Why have we stopped using apps from the Odoo App Store?

Yes, you are reading that right. We have stopped using apps from the Odoo App store. We evaluated our recent Odoo implementation projects and it turned out that we didn't get any benefit from using the Odoo 3p apps. On the contrary, we lost precious time troubleshooting and communicating with the authors of these 3p apps.

The Odoo App Store

The Odoo App store is the place for developers to place the Odoo Apps. Anyone can post a new module in the Odoo App store. Are you serious?? Everyone? Yes, anyone can post their Odoo Apps. But who judges the quality of what is posted? Unfortunately: noone!
For this reason alone the Odoo App store should be avoided. It is a hotbed of trouble. Users will expect the same experience as the Apple App Store (https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/) or Google Play Store (https://developers.google.com/android/play-protect ).

Users don't see the complexity (and potential problems) of an app and think you can just install it, try it out, and uninstall it if you don't like it. I can do it on my mobile phone, so why can't I do the same on my ERP system? I can't blame them for thinking that way. We are in an app world and even Odoo presents their ERP system as an app based application.

If we take a closer look at what is offered in the Odoo App store, we find free and paid apps. Apps are not that expensive and you may think 'what the heck', let's try those. If your Odoo database is hosted on Odoo.sh, you can even create a test instance at the touch of a button..

Of course, not all apps are bad, that's not my point. The OCA has very good apps because they force developers to follow strict guidelines before an app can be published. My point is that if you offer an App store to users, they can expect certain things.

Below is an overview of what I think is missing from the Odoo App Store:

No quality control performed by Odoo SA

Anyone can subscribe and publish Apps in the Odoo App Store. There is no control over the publisher and published code. In my opinion, you cannot facilitate the publishing of software without properly reviewing the author and the published code.

Bad coding standards

We have checked many apps from the app store and the majority of them do not follow the good coding standard. That makes code difficult to read and maintain. Good quality software starts with following the right standards and guidelines.

Security issues

If no one reviews the code of the apps in the Odoo Apps Store. How can you be sure that the app is not leaking data? A security problem can only be internal, by not setting the right security rules, but it can also be more damaging if your company data is exposed externally.

Performance issues

For which type of Odoo database has the app been developed? You can't read that in the Odoo Apps store. The app may work fine with 1000 products, but does the app work just as well with 100,000 products? Okay, the number of products in your database can be stable, but what about apps that make adjustments to inventory changes or accounting journal entries. These numbers will only increase and could run into the millions at some point.
Also consider scheduled actions a 3p App can execute. In Odoo a scheduled action (cron) gets a maximum of 15 minutes to be executed. If you have a few of these there are no issues, but what if you have too many? And is this scheduled action able to process the amount of records you have in your database? Too often we have seen these problems with performance issues in production as a consequence.

Conflicts with other customizations

Please note that any Odoo app can work perfectly on its own, but may conflict with other apps as the customizations affect the same functionality in Odoo. So testing is always an important step to take.

Apps for existing functionalities

There are plenty of apps that offer functionality that is already standard in the current version of Odoo. It seems that the major authors (the authors who publish the most apps in the app store) only migrate apps to the latest version of Odoo without checking if the functionality is already standard in the new version. When releasing a new Odoo version, we see hundreds of apps become available for the new Odoo version.

That begs the question of whether these apps will be made seriously compatible with the new version of Odoo or just pushed to the app store and we'll see who will use it. The users contact the author about a problem and that also brings you a new lead/customer. A proven strategy.

Update to a new Odoo version

Customization is not a one-time investment. When Odoo's default functionality changes, you must also make the customization compatible again. This is often referred to as a migration. You have to think about who will do that in the future and at what cost?

How to continue without App Store?

So it was a hard decision to stop using the Odoo App Store. We didn't take this decision lightly, but we did it to protect our customers from unexpected problems. 

The Odoo App store looks like a candy store for ready-to-use solutions. Unfortunately that is not the case now.

Are there no exceptions?

Like so many things in life, there are always exceptions. There are very good authors of very good apps. They have little choice but to offer their apps on the Odoo Apps Store. They are gems of Apps, but you have to know how to find them. Are you looking for good Apps, take a look at the apps made under the banner of the Odoo Community Association. They also have their own app store, the OCA App Store.

But we are also big fans of the work of the Polish company Ventor Tech. They make a great scanning solution for Odoo, but they also have e-commerce links available. Just look at the website of Ventor Tech.

Get good advice

That's the best advice I can give. We will continue to advise our customers on how to use third party apps offered in the Odoo App Store. We hope things will improve dramatically so we can reconsider.

Do you need adjustments or do you see an Odoo 3p-App in the Odoo App store that you (think) you need, please contact your Odoo partner and get advice. Of course you can also send an email to erwin@odooexperts.nl.

Why have we stopped using apps from the Odoo App Store?
Erwin van der Ploeg March 4, 2023
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