Three years. That’s how long I took to migrate from Windows OS to Linux OS which was available for free, in spite of being employed with an open source software development company. This realization brought me on the same wave-length as most of our end users. I used to get so annoyed when they showed resistance to migrate from their legacy solution to EPRNext. But why are we so resistant to upgrade?
Certainly, it’s not just one factor, but there are various factors. For an accountant, meaning of the terms debit and credit never changes. Neither the format of financial statements. For a sales person, the process of making calls, convincing customers to achieve targets is always the same. Our working hours are always static. As an individual, when we have so many static variables around, always upgrading and improving becomes a painful aspect of life.
Or if we go by ideas of Sir Ken Robinson, our schooling system is designed in a way, that it kills our creativity at tender age. Job (for most of us) is just a means of earning our bread and butter. We do it with no motivation on week days and always wait for the weekend to arrive. In this is the scenario, why would one take an extra pain to upgrade their skills for a job they are not even passionate about?
Upgrading oneself is not optional, unless s(he) plans to spend a most of the years of life doing same job. And for sure, no one does that. For example in computers, every time the machine is booted, new upgrades to all the softwares is ready to be installed.
Upgrades at ERPNext
We at ERPNext have used many open source components in the product. These third party components are always being upgraded. Hence making changes in our product becomes necessary for us. Browsers get upgraded very frequently too. With every upgrade we have to make changes in the system to ensure the page layout forms are not going haywire. Not just the compatibility issues, but it’s our belief that bringing small upgrades in the product can bring improvement in much faster way. Hence, we do release changes every day in the product.
An ERPNext user would best understands how difficult it is to deal with continuous upgrades. Till some time ago, the ERPNext user had become a victim to our philosophy of continuous upgrades. New feature releasees would always haunt our customers with "Did Not Save" messages.
ERPNext has not just been a journey about learning. But it is about learning the hard way.
And after addressing approximately 1500 bug related issue in past the two years, finally we learnt how to prevent working features from breaking when new features are released. It was achieved via automated testing system called Test Cases. In simple words, it is script written for each transaction / master. When the script is run, it automatically creates a record, checks validations and returns the final result as True or False. This has made our release process much more stable than earlier. And if we see, using test case is also an upgrade in our process for automated testing.
Continuously upgrading not a choice for business and individual. But it’s a basic need for surviving in this competitive world which is moving ahead so fast. We at ERPNext have benefitted a lot by our philosophy of constantly innovating and upgrading our product. Change is a constant of life, so why not embrace it?
Umair is Frappe's co-founder, VP - Partnerships, and mentor for Frappe School team.