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Learn to Integrate Odoo with Google Drive


Now there are great new options in document management. Here we explore an Odoo module that allows you to use Google Drive to centralize your document management to simplify backups, security, and accessibility.

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Learn how you can easily tie Google Drive to Odoo models

Consider how many companies still require various forms and documents to be filled out to conduct their business. Often times a given process in a company may require you to collect a lot of specific information that is not inside Odoo. Rather than giving in to the temptation to add a lot of extra custom fields to collect that in Odoo, Google Drive integration allows you to organize that information in Google Documents that easily be attached to models in Odoo.

Configuring Odoo to talk to Google Drive

In this video you learn how to create the required steps to get Odoo talking to Google Drive. Next we setup templates and show you how Odoo can automatically create new documents directly attached to a given customer record based on simple templates you create. Additional advantages include the fact you don't have to worry about file structures on your Ubuntu system or complex access requirements. Odoo to Google Drive integration is simple and once you see this video you may see all sorts of ways it can solve problems you previously thought would require custom development. 

Finding solutions to adding many additional fields to ERP systems

One of the powerful take aways from Google drive integration is that it can help avoid the very real requirements of adding several if not dozens of fields to various records within the ERP system. Take an insurance company for example that has literally hundreds of forms that must be completed. The same could be said for many industries. Google Drive integration can more easily allow you to organize information associated with ERP records without extensive customization. You will be able to ask... "do we really need to add 15 fields to Odoo's MRP module,  or can we create a simple document template that provides the company specific requirements for our production order?"

What is the big deal about Google Drive integration?

One of the great advantages of Google Drive integration with Odoo is that nearly every business has documents and forms that sit somewhat outside their ERP system. One strategy of course is to try and add lots of extra custom models, fields, and customization into Odoo to account for a lot of industry specific data. Google Drive integration allows you to persue an alternative strategy. Maintain custom process information and ancilary data inside Google Drive documents. 

So how exactly does that work?

Once you have configured Odoo to talk with Google Drive, you can create templates that are automatically attached to any model you choose in Odoo. For example, maybe you have a complex production process like for Silkscreen printing. You need to collect a lot of variables regarding ink combinations, screens, meshes, press requirements, art approvals... the list gets long. Naturally companies already have documents and processes to collect and move this information through production. 

So instead of trying to push all that information into an ERP system, you create a spreadsheet template in Google Drive. It has all the placeholders to collect and organize all that complex information. Whenever you go to that production order, you can now pull up that sheet and see all the details. Without customizing Odoo you have integrated and tied a lot of information directly to the production order that will facilitate communication and build on the strengths of the existing workflow. 

Odoo creates the documents automatically from your templates

The beautify of this integration is that Odoo will automatically name, store, and associate any template you choose with any model you choose in Odoo. The above example is only one. Think real-estate sales. There are a great deal of information that goes into selling a property. Square feet, number of rooms, acres, design, location.... the list of models and fields you would need to add to Odoo to create a custom real-estate application is quite daunting and would be expensive to develop and implement. However with Google Drive integration you can attach existiing templates and forms and attach them to products within Odoo. Now instead of massive customization you can add a few critical fields to Odoo, perhaps like square footage, number of rooms. This would be for searching and easy categorization. 

Now imagine instead of adding dozens of fields to Odoo to collect all that would be required to describe the property and that would likely grow in scope and change... you create a template on Google Drive for that property.  Then when you create a product in Odoo you can tell Odoo to automatically create a copy of that template, name it according to your specifications and even brings it up automatically for you to collect all the little details you need to on that property. There you attach all the pictures and dozens of little details about the property. 

The document then is tied directly to the product record and available anytime you pull up the product, just pull up the Google document with the details formatted in any way you wish. Now instead of spending months to develop something customized it's possible to get a workflow going fast. If you change the template, all new documents from that point on will have the new template. 

Known limitations of Google drive integration with Odoo | OpenERP

While this solution is very promising many of the really great abilities are still around the corner. At this time there is no 'mail merge' capabilities built into the Google documents you create. So there is no way to easily populate fields from the models in Odoo and inject them into placeholders within Google documents. There are some work arounds and there is always a way to make it happen but at this point that functionality is not built into the Odoo to Google Drive integration. 

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