Welcome to the world of open source automation of enterprise processes with Apache OFBiz. If you are reading this post then you at least have some interest in knowing more about Apache OFBiz. Here is a very quick guide to get you started.
What is Apache OFBiz?
Apache OFBiz provides you with a rapid application development framework together with a universally adopted business data model and processes. It gives you an easy tool to customize the standard environment to address your own business requirements. It does 80% percent of the work. The only thing you need to do to manage the remaining 20% is to explore the framework, data model and understand the development best practices.
OFBiz for Analysts and Non-Developers
If you are an analyst or ERP solution evaluator then you can start exploring the business processes that are freely available with OFBiz out of the box. For this, the very first step would be to do a gap analysis with already supported applications and features. Applications such as Accounting, Order Management, E-Commerce, Inventory, Manufacturing and CRM are already integrated.
If you would like to see what OFBiz looks like and how it works then the project has setup a demo installation for you to use as an evaluation:
16.11 Release Branch Demo (stable)
You can find out more information on the supported business processes and use cases by using the following links-
1. Universal Business Process Library
2. Business Process Stories and Use Cases Library
Development and Custom Requirements
Addressing custom requirements using Apache OFBiz needs a good understanding of the business processes from the perspective of reusing existing OOTB functionality for your implementation.
Every business has its own version of certain processes e.g. one would like to pick, pack and ship orders from one platform and another would like to have restrictions to use third party applications instead. Both of these scenarios are possible in Apache OFBiz, some functionality is included out of the box (OOTB) and others can be achieved with some customizations. Apache OFBiz download instructions can be found here.
If you want to get most of it, the very first step should be to understand the business processes, applications and tools that already come with OFBiz. These applications and tools are provided OOTB and are supported by the community. If you are a developer, you can start by getting familiar with the framework architecture, artifacts and the control-flow. Developers can start working with Hello World application that can be found in Apache OFBiz Tutorial - A Beginners Development Guide.
The official Apache OFBiz YouTube channel contains some tutorial videos that may help developers and can be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/user/ofbiz
If you would like to take a look at the developers trunk then the project has setup a demo installation for you to try out and evaluate.
For developers: trunk
NOTE If you are customising and implementing production systems then we recommend using the latest stable release which can be downloaded here.
Apache OFBiz Community
You can get always further help, advice, information and support from the Apache OFBiz community by posting to the user or development mailing lists. Subscribe to the OFBiz mailing lists for updates on the latest discussions, improvements and new features. Once you subscribe to the required mailing list, you can post your questions with an assurance to get answers and guidance whenever required. OFBiz has a dynamic community available round the clock as it has contributors spread across the world. The Apache OFBiz community is continuously working on improving both technical and user functionality and support.