At OpenERP we are constantly developing nifty features to make your life easier. OpenERP v6.1 will include a great feature: B2B/B2C exchange of invoices, sale orders and purchase orders, called EDI.
What is EDI and what's its purpose? In short, EDI (electronic data interchange) has the purpose to simplify and make more efficient the interactions between companies. Instead of sending a bundle of papers to their customers or suppliers, companies can execute their transactions online.
Whether you are working with OpenERP or not, EDI will allow you to export and import specific OpenERP documents between OpenERP instances and 3rd-party systems.
Let look at an example: ACME Systems accountant validates an invoice for Agrolait, which triggers an automated email notification to Agrolait.
In turn, Agrolait will be able to:
print his invoice
push / synchronize this invoice in his own management softwar
pay the invoice online (using paypal or other payment methods)
Accounting, Sales and Purchase modules are integrated with the EDI. So, from these modules you can directly generate a document and email it. It's up to you to customize your email notifications.
Agrolait can push this invoice in their own management software through 3 solutions. See the screenshot below:
First two options are directed to the OpenERP users. Option one is pretty straight forward and by clicking it, Agrolait automatically imports the invoice into their own database.Second option permits them to create a new instance in case they don't have one already and wish to continue working in OpenERP. Consequently, after they have created their OpenERP instance, the invoice will automatically be imported.
Third option allows 3rd-party applications. So, if your customers or suppliers use a different application than OpenERP with the EDI it is very easy to extract data. See aside a sample of the code.
Last but not least, you have multiple ways of paying online, as the company is the one that configues the payment methods. For example, Paypal if you already have a Paypal account or bank transfer. OpenERP believes that this will close the gap between the clients and their suppliers by helping businesses worry less about payment logistics.
This feature will be available in our release of the v6.1.