Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What is coming in LedgerSMB 1.4?

I figure it is a good time to review the changes that are going into 1.4 and discuss where things are going, where expected features have changed, and the like.

Framework Changes

1.4 moves all reports onto the new framework and depends on Moose for core functionality.  Independent extras may use Moo instead (both are declarative object systems).  This poses some performance costs and so we will be recommending our FCGI wrappers for standard operation instead of CGI.

Of particular interest is the new reporting framework.  This framework allows one to write new reports quickly in a nearly declarative way, with a minimum of Perl knowledge.  Reports are defined first and foremost through stored procedures/UDF's and secondly through perl modules which define the parameters of the report.  An open reporting system is something LedgerSMB has needed for some time and hopefully this will help us move forward rather quickly.

New Interface

We have based our user interface on Dojo widgets, which are, in most screens, dynamically allocated via html class and javascript.  Support for declarative pages is likely to be available too.  We have a lot of work going into good Dojo support and this is something which is really positively impacting our usability.

New Functionality

We have a bunch of new features coming including:
  1. LedgerSMB 1.4 will include a new payroll framework which local organizations can use to implement payroll systems based on local rules.
  2. Invoices with inventory can be subject to batch workflows and separation of duties in the same way as AR transactions.  COGS is posted FIFO, using time of approval as the transaction ordering time.
  3. Template transactions will be supported natively
  4. CSV uploads for a number of types of data will be supported automatically.
  5. Most reports will be available in ODS, CSV, and PDF formats automatically, even if the author did not explicitly make such available.
  6. Better handling of localized number and date formats.
  7. Much, much more.
This is a big release and provides a lot of things that larger organizations will need.