Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A new home for Openbravo POS community projects

Recently has been announced the public availability of the new Openbravo Forge. The Openbravo Forge is the new home for the projects Openbravo ERP and Openbravo POS and it is also the place we provide to all collaborators to register their projects related to Openbravo products, like for example localizations, translations and others.

In the Openbravo Forge you will be able to create a new project with all the services a modern forge provides: forums, code repository, bug tracker, file releases section, wiki, etc. And you will have more visibility to all the Openbravo community because your project will be hosted in the same place with Openbravo ERP and Openbravo POS and sharing the same services.

Focusing on Openbravo POS, if you want to contribute there are a lot of ideas for new projects that we will be glad to host in the Openbravo Forge:
  • New translation packages. Openbravo POS has been translated to several languages. Now we asked to all translators to move to the new Openbravo Forge and if you plan to start a new translation package I would suggest you to do the same. With the Openbravo Forge, translators have more autonomy and more flexibility to develop translations, to collaborate with more people in the code repository, discuss the development in the project forums, release translation packages when translations are finished, etc. We already moved the Spanish traslation package to the new forge and this project can be the model for other new translations packages hosted in the Openbravo Forge.
  • New localization editions. In some countries, due to special market requirements and local laws, some modifications have to be included in the core source code to adapt Openbravo POS to these local markets. Now with the Openbravo Forge all localizations will be in the same place and you do not have to look further. We also already asked to the owners of localizations of Openbravo POS we know to move to the Openbravo Forge and there is already one localization project created: The Openbravo POS Swedish Edition (Thanks Ben).
  • New functionalities. Depending on market requirements and customer necessities, developers need to include in Openbravo POS new features and functionalities that can be useful for other users of Openbravo POS. With the Openbravo Forge you can search all projects in the Openbravo POS category with the functionality you need. And if you want to collaborate there is already a document with Community project ideas around Openbravo POS with very interesting new functionalities and features.
You are invited to visit the Openbravo Forge and if you need assistance using it or you want to give us your feedback you can write a message in the Forge support forum.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

My Openbravo Community Awards nomination

One of the important keys of the success of Openbravo ERP and POS are the members of the community. This year, during the Openbravo World Conference we want to honor the most important members of the community. I nominated the following persons and organizations.
  • Ronny G (ronny_g). Ronny is very active reporting issues and testing every new commit in the development branch of Openbravo POS. He is also an important participant in the forums and author of several documents in the wiki.
  • Jim (jbablittle). Jim is one of the most active persons in the Openbravo POS forums, friendly, and always giving detailed answers to people looking for help.
  • Mohammad Jaffar. For its translation of Openbravo POS to the Arabic language. The Arabic translation package of Openbravo POS is one of the most downloaded of the packages available for Openbravo POS.
  • Amorebieta-Etxanoko Udala. For the translation of Openbravo POS to the Euskara language.
  • Open Sistemas. For its contribution to the Openbravo POS source code adding functionalities oriented for the fast-food segment and for the largest implementation of Openbravo POS in Bocatta.
Please do not forget to nominate yourself or your favorites candidates to give the appropriate recognition to the most important people in the Openbravo community.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Openbravo POS 2.30 beta released

Finally Openbravo POS 2.30 beta has been released. It has been a long way to achieve this moment but it is worth the effort. You can download it from Sourceforge.net, and read the release notes in our wiki.

There are a lot of new functionalities and bugs fixed I want to summarize here:
  • PDA Restaurant Module: This feature will allow users to take orders, browse products and manage tables using a mobile device. In this version Opera Mobile and iPod touch / iPhone are supported, but with simple modifications any mobile device with web browsing capabilities and wifi connectivity will work. This feature is oriented for restaurants and other hospitality business.
  • Product Attributes: This feature has been created using the same concepts for product attributes in Openbravo ERP. With this new feature products can have attributes like size, color, serial number, etc. All these attributes are registered in all the operations like sales and inventory movements. New master data panels, reports and dialogs have been added to Openbravo POS to manage properly product attributes. This feature will be very useful for lots of sectors.
  • ERP - POS Improvement of Synchronization: The whole architecture for synchronization between Openbravo ERP and Openbravo POS has changed and more data is synchronized. In the ERP side a new module has been added to provide REST web services for the integration. The tool selected to run synchronization jobs is Pentaho data integration. Pentaho data integration is an open source, powerful, metadata-driven ETL, with a graphical interface to design synchronization jobs. With this new architecture the synchronization logic is decoupled from the data, it will be easier to schedule synchronization jobs, design and create new synchronization jobs between Openbravo ERP and Openbravo POS and other applications.
  • Payment Gateways: The payment gateways functionality has been improved and extended. Now we support natively the following payment gateways: PayPoint / SecPay, Authorize.net, Cyberauthorize, First Data / LinkPoint / YourPay and PaymentsGateway.net, and more payment gateways can be added easily. With these improvements Openbravo POS is able to manage card present transactions and is prepared to support EMV standards, PCI standards, and Chip/PIN requirements.
  • Bitrock Installers: Install Openbravo POS is now easier than ever. Now we provide installers for the following platforms: Windows, Linux x86, Linux x64, Linux ia64, OSX and Solaris Intel. The classical binary and sources packages are still distributed.
  • Support for the Apache Derby database engine: Apache Derby is an open source relational database implemented entirely in Java. Apache Derby improves the performance and reliability of Openbravo POS when running in embedded mode. And also Apache Derby in embedded mode replaces HSQLDB as the default database engine in the binary distribution of Openbravo POS 2.30. HSQLDB continues to be supported in Openbravo POS but it is no longer the default database engine.
  • Upgrade license to GPL version 3: With GNU GPL version 3 we are up to date with the latest version of the license and we close several gaps of the previous license like granting patent licenses to every user, extending compatibility with other free software licenses and dealing with the new threats to free software that have emerged since version 2 of the GNU GPL. You can read the announcement in my previous blog post.
  • Upgrade third party libraries up to the latest stable release: The following libraries has been updated: SwingX 0.9.5, Substance 5.1.
  • Improve receipt printer support: In this version Openbravo POS supports a larger set of receipt printers. It adds support for receipt printers with system drivers. Almost every receipt printer with system drivers is supported in Openbravo POS. It includes native support for Star Micronics receipt printers, and for text only receipt printers. It also has been improved the support for javapos fiscal printers.
  • Usability Improvements
    • Panel to edit auxiliary products relation: Openbravo POS supports auxiliary products since older versions but this relation had to be configured manually editing the database. Now there is an Openbravo POS panel that helps editing auxiliary products relations.
    • Add a dialog to find receipts in the edit sales panel. A new dialog has been added to find receipts without knowing the receipt number. Users will be able to search receipts by date, by type (sale or refund), by user, and by total.
    • Add a keypad in the cash movements panel: With this addition the cash movement panel can be operated using only the touch screen. This is a good improvement for environments that need to manage the cash amounts directly from the Openbravo POS touch screen terminal.
    • Add the possibility to print a partial report in the Close cash panel: Now it is possible to print the close cash report with the partial results without restarting the counters and totals. However you will be able to differentiate if the report is for the partial results or for the final results.
The PDA module has not been included in this beta because it was not ready. But we will try to release it as soon as possible.

The stable release will be available in some weeks, and there are still too many things to be done for this final version: Fix all planed bugs, write documentation, finish as many localizations as possible...

If you want to collaborate, please download the version and help us testing and giving us feedback in our forums.