Interview with a Dedicated Odoo Developer
Nowadays online shopping is very popular. The number of such websites is incredible. So, we are going to talk about one particular ERP system, Odoo ERP. We have prepared some questions for our Odoo developer Anar. He works on the project relevant to software implementation of the top open source technologies and building custom solutions for businesses. The project consists of three divisions: GIS, business management and server management and actively develops based on open source technologies including MapFish, OpenLayers, Odoo, UDig, QGIS, PostGis, GeoExt, Talend SDI, MapServer, GeoServer, and others.
First of all, why did you decide to learn Odoo, it’s not a common technology?
Before Odoo I had a great experience with several different ERP systems, starting with 1C: Accounting in 2004. After that, I have been using various more serious ERP systems like Oracle’s E-Business Suite and Microsoft Dynamics NAV with Saptha. I also had some touching experience with SAP, it’s great and it’s one of the most high-cost and high-level ERP systems. Before Odoo, my last experience was IBM Maximo and I can say that they are similar with Odoo, but the difference is that the internal business logic (backend) is written using Java (IBM Maximo) and Python (Odoo). The thing is, that Maximo is commercial and highly expensive ERP system and the company, where I was employed back then, had some financial problems, so they asked me to find an open-source alternative. This is how I got to meet Open ERP in 2013 and 1 year later it was renamed to Odoo. At that point, Odoo was divided into two branches: free community and closed source (commercial, paid).
Anyway, development with Python is very comfortable and even faster than with Java. After all, I was impressed by Python and Odoo and, as a result, I started to look for a job as an Odoo developer. At that moment I moved to Kyiv and now I’m working as an Odoo developer and had many interesting projects.
What skills should a great Odoo developer have?
First of all, you can be an excellent coder, know several technologies including Python, but Odoo is an open ERP system, so you would need to have an experience in business logic models, in accounting, in taxes, sales, purchases and things like that. When you are working with Odoo there are many situations when you need to know how to make things like these work.
If a developer would choose Odoo as the first ERP system, it would take some time for him to learn. The most required technical skill is Python, though you don’t have to be skilled at any additional libraries, because Odoo has its own internal API framework and even its own templating language – QWeb, so you don’t need to learn Jinja or Macro. Then, you are going to face XML files, so you need to understand XML. Of course, in the three-levels system, you would need to operate with DB level and write default SQL inquiries directly inside your code. HTML and Web-design skills are also important sometimes, but basically, about 90% of the work refers to Python and XML.
How can Odoo compare to other ERPs?
Odoo has all advantages that open-source model brought. In comparison to other open-source systems, there’s no such a complex and wide ERP system like Odoo is. It covers all sides of the workflow of any enterprise: manufacturing, repairing, service desk, periodical service provider, accounting, taxes… just everything.
As Odoo is an open-source system, you are not depending on some company or some programmers, there’s a great worldwide community, where developers can find a solution for any question, any situation for any kind of business. As I’ve noted before, there is a free version and a commercial version of the system. It’s a bit funny, but it takes 3-4 months for a new commercial module to be rewritten by a community for free and available in open-source database. Everything is possible with Odoo. All this freedom is the biggest achievement of Odoo. Other systems? The SAP is good, but it will tear all your business processes and demand to move by its own rules. 1C has many bugs and problems when you are trying to change or adapt something, it’s closed-source and you will be addicted to the 1C franchise. Oracle Business Suite, Microsoft Business Dynamics are quite expensive and you would have to pay not only for the program and the license but also for developers, who, by the way, earn a lot.
With Odoo, you can hire several Python developers and even if they have an entry-level, they can already start development.
So, briefly: open-source, great community, very wide selection of modules for any kind of business.
When Odoo is the best choice?
Hmm..always. Though, there are some unique situations when it’s not. Like when you are doing a project for a central bank or a ministry of some government, there are particular specifications written by the lobby of SAP and you can’t just take another ERP to implement that. In this case, you would have to pay like $400,000 for SAP. The implementation of SAP ERP can reach £500 million.
Another problem is that Odoo works in a browser, so you have a server that takes requests and gives back the response in a form of a JSON file or an HTTP document. There are some situations when it’s not acceptable. For example, when a client wants the program to be closed or run on a desktop without any browsers, you would need a client-based system. When you don’t want to implement an open algorithm and need to avoid using a browser to make a program more secure, you can use Odoo only if you would write some buffer program, which will use Odoo business logic at a server, Odoo database, but the response would be read by a buffer-program. In all other cases, Odoo is the best selection.
What can you say about the future of the Odoo?
Currently, we are waiting for Odoo 11. There’s a convention in Belgium and many of my colleagues went to Brussels. We all are waiting for the release.
Generally speaking, I can say that Odoo already has several awards as the fastest growing company. Three years ago no one knew about “Open ERP”, there was an internal community and now it’s known worldwide. It’s conquering the market and Odoo would be demanded in a close future as well as Odoo developers.
After talking with Anar it’s clear to me that Odoo has a big potential and has already proven to be a great ERP system. It’s surely a great choice for your eCommerce project. Here, at Mobilunity we have remote dedicated Odoo developers and we are proud of their accomplishments. Looking for an Odoo developer or a team of Odoo developers? We can help you to find experienced professionals for a very profitable rate.