The wait for the new Odoo version is over after the Odoo Experience 2022. Odoo founder Fabien Pinckaers opened the event with the unveiling of the new version. For him, the great benefit of such a complex project is the collaboration with the community. And it is the Odoo users in particular who benefit from this cooperation.
Considering the success story, the Odoo CEO has good reason to be proud of what has been achieved. Over 12,000 people visited the Odoo Experience 2022. Pinckaers’ goal is clearly defined: Odoo users need to be able to do more in the same amount of time. Here, it seems that the company is keeping a close eye on the top dog, SAP.
Based on this objective, the Odoo developers have put the focus of the new version on performance. The self-defined goal is to make Odoo so fast that every action is performed within the blink of an eye.
In his keynote “Unveiling Odoo 16”, Pinckaers emphasizes the role of the user: Since the user is the focus, the software has to be designed to support him in the best possible way. In addition to maximum performance, this also includes adjustments to the user interface in particular. Windows 11 users already know it – the Dark Mode. It is now also available in Odoo and offers perfect support for working with Odoo even in the late hours of the day. Other changes make working in Odoo easier and faster: With the new auto-save feature in Odoo, all entries are saved automatically – the time-consuming and tedious manual saving is no longer necessary.
Since Odoo is essentially a database manager, the performance of the database access is crucial for productivity. The developers have made great strides in this area: Odoo 16 promises significant performance gains. Access speed is supposed to increase by a factor of 3.7 compared to the previous version; e-commerce modules even achieve a performance gain by a factor of 3.9. The website module promises 2.5 times higher performance. These performance gains affect both the backend and the front end.
The combination of significantly higher database accesses and simplified data entry and editing will speed up work with the system considerably. In addition, users will no longer have to worry about whether their entries or changes have been saved in the system – they simply are.
Since running and loading times are always an issue in web-based environments, Odoo 16 is making the right adjustments. However, it remains to be seen in practice whether this performance gain exists not only in new installations, but also with system extensions.
Creative content design with the website builder
A further new feature will simplify handling: in Odoo 16, the transition from the backend to the frontend – and vice versa – has been solved quite cleverly. The Website Builder is a particularly good example of this. Users will be familiar with the problem: when dealing with certain functions, it is often necessary to switch between the two in order to edit the settings, for example. In the Website Builder, this is solved with one click.
The Website Builder simplifies content design with a multitude of visual tools. For example, if you insert an image on a product or information page, you can embed it in more than 70 different forms. While you previously needed a designer to embed it in a smartphone or notebook display, Odoo 16’s website builder does it with one click. But that’s not all: you can also adapt the embedding objects to the company branding, for example by assigning a branding-specific colour.
You can assign different effects to the content objects, be they images or text elements. For example, you can apply fade-out effects when scrolling. Effects can also be combined; the fade-out effect, for example, can also be assigned a rotation. Nevertheless, you should not overdo it with the variety of effects – usually less is more.
The website builder also simplifies the placement of content elements. With the grid mode, you are now much more flexible in designing websites than before. The Builder allows you to place elements in a grid. You can edit not only the placement but also the object size of images and other content elements in the WYSIWYG view. When editing, you can switch to mobile mode. Editing in desktop and mobile mode is independent of each other. However, the new autosave function does not apply to Website Builder; you have to save changes to your pages with an explicit click on “Save”.
In addition to various content-specific improvements, users will also benefit from administrative optimizations in the Odoo 16 website builder. The developers have come up with a way to make the tiresome cookie notifications on the user side a thing of the past. Instead of an external reporting function (usually Google Analytics), the Odoo team has integrated an open-source alternative into Odoo that integrates well-known web traffic analysis functions and makes them available via the reporting menu. This kills two birds with one stone: on the one hand, you get rid of the consent problem, and on the other hand, you free yourself from Google, as the data is stored and processed locally.
In the information age, knowledge plays a decisive role in companies. Odoo 16 acknowledges this fact with the introduction of the knowledge app. Every user can use this knowledge app to create an individual knowledge base; team-specific and company-wide use are also possible. You can use this function, for example, to create documentation or instructions. The creation usually takes place in the private space; as soon as a document has reached the necessary maturity, it can be made accessible via a public workspace by drag & drop.
Since knowledge is usually distributed throughout a company, you can integrate third parties into the creation process. The highlight of this app: it works fully integrated with all other Odoo applications. If, for example, a salesperson needs specific information to answer a customer enquiry, he accesses it via the knowledge database and searches for the relevant information. With another click, he is back at the customer enquiry and can answer it.
Yet the knowledge app is by no means limited to static content, but allows you also to generate dynamic pages. With just a few clicks, for example, you can create a list of top-selling products. Since the app integrates with all other modules, relevant information is always available where it is needed, be it in sales, project management, CRM, PLM, accounting – simply everywhere. From a company’s point of view, another plus point is that critical knowledge is not only available for all relevant tasks, but also remains in the company, even when an employee leaves. Access to this knowledge is available via the corresponding icon, which you will find in the header of each app.
With the new knowledge app, knowledge is no longer lost in the company but is accessible always and everywhere.
With the knowledge app, Odoo 16 creates real added value, also because many companies resort to third-party solutions for their knowledge management. The seamless integration will therefore certainly find many fans. However, it is still unclear whether existing content can be imported into the system in a user-friendly way.
Further innovations at a glance
From previous versions of Odoo 16 you will be familiar with the live chat function, which enables real-time communication with your website visitors. But outside office hours, direct communication has so far not been possible. Odoo 16 solves this problem with the new chat bot. Typical areas of application are sales and recruiting. In recruiting, interested candidates are guided through a set of questions to suitable employees in the company. The sales functions also benefit from various innovations. For example, you can manage various processes in Sales Flow. New are the planning and milestone functions as well as support for (digital) subscriptions.
The manufacturing process with the underlying procurement and processing procedures has been optimised in Odoo. The so-called MES (Manufacturing Execution System) automates the various processes wherever possible. In the production facilities, the necessary components can be queried with the help of a mobile device and assembled for the further manufacturing process. The scan module in particular promises a significant productivity gain in the manufacturing module. Odoo thereby takes into account the dependencies of the operations. Personnel and machine costs are also taken into account for the final cost calculation. The module can even integrate visual manuals. For optimal support, Odoo 16 offers also an enhanced inventory function.
Odoo’s optimised manufacturing functions accelerate the entire manufacturing process.
Revamped: the accounting app
A typical workflow requires invoicing after the completion of products. The accounting app is responsible for this – and other – tasks. It has undergone a complete overhaul with Odoo 16. The central innovation: If the accounting department generates a new invoice and selects a customer, a warning is automatically generated if the customer’s credit limit is exceeded. This information is also available to the sales staff, so that they have a full overview of any limit overruns as well.
Invoicing has also been made easier through the use of account prefixes. This allows you to assign an invoice to the corresponding account without any further effort. You are also more flexible with payment terms in Odoo 16, because you can, for example, define discount settings not only at customer level but also at supplier level.
Moreover, Odoo has redesigned the functions for reconciling bank data. This is can now be done with just a few clicks. The optimised dashboard of the accounting app has not only become significantly faster, but also shows management an overview of the company’s financial situation. Profit-loss reports, for example, can be issued with just a few clicks. Comparisons between the current financial situation and planning scenarios are also possible.
Odoo 16 not only allows effortless mapping of typical business processes, but also provides powerful reporting functions for management. These features are hidden behind the Dashboard app. Although previous versions already have basic reporting functions, in Odoo 16 we are dealing with a completely new app. By default, Odoo 16 has 26 out-of-the-box dashboards, for all major apps. The reporting function not only shows sales statistics and economic aspects, but even offers a benchmark function with which you can compare your company with competitors. There is even a report available for the live chat app.
The unique feature of the reports: They are completely dynamic. In the sales dashboard, for example, you can click through to the top sales and check which items they are. You can also check the costs that the different employees have triggered. Original receipts can be entered into the system. Alternatively, you can use filter functions to find the relevant information. Moreover, the reports can be customized to the respective information needs.
With the upgraded dashboard function, the Odoo developers have tackled a key issue, especially for service companies. Nevertheless, the reports still have a very technical feel to them.
Want to know more?
No question: Odoo 16 has a lot of interesting innovations to offer, making the system even more powerful and flexible. At the same time, it is difficult to highlight specific innovations. The upgraded website builder shows clearly that Odoo is now becoming interesting for companies that want to expand their existing business activities with a classic online shop and sophisticated content elements. But overall companies will benefit from the many detail improvements, the significant performance gain and the extensive reporting functions.
In Pinckaers’ opinion, the secret of Odoo’s success lies in the fact that the environment is able to map all typical business processes and that these are easy to manage in practice. With Odoo 16, the company is successfully continuing this tradition.
Are you curious how the new Odoo version ‘feels’ in practice? Then try it out yourself! You can download the current Enterprise and Open Source version here. For the Enterprise version you will need a subscription code. Please note that not all innovations of Odoo 16 are implemented in the Community Edition.
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