They were introduced in maintenance pack 4 last month but have not been given the attention they deserve: Filter Expressions. These are handy clauses that can be applied to grids. Examples are "greater than" (>), "between" (...) or even the more uncommon ones such as "does not end with" (!@) and many more. A boolean "or" can also be used to combine expressions, such as 0...100 or >200, which is "between 0 and 100 or greater than 200".
Once you have created a complex set of filter expressions for your grid, such as "All unpaid invoices in USD with a value higher than $1000 and more than 21 days overdue for customers with names starting with A to G", you may want to use Saving Views to avoid rework next time you want to apply the same filter set.
One of the benefits of an ERP is the automation of accounting based on operational transactions. Any good ERP would automatically generate accounting based on the transactions recorded in the system, such as invoices, payments, asset movements, etc. This way your organization can focus on execution, while an accounting view of the business is automatically generated behind the scenes, allowing you to produce your end of period financial statements with no or minimal user intervention.
Financial statements, however, can only go so far in supporting your decision making processes and most businesses complement their financialaccounting view with additional measures or KPI (Key Performance Indicators) to support management decisions. Unlike financial statements, these measures are not standardized and vary radically from organization to organization. Examples of KPI include: revenues by product or by customer, expenses by department, customer profitability, etc.
Unlike other ERPs, Openbravo provides an integrated accounting system that combines financial accounting and managerial accounting, facilitating the process of complementing the financial statements with managerial measures while ensuring that these two views are always consistent and easy to reconcile.
With Openbravo, all documents having an accounting relevance generate an accounting representation in a single data store - called the FACT_ACCT table, short for accounting facts - which is a multi-dimensional datamart that allows to report based on any dimension.
The supported dimensions are:
Time (accounting date, further grouped into periods and fiscal years)
Accounting schema (which is the "policy" used for accounting)
Account (further grouped by nature of the account: asset, liability, revenue or expense)
Product (further grouped into categories)
Business partner (further grouped into categories)
User defined 1
User defined 2
For financial accounting, you would primarily exploit the account dimension. For example, a Balance Sheet report allows you to report the position of the asset and liabilities accounts at a given point in time, while an Income Statement report allows you to report the activity in the revenue and expense accounts.
For managerial accounting, you would exploit the other dimensions as well. For example you can analyze the data in the FACT_ACCT table to get the following metrics:
Revenues by product categories and periods
Expenses by organizations
Top 10 revenue generating customers
Margin by product
Additionally, Openbravo 3 allows you to define and implement any KPI using Query List Widgets that allow you to visualize the performance of your company right out of the Openbravo Workspace.
Finally, it is very easy to expose the content of the FACC_ACCT table into business intelligence tools, such as Pentaho, JasperServer or Zoho Reports that business analysts can leverage to slice and dice the data and create charts and pivot tables to support decision making.
If you want to see the Openbravo's integrated accounting in action, check out this short video.
To experience the power of Openbravo directly, you can also visit the Demo Center.
After the first month working on Openbravo Mobile, here´s a little update in pictures on the progress. At the bottom you will find links to a clickable mockup you can play with. Enjoy and let us know what you think.
First, we had to change our mindset from PC to mobile. My first thought was: "How is Openbravo 3 ever going to fit on a mobile device without losing the great user experience?" Then we dedicated some weeks to analysis, sketching and playing with phones, pads and every device we could lay our hands on:
It became clear that we had to reduce the PC GUI radically and focus on the basics: Lists and contextual actions. Here´s an example of how a sales person would book an order on an iPad:
We also learned that it is important to offer actionable information. Don´t ask users to go out there and find it but bring it to them! Here´s a director reading updates about his team and commenting on an action:
Note that these are just mock-ups without any visual design or coding done yet. In this stage everything is still possible, so don't hesitate to tell us what you think via Google+, Facebook or an old-fashioned email to yours truly (rob.goris at you-know-which-company)
UPDATE: The second iteration for tablet and mobile can be found here and here.
This is a question we think a lot about at Openbravo, because deploying a new ERP is a big investment for our customers, and we want Openbravo to be the last ERP they ever implement. Our goal is not just “Agile ERP” but “ERP for Life”, and that means becoming future proof.
As we engage with customers and prospects, we clearly see that as they grow, a lot of small to medium sized businesses end up supplementing their hard-to-change, legacy ERP back office systems with a complex patchwork of:
"best of breed" applications,
point solutions purchased by end users,
… in an attempt to reactively respond to the real needs of the business. This is called a "best practice" by the legacy vendors and system integrators who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. :)
But there is clearly a better way.
A "Future Proof ERP" puts a change-ready business application platform at the center of your business, enabling you to get rid of that complex mess, and deploy all or most of your required functionality natively in the web based ERP.
To communicate this clearly, I created a brief video called (1) "What is a Future Proof ERP?", which addresses the topic in a practical way, and demonstrates three ways in which Openbravo 3 is future proof, today.
So take a few minutes and check it out. If this video strikes a cord, you will probably also be interested in our new (2) technology page. Finally, if you need help getting your company ready to face 2012 and beyond, please fill out this (3) registration form for a free consultation with an Openbravo expert.
I am pleased to announce that we have completed the publishing of Openbravo’s Road Map for 2012. You can see the final document here. This is a very detailed description of all the projects that Openbravo Product Development team plans to deliver in the following 15 months. With this Road Map, Openbravo continues to disrupt the ERP industry with a collaborative, user-centered approach that provides the first real alternative to legacy ERP business as usual.
Recently I presented this Road Map in two open webinars, one in English and one in Spanish, including over an hour of interactive Q&A. To view the recorded sessions, please click here for English and here for Spanish. I strongly recommend you to do it if you want to get full understanding of our plan forward.
It is difficult to summarize such an ambitious plan. In 2012 Openbravo will see many functional enhancements, a state of the art mobile UI, embedded workflow engine, new architecture for Retail, and many additional productivity improvements. As I said during the presentation, “Openbravo 3 is today an excellent product but in 15 months time, after we deliver this Road Map, we are sure our product will be unbeatable“. I hope you share our confidence and excitement.
You can check that many projects have already been delivered, and many others are coming soon. Openbravo 3 technology has boosted our productivity and we move forward at the fastest pace in our history. Stay connected, we will keep this document updated on an automated basis, so use it to monitor our progress!
Finally, I want to stress that this Road Map is a consolidation of the feedback we’ve gotten from our vibrant Community of Partners, Customers and Contributors. And be aware that this plan is open for changes if we see opportunities to improve it, so feedback is still very welcome. Please express your views in the Open Discussion forum. Feedback can also be provided on any deliverable by simply clicking on the Go to Project link for each item and participating in the discussions relating to that project.