Monday, December 1, 2008

Openbravo SMB Network 2.40 is available

Some weeks ago, we announced the availability of Openbravo SMB Network 2.40, the professional subscription service for Openbravo ERP 2.40.

Openbravo SMB Network 2.40 is now the recommended choice for SMEs who want to deploy Openbravo ERP for production use.

Compared with the previous release, Openbravo ERP 2.40 provides:

  • Improvements in the user interface for better productivity, including full keyboard navigation and better visual feedback in the user interface
  • Better support for international deployments with better support for multi-schema accounting, withholding tax, VAT register or international bank account numbers
  • More out-of-the-box reports and functionalities like purchase requisitions support, goods receipt by PO number, enhanced projects & services module or historical salary category
  • Enhanced and more out-of-the-box reports
  • More capabilities built into the platform like enhanced security, audit trails and additional web services
For more details, you can read the complete release notes for Openbravo ERP 2.40.

Additionally, the Openbravo ERP SMB Network 2.40 appliance contains significant improvements compared to the previous edition, notably
  • Updated Administration Console

    • New, cleaner look and feel
    • Improved usability with better user feedback

  • Improved performance per GHz
    • Native support for 64 bit architecture
    • Latest versions of Ant, Tomcat, Apache and Oracle
Existing Openbravo Network subscribers can migrate their systems to the latest Openbravo ERP release and receive support with he same level enjoyed in the previous release without the need to pay additional fees. However, it is important to notice that the upgrade process will require a development project that clients will need to contract to their system integrator of reference on the basis of the need to update custom code developed for them. Therefore clients should only upgrade to the latest release if the new functionalities available offer an immediate return on investment.

Go Professional! Buy Openbravo Network.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Disaster recovery with Openbravo SMB Network

The fact that Openbravo ERP is a mission critical application means that it is very important to have a disaster recovery plan.

Usually, and certainly more frequently than it should be, this type of plan is just an afterthought. Quite frankly, it is also very common that the recovery process is not fully tested or documented.

In those rare cases where the plan is properly laid out, System Integrators have generally required a large number of consulting hours to craft it and clients are rarely happy with the expenditure this entails.

Luckily, Openbravo SMB Network includes a nice functionality that offers this facility without the need to develop any complex process. Using the Administration Console, system back-ups can be scheduled regularly. These back-ups can be done against a remote file server for increased reliability.

In case of disaster, a simple restore process enables you to have a fully functional system up and running again in a matter of hours. Another neat benefit of the Openbravo SMB Network appliance.

Go Professional! Ensure the systems you are managing are properly protected.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I run a heavily cutomized Openbravo ERP system. Is Openbravo Network right for me?

This is one of the most frequent questions I get from (prospective) customers. Fortunately for everyone, the answer is a clear "YES".

One of the strengths of Openbravo ERP is the freedom to adapt it to every company's specific needs without limitation. This involves configuring the system's metadata, and very frequently, developing new functionalities to meet those specific requirements that make every company unique. On some occasions, the customizations done on top of the "standard" version are very significant.

However, this does not mean that you cannot benefit from Openbravo Network, the professional subscription service that has been designed to keep your system up-to-date and bug-free for a predictable cost.

Firstly, the service is built around the concept of system stability. The updates are designed to intricately target only the lines that require a fix, minimizing the likelihood of collision with custom developments. Therefore, in most of the cases, updates are silently applied without any conflict.

Secondly, the service is based on a ground-breaking application of source code management tools which are now part of Openbravo ERP. This approach provides a very granular and structured way to manage code conflicts during the update process, which help consultants apply fixes even when they are for the very same files that have been customized.

Attempting to undertake manual maintenance of a production system is simply not realistic, and too risky. Very often, only a handful of customer-reported bugs get fixed and the system is not properly patched. The situation gets much worse when several systems are maintained in parallel for several clients, and inevitably the quality of the manual maintenance process starts begins to deteriorate.

Openbravo Network has been designed to ensure Openbravo systems can be properly maintained so that they are fully up to date, with the quality required for a mission critical application, and in the most cost efficient way.

Go Professional! Buy Openbravo Network.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The future of Open Source in Europe

Next Wednesday 24th September, I will be in Paris to attend the Paris Capital du Libre event.

I will participate in a panel to discuss the future of Open Source in Europe.

You can find the agenda for the event here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Openbravo Network: Commercial and Community symbiosis

During the launch of Openbravo Network, many mistakenly interpreted Openbravo adopting a closed source development model. This is not our strategy because we believe there is a better way.

My previous post is a very illustrative example of how customers benefit from having an open community, and how the community benefits from having customers funding it.

All bugs fixed for Openbravo ERP are available in the development trunk and incorporated in the newest release of Openbravo ERP, which typically occur twice a year.

Openbravo Network clients benefit from having regular and timely access to bug fixes, both for bugs reported by them or reported by the community. They get the benefits from using a product which is subject to public scrutiny and at the same time enjoy production grade SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

Community benefits from the effort funded by Openbravo Network customers to fix bugs, which are readily available in the development trunk and periodically packaged whenever a new release is published (or even before, if –occasionally- a community maintenance patch is published).

If you use Openbravo ERP and want to see it improve, engage in the community.

If you use Openbravo ERP and want production grade support, subscribe to Openbravo Network.

You are helping yourself in both cases.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

300 fixes

During the past months, since the official launch of Openbravo Network –the subscription support service for Openbravo ERP–, our clients have received patches containing:

  • 214 Openbravo ERP fixes
  • 35 Linux component updates*
  • 5 Operating Environment updates (in Oracle Database, Apache Server, Tomcat, Ant and Java)*
In total, these account for more than 300 fixes, including a few security and critical ones.

Bugs fixed include those reported by Openbravo Network clients and bugs reported by the Openbravo ERP community. Bugs reported by our clients are treated according to production grade SLAs (Service Level Agreements) to ensure fixes are available on time.

For Openbravo SMB Network clients, fixes also include patches for the operating environment, which in many amateur implementations is not well kept up to date, eventually exposing the system to security threats.

Before fixes are released, a rigorous quality assurance process certifies there are no compatibility conflicts and they are production ready.

For Openbravo SMB Network clients, patches can be easily applied from Openbravo Network’s administration console. Also, because the Openbravo SMB Network One environment is a highly standardized configuration, we can test the patches in exactly the same environment our customers have. This dramatically improves the effectiveness of our quality assurance process, optimizing it for production usage.

Overall, this service, recommended for any professional Openbravo ERP implementation, is designed to ensure the system stays updated, bug free and secure.

* Only available for Openbravo SMB Network One customers
* Note that component updates typically contain several fixes each one

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Go Professional with Openbravo Network

It has been a while since we introduced Openbravo Network, the subscription service for those seeking professional support to for Openbravo ERP. Today I am blogging about it because we are extending the Openbravo Network family with additional editions targeting different client needs. With this extension, there is now a solution for everyone.

All editions of the Openbravo Network family of products include access to certified updates and upgrades for Openbravo ERP, a lifecycle guarantee, bug fixing guarantee, and IP Indemnification.

Openbravo SMB Network One, which has been available since early this year, is the recommended choice for small and mid-sized businesses looking for a complete solution in a fine-tuned appliance architecture. It is easy to install, includes all the software required to run the system (including the operating system and the database), and provides a web based administration console to manage the whole maintenance process.

Openbravo Basic Network, a recent addition to the family, is the recommended choice for those with complex hardware configurations, or who require the freedom to configure the operating environment to certain specifications.

An Openbravo Network contract for those ISVs or OEMs who want to embed Openbravo ERP in their solutions is also available upon request.

Openbravo Network is a very innovative concept in the industry, because it keeps the open source nature of Openbravo ERP, but reconciles it with the advantages of professional paid support, something many clients require and appreciate. Many of them have already realized that professional open source is the best way to combine the freedom of open source with the strict demands of a mission critical production environment, as it is ultimately also the most cost effective way to do it.

If you want to learn more about the Openbravo Network family, you can check out

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yes, it does!

Openbravo in the WikipediaAfter an interesting experience with the Wikipedia, Openbravo is finally included in the Internet's encyclopedia for good. We have learned about obscure terms (at least for the uninitiated) such as "unsalt", "WP:COI", "WP:NN" "WP:AFDP".

It is clear that these complex rules have generated an extraordinarily amazing pool of high-quality content. Not an easy task to be achieved by a group of volunteers.

However, after this experience, I would like to suggest Wikipedia to include some beginner manuals or HOWTO guides. To name a few: How can you include your company on the Wikipedia? Do's and don't for a casual contributor; How to dispute/reverse an unfair decision?.

I also think there are some take aways for Openbravo as a community. When you are immersed in the dynamics of the community, you can forget there are beginners who are trying to make sense of it. Some of these will become the core members of the future, and you can not alienate them or they will never participate in the game. Building a successful community is about ensuring there is something in it for everyone, regardless of the level of skills or knowdledge they have.

Please, let us know if we are not doing so!