Looking for solutions to navigation inconsistencies

Hello Frappe World!

My team and I are exploring ERPNext as a platform to build our CRM, partner / reseller system and licensing system for our apps. Having used Open ERP many years back, we are taking a look at Odoo too, but currently ERPNext seems to be the winning platform for us as we are finding ERPNext to be much more flexible to fit our needs.

One of the key issues we are seeing with ERPNext is inconsistent navigation between the ‘Explore’ menu and the breadcrumbs. Some points:

  • Doctypes linked across modules results in inconsistent breadcrumbs: For eg. Item is available as a link in the Selling module as well as the Buying module but if the user navigates from Selling to item, the breadcrumb shows Buying > Item instead of Selling > Item.

  • The Breadcrumb is the only way to navigate using the mouse. Since there is no dropdown menu, the breadcrumb (and the app logo) becomes the only way to go back into another module or section. I understand and really like the powerful awesome bar for power usage, but we are expecting a large volume of ‘non power users’ and in-frequent users in the system, and these users may face navigation confusion.

  • While the second highest link in the bread crumb navigates to the explore menu which contains the top level navigation tree, the highest link in the breadcrumb (the logo) navigates to a set of links that is a subset of the top level nav. This goes against the expected pyramid navigation paradigm where the topmost item provides the highest level view. While I see the benefits of quick shortcuts of the desktop, the breadcrumb navigation from deeper pages get confusing.

I have read up on most of the discussions here talking about a UI changes and skinning and realize that we will probably have to fork Frappe (and / or ERPNext) to solve these issues. I see the following possible stories we may need to work on:

  • Modify / change / cleanup the existing module > group > link structure of the explore menu - somehow without having to change code in all modules of ERPNext.

  • Create some form of persistent mouse based navigation using a menu or sidebar for across the system.

  • Explore if it is possible for the breadcrumbs to be improved in any way.

Could someone point us out to the right files / code that generates the explore menu and the bread crumbs? We would be glad to open up and publish any relevant code that comes out of this. Are there any simpler solutions that I am overlooking?

We are also considering creating an ERPNext integration to our business dashboard app: Numerics - https://cynapse.com/numerics , so you will be able to make native, realtime dashboards for iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch and Apple TV from data in your ERPNext system.



This should give you an starting point.

We encourage you to make enhancement within the core and send-in your contributions. Let’s keep the spirit of open-source alive.

May be you can share the design/approach/mock on making this enhancement before spending more time on it.

Thanks Umair,

We certainly intend to contribute back to the core, however we are currently at an exploratory stage and far from qualified to provide expert contributions yet.

We are ideating and refining our requirements as we dive into the system. Will keep this thread updated about our progress and thoughts.

Could you also help with the right bench command to init a bench using a fork of frappe while still using the default repo for the ERPNext app?

Hi Apurva,

Could you also help with the right bench command to init a bench using a fork of frappe while still using the default repo for the ERPNext app?

bench init [BENCH_NAME] --frappe-path [PATH_TO_REMOTE_REPO] --frappe-branch [BRANCH_NAME]


bench init foo.bar --frappe-path https://github.com/achillesrasquinha/frappe --frappe-branch develop

If you’d like to explore more of what bench is capable of, simply add the --help flag. For instance,

bench init --help

You can also refer to the Cheatsheet over here.

Will get back to you on the “Breadcrumbs” issue.

Meanwhile, Happy Hacking!