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OpenERP and E-Commerce

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Last week a client asked me if OpenERP had an E-Commerce solution, and she was disappointed when I said no. But she was glad when I explained her why it was already integrated with existing open-source e-commerce solutions, such as Magento. And I wanted to share my thoughts on this, since some people keep asking for integrated e-commerce functionality (as well as business intelligence functionality).

To the best of my knowledge, to this day OpenERP already has connectors to Magento Commerce and Joomla. Does not have connectors to Drupal (Ubercart and Drupal Commerce projects) but I expect OpenERP to have those connectors soon since the Drupal community is growing fast (actually I am really tempted to develop a connector to Drupal Commerce but first I need a project to fund the development, and I need the time. Plus, Drupal Commerce first has to release an stable release). Which means, you can install your e-commerce solution, and integrate it with OpenERP.

What areas do you have to integrate? The product catalog comes to my mind (and the ability to manage multiple pictures per product). Then the sales orders, invoices, price lists and the delivery and inventory information. Those are the information items that should be available to the e-commerce solution, in order to make it work properly. Then the customer information, such as credit limits and order history. Lots of information that needs to be pulled from OpenERP.

OK, now why it is not a good idea for OpenERP to be a full-fledge e-commerce solution. Because the ERP and MRP problems are big enough. That’s why. E-Commerce is a different beast on its own, that demands other skills. Such as having the ability to make the page look good and the capability of implementing a design in your page. Plus, the page needs to be optimized for search, and the e-commerce solution needs to manage content the way a CMS does. That is quite an stretch for an ERP system. Ah! Have I mentioned that e-commerce packages need to integrate with payment gateways and sometimes need to be multi-lingual?

At the end of the day, the OpenERP community is not big enough to justify the development of an e-commerce solution on its own, and the e-commerce packages around already do an outstanding job. We will be much better off focusing on the development of the integration connectors, rather than developing an e-commerce solution from the ground-up.

Cheers,

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  1. May 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Hi,

    We released a connector for the previous version (Rails 2.X based) of Spree Commerce http://www.spreecommerce.com, in our opinion the best Ruby on Rails e-commerce plattform.

    We are finishing the new connector (for the latest and new version), with a lot of improvements, that would have its first functional commit this week.

    There are also other connectors for VirtueMart and Prestashop (not tested by myself) that are not included in your list.

    Thanks for your interesting blog.

    Best regards!

  2. May 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Interesting..

    I’m keen to try out Drupal Commerce too. Would be a perfect combination to connect the two systems.

  3. maxchock
    May 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I’m dying finding a solution for Drupal Ubercart + 0pen ERP or Drupal commerce + 0pen ERP.. If there is one, i’m happy to donate or buy.

    TQ.

    • developingmoldeo
      May 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Agree with your module list. We might start working on a connector module for Drupal in three months, we are waiting for an e-commerce project to start. We’ll keep you posted,

  4. maxchock
    May 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    And i think the important module are:
    – Product/Catalog
    – Stock
    – Order
    – customer
    – Delivery
    – payment

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