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About Human Resources

The people who work for your company, it's human capital, are it's most important asset. Selecting a software platform that increases the value of your companies human capital and delivers benefits, services and opportunities to your workforce, is critical to your companies success

That platform must be able to accurately and reliability process worker transactions, collect decision support information, and communicate between management, workers and outside resources. The OFBiz Human Resource application (HR App) can provide a backbone for building that platform.

In this chapter you are introduced to the organization of this document and to the key business objects that are the core to HR Application.


Chapter numbers are used here to refer to parts of the document. Chapters numbers are not displayed in the on line help version of the document. Hopefully this will not be to confusing to the online reader.

Chapter 1 is this introduction chapter. It lays out the purpose of the remaining chapters and introduces some of the core HR App features.

Chapter 2 has instructions to get you started using HR App. A list, in logical order, describes some activities you can preform to get up and running.

Chapters 3 thru 15 of provide the help documents that can be invoked from the HR App in a context sensitive manner. When you work in any of the HR App screens you can click on the Help icon in the menu bar and the help browser will open to the relevant page in the document.

Each feature in the HR App Menu has in it's own chapter, screens within the feature are sections within the chapter. Introductions to the chapters describe how the screens work together to implement an important application feature. Each screen is pictured and documented consistently with:

  • A picture of the screen.

  • Breadcrumbs to show where to find the screen.

  • A brief description of the screen usage.

  • A list of fields in the screen.

  • A list of actions that can be performed from the screen.

Chapter 16 discuses OFBiz security settings for HR App

Chapter 17 HR App Intra-Application Integration covers usage scenarios for other OFBiz applications. The HR Application is part of the larger OFBiz back office set of administrative applications and is often dependent on these other applications.

Important terms in the documentation are defined in a Glossary. In order to promote a consistent usage and understanding of terms, links to the Glossary definitions are placed throughout the document.

Notes in the document describe behavior that is not intuitive. Links between document sections are used liberally tie together concepts that cross chapter boundaries. For example screens that use information managed in Global HR Settings are linked to the screens where they are used.

Introduction to the HR Application

The HR Application data design, like most of the OFBiz back office administration applications, was inspired by the data models in The Data Model Resource Books by Len Silverston (see Silverston Data Model Resource Companion Site.) The sections below introduces some of the concepts in HR App that were derived from the models.


Generally positions are authorized by a budget and fulfilled by people. The person may be a company employee, or contract employee. Positions may be salary or hourly, fulltime or part time. Positions have responsibilities.

Positions are defined by a type of work.

For example there may be 20 positions in an organization for a type secretary. Each position is authorized by a budget request from a department in the organization. A position can me thought of as a full-time equivalent employee (FTE). So an FTE may be assigned to one or more positions and position can be assigned to more then one FTEs (job sharing).

In the HR App you can:

  • Create positions

  • Fulfill positions

  • Define the responsibilities of a position

  • Define a tree reporting structure between positions

  • Track the positions fulfillments over time

See: Position


People may be employees of your Company, a company you do business with, or unaffiliated contract employees. Any of these people may be applicants for and assigned to positions in your Company.

If OFBiz a personis a type of party. One of the strengths of OFBiz is the rich set of features it has build up to manage information and relationships for parties. This makes OFBiz a great platform for HR services because managing people and organizations is a core OFBiz technology.

In the HR Application you can:

  • View employee profiles

  • Manage recruitment

  • Create employees

  • Track an employees performance, positions, skills, qualifications, training, and leave

See: Employees


An employee is a person who works for your company. The terms and history of this relationship between this person and your company are managed in the Employments feature. Employments track the benefits, pay preferences, pay history, unemployment claims and agreements for the employment.

In the HR App you can:

  • Create employments

  • Track employment benefits, pay history, unemployment claims and employment agreements

See: Employments


Many companies organize departments[1] in a tree structure. Your Companies organizational tree is shown on the main page of the HR App.

In the HR App you can:

  • Add and remove departments

  • View department profiles

  • Assign positions to departments

  • Manage department employments

[1] There is no special meaning attached to the word department. It is used to describe any sub-division of a business organization.

Getting Started

The Getting Started chapter discusses the common usage pattern followed in the HR App UI, offers some links to general OFBiz getting started documentation and most importantly provides a list of activities you can perform to get the HR App up and running.


This guide was written based on the OFBiz trunk in the Summer of 2012 using the default Tomahawk theme. The information should be useful for users of earlier versions and other themes. The screen shots may look different from what you see in your version but not so much so that you can not understand the gist of the features.

With close to 100 screens, some which link to applications outside of the HR App, it is easy for a new user to get lost. Knowing the common UI pattern used in HR App, as described here, will help you stay oriented.

In OFBiz screens are collection of graphical user interface (GUI) elements that provide an intuitive way to interact with applications. In the back office applications, like Accounting, Marketing and Human Resource, menus are the primary method of navigation between GUI screens. The Application menu is the top level menu and links to a back office administration application. Each application has an application sub menu that is the top level menu within the application.

The HR App Menu in the diagram, which we will refer as the HR App menu in this document, is such a sub menu. The pattern of navigation from the HR App menu is depicted in the diagram below.




Yypically, but not always, HR Application Menu items take their name from an important application entity. For example you have Employees, Employments, Employee Positions etc. All important information subjects in human resource departments.

Many of these menu items open a screen, we will call a Main Search Screen, the top layout in the above diagram. It has three screenlets 1. A link to a screen for creating a new entity 2. A Search Options screenlet for building a search filter 3. A search results screenlet that has columns with navigation widgets to open other application areas.

One of these navigation columns will open a screen we will call a Feature Menu Screen. It has menu items for displaying / editing the feature entity and it's supporting entities. The lower layout in the diagram is an example of a Feature Menu Screen that shows a default screen with summary information about the entity. The default screen is sometimes an edit screen where the main entity can be edited and updated.

HR App Features that follow this pattern include:

[2] This entity does not link to a Feature Menu Screen. Entity editing and update are done in the Search Results.

If you are just getting started with OFBiz you will want to read the  Demo and Test Setup Guide. If you are reviewing the application you will likely want to run the load-demo ant task for this purpose. This will load the seen HR data for Global HR Settings plus demo users and selected user HR data.

If you are setting up for production you should have read Apache OFBiz Technical Production Setup Guide. Follow the instructions on Initial Data Loading. If you run the ant task load-seed the data for the HR Portlet, Global HR2 Settings, and the Human Resource security settings admin, view, create, update, and delete are loaded.

If you are going to be writing pay checks you will need to set up the Accounting feature, see Quick Start - Basic Accounting Setup.

Here is a list of activities you can follow that will help you get HR App up and running in your company.


Reference data in the HR App are the items used in drop-down-list for the purpose of classifying other information or limiting user selections. These list are managed in Global HR Settings, review all of the information in that feature to make sure the list items make sense for your business. Some list items in HR App are not exposed in Global HR Settings. To customize those list use Entity Data Maintenance described in the HR App Intra-Application Integration chapter.


In this section we will set up information about people. After completing this section you will be able to answer questions about people and their skills, qualifications and experience.

In this section we will set up your organization structure using the GUI tree interface in the Main Window.

  • In the HR App your organization structure is a tree built of internal organizations. You will create the internal organizations using the Party application and then link them together using the HR App GUI Tree in Main Window. See Create Internal Organization to learn how to create Internal Organizations.

  • After creating your Internal Organizations link them together into an organization structure using the context menu in the tree widget. Right click on an organization icon. Select a internal organization from the drop-down list. The organization is added to the tree beneath the selected node

Now that we have people and organizations in our application we can bring them together in an employment. An employment is a relationship between person (who must be an employee) to an internal organization. The employment relationship tracks information about employees benefits, preferences and employment agreement.

At this point we have people and organizations and an employment agreement that specifies the terms of the employment. It's time to give the employee something to do so in this section you will set up positions (jobs). As you set up your positions you can add responsibilities and reporting structure.

The business is growing and you need help. Hear is how you can recruit new employees.

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