Wednesday, October 13, 2010

208 reasons to choose Openbravo

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Two key reasons to choose an open source solution over another is the vibrancy of its ecosystem of developers and the amount of contributions that project receives from its community. Projects with more contributors evolve faster deliver more value to its users.

Architecture is a key factor in stimulating contributions and projects with a modular architecture have proven to generate a livelier ecosystem than monolithic ones. This is primarily because modular systems allow decoupled and independent development lowering the barrier to contribution.

Openbravo launched its modular architecture in April 2009, when it introduced release 2.50; in less than 18 months the population of available modules passed the symbolic threshold of 200 units.

Today, Openbravo's ecosystem sports 208 generally available modules with a growth rate of 104% in the first 9 months of the year. More importantly, more than 47% of these modules are developed by third party with no or little support by the core Openbravo development team, proving the efficiency of the ecosystem.

While these are impressive numbers, one has to look at the details to understand the value of these contributions for Openbravo end users:

* 108 modules related to localization in 20 countries; these are not only translations but also accounting rules, tax configurations, tax reports, etc.
* 45 are functional extensions that expand the footprint of Openbravo to support other business processes
* 25 are reports that allow to better leverage the information existing within the ERP
* 7 are tools to simplify the life of System Administrators
* 6 are vertical features or solutions that address needs specific of sectors such as hospitality, apparel, healthcare, or higher education
* 4 are connectors to other applications or services
* 4 are alert rules informing users of anomalies in the data patterns in their business
* 3 are skins

Another interesting dimension of analysis is the usage, measured in terms of downloads, which illustrated by the three charts below.

Finally, a key value of the Openbravo ecosystem is its continuity: it is very easy to port modules from one version to the next. This is illustrated by the chart below showing that 25% of the modules are already compatible with both 2.50 and the newly launched 3.0.

The next time you are evaluating an open source solution, consider its ecosystem as well. In the case of Openbravo, you will find 208 additional reasons to choose it as your ERP.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Family Grid – part II

by Rob Goris

Simple, real-time business intelligence by manipulating grids

Reporting is an essential part of everyday business and therefore an essential part of an ERP. Today´s businesses need relevant, up-to-date, accurate and consumable metrics that help them make the right decisions. Traditionally, reports are generated once in a while (month, quarter) and are exported to PDF for printing & annotating or Excel for further manipulation. Reports are used in presentations and meetings to look at past performance, understand the status quo and project future performance. The danger lies in the choice of dimensions and the interpretation of the data. Reports are static and generated as a one-off document with a set of dimensions, normally defined by a ready-made SQL query or via a visual query builder. Openbravo´s Sales Dimensional Reports allow the user to choose a number of filters and dimensions and even the sorting order can be set. This works well if the user knows in advance what metrics she is looking for and what data set she wants to look at. The drawback is that it does not allow analyzing the data in realtime by changing the filters and dimensions and looking at the impact on the results while doing so.

A while ago, in the Family Grid, I have presented a fairly abstract idea for basic business intelligence functionality by combining parent and child data in one grid, joining grids and filtering and aggregating columns. Now, I´d like to show you a more simplified version of this idea.

The Family Grid II scenario (download it here) lets the user view sales orders in one grid and a set of order lines for all of these in the other. Both the sales order grid and the order lines grid can be filtered on any attribute using column filters. Columns containing numerical values can be aggregated (sum, count, average, median). The grids can be joined (inner or outer join) with the click of a button which, for example, lets the user find all sales order that contain a certain product (or all sales that do not contain that certain product). Final result sets can be exported to Excel or PDF and the view (which is in fact a query rather than a report) can be saved for reuse.

It should be noted that this approach does not intend to replace traditional reporting because many SQL queries just cannot be build using the Family Grid. However, I believe that this way of manipulating grids is very powerful and can lead to insights that can be hard to discover using traditional one-way reporting. Playing with a data set in real time using parent and child grids, filters, aggregations and joins with an easy-to-use GUI lets non-expert users unlock the power of data in an ERP without having to invest in hi-end business intelligent software.

Are you as convinced as I am about the business value of this feature? Discuss it here.

By the way, we´re not happy with the name of this functionality. Family Grid does not cover it really. What about RapidGrid, GridSift, PowerGrid, Data Distiller, Metrix, EasyAnswer, RapidAnswer, IntelliGrid, "Openbravo RapidEdge Edition – the fastest way to start a competitive edge", "PerfectGrid - the fast & simple way to your information"?


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Packaging Openbravo 3.0 as a distribution

by Paolo Juvara 
Openbravo 3.0 is going to be a landmark release for the Openbravo ecosystem for many reasons, ranging from improved functionality to a completely revised platform.

As the first release candidate milestone of Openbravo 3.0 approaches (the target release is July 2010), I would like to take the time to explore one specific area of innovation: the packaging and delivery of the product.

Unlike previous releases, where Openbravo was offered as a monolithic product on top of which users could install extensions, Openbravo 3.0 is going to be delivered as "distribution" of modules. By distribution, I mean a collection of modules - one of which is Core - selected and integrated to achieve the desired functional footprint of the release.

This approach presents several advantages, including a smoother upgrade for 2.50 users and the ability to reuse 2.50 modules in 3.0. The following presentation illustrates the concept.

Leveraging the modular architecture of 2.50, we have been providing extension modules on top of Core. Some of those extensions are technology oriented, like the Seam Integration or the new User Interface Selector, while others, like Advanced Payables and Receivables, are functional in nature. In both cases, these are pre-3.0 features that can be deployed as modules on top of 2.50.

We can continue to release such modular components until we have all the building blocks we need for 3.0.

This is an effective way to add new capabilities but for 3.0 we also need to remove some unwanted features from Core, in some cases because it is obsolete functionality and in other cases because it is more appropriate as a module rather than a core feature.

Removing functionality is tricky: if we eliminate the code, in fact, we take the risk of breaking a dependency for an existing module therefore negating the objective of ensuring a smooth upgrade and the durability of modules. To avoid this problem, we will improve the License Manager capabilities of Core: currently the License Manager is the technology that allows us to distinguish between a Community Edition and a Professional Edition; we intend to enhance its capabilities to allow us to securely hide unwanted features and ensuring that they cannot be accidentally re-enabled. While still physically present, the unwanted features will be for all intents and purposes de-activated.

Leveraging this technology, we can deliver Openbravo 3.0 as a "template" that combines all the desired modules, plus a configuration script that defines the default configuration of the system.

We have already followed a similar approach for QuickStart, one of the professional solutions that we developed for our partners in 2.50 and we will apply the same technique for 3.0.

Using our 3.0 distribution as starting template, it is then possible to add further configuration scripts and provide additional specializations. In this respect, this packaging approach provides a nice balance between the base product and its vertical specializations as both solutions share the same development and distribution approach.

There are some obvious benefits to this approach:
  • Easy upgrade for 2.50 users to 3.0: technically, an upgrade is reduced to the installation of additional modules and a configuration template (of course, there are many non technical aspects involved with an upgrade, but avoiding technical problems already simplifies the challenge)
  • Guaranteed durability of modules: all of the 2.50 modules will be able to work in 3.0 as well because none of their dependencies is altered.
  • Opportunity to gather early feedback on 3.0: we do not need to have 100% of the functionality ready to start exposing it to our community. In fact, many of the 3.0 modules have already been independently available for several months and went through their own feedback and stabilization cycle.
  • Reduced maintenance cost for 2.50: since 2.50 and 3.0 share a common Core, the cost of maintenance will be largely reduced.
I have been using in this post the term "distribution" to describe this approach. This is a term that I liberally borrow from the Linux world, where a distribution, like Ubuntu, Red Hat, or SUSE, etc., is a collection of software packages including the Linux Kernel, a window manager, a desktop environment and other software. This model has proven very successful for Linux and a year ago I discussed how modularity could enable the same approach for Openbravo.
With 3.0 we fully embrace the distribution approach, coming to a full circle and confirming our commitment to build the ecosystem of reference in the open source ERP space.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Consona acquires Compiere – What about the Community?
by Paolo Juvara

Last Wednesday the open source ERP community woke up with the news of the Consona acquisition of Compiere, one of the pioneers in open source ERP. The text of the announcement can be found here.

Since the announcement, many observers and commentators started a debate on whether this is a victory for open source or the sad demise of one the pioneers of the open source ERP category. Many also speculated on what might be in the store for the product, with most people interpreting the transaction primarily as a technology acquisition.
A recurring theme among commentators is that Compiere failed to embrace its community.

With such a symbolic event fresh in our mind, it is time to reflect on how Openbravo facilitates the development of its own community.

Last year I had commented on Adam Blum's post on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Open Source Products. An effective open source product must display "a credible community with a credible effort to involve the community in the development of the product, as described in Adam's seven habits:
  1. Public source viewing
  2. Common license
  3. Public source code checkins
  4. Public bugs
  5. Public forums
  6. Anyone can contribute
  7. Public, complete and modifiable documentation"
How does Openbravo measures against Adam's seven habits?
  1. Openbravo offers public source viewing at
  2. Openbravo adopts a common license with the Openbravo Public License being a common variation of the popular Mozilla Public License
  3. Openbravo offers public source code checkins available either at, through the openbravo-commit mailing list, or on the #openbravo IRC channel on
  4. Openbravo offer a public issue tracker at where any community member can view or report issues
  5. Openbravo hosts and moderates public forums on the Openbravo Forge mirrored on SourceForge.
  6. Openbravo accepts open contribution through a documented process either in the form of extension modules, core contributions or in many other ways.
  7. Openbravo maintains a public, complete and modifiable documentation available in the wiki.
But it does not stop there:
Last but not least:
  • Openbravo has formalized its commitment to its community through the Openbravo Manifesto.
  • Openbravo has adopted a business model that does not divorce its Community Edition users from its Professional Edition solutions but embraces the usage of the Community Edition. There is an easy and smooth transition path for those community users that are ready to enjoy the increased benefits of the Professional Edition. Similarly there is freedom of choice for developers and service providers to distribute their development either as open source or with a commercial license.
Openbravo invests a significant amount of resources to provide the infrastructure, the leadership and the coordination around the community. This is part of our DNA and consistent with one of our core beliefs that openness is a requirement to build successful products, and that leveraging the domain expertise of a global community is the only way to build a product that fits the needs of all SMEs.
The results of these efforts are a community that is lively, growing and productive.

Looking at the public SourceForge statistics - which are public and independent -, for the period of May 2010:
  • Activity ranking: 2
  • Forum post: 655 (and this does not include any of the hundreds of discussions in the Openbravo Forge other than the core ones)
  • Downloads: 23,845 (and this does not include the 2,480 downloads from the Ubuntu repository nor any of the thousands of downloads of extension modules from our own Central Repository)
If we consider other data, we can observe that:
  • The Openbravo community is large and growing, with 10,426 registered members at the end of May and increasing at a pace of over 300 new members per month.
  • The Openbravo community is engaged giving us feedback on the product, with anywhere between 20 and 30% of the defect and new feature requests reported in any given month coming from the open community.
  • The Openbravo community is productive, with 361 public projects registered in the Openbravo Forge at the end of May and managed by our community.
  • The Openbravo community is effective, having produced as of the end of May 161 modules distributed through the Central Repository to the entire ecosystem of users.
The Openbravo community is still young and we still have a way to go before we can consider it fully mature. However, if you are looking for an open source ERP community that is welcoming, lively, engaging, productive and that does not create ideological or practical barriers between open source and commercial usage of the product, you should give Openbravo a try.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What does Consona's acquisition of Compiere mean?


Friday, 18 June 2010,Posted by Manel Sarasa

 What does Consona's acquisition of Compiere mean?

Since the announcement of Consona’s acquisition of Compiere, many people have asked me for my thoughts and comments. What does this deal mean for the open source ERP market, the ERP industry as a whole, and for the Openbravo community? I am keen to answer these questions and share my thoughts.

First, my interpretation of the nature of the acquisition. Everything I have read and heard about it reveals that the driving rationale for Consona was to acquire the technology, and not the open source element of Compiere, and so I predict this will mean the end for Compiere's community. Am I happy about that? No, not at all. Besides the disruption that this will bring to many people, I am a firm believer that at this stage the more successful open source ERP companies there are, the better. This is not good news at any level.

My second observation is about the predictability of this end game. Compiere's business model, organization and management style - specifically in product development, sales strategy and channel management – always resembled that of a traditional proprietary vendor, rather than one suited to an open source provider. Open source must never be used merely as a marketing tool - if you don't believe in open source and invest heavily in its development, then you don't create an open source culture within the project team and therefore cannot leverage its many benefits. Open source isn’t something you can just dabble in.

But I would like to sign off with some positive messages for the open source ERP industry. At Openbravo we are as excited and positive as ever. Open source has always been and will always be the very core of our business. This dedication and commitment is what helped us lead this market. Our purpose is to improve the efficiency of businesses around the world by bringing an ERP to every company. And for this reason our ambition has always been to create the leading web-based open source ERP company. We are strong believers that horizontal ERPs are a commodity and should be free; that value is in the services and industry specific solutions; and that openness and a strong community is a requirement for building better software in the 21st century. Success with open source ERP requires a collaborative, organic approach that unleashes synergies between the community and commercial use of the product, without artificial barriers. Rest assured that we will continue making it happen.

Ultimately, this acquisition means one less open source ERP player, reaffirming Openbravo’s leadership in this market and our genuine commitment to it. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review: For ERP, Is It Time To Applaud Openbravo?

By Fahmida Y. Rashid, CRN

10:27 AM EDT Tue. Apr. 15, 2008

Think of any proprietary platform, and there is an open-source alternative, whether it's an operating system or a database, or even, yes, an ERP system. Enterprise resource planning software is used for operational planning, including managing orders, inventory, accounting, and logistics. Long dominated by industry giantsOracle (NSDQ: ORCL) and SAP (NYSE:SAP), ERP deployments are generally associated with the large enterprise. Open source ERP systems bring the technology within reach of the small and midsize enterprises, and all the way down to the small business. There are a handful of open source ERP solutions that can be considered business-ready --- thorough documentation, extensive technical and customer support, and a regular release schedule. Openbravo ERP, from Spanish company Openbravo is one. The Test Center deployed the Web-based ERP and discovered a fully functional system that supports procurement and warehouse management, project and service management, production management, and financial management. It also supports BI and CRM. Designed for the SME, Openbravo ERP is flexible, scalable, and affordable.
A big concern about open source has always been about interoperability: would it work with what's already in production? Openbravo ERP eases those concerns somewhat, supporting both proprietary Oracle (10g) and open source PostgreSQL databases. Openbravo ERP is Java-based and requires several Apache products. At this point, Microsoft-centric customers with SQL Server databases, .NET framework, and IIS, won't be feeling the Openbravo love, but they are probably looking at Microsoft Dynamics ERP, anyway. However, Openbravo does run on servers running Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, 2003 Server.
Openbravo is different from other open-source ERP in that its interface is entirely Web-based. The user can view production information, inventory, customer information, order tracking, and workflow information all from a Web browser. This simplifies access, since authorized users don't have to wait for special client software to be installed on their computers. As most Web applications, the interface is intuitive and menu options are easily accessible. Various management options are organized as menus, such as sales, procurement, and production. Clicking on the option opens up all the associated tasks in a drop-down. For example, transactions such as sales and shipment orders are accessible under the Sales Management menu. Each task window is icon-driven, and the icons are pictorially easy to understand. Reports are easy to create and there are several templates, as well as the ability to create customized ones. The reports and data can be exported toMicrosoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Excel or saved as PDF.
Openbravo spent a lot of time designing the architecture the ERP is constructed on. The metadata-driven engine is based on a 2002 version of another open-source ERP project, Compiere. Openbravo improved upon the engine, and consists of only 10 percent of the code base, according to the company's Web site. The entire system is constructed on two development frameworks: the Model-View-Controller and Model-Driven-Development. Under MVC, data is manipulated by controllers, not directly by the user. By referencing a data model dictionary, the application engine can automatically recompile and rebuild whenever the administrator makes a change. And MDD allows models of code for user-created code. These two models simplify integration with other programs.
Deploying Openbravo ERP requires getting all the supporting applications installed and configured first. Test Center used a Debian 4.0r3 Etch server. Openbravo has been tested on other Linux flavors as well, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS,Novell (NSDQ: NOVL) SUSE, Canonical's Ubuntu and Fedora. The testing server already had the latest Java and Ant installed; solution providers would have to remember to install them beforehand. Ant is an Apache software tool that automates software builds for Java files (similar to make).
Because it's a Java-based application, Openbravo also requires Tomcat, an Apache Web container that specifically handles Java Servlet and JSP. For the database backend, PostgreSQL was installed on the test server.
Once the individual components are in place, the actual Openbravo ERP installation is script-driven. Openbravo is distributed with all source code developed by Openbravo and few third-party libraries. The script requires information about the database server, such as IP address, username, and port, and about the system, such as the Web URL. Once the script completes, the Openbravo ERP is accessible by pointing the browser to the specified URL.

Deployment is where solution providers can really provide service. Compared to an SAP or Oracle deployment, Openbravo is relatively easy, but it's still not plug-and-play. An ERP implementation typically is handled by, or at least, supported by, system integrators and consultants. This works well with Openbravo's distribution model, which relies on the channel. Openbravo is available in two versions: the Community Edition and Network Edition. Community Edition is available for free from and intended for developers and non-critical environments. The Network Edition is the production-ready and stable solution, available through certified partners. For this Test Center review, Openbravo Community Edition was installed.
The latest features are available in the Community Edition and there are frequent releases throughout the year, while the Network Edition is updated biannually. For an annual subscription (prices vary depending on number of users or unlimited use), the Network Edition offers automatic upgrades, bug-fixes, unlimited support, and embedded licenses for proprietary software and third-party support.
Montclair, N.J.-based Corra Technology is an open-source solution provider providing system integration, support, and consulting services. CEO Ron Bongo estimated the company has already been contracted to do four or five Openbravo installations in 2008, and the company expects to do at least ten or fifteen this year.
ERP systems have to support big companies with complex business systems and a large user base. Does Openbravo scale? Bongo said a typical Openbravo deployment for Corra Technology is in the $10 million to $100 million range, and scalability has never been a problem. The company's focus on model-driven architecture makes the application stable, scalable, and easy to develop for.
System integrators with software development capabilities can develop applications for Openbravo, especially with the Eclipse IDE. Other applications can synchronize data with Openbravo using the Java-based Openbravo API. Also, Openbravo ERP is released under the Mozilla Public License 1.1, which means the code can be used as a foundation for other proprietary licensed products.
Openbravo also offers Openbravo POS, an application specifically designed for touch screens used in the retail industry. Openbravo POS can work together with Openbravo ERP, or separately in any existing point-of-sale environment.
System integrators can speed up some of the deployment by creating an appliance with the basic components pre-installed. With proper hardware, the appliance can have the ERP system and its dependencies in place, waiting to be configured according to each customer's individual specifications and requirements.
A note about documentation and support: many open source projects often rush to get the product out, which often means documentation, if available, is usually skimpy and often riddled with errors. While a strong community-driven-forum is essential for an open source project, businesses need access to thorough, in-depth, and clearly written documentation. Openbravo shines in this aspect. The installation guide, user manual, and associated reference materials on configuring third-party applications and hardware specifications are superb. Bongo said Openbravo spent a long time getting the software ready, but also in getting the commercial team behind the product for support. "They have all the pieces in place," he said.
Corra Technology is in the enviable position of not having to convince customers to consider open-source deployments since "99 percent" of its customers approach the company asking for open-source solutions. For solution providers still trying to convince their customers, selling open-source ERP doesn't have to be a difficult conversation. According to Bongo, many CIOs are actively considering open-source solutions when considering IT projects. Open source solutions save customers money, especially for ERP. Customers can specify their requirements and have only those services in the ERP system, so that they are not paying for services they aren't interested in. The ease of customization also means customers are no longer locked in to expensive ERP software and supporting systems.
Cost-competitive, a modern architecture, and flexible (and it works!) -- what more do customers need for ERP? 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Openbravo 2.50: REST Webservices


maandag 2 maart 2009

In this post I will talk about new very exciting functionality in Openbravo 2.50: full REST web services support for all tables in the Openbravo datamodel (including the tables added by modules).

I will first start with a general overview and then some examples of web service calls which you can try directly in your browser. The post is concluded with a short description on how to add your own REST-like web services and a number of interesting links on REST.

Openbravo REST provides a CRUD-like interface so that external applications can retrieve, update, create and delete business objects through standard HTTP requests.

Some benefits of using a REST approach:
  • favors identifying and addressing resources which fits to the data-centric nature of the provided apis (a resource corresponds to a business object)
  • has actions (POST, PUT, DELETE, GET) which correspond to standard CRUD actions
  • allows linking to specific business objects or to sets of business objects. This is a very powerfull feature of a REST approach and it allows for easy navigation between business objects.
  • is simple to develop and use, and very lightweight from an architectural point of view
The Openbravo REST webservice operates on Business Objects in Openbravo. Before continuing let's first explain what a Business Object is (in Openbravo). A business object can be a simple entity (==table) such as a currency which just has basic primitive fields. On the other hand it can also be a structure of entities, for example an order header with its order line.

Openbravo REST web services provide the following functionality:
  • retrieve a single business object or a list of business objects using a standard HTTP GET request
  • querying, filtering, paging and sorting of lists of business objects, again through standard HTTP requests
  • update of an existing business object or multiple business objects through XML and a HTTP POST or PUT operation
  • creation of new business objects through a POST/PUT operation
  • export and import of data: xml files which contain a mix of different types of business objects and a mix of new and existing business object
  • delete operation using either a url pointing to a specific business object which needs to be removed or a XML document which contains business objects (as full xml or as partial xml) which need to be removed.
This functionality can be used for standard integration scenario's, but it can also be used to develop another UI on top of Openbravo using an alternative UI-technology (e.g. Flex).

The Openbravo REST web services use the same access/authorizations as the standard Openbravo application. Before calling a web service the caller must log in. The login functionality is provided by the Openbravo REST framework. All REST actions are then executed in the context of a client/organization and current role of the user.

Now let's go to some examples. When you have Openbravo running then you can try these out directly in your browser by entering the urls in your browser's address bar. Note that the examples assume that Openbravo runs locally on port 8080, it maybe necessary to replace the localhost:8080 part with your own server name/port. The examples assume that the web service user has access to the Country and Currency tables.
  • Query for all Countries:
  • Get a specific Country (in this case Spain):

Note that the xml returned contains both the Country and its children (Regions), i.e. a business object structure.
  • An ordered example, query for all countries and return them ordered by ibanCode and regionName:
  • The same example with paging, returns 10 Countries starting from the 19th:
  • Do some filtering, only return countries which have a Currency with id 102 and a iBANLength of minimum 23:
http://localhost:8080/openbravo/ws/dal/Country?where=currency='102' and iBANLength>=23

(the where parameter can contain a Hibernate Query Language where clause)

After trying some examples, the next question is which web services are provided by Openbravo, i.e. what url's are valid, what are the entity names and XML property names, what is valid xml? To answer this question Openbravo REST has a special web service which can be called. This web service generates a XML Schema of the available business objects and their elements (including the tables added by custom/external modules). You can try it yourselve on your local running Openbravo instance:

These first examples only retrieved data. The REST web services also have update/create/delete functions. To support web service testing, Firefox has a nice add-on: Poster. This add-on allows you to POST/PUT XML to a URL. For these examples I again assume that you have Openbravo running locally. I will be creating a new currency, updating its precision and then deleting the currency.

Here is an example of xml which can be used to create a new Currency:

true OBD Openbravo Dollars 2 4 4 true

You can easily create this xml by retrieving a Currency through a url (for example, the euro) and then removing the XML parts related to id, client/organization and audit info.

Click on the Poster icon (right-bottom in Firefox) and set the options as displayed in the image below.

Note that the xml (displayed above) is entered in the Content field, the Action is set to POST and the User Auth. fields contain the login and password. The user must have permissions to create a Currency. The standard Openbravo demo user has these capabilities.

Then click on the first GO button, you should be seeing the following result:

This xml gives a success message but more importantly it also gives the id back of the newly created object. This allows software, making REST calls, to use this id in further processing. In our case we can use this id to check if the currency was indeed created (note replace the id in the url with the id you received back):

Now as a next step let's update a field of the new Currency, in this case the precision is changed. The image below shows how this is done. The xml only has the field which needs to be updated and the id of the Currency is present as an xml attribute (to try-this-at-home, replace the id value with the one created in your case).

And to clean up let's delete the new currency. This is done with a DELETE action, the url of the action needs to point to the business object which needs to be deleted (in this case the Currency created above).

The above actions can be performed for all of the 425+ tables in Openbravo. More importantly REST webservices automatically work out-of-the-box also for new tables added by modules.

The delete action concludes the quick overview of the capabilities of Openbravo REST Webservices. The overview hopefully showed how easy it is to use REST webservices. Software talking to REST webservices need basic xml processing capabilities but that's the only real prerequisite.

The Openbravo REST framework can be extended with new Webservices. See here for more information. Openbravo REST takes care of security and exception handling. Web services can be added (installed/uninstalled) as part of a module.

For more information:
  • REST Webservice Technical Design
  • REST test cases can be found in the openbravo development project in the src-test folder and then in the org.openbravo.test.webservice package
Here are some other interesting (non-Openbravo) links:
Some links related to REST versus SOAP, there is a fair amount of articles on the web on this topic:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Compiere Vs Openbravo -An Analysis using Google Trends


Tested on May 24-2010 for Compiere and got  following response from
GOOGLE Trends,

Your terms - compiere - do not have enough search volume to show graphs.


Friday, March 26, 2010

50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect

It was not long ago when Microsoft Windows had a tight stranglehold on the operating system market. Walk into a Circuit City or Staples, it seemed, and virtually any computer you took home would be running the most current flavor of Windows. Ditto for computers ordered direct from a manufacturer. In the last decade, though, the operating system market has begun to change. Slightly more than 5% of all computers now run Mac, according to Linux is hovering just beneath 1% of the overall market share in operating systems. And although that might sound like a small number, Linux is far more than just a fringe OS. In fact, it's running in quite a few more places than you probably suspect. Below are fifty places Linux is running today in place of Windows or Mac. For easy reading, they are divided amongst government, home, business, and educational usage.

Business Users of Linux

Businesses, as well as governments, have slowly begun to realize the various benefits that Linux and open source software can provide. In fact, given that costs are more important to the decision making of businesses than governments, they arguably have an even greater incentive to check it out. Below are several businesses that have made the switch or begun making the switch from Windows to Linux.


Longtime software and services company Novell announced in 2006 that it was undergoing a company-wide migration from Windows to Linux on employee desktop computers. As of April of that year, roughly half of Novell's 5,000+ work force had migrated to Linux, with that figure expected to climb to 80% by November. It was a bold and sweeping change for such a large, established company, and it took over a year for the migration to take effect following its announcement in 2006.


Believe it or not, the gigantic, ever-growing cluster of servers that power Google's search and other apps runs Linux. Of course, in typical fashion, Google was not content to simply run an out of the box version on its own hardware. Intsead, the search giant had its engineers cook up a customized version of Ubuntu referred to within the company as "Goobuntu." Linux is also frequently used internally on desktop machines, beyond its use on Google servers.


In addition to doing development work on Linux itself, IBM is known to use it internally on desktops and servers. IBM also ran a TV ad campaign in 2006 called "IBM Supports Linux 100%." One of the commercials can be seen here. In the last decade, perhaps no larger company than IBM has contributed more to the success of Linux, both financially and developmentally.


Electronics giant Panasonic is another household name company to use Linux in powering some of its operations. Like several other firms on this list, Panasonic used Linux only after Windows NT proved woefully inadequate for what the company needed - voicemail systems, in this case. Rather than paying NT's expensive license fees, Panasonic's in-house developers created their own system incorporating Linux-based voicemail technology. Ultimately, the system they created was so successful that it grew to replace the Windows system completely, which has since been long discontinued.

Virgin America

Virgin America, a low-cost U.S. airline run by entrepreneurial big-shot Richard Branson, uses Linux to power its in-flight entertainment according to CrunchGear. The entertainment system (called RED) is powered by Red Hat and Fedora specifically, and was reportedly chosen because it is "very stable and agile." After four years of development, RED hit the airways as a rousing success.


Cisco Systems, the computer networking and routing giant, switched to Linux after vowing to use Microsoft's Active Directory solution for its servers." Indeed, the deal was so celebrated that Cisco management dubbed them to be an "all Microsoft" company according to In an imfamous turn of events, however, Cisco's own IT staff could not get its network printign to work properly using Windows NT and were thus forced to switch to Linux, which has yet to cause similar problems to our knowledge.


Never let it be said that Linux is a fringe operating system for inconsequential gizmos and gadgets. No stronger proof to the contrary exists that ConocoPhillips, which proudly uses Linux to power a massive (and massively important) cluster of servers aimed at exploring the earth for new sources of untapped oil. C-Net's reported in depth on the machine, which, largely due to using Linux, reportedly "costs a tenth of the average price of a conventional supercomputer." Alan Huffman, then manager of Conoco's seismic imaging technology center, claimed that the machine was capable of performing 500 billion calculations in a second.

Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks, a popular catolog-oriented steak retailer, switched to open-source Linux in 2001, according to While they had previously been running internally with IBM AS/400 computers, they now operate a cluster of Linux serves in-house that both runs its corporate website and is connected to the AS/400 system. JavaWorld explains in-depth how migrating to Linux at the server level helped Omaha Steaks expand the wildly popular gift aspect of its business by integrating consumer information and lowering costs. Advertisements for this mail order company can be found in the back of most up-scale home oriented magazines. They were running their internal systems on an IBM AS/400 and outsourced their Web site, but they wanted to tie the on-line ordering directly into the AS/400. A cluster of Linux servers now runs the Web site and connects to the AS/400.


Online book and electronics retail behemoth is said to "use Linux in nearly every corner of its business", according to ZD Net. After Amazon "began to use Linux in 2000 for basic tasks", Linux began speading through the company "notably the company's database" system. A separate ZD Net post in 2001 referenced a document Amazon filed with the Securies & Exchange Commission stating that switching to Linux had saved the company $17 million. By 2004, it was reported that Amazon "had nine worldwide distribution centers with a total of 4.2 million square feet" and that essentially "everything that happens in them is driven by Linux.


European car maker Peugeot announced in 2007 that it was set to deploy up to 20,000 copies of Novell Desktop Linux and 2,500 copies of SuSe Linux Enterprise Server. eWeek reported that "unlike recent Novell Linux deals that were released with a great deal of fanfare, such as Novells recent sale, via Microsoft, to Wal-Mart, this deal appears to have been made solely on the Linux desktops own merits." IT represenatives from Peugot remarked that they were pleased to discover how well supported and user-friendly Linux was upon checking it out.


Popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia is another staunch supporter of Linux, having switched to Ubunto in 2008 after a lengthy tenure using Red Hat and Fedora prior to that. Ars Technicaexplains that "Wikimedia's move to Ubuntu is part of an effort to simplify administration of the organization's 400 servers" and that the switch "could help increase the distribution's visibility in the Linux server market and demonstrate its viability in large-scale deployments." It was no small gig for Ubuntu, which now powers the servers that spit out up to 10 billion page views a month on Wikipedia.

New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange is another perhaps unexpected business user of Linux. A report on how London's stock exchange was also "abandoning the failed Windows platform", it was stated that New York's exchange already used Linux to power its trading platform and furthermore that it "seems to be doing quite nicely." InformationWeek revealed in 2008 that it was Red Hat Enterprise Linux, specifically, that the NYSE ran on its trading platform.

Burlington Coat Factory

Burlington Coat Factory, a retailer with 280 individual stores across 42 states, run Linux in their distribution centers and "a few new stores", according to A full-fledged roll-out to all existing stores is underway, and 1,250 Dell computers with Linux pre-installed were evidently purchased "to support the effort" at transitioning fully from Microsoft Windows to Linux.

Raymour and Flannigan describes Raymour and Flannigan's transition to Linux as "a major transformation" for the Syracuse-based furniture retailer, who switched all its servers to Linux back in 2002. According to company management, "it was easier to put Linux, rather than another operating system, on the older 486-based machines" that were available early on at Raymour and Flannigan. While Linux requires some manual configuration, NetworkComputing says, the benefits have largely outweighed the costs.

Tommy Hilfiger wrote that fashion magnate Tommy Hilfiger "chose eOneGroup and Linux for its new e-business infrastructure" way back in 2001. Company representatives were quoted as saying that "we saved significantly on the time and expense of deploying this total infrastructure", as opposed to if another operating system provider had been chosen.

Toyota Motor Sales

AAX.Net reported years ago on a "30 dealer pilot roll-out" of a system using Linux to connect car dealerships to Toyota's factories. The system was a "web based system from the ground up, and will be handling 30 different functions including parts ordering, warranties, sales transactions and repairs." As the 30 dealer pilot was successful, Toyota promptly announced plans to roll out the Linux-based system to 1,200 other dealerships.


Travelocity (funny gnome guy and all) is yet another Internet business powered by Linux servers. According to NetworkWorld, Travelocity management cited their desire "to improve our flexibility and really decrease our time to market" as the chief reasons for choosing Linux over other alternatives. Management at Travelocity also admits to being "big fans of open source, from total cost of ownership and from the sharing/collaboration [creation processes], using tools developed by other people and having [easy access] to other people who have experience with them."

Home & Scientific Uses of Linux

Finally, Linux has also found homes in various home and scientific capacities. From video game systems to science labs, Linux is playing an even bigger role in consumer technology. Below are several noteworthy examples.

Sony Playstation 3

While Linux is not pre-installed on the PS3, it was designed to allow easy installation of it and Gamespot revealed in 2006 that "Terra Soft Solutions is now making Yellow Dog Linux 5.0 available for download for the PS3." Installing it requires a keyboard, USB cord and mouse, and for the user to "partition the PS3's drive into two partitions so that the GameOS and Linux can run on dual partitions."


Miniature laptops called Netbooks have become extremely popular in recent years, and often ship with minimalist distributions like Xandros or Linpus that are optimized to run efficiently using the limited resources Netbooks must use due to space and cost constraints.While Netbooks are still frequently sold with Microsoft Windows installed, they are shipped with Linux more than perhaps any other mass-market laptop around.

Some Dell Models

In recent years (particularly 2007-2008) distributions of Linux like Ubuntu have placed a higher than ever priority on user friendliness in efforts to capture some of the Windows market. Consequently, Dell and other mass-market PC manufacturers have taken to pre-loading Ubuntu and other distributions on their computers.


Cern uses Scientific Linux on a massive scale for mission-critical applications. FreeSoftwareMagazine, for instance, notes that Linux is powering the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, a machine designed to do important subatomic research. CERN, it should also be noted, is where Tim Berners-Lee invented the hypertext link while working there in the 80's as an independent contractor. CERN also runs Linux on its 20,000 internal servers.

Internet Archive

Anyone who has ever used the Wayback Machine to peer at the past of a website has unwittingly been served information by a throng of x86 servers running Linux -- hundreds of them, in fact.

ASV Roboat reports that the ASV Roboat, a research craft designed to glean data about "the Pacific whale population in cooperation with the marine biology department of the Oregon State University", is apparently powered by Linux software. It is a considerable test of Linux's technological capabilities, as the craft is charged with "researching large geographic areas over long periods of time at low cost." The ASV Roboat can be seen in the video posted above.

IBM iDataPlex in Canada

Canada's largest supercomputer, the IBM iDataPlex (housed at the University of Toronto) is also powered by Linux. According to the Canadian Globe and Mail, the massive machine cost "$50-million to put together, and its brain takes up as much room as a warehouse full of refrigerators." Its tasks are many and demanding, including running "more than 300 trillion calculations a second, simulating the Earth's climate 100 years into the future in four days and helping researchers study cosmic background radiation."

Government Users of Linux

Governments at all levels (national, state, federal and international) have opted to deploy Linux across their computer systems for a host of reasons. Some are purely technological, with the governments in question preferring the open-source benefits of the OS. Others are financial, as Linux is typically far less expensive than buying a license for Windows. Still others are political, as organizations like the World Trade Organization have actively pressured governments to shun Microsoft products. In any case, here are some of the governing bodies that now run Linux on their computers.

U.S. Department of Defense

According to, the United States Department of Defense is the "single biggest install base for Red Hat Linux" in the world. Nor was it an unconscious choice, as Brigadier General Nick Justice, the Deputy Program Officer for the Army's Program Executive Office proclaims "open source software is part of the integrated network fabric which connects and enables our command and control system to work effectively, as people's lives depend on it." Justice went on to state that "when we rolled into Baghdad, we did it using open source", and that he was indeed Red Hat's "biggest customer."

U.S. Navy Submarine Fleet reveals that "the US Navy nuclear submarine fleet is using GNU/Linux" as well.

The City of Munich, Germany

The city of Munich, Germany has "chosen to migrate its 14,000 desktops to a free Linux distribution, rather than a commercial version of the open source operating system" according to a 2005 ZD Net report. The distribution Munich chose was Debian, and is said to have "considered several alternatives before choosing Debian", settling on it ultimately because of price and the degree to which it could be customized to meet Munich's municipal computing needs. The German Foreign Office, as well as the city of Vienna, also opted to make the switch to Debian in 2005.

Spain maintains that Spain has long been the strongest supporter and user of Linux from a national government standpoint. Linux has spread rapidly throughout Spain since 2002, when the government of Extremadura actually created its own cutomized Linux distribution (called LinEx) based on Debian, using GNOME as its "default desktop environment." Since then, the government "gave away the product CDs at every opportunity -- in government offices, magazines and even daily newspapers" as part of a determined and ongoing effort to get LinEx out to everybody." By handing out the software for free and continuing to publicize its availability, Linux spread from Extremadura throughout the rest of Spain and remains widely used today.

Federal Aviation Administration

Few government users of Linux appear to be happier with their choice to switch than the United States Federal Aviation Administration. According to Wikipedia, the FAA announced in 2006 that it "had completed a migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux in one third of the scheduled time and saved 15 million dollars" in the process of doing so. Score it another big-time government client for the Red Hat distribution of Linux.

French Parliament

French Parliament opted in November 2006 to dump Windows in favor of Ubuntu Linux, according to ZD Net The move was part of a comprehensive shake-up in the software run on Parliament computers, resulting ultimately in "1,154 French parliamentary workstations running on Linux, with productivity software, the Firefox Web browser and an open-source e-mail client." Despite the training costs, Parliament officials named cost savings and technological superiority of open-source software for parliamentary purposes as reasons for the switch.

State-Owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

According to a 2005 InformationWeek report, the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China "decided to roll out Linux in all of its 20,000 retail branches." As the largest bank in all of China, the institution committed to buying "an unrestricted user license" as part of a full-blown integration of Linux "throughout its entire banking operations network" culminating in 2008. At the time, InformationWeek stated that this represented the largest deployment of Linux to date in the Chinese financial sector. Essentially, Linux became "the basis for its web server and a new terminal platform" at the bank.

Pakistani Schools & Colleges

In 2002, the government of Pakistan launched a Technology Resource Mobilization Unit to promote the spread of open-source software (including Linux) throughout that country. The unit (comprised of academics, businesspeople and government officials) has largely succeeded in educating computer users throughout Pakistan about what free software has to offer. As a result, Pakistan is using Linux in many of its public schools and colleges and plans to ultimately run it on all of its government computer systems. In countries like Pakistan, where little money is available for government investment in technology, Linux and other open source software is appealing from a cost perspective.


Cuba, never a fan of capitalism or corporate enterprise, took the step of developing its own Linux distribution (called "Nova") to replace Microsoft Windows in February 2009. According to Carribean Net News, the switch to Linux was motivated not by technology or cost issues, but instead constituted "the latest front of the communist island's battle against what it views as U.S. hegemony." Nova was introduced during a conference held in the name of "technological sovereignty" and was touted as essential to Cuba's "desire to replace the Microsoft software running most of the island's computers." Evidently, Cuban officials feared that U.S. security agencies could access Microsoft software code and in the process discover secrets belonging to the Cuban government. Whether or not Cuba's switch to Linux has any practical effect on relations between the two countries is debateable, but they have been using Nova ever since.

Macedonia's Ministry of Education and Science reported in November 2007 that every student in Macedonia would use computer workstations powered by Ubuntu Linux, as part of that country's "A Computer For Every Child" program. In total, more than 180,000 workstations were covered by the project, described as "one of the largest known thin client and desktop Linux deployments ever undertaken." Indeed, Macedonia's Minister for the Information Society dubbed it "the largest and most important education project undertaken in the 15-year history of the Republic of Macedonia." Under the agreement, 160,000 of the 180,000 workstations were to be virtual PC terminals, while the other 20,000 were to be stand-alone PCs, all of which accomodated one student each and ran the Ubuntu Linux OS.

U.S. Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service is a textbook example of a once-avowed Windows loyalist switching to Linux for purely technical reasons. While the Postal Service ran Windows NT on its servers until the bitter end, they then switched to using over 900 Linux clusters spead throughout the country for use in sorting the nation's bulk mail. They use technology from Pacific Northwest Software, who proudly explains in-depth the work it has done in switching the Postal Service to a Linux-based infrastructure. Those interested are encouraged to check it out here.

U.S. Federal Courts explains that the U.S. Federal Courts rely on Linux for all manner of administrative tasks, including "case management, case tracking, finance and accounting, probation and pretrial services." Linux has been used by the courts since November of 2003, when PEC Solutions assisted in orchestrating a "migration of the Federal Judiciary to a Linux-based system."

Government of Mexico City reported in 2001 that the government of Mexico City had concluded that "they can no longer justify the ever rising cost of Microsoft Windows when the cost of Linux software is very low." In an interview with Wired, the city's technical coordinator, José Barberán, "announced plans to switch city computers to the Linux operating system and to use the money it saves to fund social welfare programs." At the end of the day, when faced with pressure to increase social spending, "cutting costs by moving to open-source software was a logical choice for the mayor."

Garden Grove, California

Perhaps the earliest governmental adopter of Linux on our list is Garden Grove, California, which made the switch all the way back in 1995, according to Linux Journal. Evidently, the city was in a cash crunch when it opted to give Linux a try, and found that it saved so much money that they later decided to roll out Linux across the city, including on some desktop systems.

Largo, Florida

A 2003 article entitled "Largo Loves Linux More Than Ever" explains how the Floridian city came to rely so heavily on Linux software. After having such great success running city computers on Linux, Largo's municipal government soon thereafter was "talking about Linux-based terminals in all the city's police cars." To their credit, remarked that Largo's system administrators (who are responsible for managing the city's Linux machines) were "the least harassed, least worried, calmest sysadmins we have ever met." Perhaps there is a correlation?

Czech Post

Perhaps taking a cue from the U.S. Postal Service, the Czech Republic's own post office successfully migrated to Linux in 2005, according to Europa.The chosen distribution of Linux (SuSe) now runs on "4,000 servers at 3,400 post offices across the country, as well as at 12,000 client terminals used by 20,000 employees." Once more, cost was a driving force behind a large state institution switching from Windows or other providers to free, open-source Linux.

Educational Users of Linux

Educational institutions, like businesses and government, have increasingly decided to roll out Linux on servers and desktop computers for their open-source and cost benefits. These institutions range from public schools (elementary, middle and high school) to colleges and post-graduate schools. Below are several of the most prominent educational establishments to have switched from Microsoft Windows to Linux.

Russian Schools

In 2007, the nation of Russia announced that all its schools would begin running Linux software. A BBC report on the matter stated that Russia's "schools formerly tended to run illegal copies of Microsoft operating systems", but that since Russia joined the WTO, that is no longer accepted practice. Therefore, rather than buy licenses for all the software it had been pirating, it opted to go with the free Linux operating system. While admitting that most teachers and students had no experience with Linux, Russia's education officials nevertheless felt that the transition would go well and that the software would suit the purposes of schools.

German Universities reported in August 2007 that "around 560,000 German students plus thousands of staff at 33 German universities will now be supported by Linux systems from Novell." SuSe Linux Enterprise Desktop was the specific distribution chosen, evidently for the "more flexible IT architecture" that it provides "when compared to other proprietary software."

The Phillipines

The switch to Linux is said to be "forging an education revolution" in the Phillipines, according to ComputerWorld. As they explain, "after a successful deployment of 13,000 Fedora Linux systems from a government grant, plans are underway to roll out another 10,000 based on Ubuntu" in that country. Apparently, Linux reached popularity because of its lower installation and maintenance costs in the Phillippines in the wake of 1997's Asian financial crisis.


Former Soviet state Georgia began "began running all its school computers and LTSP thin clients on Linux, mainly using Kubuntu, Ubuntu and stripped Fedora-based distros" back in 2004, according to Wikipedia. Add Georgia to the growing list of less-wealthy countries that opted to use Linux for cost reasons versus pay expensive licensing fees for Microsoft Windows.

The Indian State of Tamil Nadu told the story of how "after being put off by Microsoft's bundling tactics for academic users", the Indian state of Tamil Nadu decided instead to "distribute 100,000 Linux laptops to students there." The laptops were to be sold to students for $800, a "considerable markdown compared to retail value." While the government proposed to license Windows at $12 per copy, Microsoft stood firm at $57 per copy, prompting Tamil Nadu to go with Linux instead.

Switzerland Schools

Wikipedia also reports that Switzerland converted 9,000 of its computers to using Linux and's suite of office productivity tools in its Geneva district in September, 2008. As has been seen by the licensing fees other software companies charge, there is often a compelling financial incentive to use Linux instead.

Bolzano, Italy

The town of Balzano in Italy (with a student population of 16,000) reportedly switched to using a customized distribution of Linux across all its schools in 2005.

Kerela, India reported in September 2006 that from now on, in Kerela, India, "nearly 1.5 million students in the 2,650 government and government-aided high schools in the state will no longer use the Windows platform for computer education. Instead, they have switched over to the free GNU/Linux software." Rather, they would now begin running Linux operating systems and accomplishing all word processing and spreadsheet tasks via software. An education official was quoted as saying ""we have decided that we will use only free software for computer education in Kerala schools" on the eve of a 56,000 teacher Linux training program.

One Laptop Per Child

The much-publicized One Laptop Per Child program was built around the OLPC XO-1, which, according to Wikipedia "is an inexpensive laptop running Linux, which will be distributed to millions of children as part of the One Laptop Per Child project, especially in developing countries." Here, again, the low cost of Linux was a major factor in its inclusion.

Indiana Schools revealed in August 2006 that "more than 20,000 Indiana students are now Linux-enabled under a state grant program to roll out low-cost, easy-to-manage workstations." The state's Affordable Classroom Computers for Every Secondary Student program rapidly grew from "24 high schools to 80 high schools" after it became clear that software costs per computer ($100 prior to the migration) could be cut down to $5 using Linux and other open-source software. Districts get to choose which distribution of Linux their schools will run and have considerable control over the implementation.