Odoo is one of the most popular ERP solutions that everyone has an eye on. Odoo helps users, Small businesses, medium businesses as well enterprises to manage their business functions, departments, brands, multiple companies, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Magento, Prestashop, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce with UPS, FedEx and a number of other fulfilment & shipping options apart from its Ecommerce, Website, IoT or Internet of Things and a number of app available through its App store.
You must have only heard about Odoo Enterprise, Odoo Community or the Recent Odoo Cloud, also known as Odoo.sh. You must have come across their pricing as well and might have shifted to searching for any other ERP or automation solution. However, We are here to tell you that Odoo can be used completely free, without a dollar paid.
One of the misconceptions about Odoo is that it is only available in Enterprise or community versions or the much recent Odoo.sh.
There is a reason why you mostly find articles and blogs that focus on the above versions of Odoo: Odoo Partners simply want to make money out of every possibility.
SaaS has gained a lot of popularity over the years with all major platforms such as Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce etc. allowing users rather pushing them to pay on a monthly basis as compared to no cost or low cost solutions such as WordPress.
Similarly with Odoo, its partners push for on-premises Odoo, Odoo Enterprise, Odoo.sh or Odoo Community. However within all honesty there is still an entirely different solution within Odoo that lets you use Odoo for Free, yes not just saying it, Completely Free Odoo.
How to Use Odoo (Enterprise like) for Free
The solution is quite simple, we have been doing that for some time now. It all started with experimenting the use of Odoo and customizing it to use it free while being able to use it over web interface.
Using Odoo Cloud for Free
The first step to use Odoo for Free is to have a hosting that allows you root access, there are a ton of hosting services, especially cloud and dedicated hosting that offer root access. The next step is to deploy community version of odoo using .sh over your server. Next, you configure your domain (URL) against server IP; and voila your Odoo is all setup. Now you can purchase one time Apps from Odoo App store and deploy them in .sh to integrate them into your Odoo and start using them.
This sounds easy right? Yes indeed it is as easy as that. You can now use all the free Odoo Apps and for Odoo apps not available for free, you can purchase one time cost apps from Odoo store, deploy them into your Odoo using .sh via command prompt and start using them. You can make as many users, rules, groups, apps as you want. However, the only issue is that you must know configuring Odoo Apps i.e. properly setting Odoo Apps. For example your team has 5 users, you must first create those users, set their roles in employee module, make user groups, assign user rights and similarly then allow them rights, access, authority over usage of different apps on Odoo.
One of the most important points here is to know these settings which to be honest is pretty hard for new users. At times certain apps needs proper rules settings, users, access rights etc. hard coded into their source code. This however is mostly encountered with paid apps. If you’re lucky, the app creator can help you with this or can charge you to assist you to customize the app accordingly.
Custom Apps on Odoo
You can simply buy an app from the Odoo App Store however you won’t always find the sort of app you’re looking for on Odoo App store. You will either need to hire an Odoo Expert or a Python developer to create a custom app for you. The Odoo online community is honestly too costly and to be honest, it shouldn’t be as costly as it is.
We got a request from one of our clients for a custom product database for Amazon that allows them to create a product database (product sheet) in Odoo. The best available solution in Odoo was the xlsx or Excel app which is totally useless because why not use MS Excel instead? Anyway, the client wanted an app that would not only allow them to create product sheet but with fields (headers or column or column title) with fields from Amazon product sheet.
They didn’t want an Excel style product sheet, rather they wanted a product sheet where each row is edited separately and while doing so it doesn’t affect any other row or product. Next they wanted search filters where a product can be searched on the basis of its UPC, ASIN or ID.
That is not all, they wanted certain rules to be set within the application that would allow them to specify user who can make changes to the product sheet. For example, manager can edit, view, change or delete a product or the product sheet; assistant manager can add new products and view entire sheet but is not able to edit existing products or delete the sheet or any item whereas a customer service officer is only able to view the sheet and cannot perform any other operation.
That’s still not it, since their product data is confidential and any leakage can hurt their business as it had in the past, they wanted security features. Our product application for Odoo would log every activity performed on the application (entire Odoo or just Product Databse, both can be done) and on top of that, we configured IP lock in Odoo where it can only be accessed through a fixed IP address of registered devices.
Possibilities with Odoo
There are endless possibilities and customizations that can be done on Odoo for any given industry. It is again a myth that most clients do not know about that every industry has its own software; no that is a lie. Whether it’s Odoo, ERPNext or any other ERP, the main modules for any ERP remain the same. Software or ERP companies simply customize, integrate rules, data, and settings and configure it according to a given industry and voila, the same ERP or Odoo is ready to be used in any industry across any region.
Don’t be fooled when someone says that regulations, laws, environment, business rules or business norms in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia or any other country have to be integrated into Odoo or the ERP and only then you can use them. No that’s a lie again.
No matter what the industry or the region, the ERP/ Odoo , odoo erp. or the software remains the same. It has nothing to do with any of that. All that matters is your company operations, what you want to achieve from Odoo or any ERP with respect to its applications such as rules for employees, hierarchical structure, Sales rules, invoicing structure, Manufacturing processes, rules, procedures etc. That is it.
There are tons of customizations that you can do with Odoo. You can integrate Amazon, eBay, physical business functions, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento etc. and integrate all these within one system to synchronize your business. On top of all that Odoo allows you to perform all these in a synchronized automatic manner through various cron jobs (automatic tasking).
There are still tons of other applications and customization that are possible and we are working on a few according to client request as well as through our own understanding of market needs.
Conclusively, just experiment, use our processes guide and try .sh version yourself on your own hosting and use Odoo Completely Free.
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