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Archive for December, 2011

Automated actions in OpenERP

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

In OpenERP, as in any other ERP or system, you need to perform certain tasks regularly. Tasks such as performing a backup, calculating ABC categories, running the MRP planner, etc. How do you get this done in OpenERP? It’s quite easy and you don’t need your server administrator to get this done. Scheduling tasks in OpenERP is done via the Scheduled Actions in the Administration > Configuration > Scheduler menu.
Scheduled Actions view
In this section, you will be able to create new actions. So click on the New button in the view.

After clicking New you will see a form that allows you to enter information in two tabs, an Information tab and a Technical tab. In the first tab you will be able to enter the name of the action, whether it is active or not, and how regularly it is executed. In the technical tab, and you might need a programmer help for this, you have to enter the name of the object that will run the action; along with the function to schedule and its arguments. This is the tricky part of scheduling an action, since you need to get into the details of how the system works and you will need your programmer to dig into the object code. But it is worth it, once you understand how this works, you will be able to get many things accomplished.

Logging from your OpenERP module

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I always wondered how to, in the OpenERP web client, show those informational messages in the top of the web client. Messages such as ‘PO/00001 created’. They are very informational for users.

Well… reading a presentation on the differences between OpenERP v5 and v6 I found that one of the additions was the self.log function which, as its name implies, logs a message to the audit logs (which can be accessed at Administration/Audit/Logs) and the Administration Dashboard (which can be accessed at Administration/Reporting/Dashboard/Administration Dashboard).

The function has the following syntax:

self.log(cr, uid, st.id, _(‘Statement %s is confirmed, journal items are created.’) % (st_number,))

The function returns the id of the entry created in the res_log table (or res.log business object) and takes the message to log and the context as parameters

Cheers!

ABC Analysis in OpenERP

December 26, 2011 Leave a comment

ABC analysis is very well covered in this Wikipedia article. So no point of talking about it again here. Thing is, how do you implement it in OpenERP.

Polish OpenERP screenshot

Image via Wikipedia

Truth is, it is not a great deal. You only need to pull the sale order lines for the past six months (for example, could be a year as well or the period under analysis), then by product summarize its sales (not taking into account any discounts) and then divide the sales number by the total sales amount, in order to figure out the product ABC Category. If you are an experienced programmer or data analyst, you can do this in minutes. If not, does not take long to figure out how to query the OpenERP database.

Thing is, this information is not integrated into OpenERP yet (and it makes sense, since you do not need this information for the MRP application. It’s nice to have it, but it is not critical). So I created a module that regularly categorizes OpenERP products according to its sales. I have not finished it yet and I need to upload it to LaunchPad, but I think I will do it this week.

What does this module do? Allows you to create ABC categories (you can have as many as you want) where you define the category and its range. Then regularly (as an scheduler action) categorizes the products taking into account their sales lines. Then updates the product abc_category field (created previously by the module installer).

I still need to polish the module and add a couple of files, such as a XML file with initial information (specially for the scheduler and categories). As soon as I get it done, I will upload it to LaunchPad and publish it.

Cheers!!!!

Checking lead-times in OpenERP

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

In case you need to check your suppliers’ lead-times in OpenERP, it is quite easy. You need to go to Warehouse > Reporting >  Movement Analysis. You will be able to see a view where you can filter by partner, product, location and other attributes the planned lead-time and execution lead-time. This is a great report for checking the accuracy of lead-times.

Movement Analysis View in OpenERP

Movement Analysis View

Data integrity issues in MRP implementations

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

A good description of the data integrity issues found in MRP implementations can be found in the article on MRP in Wikipedia. In a nutshell, if the

English: MRP

Image via Wikipedia

information in your manufacturing system is bad, don’t expect its planning to be any better (or GIGO). While you are implementing the MRP module in OpenERP, you should pay attention to the following information items in your systems:

  • Lead-times: critical for the timing phase of your planning. If production or supplier lead-times are not accurate, don’t be surprised to find planning dates that are not realistic.
  • Stock levels: very critical, since all the procurements are created when the stock levels drop down below its reorder point or when a customer makes an order (depending on how you have your system set-up)
  • Bills of Materials: your system will procure either raw material, work in process inventory or end-items. Which items it will procure depends on the accuracy of Bill of Materials. Your BoM needs to reflect how your product is assembled. I found some places where the BoM only reflects the cost structure of the end-item, and that is wrong. The cost of the end-item is a different problem that needs to be addressed in a different module than the manufacturing module.
  • Products: your system needs to have all the products you procure (either by purchasing or manufacturing) and sell. And its description needs to be complete.
  • MPS, or production schedule: needs to be available in order to make the plan. In all the manufacturing plants there is a production schedule. People might not be aware there is one, but actually you can find it in the daily or weekly manufacturing plans.
  • Reorder points: you need reorder points (minimum and maximum stock levels) in some products in order to not disrupt your quality of service. We will not get into the calculation of these items (by now)

    We will get into more detail on these items and how to address them in further posts

     

Deleted records in OpenERP

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment
The blue/white elephant logo of the PostgreSQL...

Image via Wikipedia

Sooner or later you will find yourself with pgAdmin (or any other query tool) querying the OpenERP database in order to pull statistical information. It happens, and it is a healthy sign of your OpenERP implementation.

Something you need to keep in mind is how OpenERP “deletes” its records. It does not physically remove them. It just marks them as deleted. And it does so with the active field in the table. This field, which happens to be a boolean field, if true indicates that the record is not deleted. Otherwise you should not take the record into account in your queries.

Cheers!

Time-outs and the openerp-web client

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Sometimes you need to change the time-out setting of your openerp-web client application. There might be many reasons for this, among them the need to submit long  processes or views that take minutes to retrieve the desired data. Doing this is no big deal with the GTK client, but gets tricky  when it comes to the web client since you get a time-out error message after two minutes of inactivity.

How do you solve this? It’s easy. In OpenERP v5 you need to locate the file tiny_sock.py. In that file, search for the file that reads:

self.sock.settimeout(120)

In my web client, that happens to be the line 49. Then you change the parameter of the settimeout function to the number of seconds you desire. Then restart your web client.

With OpenERP v6 is pretty much the same story, now you do not need to modify the source code. You only need to change the openerp-web.cfg configuration file. In that file, you will find the following entry in the OpenERP Server section:

openerp.server.timeout = 450

Then you have to restart your web client application.
That’s all you need to do in order to change your timeout settings in your OpenERP Web Application.

Cheers!