Odoo Module Configuration Implementation


An Odoo module may have some configuration settings that can be configured by an Odoo administrator. Odoo provides several base classes and a base view to make the configuration task easier. This article analyzes the Odoo configuration implementation.

Odoo uses a configuration view file and a configuration module Python code file. The module-configuration view is defined in the openerp/addons/base/res/res_config.xml file. In the openerp/addons/base/res/res_config.py file, Odoo defines four classes that are used to develop new module configuration classes.

The Module-Configuration View

This file defines two records in ir.ui.view model.

The res.config.view.base record defines a “Configuration” form view for res.config model. The view has an empty “res_config_contents” group and a footer. The footer has an “Apply” button and an “Cancel” button. When clicked, the “Apply” button calls the action_next method and the “Cancel” button calls the action_skip method.

The “res_config_installer” record defines a “Configuration Installer” form view for the res.config.installer model. There are two buttons in the form: an “Install Modules” button to call action_next and a “Skip” button to close a popup window.

Class 1: res_config_module_installation_mixin

As the name suggested, this class is used as a mixin that provides a method _install_modules to install modules. The modules to be installed are specified as a list of tuples in the format of (mod_name, browse_record | None).
It calls the module.button_immediate_install method to install a list of modules.

Class 2: res_config_configurable

This class inherits the models.TransientModel to define a “res.config” model. In its document, it says:

Configuration items should inherit from this class, implement
the execute method (and optionally the cancel one) and have
their view inherit from the related res_config_view_base view.

The class defines several methods that are to be called from a corresponding configuration view.

  • The action_next method: it call an abstract execute method that is to be implemented in a subclass to perform the actual configuration function.
  • The action_skip method: it first calls the cancel method. If the cancel return false, it calls self.next method.
    A subclass may override the cancel method defined here that does nothing.
  • The next method: It first searches ‘ir.actions.todo’ that matches the ['&', ('type', '=', 'automatic'), ('state','=','open')] domain. Then it filter results with matched group ids. It calls the record’s action_launch method and set the call result’s nodestroy attribute to false. If no matched record found in ‘ir.actions.todo’, it returns {'type': 'ir.actions.client', 'tag': 'reload',} to reload the page.

There are only a few modules such as account, base_setup, document, and module inherit from this class to implement configuration. Most module configuration models inherit from ‘res.config.settings’ that described below.

Class 3: res_config_installer

This class defines a ‘res.config.installer’ model that inherits the above ‘res.config’ model. This class is use to select modules to be installed in configuration as described in its document:

Basic usage

Subclasses can simply define a number of _columns as
fields.boolean objects. The keys (column names) should be the
names of the addons to install (when selected). Upon action
execution, selected boolean fields (and those only) will be
interpreted as addons to install, and batch-installed.

Additional addons

It is also possible to require the installation of an additional
addon set when a specific preset of addons has been marked for
installation (in the basic usage only, additionals can't depend on
one another).

There are only a few modules such as account, account_sequence, and base_report_designer inherit from this class to implement configuration.

Class 4: res_config_settings

The class inherits from models.TransientModel and res_config_module_installation_mixin. It defines a ‘res.config.settings’ model that is similar to ‘res.config’ but with more features.

Due to its rich functions, there are many modules such as account, base_setup, fetchmail, and google_account etc inherit from this class to implement their configuration settings.

Similar to ‘res.config’, ‘res_config_settings’ assumes a configuration view that calls its execute or cancel method to perform its configuration tasks.

The execute Method

This method is often called from an “Apply” or “Save” button in a configuration view.

It requires the current user is the ‘admin” user or a member of ‘base.group_erp_manager’ to run this method.

It first classifies the model columns into four categories:

  • ‘default’: [('default_foo', 'model', 'foo'), ...]
  • ‘group’: [('group_bar', [browse_group], browse_implied_group), ...]
  • ‘module’: [('module_baz', browse_module), ...]
  • ‘other’: ['other_field', ...]

It then performs configuration tasks for each group. We use the purchase\res_config.py as an example to show how it works.

The ‘default’ Category

It calls the set_default method of the ‘ir.values’ model to define a default value for the given model and field name.

In purchase configuration, it define the following column and its default value:

_columns = {
    'default_invoice_method': fields.selection(
        [('manual', 'Based on purchase order lines'),
         ('picking', 'Based on incoming shipments'),
         ('order', 'Pre-generate draft invoices based on purchase orders'),
        'Default invoicing control method', 

_defaults = {
    'default_invoice_method': 'order',

The configuration will save ‘order’ as the default value for the ‘invoice_method’ field of the ‘purchase.order’ model in ‘ir.values’ model.

The ‘group’ Category

It calls the create method of the ‘res.groups’ model to created implied_ids for specified groups. In purchase configuration, it has:

_columns = {
    'group_tasks_work_on_tasks': fields.boolean("Log work activities on tasks",
        help="Allows you to compute work on tasks."),

If this field is True, add the implied group to all field groups. Otherwise, remove it.

The ‘module’ Category

It installs or uninstalls the module based on the selection of the module columns. For example, the following code:

_columns = {
    'module_project_issue': fields.boolean("Track issues and bugs",
        help='Provides management of issues/bugs in projects.\n'
             '-This installs the module project_issue.'),

will install the ‘project_issue’ module if this boolean field is checked. Otherwise, it will uninstall the module if it is installed.

The ‘other’ Category

It doesn’t directly process the columns in the ‘other’ category. However, it scans the class attributes that have a name starting with ‘set_’ and execute those attributes.

The default_get Method

This method retrieves default values for columns in the ‘default’ category. It sets group and module default values. Then it executes attributes whose names starting with ‘get_default_’.

The following code are from the purchase example:

_columns = {
    'time_unit': fields.many2one('product.uom', 'Working time unit', 
        help="""This will set the unit of measure used in projects and tasks."""),

def get_default_time_unit(self, cr, uid, fields, context=None):
    user = self.pool.get('res.users').browse(cr, uid, uid, context=context)
    return {'time_unit': user.company_id.project_time_mode_id.id}

The above code set a default value for the ‘time_unit’ column.

The cancel Method

This method just reopen the default view for the current model.

Written on October 16, 2014