How do custom reports and scripts work?

xTuple ERP includes powerful tools that can help you deploy an ERP solution that meets the exact requirements of your business.  For most major functionality, our preference is to include the solution in the main, supported product.  That way, no one has to worry about maintaining custom software.  But there are situations where an extremely narrow requirement exists, perhaps a unique business process that needs to be mirrored in the software.  These situations are good candidates for a scripted approach - custom screens built with the xTuple ERP Screen Builder and Qt's implementation of Javascript. We called these scripts "extensions."

Customers can develop their own screens and scripts; they can also have xTuple-trained partners do that work for them.  If the customer engages xTuple itself to develop custom screens and scripts, our policy is that they will be certified for the current release of xTuple ERP only.  That is, there may be minor tweaks required to keep custom scripts working 100% in future versions of the base product.  If xTuple were to do that tweaking, it would be a separate services engagement.

The same rule applies for custom reports built with the integrated OpenRPT report writer.  In both cases, the skills required to build and maintain these custom elements are fairly common - standard SQL for database reporting, and XML and Javascript for custom screens.  It's a good line of business for xTuple partners serving customers who do not have these basic IT skills in-house.  Our goal is not so much to have xTuple maintaining a multitude of customized enhancements, but rather to have as many people as possible using the tools to provide this last 1% of the solution.