I am an implementer. And I have a new client that wants to get started right away, but the version 10 ERPNext is not yet stable enough for me to set them up. There is not enough time for me to test it completely and promise them I can make it work. Is there an EASY way for me to setup and install the last ‘stable’ version of v9 ERPNext?
If not, can we make this a developer/foundation request item?
The constant shifting sands of how stable ERPNext is at any given time is not conducive to being able to rely on it as a platform we can implement for clients. I really wouldn’t care if they only make the last major version number (i.e last v9 instance) available as a package. As long as we can continue using what we already know and have thoroughly tested for client systems.
If there is no easy way to do this, then I will be forced to set the new client up with a something like InFlow because it is readily available, stable and cheap enough for a starter system. When ‘time-is-of-the-essence’ it is important to have stable versions that we can rely on to get new customers on-board with open source software.
Most new clients are predictably wary or otherwise afraid of open source software, and convincing them to adopt it as a foundation for their business systems is no small task. That is where we implementers come into the picture. We spend out time teaching potential clients how to evaluate and choose business systems. However, without some stable backstop (such as easy availability of last major version) that we can depend on, it becomes nearly impossible to get new clients to risk their business data to open source systems.We spend our time proving to them how well something works in order to get them to use it. That is nearly impossible when you ONLY have easy access to the most recent release of ERPNext.
Every new release (even point releases) are changing something and many times it is something that affects the user experience. When that occurs, we implementers have to go back and put everything through a rigorous testing process to make sure it dies not adversely impact users. The results of that testing usually shows up in the ERPNext forums as problems that need attention. However, from a user perspective, they cannot afford for their business to be down or adversely impacted by some bug that shows up in a point release. They DEMAND some sort of stability. They DEPEND on implementers like my company to provide that stability by managing whatever version they are using when we set them up.
I know the foundation would like you to believe that customers / users would universally always want the latest and best new features as soon as they can get them. However, the reality is very different. Customers / users really only want something they can depend on to STAY THE SAME for an extended period of time. Your next logical question is WHY? The answer is multi-faceted.
Potential clients are not only concerned about the SETUP COST of implementing a business system. They also have to be concerned about how the system impacts their day to day business processes. This include how a business system may alter how they interact with their own customers, how it affects the people they employ to use the system during their workday, and the processes they must put in place to collect data and use the new insights they gain from their business system. This is only a few of the many things they must consider when choosing a business system.
Clients that adopt a new business system (regardless if it their first system or replacing an older system) are going to invest their money and their time into getting their employees past the initial learning curve of using a new system. They are also going to work out ‘gentle’ ways to change how they interact with their own customers in order to make the most of their new system. Once they are comfortably past those first 2 hurdles, they will really dig into how to use the new insights the system provides to their business. It is not until after they reach this point do they actually feel that they have found value in their new system. Everything up to this point has been a net COST to them. How can we expect them to realistically contend with constant changes to the system when all they would see is additional costs, both financial and time, to re-do everything I just mentioned above?
In fact, there is no way a company with as few as 10 to 25 employees could possibly stay ahead of the learning curve when you look at the current pace of ERPNext development and improvement cycles. To combat this NEGATIVE in potential clients eyes, we need to be able to easily install something we can support without having to depend on the slower pace of the foundation support structure. Clients running a live business cannot wait weeks for something to get fixed, especially when it wasn’t broken at the time they initially started using the system.
Yes… we understand that using older versions means that we will contend with KNOWN problems. The point is, they are in fact ‘known’ problems and we can work with them or around them as long as we know them. We cannot be putting out new fires all the time and still help clients run their businesses.
So, to this end… I need to know if there is yet an EASY way to setup the last point release of the last major version (v9 in this case)?
An easy way meaning possibly a new switch that can be used with the install.py script to setup the last major version (something like: sudo install.py --production --user me --version 9). Or at least something as simple to use as this.
If not, then is this something the foundation is planning to setup very soon?
Of not, then why not?
I we want the user base to expand, we need to start paying attention to the process new users go through to adopt a system.
Right now I need to either setup a v9 system or take my client to some other software. That means that I loose them to the other software for at least 2 years. That is the ROI turn around on their time, training, and financial investments. The time they loose to training and business process changes affects their profitability. To them, time wasted in training and changing processes, is time lost in making money.
So, is there an easy path forward for me on this or not?