The Amazing Openbravo 3.0 Grid
Two weeks have gone by since the launch of Openbravo 3.0 RC3, which – with its My Openbravo workspace and support for widgets – was very well received and has already been downloaded more than 4000 times.
Since then, the Openbravo development team has been hard at work on 3.0 RC4, targeted for late January and introducing some of the most significant changes of the 3.0 release: master detail and editable grid.
While you will need to wait a few more weeks to download a packaged version that allows you to test driving these new capabilities, the functionality is already code complete and working in the developers’ machines.
We know that you have been expecting these features for a long time, so we didn’t want to keep you waiting any longer and we recorded a video that show them in action.
The video is taken out of a development environment and it is quite crude. Yet, it is enough to make you understand what is coming and I am confident you will get as excited as we are about these new amazing user interface.
Let me walk you through it.
The video starts in the Sales Order window that illustrates the new master detail paradigm where you can see the full sales order documents in a single view, without having to navigate to several tabs. At second 4 you can see how the splitter that separates master from detail records can be easily moved allowing you to adjust the dimension of your work space to the data you need to work with: if you are working on multiple sales order headers, you can expand the top part of the screen; when you focus on a single order, you can increase the size of the bottom part of the screen to make sure that all the order lines properly fit.
The video then moves to the Account Tree window that, again, is an example of the master (the chart of accounts) detail (the accounts) pattern. Notice at second 9 how the child tab is immediately populated when a master record is selected and the tab shows the number of records it contains – 1352 in this case – next to its title. This allows you to assess the content of a tab without the need to open it and therefore saving you several clicks while exploring data.
From second 15 to 30, notice the responsiveness of the grid and how easy it is to scroll through it, even when it contains a large number of records. Isn’t that great?
Second 35 to minute 1:00 illustrate how you can now not only resize columns – like in 2.50 – but also reposition them in the grid and hide or show them. The best part is that users can define and save their preferred grid configuration so they do not need to repeat it every time they access the window.
From minute 1:00 to 1:45, you can see how filters work and how users can enjoy in the ERP the same power and intuitiveness that they are used while analyzing data using a spreadsheet. Many applications highlight their capability to export data to a spreadsheet for analysis; Openbravo not only does that but it also brings the power of a spreadsheet directly within the application, eliminating the need to export.
The ease of use and productivity of a spreadsheet are also emulated in the edit capabilities, starting from second 1:45. Here you can see how a user can quickly make changes to several records by just moving to the next line, very much in the same way they would do it in a spreadsheet.
At minute 2:20, the demo shows how this type of grid editing can also be used to trigger actions like, for example, changing the status of an order, directly from the grid. Again, this saves several clicks and makes users much more productive.
Finally, from minute 2:45, you can see one of the most powerful features of the grid which allows users to add calculated fields based on the content of other columns. This capability provides a very simple but powerful reporting tool allowing users to fully exploit the data in their ERP to drive decisions in their business.
These combined capabilities transform the way users interact with the system, making Openbravo a productivity tool that not only allows you to record and process transactions in your organization without getting in the way but also to manipulate and extract the full power of the information in your ERP.
All of these features will become available shortly and I hope that you will be as excited as we are with this amazing new grid, coming to an Openbravo implementation near you in just a few weeks.