The ERPNext Conference 2016 was a eye-opener for me personally, and I think a lot of people share this opinion. Looking at the presentations given by the community members and talking to people at the conference, it’s clear that people are customizing ERPNext / Frappe in really interesting ways. There are a lot of ideas, and implementations.
However, we face a problem, as a community: There is no centralized hub where people can share their work.
Currently if you want to find Frappe Apps / ERPNext customizations, you would have to do a search (on Github / Discuss / Google) and that is not very efficient. Along with that some Github repositories for Frappe apps don’t have a proper readme file explaning what the app is, and how to set it up.
Some features can be added back to the core, and that benefits everyone, however, some features are quite specific, or not yet complete. These kind of projects can be put on the hub. Even features that could be added to the core, could be discussed upon.
How do we solve this? Well, we could have another portal, specifically for apps and customization. We could have a separate category for it on Discuss itself, however, it will have to be moderated (I don’t mind doing that) and should probably be linked on the topbar for easy access.
I’m looking for thoughts and ideas on how we can achieve this.
After the foundation is formally set up and working, there can be a model to decide which features are generic in nature and worthy of going back to the core.
Regarding projects which are not yet complete, a DocType (for the lack of a better word in my mind right now!) called “Ideas” (or something similar) could be set up on the https://community.erpnext.com page where the community can post these projects and others could discuss it (in contrast to the forum, where a thread regarding an idea is bound to go off-topic or be more easily buried among others).
It is to be noted that these could be different from the Jobs and Service Providers system currently active on the website. These “ideas” can be built upon successfully by the active community and shared back to the community. I am not sure if we should have a paid or free apps model (something vaguely similar to say Opencart, or many other shopping cart scripts). Paid or free, atleast anything that is built upon the Frappe/ERPNext framework should really be shared with the community and in a verified and searchable manner.
Comments awaited from the community. Especially from the heart of the community i.e. @rmehta and team. (Tagging you against the rules, maybe as this is one of the very relevant things which came up during the conference and the right direction on this now will go a long way in bringing the community closer.)
Conference was great, Thank you for live streaming (& of course for an Awesome ERP)…
I feel the frappe framework’s true potential lies in the ease at which it allows to develop custom apps. So this is a great initiative allowing community to add customisation that they have worked on.
If I remember correctly, somewhere in old conference videos It was mentioned the team is inspired by success off opensource Wordpress project. That time I felt the way wordpress has changed the way we make & customise websites the Frappe will do the same for business apps.
I feel like wordpress, the base version of ERPNext should be provide only core functionality used by everyone irrespective of region/ industry. But there will always be many specific needs of different industries or even organisations, these should be left to app developers. In example of wordpress there are plugins developed by the core team, but still they are left as plugins not added to base version of wordpress.
If team can make a similar platform like plugins in wordpress. With similar ease to install and uninstall these custom apps. (Or like Playstore in Android) This will motivate many developers to add number of missing features as apps, some of which might be on core teams to do list. True benefit of opensource is, the core team doesn’t have to develop everything.
An ecosystem to add remove many available apps with ease can allow core team to focus on the framework which powers ERPNext instead of focusing on never ending feature request. I am sure with such ecosystem, ERPNext will be much bigger success. Cheers!!
I understand this point of view, but maybe this should be considered for core ERP functionality only?
The desktop metaphor in ERPnext would lend itself quite well to 3rd party apps for example, and some of the non-core functionality in ERPnext (chat for example), could very well be removed and left to 3rd party app creators. They could also make a “gamifiation” app or a “call-center” app or whatever non-core functionality will likely never make it into the offial ERPnext, but which some one might want to create regardless.
Owncloud/Nextcloud is both a good and a bad example for this: They have a nice appstore and plenty of non-core functionality apps, but the same time they changed the app API so often that many app developers got sick of having to rewrite their app every few weeks.
Hey guys, I get all the points made in the previous comment but I think we must first consider a ecosystem for apps.
Let me give you a example.
Django (a well know framework) has the ecosystem for core update and features with a strict protocol of proposal.
About the apps there is the compatibility issue that are up to developers, so an app can be made for version 1.6 only and its up to app-developer to bring it live to a next release like version 1.10.