Version 4.10.0 || November 2016
xTuple is excited to announce the major release of xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0. Hard at work since version 4.9.0 was released in July of 2015, xTuple now delivers 4.10.0 with improved functionality and adds several new features to help you Grow Your World™.
xTuple software is always improving to better serve our customers' needs. Whether your company operates in a manufacturing environment — discrete and batch process production; make-to-order, make-to-stock or mixed-mode; contract manufacturing, job shop or engineer-to-order — or deals in electrical, HVAC, plumbing or industrial wholesale distribution with more sophisticated inventory control needs, any organization wishing to grow their business profitably can benefit.
Read on below to learn more about some of the major new features, small additions and technology changes in xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0. Release Notes for xTuple 4.10.0 covers the complete list of changes.
As outlined in xTuple’s Product Roadmap, the xTuple developers have focused on a few main areas for xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0:
- Adding support for the xTuple Dashboard extension
- Creating a Simple Sales Order Entry window
- VAT/GST Taxation Enhancements
- Bringing Workflow Management into the Desktop Client
- Adding most remaining FeatureMob2 items
- Updating the Technology Infrastructure to add support for the latest and greatest features
What are xTuple Dashboards?
The new xTuple Dashboards commercial extension adds Dashboards throughout the xTuple ERP+CRM desktop client that feature Key Performance Indicator (KPI) charts and visualizations. Using xTuple Dashboards, you can get an immediate overview of how your business is running.
Dashboards have been added to most of the Workbench windows you use on a daily basis such as the Customer Workbench, Vendor Workbench, Item Workbench, A/R Workbench and A/P Workbench. On each of these windows, when you open them and select a record, a Dashboard tab will load displaying KPI charts and visualizations for that record. If you are using the popular xTuple Desktop extension, xTuple Dashboards also adds a personal My Dashboard for each user of the system. Each user’s My Dashboard is private to the user and allows them to add KPI charts and visualizations important to their job.
All KPI charts and visualizations are backed by a flexible user access system that allows fine grained control over who can see what on the Dashboards.
xTuple Dashboards ships with a set of KPI charts and visualizations that you will see out of the box. xTuple refers to these as core "system" charts. The xTuple Dashboards commercial extension also allows new charts to be created. An administrator of xTuple ERP+CRM can define their own custom charts and data, specific to their business and publish them for any user to add and see on Dashboards throughout xTuple ERP+CRM.
See the Customer Workbench Dashboard Live Example. It contains the following KPIs for a single Customer record:
- Percent of Credit Limit
- Balance Summary
- Sales Summary
- Item Sales Rolling 12 Month
- Sales By Month
- Percent Item Sales Rolling 12 Month
- Order Price Bucket Count
Watch our webcast
To see a full walk through of xTuple Dashboards, watch our webcast below:
How Dashboards work
The KPI charts and visualizations consist of two pieces, a "Data Query" and a "Datasource." The Data Query is an SQL query to your xTuple Database that returns the data the chart will display. A Datasource defines what charts or visualizations to use with the Data Query, what size to display them at on the Dashboard and what users are allowed to see it. The KPI Datasource is then available to be added to any Dashboard. Each Dashboard is a window to which you can add "Panes."
Each Pane loads a KPI Datasource and displays its chart or visualization. Depending on how the Datasource is defined, you can change the chart type to various different charts like; Bar, Line, Pie, Gauge, Step, etc. You can also define the size of each Pane by changing its layout setting to make the chart small or big. When the Dashboard tab loads, it will load all of its Panes and then each Pane will request the data from the Datasource and render its chart or visualization. The data can be refreshed from the Panes menu as needed to get updated data.
Learn more about xTuple Dashboards
The xTuple Dashboard commercial extension is available free of charge to all xTuple ERP+CRM Commercial Edition users. The extension package is available for download by customers in the Commercial Software section. If you are a PostBooks® user interested in using the xTuple Dashboard commercial extension or wish to purchase a Commercial Edition, please contact xTuple Sales Team.
See the xTuple Dashboards Product Guide to learn more.
What is xTuple Simple Sales Order Entry?
One of the biggest challenges xTuple faces when building an ERP system is handling the various ways companies run their businesses. No two companies operate the same way. What is a key metric that has to be captured for one company likely won’t even matter to another. The way xTuple addresses this is to provide several different fields, but only require the ones needed to control the core business logic. As a result, some windows are very complex and contain an endless number of fields. Sales Order and Sales Order Item are two such windows. There are a lot of fields on those two windows, and chances are, you aren’t using all of them.
Several companies have a very simple order entry process and only need to capture the basic required data points to take a Sales Order. The new xTuple Simple Sales Order Entry window is designed specifically for those companies. xTuple has duplicated the Sales Order window and stripped it down to just the basics. The Simple Sales Order Entry window eliminates the separate Sales Order Item window in favor of a quick Item Number entry field on the main Simple Sales Order Entry window. Any data point that can be set to a default has been.
To enter a new Sales Order using the Simple Sales Order Entry window only takes three steps:
- Select a Customer
- Enter an Item Number
- Save the Order
"Wait! Just three steps?" you may say. Where’s all the clicking, typing, tabbing and confirming you’ve grown accustomed to? xTuple has eliminated all of those steps. The Simple Sales Order Entry window can also serve as a very basic Point of Sale system if you take orders for walk in Customers. For this use case, you can even reduce order entry down to just two steps. Enter an Item Number and Save the Order when using a default "Cash Account" Customer.
Watch our webcast
To see a full walk through of the Simple Sales Order Entry feature, watch our webcast below:
How Simple Sales Order Entry works
To make Sales Order entry simple and fast, most of the fields on the Sales Order window have been removed. Any field with a default will get set behind the scenes when the Sales Order is saved. The only fields that must be filled out are "Customer" and "Item Number." The following fields are available if needed:
- Customer PO
- Ship To
- Tax Zone
- Item Number
- Item Quantity
In addition to this, if you take Cash or Credit Card payments, there is a "Payment" tab that allows you to post the Cash payment or charge a Credit Card. All other fields and tabs have been removed.
Once saved, the Sales Order entered through the Simple Sales Order Entry window is just like any other Sales Order in the system. When you open it again to edit the order, you will see the full Sales Order window you are currently using. That means that you can quickly enter an order and then come back to it later to set any of the old fields you might need. This allows a Customer Service Representative to quickly take an order while on the phone with a Customer and then come back to the Sales Order to finalize any additional setting at a later time.
Learn more about xTuple Simple Sales Order Entry
The Simple Sales Order Entry window is included in all editions xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0, including PostBooks®. Simply enable it from "Sales > Setup... > Simple S/O tab" and give any relevant users the "MaintainSimpleSalesOrders" permission. You can then enter a new Simple Sales Order from "Sales > Sales Order > New Simple…."
See the xTuple ERP+CRM 4.10.0 Reference Guide to learn more.
What is VAT/GST Taxation?
Value Added Tax (VAT) is a common tax structure used in many countries throughout the world. Another common tax structure is Goods and Services Tax (GST). xTuple has had some support for VAT/GST Taxation in the past, but there have been some limitations in what could be done. Numerous changes have been made to various documents in xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0 to improve or automate the handling of taxation in VAT/GST tax zones. Changes include improvements to the handling of freight (and VAT on freight) on Vouchers, automatic calculation and application of tax on miscellaneous distributions, automatic application of taxation on both A/R and A/P memos and a summarised Tax Return form. For EU countries, Reverse Charge VAT has also been included.
Watch our webcast
To see a full walk through of xTuple’s VAT/GST Taxation features in 4.10.0, watch our webcast below:
How VAT/GST Taxation works
VAT/GST Taxation structures can be set up using a combination of Tax Authorities, Tax Zones, Tax Classes, Tax Codes Tax Types, Tax Assignments and Tax Registrations. In older versions of xTuple ERP+CRM many VAT/GST transactions could be supported, but required manual entry and manipulation. In version 4.10.0, most VAT/GST transactions can be automated by configuring the system. In addition, most A/R and A/P transactions that need to support VAT/GST Taxation now do. xTuple has also include various Tax Reports to make filing VAT/GST with the Tax Authorities easier.
Learn more about xTuple VAT/GST Taxation Features
The new VAT/GST Taxation features are included in all editions xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0 including PostBooks®. To setup your company's taxation structures, go to "Accounting > Tax" and configure any relevant settings.
See the xTuple ERP+CRM 4.10.0 Reference Guide to learn more.
During the version 4.10 development cycle, xTuple has made several smaller tweaks and additions to xTuple ERP+CRM. This includes seven additional FeatureMob2 items that were completed. Various other changes have been made to improve the user experience. Below are a few highlights.
During the xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0 development cycle, xTuple has been working on adding a new feature to the Desktop Client that has only worked in the Mobile Web Client to date. That feature is a Workflow Management system and it is available in the commercial edition of xTuple ERP+CRM starting in version 4.10.0.
Workflow Management allows you to define a “workflow” that your daily business processes must go through. A Workflow is a method for generating and assigning business Activity steps to specific users and chaining the Activities together into specific sequences (workflows) that must happen in order to get a business process from start to finish. A good example of this is a Sales Order workflow. It starts with taking a Sales Order and finishes with a shipped order and a paid Invoice. What happens between the start and finish of that process differs by business. For example, the Workflow Management system can assign one user to Pack a shipment for a Sales Order and another user to Ship it after the order has been packed. Workflow Management lets you define all the steps that the process needs to take, assign users to those steps and manage the process through those steps. The Workflow Management feature in the commercial editions of xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0 supports Workflow Activities for Sales Orders, Purchase Orders and Work Orders. Workflow Activities can also be generated for Projects.
To use the Workflow Management feature, an administrator must first define one or more Workflow Templates made up of Workflow Activities. A Workflow Template is a list of the chained-together steps that will generate the Workflow Activities for specific orders. When a new order, such as a Sales Order, is created, the steps defined in the Workflow Template for the Sale Type will be transformed into Activities and assigned to users. Users interact with their Activities on the new Workflow Activities screen, available by going to "System > Setup > Master Information > Workflow."
Before xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0, the Workflow Management feature only existed in the xTuple Mobile Web Client. In version 4.10.0, xTuple has started the process of bringing the Workflow Management features into the commercial editions of the Desktop Client. In version 4.10.0, you can now configure Workflow Activities in the commercial editions of the Desktop Client. This makes it easier to manage the workflow steps.
The Workflow Management feature still requires a web-enabled xTuple database to function in version 4.10.0. Over the next year, xTuple hopes to remove that requirement as the remaining pieces of the Workflow Management feature are moved into the commercial editions of the Desktop Client.
See the xTuple ERP+CRM Workflow Management article at xTuple University to learn more.
Sales Order Credit Check
It is now possible to implement credit checks while a Sales Order is being created. This will notify a user that the order has gone over the Customer's credit limit immediately and based on permissions will or will not allow that user to save the order. If the Sales Order is over the credit limit it is placed immediately on Credit Hold and cannot be shipped until released by an authorised user. To enable this feature, go to "Sales > Setup…" and check the "Perform Credit Limit check on S/O Save" box.
Copy Table Column to Clipboard
xTuple has added "Column" to the popular "Copy to Clipboard" right click menu feature. When clicked, the entire table’s column will be copied to your clipboard and available to paste into another program. This allows you to easily copy a list of something from a table, like a list of E-Mail addresses or Customer Account Numbers.
Filter Holds on the Packing List Batch
The Packing List Batch has been modified to include a filter for "Orders on Hold." This allows you to show or hide orders in the list that are on different hold types. The Scheduled Pack Date has also been added as a new column so you can easily remove orders that should not be released yet.
Print Forms for Transfer Orders
The Forms feature has been expanded to allow you to setup a Transfer Order Form that can be printed for the order to be included with it while in transit.
Expanded Documents Support
The Document feature has been reworked to make it easy to add Documents support to any business object. xTuple has added Documents to objects like Vendor and Item Group, but through Custom Scripting, it can be added across other objects if the need arises.
Expanded Characteristics Support
Just like Documents, the Characteristics feature has been reworked to make it easy to add Characteristics support to any business object. xTuple has added Characteristics to objects like Work Order and Item Group, but through Custom Scripting, it can be added across other objects if the need arises. For Work Orders, Characteristics have been expanded to support not only the Characteristics that come from the Sales Order Line Item automatically, but also Characteristics specific to that Work Order can now be set and edited on the Work Order.
In xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10, xTuple has been working to improve the performance of the Desktop Client. You should notice some screens opening faster like the Open Sales Orders list, check Payment Run, Comment Console and the Social Desktop.
One of the largest changes xTuple made in the 4.10.0 version is to update the underlying technology the desktop client is built on.
Update Qt Version
Although invisible to the end users, the xTuple ERP+CRM desktop client is built using the excellent Qt application framework. xTuple has been using Qt version 4.8 for a while. In xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0, the Qt version has been upgraded to 5.5 which includes several new features xTuple is taking advantage of to improve the product.
Update PostgreSQL Version
In xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0, the supported version of the PostgreSQL database has been moved to 9.3, 9.4 and 9.5. Each new release of PostgreSQL continues to deliver improved performance and advanced features xTuple leverages to create advanced features and increased speed.
Expose More Qt Classes to Scripting
Node.js Shims for Qt Script
Created and Updated Timestamp Columns on Tables
Several core object tables have two new columns added, Created and Updated, that record a timestamp of when a record was added and last updated. These columns can now be leveraged in various reports and queries to help you filter your data and track changes.
If you are a current user, you can start using the new features in xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0 today by upgrading your database. Well, not today; we recommend you thoroughly pilot and test an upgrade before deploying it into production. Get started with these:
If you are new to xTuple or would like to try these features in a test system, the xTuple Free Trial can get you setup with a test system in minutes.
The xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.10.0 Desktop Client may be downloaded from the following locations:
The Postbooks 4.10.0 database packages may be downloaded from the SourceForge PostBooks-databases section.
The Postbooks 4.10.0 installer may be downloaded from the SourceForge PostBooks-installers section.
The xTuple ERP+CRM 4.10.0 commercial database packages may be downloaded by customers from the Commercial Software section of the xTuple website.
Note: Mac users should refer to How to Open the xTuple Desktop Client on your Mac when warned by Gatekeeper about Unidentified Developers if they see a warning when opening the xTuple ERP+CRM Desktop Client. xTuple is working with Apple to resolve this known issue.
xTuple has already started work on xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.11.0. The primary focus for the 4.11.0 development cycle will be performance improvements throughout the Desktop Client. xTuple has identified a number of bottlenecks in the application and is working hard to remove them. In addition to these speed increases, we will continue moving more Workflow Management features into the Desktop Client and rework Inventory transactions to support a new native mobile app for Inventory.