Customizing Odoo? Here are FIVE Important Tips!

Read these tips before you start customizing Odoo

Odoo is a powerful business application framework with literally thousands of applications and add-on modules.That said, there are still many instances in which companies find themselves desiring changes in Odoo's functionality to better fit their business. 

Fortunately, Odoo has a flexible and extendable architecture that makes it relatively easy to build custom solutions. 

If you are thinking about customizing Odoo or have some Odoo customization projects you are involved in, here are  FIVE tips to help you work through an Odoo customization project.

1. Completely Understand and Exhaust all of Odoo's Functional Capabilities and Configuration Options

Far too often I've seen developers who are somewhat new to Odoo development begin attempting to write custom solutions when they are still relatively weak in their understanding of the business process and the Odoo applications they are customizing. It is very critical that you take the time to learn the Odoo application inside and out. Next, you should prototype and test all business processes with stock Odoo. You should not just imagine how it would work. You should not just try to predict how Odoo may work. Or theorize how it should work. Instead, take the time to create the data for prototyping the process and perform each step in Odoo. It is very much worth the time to do this until you have covered all the critical business processes in your company. That includes the edge cases and transactions that may not be so typical. This will also prepare you for the next important tip.

My Odoo 13 Essentials course is designed specifically to give Odoo integrators and developers the training they need to fully understand Odoo's primary business applications.

2. Implement Business Process Workarounds for Limitations before Writing Code and Customization

Once you have worked through all of the business processes with standard Odoo, you are going to reach a point where you determine you will need a custom application or customization to handle a specific requirement. This is now where you want to resist customization for just a little bit longer. Instead, a better plan is to brainstorm and look for creative solutions in which a business process can be changed or modified so it can work with Odoo out of the box. As you look for potential workarounds and ways to implement Odoo out of the box you will be surprised how many times you may come up with creative solutions that actually improve a business process or workflow. Then just like we did in tip number one, you will want to actually test out some of the solutions you have come up with. Determine the cost and time it takes to implement the business workaround with stock Odoo. This will help you determine if customization is really going to add value to your business. You must determine the real value that customizing Odoo will give you. Knowing what a solution looks like without that customizing Odoo is critical to making an objective decision.

3. Look on the Odoo App Store for Applications that Offer Solutions

After you have a total understanding of all the Odoo options available and you have attempted to identify areas in which you can better adapt Odoo to your business you will possibly still have a gap. Something that if Odoo were able to accomplish would make for a better solution. In that case, your next step is to look at Odoo's app store and check with other Odoo resources to see if someone else has already attempted to solve the same problem.

Most likely if you are really needing it someone else has needed it as well. Also, even if the application is not a perfect fit it may still provide great value to you. If it is a free application you will have the source code and you can perhaps use it as a starting point. The most important take away from this tip is that you should not be starting to build custom Odoo solutions without thoroughly researching all the available options. 

4. Understand the Odoo Framework, Inside and Out.

When it comes to customizing Odoo there are some modifications and extensions that are extremely easy to implement. For example, adding an existing field to a list view. Or adding a few custom fields to a form. There are many more examples but the primary point is this. When you are first starting out take the time to understand the basic steps and operations you will use over and over and over again to extend and customize Odoo applications. That means understanding the Odoo framework inside and out. As an Odoo developer, you want to spend time researching the Odoo source code. I've trained literally thousands of Odoo developers and the one big mistake most make is not taking the time to review the Odoo source code and really understand it. When you get stuck and you need to solve a problem the best solutions are right there in the Odoo source code. Find where Odoo is already doing it and then look to the source code. There is your answer. This practice will help you best understand how to use the Odoo framework and create your own solutions.

My Mastering Odoo 13 Development course is designed to give you a complete understanding of the Odoo Framework and provide you everything you need to become an expert Odoo Developer.

5. Develop your 'Soft Skills' and Understanding of Business to become a successful Integrator

When it comes to customizing Odoo many people want to focus on Python and the actual coding of the applications. The truth of the matter is that Python coding and writing code is perhaps only 25% of the work. As you can see from my tips understanding Odoo inside and out, re-mapping business processes to better fit business platforms, researching solutions, understanding the capabilities of the framework are extremely important and have little to do with actual coding. But even more so, as an Odoo integrator or developer, skills in project management are critical if you wish to have successful outcomes. Understanding accounting & finance is also extremely important.

If you are an independent developer or looking to find work in Odoo then digital marketing, promotion, and managing client expectations all play a critical role in your outcome.

Regardless of whether working for yourself or someone else, make sure you do not neglect your soft skills. Very often they are what will make the difference in your success. If you are interested in improving your business, consulting or developer skills please schedule a strategy session with me below.


I hope these tips are helpful. There are many more and we are just touching the tip of the iceberg. If you are involved in an Odoo project and would like a free one-on-one strategy session to discuss your Odoo goals please use the link below: 

I've helped thousands Odoo developers, integrators and partners achieve success with Odoo and I'm sure I can help you as well.

All the best,

Greg Moss, founder