Codeless customizations in 3.7

 

jrogelstad's picture

While open source projects are widely acknowledged to have strong technological underpinnings by both proponents and detractors, the latter will point out that the problem with open source software is you have to be a programmer to really get the benefits of open source. That has traditionally meant that 99.9% of the potential user base doesn't really get the biggest benefits. However, as open source projects like Apple's Mac/iPad operating systems (based on BSD) and Google's Android operating system (based on Linux) have become mainstream the old axiom that open source is only for geeks and hackers is becoming old school. The interfaces for products that use these projects have not only caught up to, but surpassed proprietary systems.

xTuple is no exception. In our 3.7 we have added features that make it a piece of cake to add custom fields to documents and reports. No programming required.

What we've done in this release is extended the capabilities of "characteristics." These have long been available a something akin to user defined text fields that can be added to customers, items, contacts and so on. In 3.7 we have expanded characteristics so that in addition to text they can also be dates or an option list. Using the option list makes it easy for non-technical users to set up their own custom predefined reference lists to ensure data integrity.

 

 

When characteristics are present, they now become automatically available as both column selections and filterable options. The filters can be saved for future use and shared among your co-workers. Making customized reports has never been easier!

 

 

The 3.7.0 release candidate is available today on Source Forge if you want to try out these features. The 3.7.0 final release, including the installer, is currently in the last phases of testing and should be available in just a couple short weeks.

 
rcharbonneau's picture
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Joined: 11/17/2007
Great stuff

John,

Do you plan to extent this functionality to all transactions in the future?

Being able to record information at PO Receipt, Post Operation, Post Production, Shipping, ... would be A++

Thanks,

 
jrogelstad's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2008
I'm not sure how this

I'm not sure how this functionality would work at the transaction level. I think that's something that would need to be defined by a real world use case. As always these developments are driven by specific business problems that need to be solved. Ironically in this development the driver was internal. We needed these new characteristic features to replicate functionality that was formerly in our Mantis bug tracker so we could replace it with our own CRM Incident system without hard coding in features that only made sense in the context of a software company. So you see, we are customers too!

Personally I would like to see characteristics extended to a few other documents like Project and Sales Order.

 
rcharbonneau's picture
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Joined: 11/17/2007
Inspection is an example

Inspection is a good example.

Being able to enter tolerance, certificat#, informal vendor lot# at receipt time would be priceless! Same thing upon operation time clock out, and Post Production.

Sales Order / Shipment Information is an other:
- Pickup Monday 29th 10AM
- Use CPC Pallet
- Use Mail Main entrance
- 5 feet elevalor door
- Carrier PO
- ...

And for Project the list is endless...

Can we use scripting/psql to customize it?

A+

 
jrogelstad's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2008
Yes it could all be scripted.

Yes it could all be scripted. I'd rather see that sort of thing in the core.