
We started at the beginning of this month and the files were available before the opening of Solutions Linux.
This required a person that knows French and is familiar with business terminology and a person that knows the basics of accounting behaviour. Both skills are essential to implementating the product. The language skill is obvious, but the knowledge of accounting is something that many consultants feel uncomfortable working with. The creation of the chart of accounts is a way to get this skill without the pressure of the customer.
Finally, what you need is a month of work to have the localization of your country and start your operation (of course with good experience with the product).
Comments OffOpenbravo is spreading over many countries. You can see the localization project list, the map of partners and the success stories.
This has been done thanks to our community, partners and the Openbravo team.
In the Get Together event we saw the interest of our community in the localization projects of Openbravo. We have a localization team focused on this task and, as a result, you can use Openbravo in many countries, in some cases thanks to a localization pack developed by Openbravo itself and in many others thanks to projects lead by the larger community.
We see this as a sign of success as our goal is to support a localization process lead by the community, as we believe that to be the most scalable way to achieve global coverage.
In this spirit, besides answering questions in the forums, we have made an effort in providing more documentation about the localization process itself and the task related to it, e.g. accounting tasks. In particular, we have released new documents that can help you developing a localization for your own region. You can see them in our wiki page, in the Localization section. Here you can find the documents that explain how to create new chart of accounts and test them, create customized reports about accounting and taxes or the behaviour of taxes in Openbravo.
Our experience with the localization process is that the creation of the chart of accounts is the more difficult for people, usually because it is hard to have the required dual competence in accounting and software development together.
We think there are two ways of approaching this, depending on whether your country has official laws about this or not. For example, in Spain the chart of accounts is defined by the government and you must use the accounts and reports defined there, without a lot of choices.
The opposite happens in countries like the USA where there are no firm guidelines and therefore you must define how to organize this information. In the cases of the U.S., we have made the choice of implementing the simplest chart of accounts following the guides of a well know U.S. financial institutions, i.e. the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. If your country does not have compulsory laws, you could take a similar approach and start by reviewing this document and even use a translation of the US chart of accounts as a starting point.
We are aware that there is a lot more to localization than just translation and chart of accounts. Openbravo is a very flexible platform and many deeper localization functionality can be easily developed in addition to accounting.
We keep improving the tools and documentation to make easier the localization process and we’re forward looking to hearing from you in the localization forums, even we delay some answers or we have difficulties answering some of your questions.