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