Entries in the 'About opentaps' Category

Video of opentaps SEAS at VOLTTRON Days

This is a video of a presentation for the VOLTTRON Users’ Conference last week, covering both where we are now with opentaps SEAS development and what our business model is for open source energy:

ERP to Smart Energy in 3 Charts

Why are we developing a smart energy software after creating open source ERP?

First, the Internet Of Things means that the future of software, especially business applications, is connected devices:

Second, falling cost of renewable energy means that this huge industry is ready for major transformation:

Finally, we need to do something about climate change–and do it now:

Source: LBL.gov

For a longer version of this post, please click here.

opentaps Smart Energy Applications Suite (SEAS) released on github

Today, a new opentaps is publicly available on github at https://github.com/opentaps/opentaps_seas

Here’s what it looks like:

This new opentaps helps you to manage energy more intelligently by collecting and analyzing energy data. It lets you create and track a portfolio of your buildings and equipment, gather data from your devices through standard protocols such as BACNet and MODBUS, and run applications to make your all your assets more energy efficient.

At a more technical level, it is written in Python with the Django framework and combines several great open source projects, including VOLTTRON, Project Haystack, Grafana, Crate DB, and PostgreSQL. These projects let us collect, tag, and analyze a huge amount of data from building and energy systems. On top of this, we’ve created a services architecture using Haystack tags to make writing business applications with device-level IOT data much more efficient.

To distinguish it from the Java-based ERP and CRM, we’re calling this new opentaps the “Smart Energy Applications Suite” or SEAS. So take a look at the videos on our Youtube channel, so check out the code, and let us know what you think.

opentaps.com and the Next Generation of opentaps

When we started opentaps nine years ago, our goal was to create great business software from open source.  And have we ever!  Most people wouldn’t have believed that enterprise-class open source ERP and CRM was possible, but we did it — thanks to Linux, Apache, MySQL, PostgreSQL, OFBiz, JasperReports, and many others open source projects.

The world, meanwhile, has moved forward too.  It’s no secret that the future of software is mobile, social, and big data, and open source software is moving in those directions as well.

What does this mean for real businesses?

Imagine being able to capture all your interactions with customers as they happen: by email, on twitter/Facebook/pinterest, via text messages, or by phone.  Anywhere.  Any time.  Any how.

Then imagine being able to use that information to make your customers happier — and sell more.

That’s what we think a whole new generation of open source software could do for you.  And we’ve started by creating a whole new opentaps to do it.  Because it is built with a whole new different set of open source technologies and a different cloud-open source business model, we’ve created a new site at opentaps.com for this new product.  Meanwhile, the existing open source ERP and CRM lives on at opentaps.org and will continue to evolve.

We hope you’ll join for the next phase of our journey — the best is yet to come.

opentaps CRM2: A New Way To Do It

If you’ve ever thought, “There’s got to be a better way,” take a look at opentaps CRM2.

The new opentaps CRM2 takes a completely different approach to opentaps 1.x or any other major CRM system out there.  Instead of having all these screens and forms for you to come and enter data, we’re bringing opentaps CRM to you:  We’re automatically capturing the discussions, emails, and tasks that are the back bone of your relationships with your customers, bringing them into the cloud, and helping you manage them there.

Oh, also: We’re making it as easy as possible for you.  There’s no big software package to download or install.  No database to set up and maintain.  No code base to merge and upgrade.  You don’t even have to ask your users to stop using their favorite email program.  You just sign up for an account, plug a few simple widgets into your existing opentaps instance, and synch up your users and emails.

Then just sit back and relax.  Everybody just keeps working as before.   But from your web interface, you’ll see all the emails and discussions back and forth between your company, your customers, and your vendors:

opentaps CRM2 Dashboard

opentaps CRM2 will even help you find the emails related to your orders, invoices, and payments automatically (and it would be very easy to get it to do the same for quotes, production runs, etc. — whatever your company works around):

CRM2 Discussion Thread

Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?  Our beta users have thought so for about a year now.  Why don’t you give it a try and let us know how it goes?

Can NoSQL Databases Cure Us of Software Complexity?

If you’ve worked with Apache OFBiz or opentaps 1.x, you’ve probably had moments like this:

Q: What’s the difference between internal name and product name?

A: If your company wants to maintain an internal name for products that’s different than the standard product name, then you can put it in internalName. Otherwise you should keep them the same.

Welcome to software complexity.

[Read more →]

opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Update

The first proof of concept application is now available.  This new application is based on Apache Geronimo 3, OSGi Blueprint, and openJPA server side and HTML5/Javascript/CSS client side technologies.  Facebook integration is built into the application:

You can try the opentaps v2 Notes application at notes.opentaps.com or see a YouTube video for the new opentaps v2 user interface.  For developer documentation, please see our wiki pages about opentaps 2.

Fedex and Endicia Shipping Integration

The new opentaps OFBiz FedEx integration module provides FedEx web services integration for both opentaps and ofbiz.  Important: because the current Ship Manager Direct API will be discountinued by FedEx on May 31, 2012, you will need to get this module to continue shipping with FedEx.

opentaps Endicia integration module now supports generating USPS shipping labels from opentaps or ofbiz.  See shop.opentaps.org for this and other modules to improve the capabilities of your opentaps system.

opentaps In The Cloud now Available on Amazon EC2 m1.medium Instance Type

opentaps in the Cloud, our popular Amazon EC2 deployment option for opentaps, is now available on the Amazon m1.medium instance type.  This new instance type was introduced recently by Amazon and offers the equivalent of 2 processor cores and 3.75 GB of available RAM and can be used to host opentaps for a small organization.  To use this new instance type, subscribe to the opentaps Mini AMI and choose m1.medium on startup.

Let’s Mash It Up and Make Enterprise Software Fun Again

My New Year’s Resolution: Make building enterprise software fun again.

The Old Way

Almost all enterprise applications follow the same architectural pattern: a single all-encompassing framework housing the data, logic, and presentation layers.  When applied to large-scale applications such as enterprise software, which must cater to the needs of lots of users with many different features, it creates some problems:

  1. Everything that you use in the application must be written in this framework.  You might really like X, but if you want to use in your application, you’d have to re-write X in its framework.
  2. No framework is optimal for all possible features.  For example, order processing and accounting are highly structured, whereas web content management deals primarily with non-structured data.  A relational database driven framework that is well suited for traditional ERP could thus be poorly suited for web content management, and vice versa.

This is why we often hear enterprise users say “We chose [fill in name of your software] because it was good at [fill in the good features], but it’s really not too good at [all the other stuff].”  Conversely, because vendors think this is the only way to build software, they often have to bundle so-so features with their core strengths to create a competitive “enterprise offering.”

A Better Way to Do It?

Sometimes it just takes a shift in the perspective.

Could enterprise software could be built as mash ups of components based on open standards?

Would that make writing business software as easy–and as fun–as putting together blogs with videos, tweets, and maps?

Let’s Try it with Open Source

We’re going to try to do exactly that with opentaps 2.  We plan on building off the OSGi standard and the new Apache Geronimo 3 application server on the server side and the new HTML5 standard for client side applications to create this new kind of enterprise software.  Take a look at our plans for opentaps 2 and follow us.

A New Architecture for opentaps

When I first wrote opentaps 2.0 Planning, my goal was to come up with a new architecture that would make enterprise software more modular and more reusable.  But we will need to do much more in a mobile and API-driven world, so here are some of the guiding principles behind the architecture of the new opentaps:

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opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Targets Europe, Latin America with VAT Support and Translations

European and Latin American companies looking for a fully-featured, low cost, and flexible business management system can now leverage the power of opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM, which now offers improved support for Value Added Taxes (VAT) and Spanish translations. These enhancements make it easier than ever before for companies in these regions to use opentaps as an alternative to expensive, inflexible, or outdated commercial ERP or CRM systems.

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