1 Rationale: the change in the Partner model In OpenERP 7.0
2 On the principle... (without base_contact installed)
3 Change in the res.partner model v6.1 defined two concepts: Partner Address v7.0 defines two concepts : Company (or organisation) Person Two menus : Customers (Partners) One menu : Customers Contacts (Addresses) Addresses were always attached to a partner A person can be «an employee representing a company» (B2B) or a standalone person (B2C)
4 Change in how it's used in documents v6.1 use sometimes two fields to select a partner. On an invoice : Partner, Address On a sale order : Partner, Order Contact V6.1 use sometimes one field to select a partner, e.g. on a sale order : Invoice address or delivery address : Just 1 field for Invoice address Just 1 field for delivery address V7.0 is consistent : always one field to select a partner. e.g. on a sale order, one field per role : the one that order, the delivery, the invoicing (3 fields only) Each role (e.g. The Customer on the invoice or SO) can be either : A company, e.g. «ACME SA» A person representing a company «ACME SA, John Doe» A person (B2C) : «John Doe» Note that you can invoice/deliver another company than the one that purchased.
5 Why this change from from Partners, Addresses to Companies, Persons?
6 Because it better reflects the real life.
7 It better reflects the reality (1) Business Card : it's always Persons representing companies OpenERP v7
8 It better reflects the reality (2) Contracts, Orders, etc. are signed by persons on behalf of companies OpenERP v7 Customer is person on behalf of company
9 It better reflects real life In the real life, you don't have «Partners» and «Addresses», you have «Companies» and «Persons»: The concept of company did not exist in v6.1 for legal reports, it's required to know who is a company OpenERP v7 is like the law : you have «natural persons», «legal persons» (companies), and «natural persons acting on behalf of legal persons» A person representing a company: is a concept used on all business documents (every paper contract/so has a signature like: John Doe, for ACME»). It did not exist in v6.1. It was a company and an address. There is a difference between: doing a sale order to «ACME SA», doing a sale order to «ACME SA, John Doe» or doing a sale order to «John Doe» impossible to manage in v6.1
10 Illustration of the impacts
11 It improves usability and flexibility Address Book: unified address book with companies and persons v6.1: 2 menus v7: single menu In v6.1: a contact «John Doe» was sometimes in Customers menu (B2C) or sometimes in Contacts menu (if he represent a company). not consistent. Hierarchies: v7 allows hierarchies: multiple offices for one company and multiple persons working in each office. impossible in v6.1. v6.1: unrelated customers - ACME Corporation (partner) - ACME Belgium (partner) + John Doe (address) v7: correct hierarchy - ACME Corporation (company) + ACME Belgium (company) + John Doe (contact)
12 Address book Where can I get information about John Doe? In v6.1 : If John Doe is a customer (B2C), it's in res.partner If John Doe work for a company, it's in res.partner.address In v7 : It's in the address book (res.partner)
13 Invoices In v6.1, you need two fields on every business document : the partner «Acme» & the address. «John Doe» In v7, one field holds the same information, «ACME, John Doe». --> It's like contracts in the real life! -> Simpler, less useless info -> No loss of information!
14 B2C Invoices V6.1's usability was wrong for B2C companies as users had to record the same information twice, on all business documents.
15 So, on business documents, instead of having a Acme and John Doe, you have «ACME, John Doe». This avoid having inconsistencies like: «John Doe», «MECA»
16 More use cases handled This allows more use cases than in v6.1: In search you can find invoices related to ACME, John Doe (not easy in v6.1) or you can find invoices related to ACME (which includes ACME, John Doe ) In Customer selection you choose if you want to send your quote to ACME or to ACME, John Doe It support hierarchies & departments: ACME ACME Bruxelles John Doe Accounting Department ACME LLN
17 In v6.1, we had two fields on business documents (e.g. invoice) «Partner» and «Address». In v7, we have only one field: «Customer». Did we lose information?
18 No information is lost because: We just removed redundancies in v6.1 model, e.g. on invoices: The Partner was «ACME SA» (partner_id) The Address was «John Doe, ACME SA». (address_id) But: partner_id == address_id.partner_id always if partner_id!= address_id.partner_id bugs Problems of v6.1 redundancy: It allows creating inconsistencies, like an invoice having address with header ACME SA but another address.
19 Why is one field better in business documents: Clearly define the responsibility; who signed the document? a person (B2C), a person on behalf of the company or the company. Information is not lost as you still have the two values: The customer (partner_id) and it's main entity partner_id.commercial_id (commercial_id being a function field of the res.partner object) partner_id (Customer) ACME SA ACME SA, John Doe John Doe partner_id.commercial_id ACME SA ACME SA John Doe In the above table, the third example is a person buying for himself.
20 And this is the biggest change: the main field «partner_id» is not anymore a «Company», but a «Customer»  And the secondary field is not anymore the address  but the responsible entity.  This is a change in the semantic of v7 fields.  A customer could be «ACME SA, John Doe» or «ACME SA» or «ACME SA, Engineering Department».  Addresses are not recorded in separated objects anymore in v7 it's company and contacts, instead of partner & address. Their address is directly linked to themselves..  The responsible entity is a concept that did not exists in v6.1 as hierarchies were not supported.
21 But you absolutly need the second field on some business documents? Usually you do not need to have commercial_id in documents as you can get it directly in your code: partner_id.commercial_id But sometimes you may want commercial_id on the object for technical reasons. (like group_by responsible entity) In such case we just add the second field like this on the object: commercial_id: fields.related('partner_id','commercial_id', 'Main Entity)
22 On the technical side... (without base_contact installed)
23 One single table (res.partner) Instead of having two tables (res.partner) and (res.partner.address), we have only one table holding companies and contacts. (res.partner) Why? Because they are all entities with whom you can do business. Sometimes you do business with persons, sometimes with companies, sometimes with persons representing companies (they are interchangeable).
24 But it's a big change?
25 One single table (res.partner) It's not such a big change : Porting a module is easy (just drop one field partner_id and rename address_id into partner_id on your documents) --> There are changes that are more complex in v7, like the new views. Our migration service can do the job for you (OpenERP Enterprise) Check the scenario page for more info:
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