This chapter will give you an introductory overview of the Odoo website builder along with an insight into various basic concepts regarding its operations. Additionally, we will present a brief description of Odoo and its aligned aspects of operation.
In this chapter, we will cover the following topics:
- An introduction to Odoo
- An overview of the Odoo platform
- A brief insight into the Odoo website builder tool
By the end of the chapter, you will have a clear understanding of Odoo, its benefits, and its usage within a business environment. Moreover, you will also gain basic knowledge of various operations regarding website building with the Odoo website builder.
An introduction to websites
Nowadays, the generation of business opportunities, as well as the operations of a company, mostly take place via a company website. Websites are a term that came into existence after the invention and widespread usage of internet facilities across the world. Looking back, information sharing was still a pipe dream, that is, until computer scientists, Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, came up with the transmission protocols that form the base of today's internet communications. The internet rose to popularity when it was opened for public use.
In the middle of 1991, World Wide Web services opened for the first time for citizens across the globe to use. We can thank the modern era of digitalization for cementing its wide usage and development. Following this period, websites came into existence and the top companies of the day began to establish their own websites to showcase their products and attract customers. Although the concept of e-commerce was established in 1979 by Michael Aldrich, a British inventor, its modern-day popularity came with the use of the internet to function with it.
In fact, it could be said that present-day e-commerce services came into existence due to the availability and accessibility of internet services across the world. With the introductory concepts of digitalization and modernization in electronics and technology, websites have retained their current design and operation. Furthermore, we could say that the advancements in telecommunication have paved the way for the widespread use of the internet and websites across the world. As the world took a turn toward the twenty-first century, internet services became an essential part of living, and they are now considered the modernized inventions of the century. Additionally, if you look back in history, the internet has paved the way for various inventions in fields that have helped human lives, and brought in advanced technologies and functioning to this world.
In a nutshell, the internet, and its associated services, can be called the invention of the century. Now, let's return to websites: With internet services being established, people discovered the widespread usage and capabilities of websites. While previously derived as a medium to share information, it was now considered as a method of communication, information exchange, and data gathering. Today, websites are used for multiple purposes such as education, business, communication, social networking, and more. Additionally, information from websites helps us with our daily tasks of decision making, information gathering, and communications.
As websites started to indulge in each person's life around the world, the usability and the need for them began to grow. Business establishments took advantage of the widespread use of the technology and began to develop their own websites. This served them well since these websites acted as a medium to showcase their products and services to the world. Additionally, as this mode of communication and company exposure was cheap and economical, it cemented the marketing strategies of these companies. Nowadays, websites and digital marketing have widespread capabilities that impact human lives. Since the majority of companies run most of their business operations through websites, designers and developers are striving to make them attractive, informative, and provide end users with a sense of satisfaction.
In this digital era that we live in, every company and institution should have a website for its operations. We can class this as an inevitable change because rather than simply being a business platform, it can be used as an informative tool and marketing platform for companies. In addition, if you are in the starting stages of your establishment, a website will be a helpful tool. Additionally, with the right design and proper descriptive content, you can drive visitors to your company website and therefore, improve your business opportunities.
Another aspect to consider is the manageability of these websites in a real-time environment. While dealing with website-based terminologies, business operations could get trickier and unmanageable without proper tools and operational methodologies being implemented. In addition, if a firm functions with a retail environment, wholesale warehouse operations that also manage website operations would need a clear-cut plan and certain operational systems in place to manage and control every operation. If you consider a website operation, you would need to design and develop it, function with it, manage the operations including in-house operations, provide attractive content and designs, track visitors, and garner business opportunities. These are the concerns to bear in mind while dealing with website operations. And the answer to these concerns is Odoo. Odoo is an Enterprise and Resource Planning (ERP) software that has been developed to run company operations. Odoo houses a website builder tool that is the ultimate solution to all of the preceding concerns. We will cover this in more detail in the final section of this chapter. However, before that, let's acquaint ourselves with what Odoo is.
An overview of Odoo and its operational aspects
With the introduction of digitalization across the world, business management solutions have started to evolve and are now operating and controlling full-fledged operations within companies. ERP terminology came into existence before this and the introduction of digitalization into the world was functioning with limited capabilities. With the modernization of technology and information exchange, ERPs evolved to be the much-needed business management software solution around the world. Odoo is one of the modernized ERPs available today and is capable of running the business operations of companies.
Let's delve into a brief insight into the history of Odoo. The founder of the platform, Fabien Pinckaers, who is currently the CEO of the company, developed TinyERP, which was later named OpenERP due to the capabilities it proposed. The company started to grow, and within a short span of time, it was able to achieve unimaginable growth compared to various other firms. Finally, in 2014, the product was renamed Odoo, which is the same name as the company.
Today, Odoo has more than 5 million users across the world and is one of the most widely used ERP solutions. Initially, it started as a software service company until transforming itself into a software publishing company. Therefore, Odoo has been with the business sector since the start, catering to every need of users across the world. Furthermore, the company started with limited employees, a handful of partners, and was developed across 100 countries. Now, Odoo has over 950 employees, 2,550+ partners, and is used over by 5 million users across the world; therefore, this ERP software has grown beyond the management and company's chart expectations.
How was it possible? Well, the only answer is the capabilities and operational smoothness that the platform brings to a company. Moreover, it offers a cost-efficient solution by using a reliable business management module to run all operations, covering distinctive aspects of the company using a modular structure. Today, Odoo is used by a vast number of industries on all sorts of operational levels. Although the platform is best suited for small and medium enterprises, the customization ability of the platform has enabled its operations to be adapted to larger establishments. The key aspect of Odoo is that the ERP is an open source platform that makes it flexible and adaptable to any change in the operational strategies of a business and its users. Moreover, this feature adds to the cost-effectiveness factor by providing more speed to operations and, therefore, improving performance. Additionally, data security aspects are more reliable and secure for operations. Furthermore, the open source platform has a network of communities, which support users with their needs.
Having understood the history and background of Odoo, let's take a look at the supporting aspects of the Odoo platform in the next sections.
The Odoo community
As mentioned earlier, Odoo is an open source ERP and has a community that supports the user in every part of operations. The Odoo community is a collection of Odoo developers, consultants, and Odoo partners. Simply put, the Odoo community can be considered the backbone of the platform, as they are responsible for bringing in regularized updates, which modify the operational aspects and add new features to the software. Additionally, Odoo releases a new version of the software every year, and it has been doing so for the past couple of years, which is made possible only by the contribution of the Odoo community. While the minor updates are being released throughout the year, the new versions are done during the Odoo Experience event.
The Odoo platform allows you to use various application-specific modules of operations, which are designed and developed by Odoo community members. The applications are centered on being operational for specific functions in a company according to its needs. The users of Odoo can obtain them from the Odoo Apps Store available on the Odoo website. Some of the applications there are free of charge, while certain others come with a fee. Additionally, they are developed to smooth company operations and bring in user-friendly apps to users of Odoo.
Editions of Odoo
Odoo ERP releases a new version every year at the Odoo Experience event. The operations of Odoo mainly fall into two separate editions. Odoo ERP can be availed by customers via two editions: the first one being the Community Edition and the second one being the Enterprise Edition. Among these, the former edition is limited in terms of its features and comes free of charge. Odoo Online is one of its versions; however, its customization ability is limited and the user cannot run sophisticated business operations. Moreover, it's suitable for establishments with less than 50 users.
On the contrary, the Enterprise Edition of the Odoo platform has a license fee and subscription charges will be included when using it. It comes packed with additional features and ultimate customization ability. Furthermore, the user can run sophisticated business operations making it suitable for larger business environments. So, while Odoo ERP is suitable to function with small and medium scale enterprises, the software can be also configured to run in larger establishments. Additionally, both versions of Odoo ERP have the support of the Odoo community, which can be accessed by users for both technical and functional aspects of operations.
Customization is the best feature of Odoo, as it provides the user with the ability to flex the operations of the platform as per their own requirements. Moreover, the software is developed and drafted into operations in the form of a business, based on the needs and necessities of the company's operations. In addition, the use of add-ons from the Odoo Apps Store need to be customized for each operation. In the instance of using one or more application from the Odoo Apps Store, they need to be configured to be operational with one another as well as the platform in order to satisfy the customer's application-specific needs. Additionally, Odoo customization will bring in operational features and options required for the user to run their company operations in Odoo as per their terms and conditions.
A key aspect of Odoo pricing that makes up most of the Odoo platform functioning in your company is Odoo's hosting capabilities. These can be chosen from multiple options based on the needs and necessities of the user. Odoo hosting can be done on three different types of platforms:
- Firstly, Odoo's cloud-based hosting hosts the online Odoo version, which is the Community Edition of the platform. It comes with limited features and capabilities for company operations.
- Secondly, Odoo's on-premises hosting can be done either on an in-house server or one that is available locally, according to the needs of the company. In this type of hosting, the platform can be customized along with the use of add-ons to run the company operations.
- Thirdly, the Odoo.sh platform can be hosted on a server provided by Odoo. It can be either a shared one or a dedicated one. The shared server is suitable for small-scale establishments, while the dedicated one is better for the larger establishments of operations.
Now that we have discussed the hosting aspects of Odoo, let's take a look at how to install the Odoo platform onto your systems.
Installing Odoo on a Linux-based system
Odoo ERP can be used in Linux after successfully implementing it to be operational. This can be done in two ways. The first way is by downloading the
.ded file from the website and installing it, and then further configuring it to be operational. Another way is via command-line installation, which we will discuss next. You can efficiently perform the task in the Ubuntu system by following these steps:
- Update the server and system to the latest version:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
- Secure a server for your operations:
sudo apt-get install openssh-server fail2ban
- Create a user on Odoo:
sudo adduser --system --home=/opt/odoo --group odoo
- Next, we need to perform PostgreSQL configuration. The steps are as follows:
postgres, as follows:
sudo apt-get install postgres
b. Switch to a Postgres version higher than 9.6 to create and manage the Odoo database:
sudo su - postgres
c. Now, create an Odoo 14.0 user:
createuser --createdb --username postgres --no-createrole --no-superuser --pwprompt odoo14
d. Assign the user as a superuser to attain more optional privileges:
psql ALTER USER odoo14 WITH SUPERUSER;
e. Exit from
postgresusing the following commands:
- Install the Odoo dependencies using the following steps:
pip3using the following command:
sudo apt-get install -y python3-pip
b. Install the necessary packages and libraries:
sudo apt-get install python-dev python3-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev zlib1g-dev libsasl2-dev libldap2-dev build-essential libssl-dev libffi-dev libmysqlclient-dev libjpeg-dev libpq-dev libjpeg8-dev liblcms2-dev libblas-dev libatlas-base-dev
sudo apt-get install -y npm sudo ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node sudo npm install -g less less-plugin-clean-css sudo apt-get install -y node-less
- Next, we need to perform GitHub cloning. The steps are as follows:
a. To enable GitHub cloning initially, GitHub must be installed on the server:
sudo apt-get install git
b. Change the system user to
odooprior to cloning, as this makes it more secure:
sudo su - odoo -s /bin/bash
c. Clone from the repository and its respective branch:
git clone https://www.github.com/odoo --depth 1 --branch 14.0 --single-branch.
d. Exit and continue with the installation:
- Install the necessary Python packages using the following steps:
a. Install the Python packages and library using
sudo pip3 install -r /opt/odoo/requirements.txt
b. Download and install
wkhtmltopdffor Odoo to support PDF reports:
sudo wget https://github.com/wkhtmltopdf/wkhtmltopdf/releases/download/0.12.5/wkhtmltox_0.12.5-1.bionic_amd64.deb sudo dpkg -i wkhtmltox_0.12.5-1.bionic_amd64.deb sudo apt install -f
- Configure Odoo and its services, as follows:
a. A configuration file will be automatically created in the Odoo software. This will be downloaded and copied to another configuration folder, as depicted in the following code:
sudo cp /opt/odoo/debian/odoo.conf /etc/odoo.conf
b. Provide the necessary information regarding the file:
sudo nano /etc/odoo.conf
c. Update the configuration file, as follows:
[options] ; This is the password that allows database operations: admin_passwd = admin db_host = False db_port = False db_user = odoo14 db_password = False addons_path = /opt/odoo/odoo/addons logfile = /var/log/odoo/odoo.log
d. Set up access rights to the files:
sudo chown odoo: /etc/odoo.conf sudo chmod 640 /etc/odoo.conf
e. Create a directory of logs in Odoo:
sudo mkdir /var/log/odoo
sudo chown odoo:root /var/log/odoo
g. Configure Odoo's services:
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/odoo.service
h. Place the following snippet inside the file:
[Unit] Description=Odoo Documentation=http://www.odoo.com [Service] # Ubuntu/Debian convention: Type=simple User=odoo ExecStart=/opt/odoo/odoo/odoo-bin -c /etc/odoo.conf [Install] WantedBy=default.target
i. Set up a root user for the file:
sudo chmod 755 /etc/systemd/system/odoo.service sudo chown root: /etc/systemd/system/odoo.service
- Run Odoo as follows:
a. To start the Odoo platform, run the following command:
sudo systemctl start odoo.service
sudo systemctl status odoo.service If active use the following URL to enter the platform. "http://<your_domain_or_IP_address>:8069"
c. Inspect the log file using the following command:
sudo tail -f /var/log/odoo/odoo.log
d. If the Odoo services are to be started at the system's boot time, enter the following command:
sudo systemctl enable odoo.service
Installing Odoo on Windows
- Download the executable file for Windows from the Odoo website, as shown in the following screenshot. The link to download it is https://www.odoo.com/page/download:
- Install the downloaded file onto your system:
- Confirm the PostgreSQL connection:
- Configure the destination folder:
- Start the application and configure the database for operations:
Key features of Odoo ERP
Odoo is considered one of the most advanced ERPs available today, and it is capable of running any business operations efficiently within the platform. Here are some of the key features of the Odoo platform:
- It has high-end customization abilities, allowing it to flexibly operate in any form of business operation.
- It offers single platform-based operations to control all business operations.
- It has a modular design with designated application modules of operations.
- Its integration ability allows it to operate with advanced applications and devices such as IoT and biometric devices.
- It utilizes centralized inventory management and database operations for efficient functioning along with secure data transfers.
- It has advanced operational tools such as drop shipping, cross-docking, data reconciliation, lead enrichment, and more.
- It uses a field service module to run your company's field service operations.
- It uses a fleet management tool to manage the fleet of vehicles you have.
- It provides an HR management form for the recruitment of employees to pay their salary.
- It uses a project module to run the specialized operations of your company.
- It uses a manufacturing and repair module that manages the production aspects.
- It has advanced reporting features on each of the modules of operations, providing efficient analytical and quantitative reporting on the various aspects.
- It is an efficient Odoo website builder.
- A data cleaning application is available from the latest Odoo version 14.
- It offers breadcrumb-based operations and informative details on all the sections of operations.
Note that these are some, but not all, of the features of, Odoo ERP. Lets, now move on to understand certain benefits of using Odoo.
The benefits of using Odoo
- The extensible architecture provides the user with the ability to rewrite the code and extend the operations of the platform to new levels of company functioning.
- The cost factors of ERPs are high; however, the Odoo Community Edition can be availed free of charge, albeit with limited features, providing users with an insight into the platform's operations. Furthermore, the Enterprise Edition comes packed with features and its customization ability has a license fee that is on the lower side compared to other competitors.
- The open source platform makes the source code available to anyone, and users can access this to add their own customizations, as needed, to the code.
- It is available in two versions: the first one is the Community Edition with limited features and a lack of customization ability, while the second one is the Enterprise Edition with full-ranged features and capabilities along with full customization capabilities.
- A secure system of operations allows the user to keep their data secure, safeguard confidential and in-house data, and much more.
- The Odoo studio tool helps users to develop and modify their applications according to operational needs.
These are just some of the benefits of Odoo for users of the platform. In the next section, we will learn about the Odoo website builder tool.
An overview of the Odoo website builder
The Odoo platform offers an in-house and efficient website-building tool for its users. The designated website module of the platform allows users to run website operations from a development, design, and management perspective. The tool will help users design and create a website for a company using the simple drag and drop functionality. You might have a misconception that to develop a website, there is a need for in-depth knowledge of coding and programming. You are wrong, as the Odoo website builder helps users to create a website in no time using simple tools to function. Moreover, the user can customize their website as per their own operational needs using the various default options available. Additionally, users are provided with editing options that are operational from both the frontend and the backend of the website operations.
Every operational establishment needs a website in today's operation as the website would act as a medium to conduct business rather than the conventional ways used in the earlier days. The developers at Odoo recognized the need for a website building tool in their initial version, and they inculcated the website builder and management options. In the latest version of Odoo 14, the website builder tool is packed with operational features to deal with all the modernized aspects of website requirements. We have used the latest Odoo 14 enterprise edition throughout the book, however, some extra features wouldn't be available in the Community when compared with the Enterprise edition. Additionally, the website builder brings advanced functional options to the website. This is not only useful for users but also for visitors. The website module of Odoo also helps with the creation and management of the e-commerce platform of operations running in parallel with the website management and other company operations, such as the retail and wholesale parts of the business.
The next section will provide an insight into certain misconceptions regarding website building followed by features and operational capabilities that rectify these misconceptions. Additional benefits of using the Odoo website builder will be described along with a highlight of its salient features.
Clearing up certain misconceptions
Now, when considering the need for a website in the company, some of you might not agree to it. There might be questions or concerns, such as why should my company need it? How can I design and develop it without help and programming knowledge? How successful will it be? So, before jumping into further details about Odoo's website builder, let's clear up certain misconceptions regarding it.
Why do I need a website for my company?
This could be the first question that you might think about in your mind when considering a website for your company. You could also assume the need is reserved for corporate establishments and not normal-sized business establishments. Furthermore, you could say that it's not worth it. However, a website for your company, nowadays, will act as the primary source of income generation rather than an unused entity. Due to developments in telecommunications and internet facilities, people are no longer relying on others as consultants. Instead, they are more likely to search for a product or a company on the World Wide Web. Therefore, for your company to be discovered and known by people, the need for a website is both essential and inevitable.
Another aspect of concern for you might be the cost factor involved. However, it can be assumed from the results of various websites of other organizations that investing in a website is beneficial and provides you with better business opportunities. Additionally, while designing a website with the Odoo website builder, the operations won't cost you a penny apart from the subscription charges of Odoo.
Is it too early to implement a website?
The answer to this question is that you are always late if you decide to implement a website after the company has started its operations. In the beginning, when a company is about to start its operations, a website can serve as the best marketing tool available to inform the customers about the products and services that you are doing business with. Additionally, this could be an opportunity for the vendors to contact you to purchase the product from them.
Having cleared up the general misconceptions of creating a website, next, we will go through the capabilities of the Odoo website builder.
The features and operational capabilities of the Odoo website builder
The Odoo website builder is the ultimate tool of operations and will allow the user to design and create a website and manage the entire operations from the same platform. The website builder in Odoo is loaded with features that help the user to create attractive, user-friendly websites that can be operated from both the frontend and backend with ease. Here are some operational tools in Odoo that can help the user to create and run an efficient website:
- The intuitive system provides the user with the option for multiple text and font styles to be used while designing the website.
- The text editing tools are similar to a word processor, ensuring that text editing can be done with ease.
- It offers customization tools that can be expensed from the frontend and backend of the module.
- You can design the website using the available building blocks by simply dragging and dropping where you want them to be according to your design.
- It utilizes promotional tools such as pop-up messages, coupons, and promotional program integrations.
- You can opt for social media integration to create a wider reach with your customers.
- You can create and manage multiple websites for a company from a single platform.
- Multi-company operations can also be managed along with their websites.
- You can enable visitor monitoring and link tracking abilities for users.
- It supports Gengo and Google Analytics integration.
- You can keep in touch with your visitors using the live chat tool.
- It offers mobile previews and editing options.
- It offers frontend HTML CSS, and JS editor tools.
- You can access various professional themes by default and source additional ones from the Odoo Apps Store.
Additional benefits of the Odoo website builder
Odoo, as mentioned earlier, is a business management solutions tool with a modular structure, which has designated modules of operation.The modules of operations are interconnected and will operate in the same direction to strive for the excellence of your company. Furthermore, there are various modules of operations that are interconnected with Odoo and the website:
- E-commerce is an aspect of company operations that goes hand-in-hand with the company website, and as a matter of fact, the user, in Odoo, can define the e-commerce operations inside the company website itself, making the management operations of both run easily.
- The user can post blogs, and create forums and various other additional pages of operations in the website, which can be managed in the same production functionality. Additionally, the e-learning aspects of the company are associated with the company's website and can be provided as a separate page, which can be accessed with ease.
- The recruitment aspects of online job postings can be done on the same website and could be managed using the designated recruitment module in Odoo.
Additionally, Odoo will not limit the function and controllability of the website. Therefore, it will provide the user with capabilities to assign employees of the company to run the various aspects of the website, such as live chat, visitor monitoring, portal user allocation, and much more. Moreover, the platform exhibits various tools of operations that allow the user with functionality options to run the company website operations more efficiently on the platform.
The salient features of the Odoo website builder
- Forget about coding and use the drag and drop features to build a website.
- You can create and brand your website yourself.
- You can monitor and turn visitors to the company website into customers using lead development.
- You can make use of systemized SEO tools.
- You can synchronize your website with Odoo's marketing tools for digital marketing.
- You can extend the website's capabilities using the add-ons available.
In this chapter, we initially learned about the emergence of websites, including a brief history of them. We also discussed the vital importance of them in today's world. We then moved on to understand Odoo ERP, discussing an overview of it, and describing the Odoo community, the Odoo Apps Store, editions of Odoo, Odoo customization, and Odoo hosting. We also learned about the installation of Odoo on Linux-based systems and Windows-based systems. Moreover, the key features of Odoo ERP and the benefits of using Odoo were described in detail. We then looked at the Odoo website builder tool, where we discussed an overview of it along with its features, its additional benefits, and the salient features when using it. Additionally, certain misconceptions regarding the Odoo website builder tool were also cleared up.
In the next chapter, you will be taken into an in-depth discussion of Odoo's website builder and learn about some of the basic tools of operation that can be used. The chapter will serve as an introduction to website building with Odoo.
- Working with Odoo by Greg Moss, Packt Publishing
- Learn Odoo by Greg Moss, Packt Publishing