While open source projects are widely acknowledged to have strong technological underpinnings by both proponents and detractors, the latter will point out that the problem with open source software is you have to be a programmer to really get the benefits of open source. That has traditionally meant that 99.9% of the potential user base doesn't really get the biggest benefits. However, as open source projects like Apple's Mac/iPad operating systems (based on BSD) and Google's Android operating system (based on Linux) have become mainstream the old axiom that open source is only for geeks and hackers is becoming old school. The interfaces for products that use these projects have not only caught up to, but surpassed proprietary systems.
xTuple is no exception. In our 3.7 we have added features that make it a piece of cake to add custom fields to documents and reports. No programming required.
What we've done in this release is extended the capabilities of "characteristics." These have long been available a something akin to user defined text fields that can be added to customers, items, contacts and so on. In 3.7 we have expanded characteristics so that in addition to text they can also be dates or an option list. Using the option list makes it easy for non-technical users to set up their own custom predefined reference lists to ensure data integrity.
When characteristics are present, they now become automatically available as both column selections and filterable options. The filters can be saved for future use and shared among your co-workers. Making customized reports has never been easier!
The 3.7.0 release candidate is available today on SourceForge if you want to try out these features. The 3.7.0 final release, including the installer, is currently in the last phases of testing and should be available in just a couple short weeks.