Building a Website
Creating a basic module
In Odoo, tasks are performed by creating modules.
Modules customize the behavior of an Odoo installation, either by adding new behaviors or by altering existing ones (including behaviors added by other modules).
Odoo’s scaffolding can setup a basic module. To quickly get started simply invoke:
This will automatically create a
my-modules module directory with an
academy module inside. The directory can be an existing module directory if you want, but the module name must be unique within the directory.
A demonstration module
We have a “complete” module ready for installation.
Although it does absolutely nothing we can install it:
start the Odoo server
go to http://localhost:8069
create a new database including demonstration data
in the top-right corner remove the Installed filter and search for academy
click the Install button for the Academy module
To the browser
Controllers interpret browser requests and send data back.
Add a simple controller and ensure it is imported by
__init__.py (so Odoo can find it):
Shut down your server (^C) then restart it:
and open a page to http://localhost:8069/academy/academy/, you should see your “page” appear:
Generating HTML in Python isn’t very pleasant.
The usual solution is templates, pseudo-documents with placeholders and display logic. Odoo allows any Python templating system, but provides its own QWeb templating system which integrates with other features.
Create a template and ensure the template file is registered in the
__manifest__.py manifest, and alter the controller to use our template:
The templates iterates (
t-foreach) on all the teachers (passed through the template context), and prints each teacher in its own paragraph.
Finally restart Odoo and update the module’s data (to install the template) by going to Upgrade.and clicking
Going to http://localhost:8069/academy/academy/ should now result in:
Storing data in Odoo
Odoo models map to database tables.
In the previous section we just displayed a list of string entered statically in the Python code. This doesn’t allow modifications or persistent storage so we’ll now move our data to the database.
Defining the data model
Define a teacher model, and ensure it is imported from
__init__.py so it is correctly loaded:
Then setup basic access control for the model and add them to the manifest:
this simply gives read access (
perm_read) to all users (
group_id:id left empty).
The second step is to add some demonstration data to the system so it’s possible to test it easily. This is done by adding a
demo data file, which must be linked from the manifest:
Accessing the data
The last step is to alter model and template to use our demonstration data:
fetch the records from the database instead of having a static list
search()returns a set of records matching the filter (“all records” here), alter the template to print each teacher’s
Restart the server and update the module (in order to update the manifest and templates and load the demo file) then navigate to http://localhost:8069/academy/academy/. The page should look slightly different: names should simply be prefixed by a number (the database identifier for the teacher).
Odoo bundles a module dedicated to building websites.
So far we’ve used controllers fairly directly, but Odoo 8 added deeper integration and a few other services (e.g. default styling, theming) via the
websiteas a dependency to
then add the
website=Trueflag on the controller, this sets up a few new variables on the request object and allows using the website layout in our template
use the website layout in the template
After restarting the server while updating the module (in order to update the manifest and template) access http://localhost:8069/academy/academy/ should yield a nicer looking page with branding and a number of built-in page elements (top-level menu, footer, …)
The website layout also provides support for editing tools: click Sign In (in the top-right), fill the credentials in (
admin by default) then click Log In.
You’re now in Odoo “proper”: the administrative interface. For now click on the Website menu item (top-left corner.
We’re back in the website but as an administrator, with access to advanced editing features provided by the website support:
a template code editor () where you can see and edit all templates used for the current page
the Edit button in the top-left switches to “editing mode” where blocks (snippets) and rich text editing are available
a number of other features such as mobile preview or SEO
URLs and routing
Controller methods are associated with routes via the
route() decorator which takes a routing string and a number of attributes to customise its behavior or security.
We’ve seen a “literal” routing string, which matches a URL section exactly, but routing strings can also use converter patterns which match bits of URLs and make those available as local variables. For instance we can create a new controller method which takes a bit of URL and prints it out:
As the name indicates, converter patterns don’t just do extraction, they also do validation and conversion, so we can change the new controller to only accept integers:
Restart Odoo, access http://localhost:8069/academy/2, note how the old value was a string, but the new one was converted to an integers. Try accessing http://localhost:8069/academy/Carol/ and note that the page was not found: since “Carol” is not an integer, the route was ignored and no route could be found.
Odoo provides an additional converter called
model which provides records directly when given their id. Let’s use this to create a generic page for teacher biographies:
then change the list of model to link to our new controller:
Restart Odoo and upgrade the module, then you can visit each teacher’s page. As an exercise, try adding blocks to a teacher’s page to write a biography, then go to another teacher’s page and so forth. You will discover, that your biography is shared between all teachers, because blocks are added to the template, and the biography template is shared between all teachers, when one page is edited they’re all edited at the same time.
Data which is specific to a record should be saved on that record, so let us add a new biography field to our teachers:
Restart Odoo and update the views, reload the teacher’s page and… the field is invisible since it contains nothing.
For record fields, templates can use a special
t-field directive which allows editing the field content from the website using field-specific interfaces. Change the person template to use
Restart Odoo and upgrade the module, there is now a placeholder under the teacher’s name and a new zone for blocks in Edit mode. Content dropped there is stored in the corresponding teacher’s
biography field, and thus specific to that teacher.
The teacher’s name is also editable, and when saved the change is visible on the index page.
t-field can also take formatting options which depend on the exact field. For instance if we display the modification date for a teacher’s record:
it is displayed in a very “computery” manner and hard to read, but we could ask for a human-readable version:
or a relative display:
Administration and ERP integration
A brief and incomplete introduction to the Odoo administration
The Odoo administration was briefly seen during the website support section. We can go back to it using in the menu (or Sign In if you’re signed out).
The conceptual structure of the Odoo backend is simple:
first are menus, a tree (menus can have sub-menus) of records. Menus without children map to…
actions. Actions have various types: links, reports, code which Odoo should execute or data display. Data display actions are called window actions, and tell Odoo to display a given model according to a set of views…
a view has a type, a broad category to which it corresponds (a list, a graph, a calendar) and an architecture which customises the way the model is displayed inside the view.
Editing in the Odoo administration
By default, an Odoo model is essentially invisible to a user. To make it visible it must be available through an action, which itself needs to be reachable, generally through a menu.
Let’s create a menu for our model:
then accessing http://localhost:8069/web/ in the top left should be a menu Academy, which is selected by default, as it is the first menu, and having opened a listing of teachers. From the listing it is possible to Create new teacher records, and to switch to the “form” by-record view.
If there is no definition of how to present records (a view) Odoo will automatically create a basic one on-the-fly. In our case it works for the “list” view for now (only displays the teacher’s name) but in the “form” view the HTML
biography field is displayed side-by-side with the
name field and not given enough space. Let’s define a custom form view to make viewing and editing teacher records a better experience:
Relations between models
We have seen a pair of “basic” fields stored directly in the record. There are a number of basic fields. The second broad categories of fields are relational and used to link records to one another (within a model or across models).
For demonstration, let’s create a courses model. Each course should have a
teacher field, linking to a single teacher record, but each teacher can teach many courses:
let’s also add views so we can see and edit a course’s teacher:
It should also be possible to create new courses directly from a teacher’s page, or to see all the courses they teach, so add
the inverse relationship to the teachers model:
Discussions and notifications
Odoo provides technical models, which don’t directly fulfill business needs but which add capabilities to business objects without having to build them by hand.
One of these is the Chatter system, part of Odoo’s email and messaging system, which can add notifications and discussion threads to any model. The model simply has to
mail.thread, and add the
message_ids field to its form view to display the discussion thread. Discussion threads are per-record.
For our academy, it makes sense to allow discussing courses to handle e.g. scheduling changes or discussions between teachers and assistants:
At the bottom of each course form, there is now a discussion thread and the possibility for users of the system to leave messages and follow or unfollow discussions linked to specific courses.
Odoo also provides business models which allow using or opting in business needs more directly. For instance the
website_sale module sets up an e-commerce site based on the products in the Odoo system. We can easily make course subscriptions sellable by making our courses specific kinds of products.
Rather than the previous classical inheritance, this means replacing our course model by the product model, and extending products in-place (to add anything we need to it).
First of all we need to add a dependency on
website_sale so we get both products (via
sale) and the ecommerce interface:
restart Odoo, update your module, there is now a Shop section in the website, listing a number of pre-filled (via demonstration data) products.
The second step is to replace the courses model by
product.template, and add a new category of product for courses:
With this installed, a few courses are now available in the Shop, though they may have to be looked for.
Altering existing views
So far, we have briefly seen:
the creation of new models
the creation of new views
the creation of new records
the alteration of existing models
We’re left with the alteration of existing records and the alteration of existing views. We’ll do both on the Shop pages.
View alteration is done by creating extension views, which are applied on top of the original view and alter it. These alteration views can be added or removed without modifying the original, making it easier to try things out and roll changes back.
Since our courses are free, there is no reason to display their price on the shop page, so we’re going to alter the view and hide the price if it’s 0. The first task is finding out which view displays the price, this can be done viawhich lets us read the various templates involved in rendering a page. Going through a few of them, “Product item” looks a likely culprit.
Altering view architectures is done in 3 steps:
Create a new view
Extend the view to modify by setting the new view’s
inherit_idto the modified view’s external id
In the architecture, use the
xpathtag to select and alter elements from the modified view
The second thing we will change is making the product categories sidebar visible by default:lets you toggle a tree of product categories (used to filter the main display) on and off.
This is done via the
active fields of extension templates: an extension template (such as the one we’ve just created) can be customize_show=True. This choice will display the view in the Customize menu with a check box, allowing administrators to activate or disable them (and easily customize their website pages).
We simply need to modify the Product Categories record and set its default to active=”True”:
With this, the Product Categories sidebar will automatically be enabled when the Academy module is installed.