Monday, 9 January 2012

OpenERP Custom Module Development

OpenERP Custom Module Development

Courtesy :- ibcscorp


This article will explain the basic steps involved in developing custom OpenERP modules. It is a “Hello World” kind of guideline, therefore you won’t be able to find out all the theories behind OpenObject platform here. Instead you will get all the necessary information to get started with.
Sample module given here is fully functional and tested on OpenERP version 6.0.2 (with Web Client on Chrome browser). You will be able to download the complete source code at the end of this article.

Module Description

The sample module we are going to develop is a simple Notebook application. It helps to take down notes and contains just three fields namely “Title”, “Note” and “Date” in its data model.

Module Structure

An OpenERP module consists of some basic elements as explained below. Note that what is explained here is only the basic files required and structure will be more complex in real world applications.
  • – contains the application logic and database table structure definition.
  • – init script will load the application’s main python-module and related in application initialization.
  • view_name.xml – contains the application interface definition and menu structure.
  • – is the module descriptor file. In previous versions of OpenERP this was known as “”.

File Contents

Even though there is no specific order, I am going to start with the main python class (module) of our OpenERP module. This will handle the core functionality of the module and also will generate the database table to store related data.

[ ]

from osv import fields, osv
import time

class notebook(osv.osv):
 _name = "notebook"
 _description = "Simple Notebook"
 _columns = {
  'title' : fields.char('Title', size=30, required=True),
  'note' : fields.text('Note'),
  'note_date' :'Date'),

Next we import the python module we created in application initialization script.

[ ]

import notebook
After that we define the view and menu structure of our module.

[ notebook_view.xml ]

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
        <record model="ir.ui.view" id="notebook_tree_view">
            <field name="name">notebook.tree</field>
            <field name="model">notebook</field>
            <field name="type">tree</field>
            <field name="arch" type="xml">
                <tree string="Notebook">
                    <field name="title"/>
                    <field name="note"/>
                    <field name="note_date"/>

        <record model="ir.ui.view" id="notebook_form_view">
            <field name="name">notebook.form</field>
            <field name="model">notebook</field>
            <field name="type">form</field>
            <field name="arch" type="xml">
                <form string="Notebook">
                    <field name="title"/>
                    <field name="note"/>
                    <field name="note_date"/>

        <record model="ir.actions.act_window" id="action_notebook_form">
            <field name="name">notebook</field>
            <field name="res_model">notebook</field>

        <menuitem name="Notebook" icon="terp-project" id="notebook_menu"/>

        <menuitem name="Notes" parent="notebook_menu" id="notebook_menu_mainform" action="action_notebook_form"/>
Finally create the application descriptor as follows.

[ ]

 "name" : "notebook",
 "version" : "0.1",
 "author" : "Serpent Consulting Services",
 "website" : "",
 "category" : "Generic Modules/Others",
 "depends" : ["base"],
 "description" : "Simple demo module",
 "init_xml" : ["notebook_view.xml"],
 "demo_xml" : [],
 "update_xml" : [],
 "active": False,
 "installable": True

Packaging and Installing New Module

To prepare your module for installation, following the given path below.
1. Login to OpenERP admin view and open “Update Modules List” screen under “Modules” section in “Administration” area. Click “Update” button. And then close the form.
Note: Sometimes on OpenERP V6, the message ”Loading..” will be continuously displayed, even though your module is successfully updated. In that case simply close the message window and continue to next step.

2. After updating modules list, it will appear under OpenERP “Modules” list. It can be easily located by Searching for the module name. Once you found the module, mark it for installation, then select the check box in front of the module and click “Apply Scheduled Upgrades” link.

Click on “Start update” to continue the installation.

Accessing Your Module

After installing your module successfully, it will appear on the home screen of your OpenERP client as follows.

The sample source code explained above is available here.


Motivation behind preparing this article was the difficulty I have faced in finding out a proper start up guide in custom OpenERP module development. Even official documentation appeared to be incomplete/inconsistent at the moment of writing this article.

Anyway there is a lot more to explore in OpenERP module development. As an OpenERP partner, Binary Quest is always willing to help you in your OpenERP implementation project. If you found this post useful just leave a comment and do not hesitate to contact us on any OpenERP related issue.


  1. Thanks for this guide, it was refreshingly clear (I also found the openERP documentation to be very unclear and inconsistent).

    I would also add that if the Update Module List button is not visible in version 6.1, enabling the "Extended View" in your user settings will make that visible.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi guys. Need your help , because mine still doesn't work .
    After creating notepad "module" , i moved it into /usr/share/pyshared/openerp/addons , but when i update the modules it doesn't show up ?

    Even after restarting the openerp server .

    ps: rights on notepad repertory is "drwxr-xr-x"


  4. Josue,
    Did you run update module list first?
    P.S. Please contact us on for quicker response.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for sharing this valuable info on OpenERP modules. Its good I found this blog by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happen earlier! I bookmarked it.

    sap implementation guide