How to Create a Module in Odoo

How to Create a Module in Odoo

Odoo is a powerful open-source suite of business management software offering a wide range of functionalities like CRM, inventory management, accounting, and more.  One of its key strengths lies in its modular architecture. These modules, often referred to as apps, are self-contained software units that tackle specific business needs.  Think of them as building blocks that you can assemble to create a customized business management solution.

Why Create Custom Modules?

While Odoo offers a vast array of features out-of-the-box,  there might be situations where its functionalities don't perfectly align with your specific business processes. This is where creating custom modules comes in. Here are some key benefits:

  • Tailored Functionalities: Extend Odoo's capabilities to address your unique business needs. Need a custom field for capturing specific product data or a streamlined workflow for order approvals? Custom modules can bridge these gaps.

  • Improved Workflows: Automate repetitive tasks or create custom workflows that enhance team efficiency.

  • Enhanced User Experience: Tailor the Odoo interface to better suit your user needs by creating custom views and reports.

  • Integration with External Systems: Develop modules to seamlessly integrate Odoo with other business-critical applications you use.

By leveraging the power of custom modules, you can optimize your Odoo experience and create a business management system that perfectly aligns with your company's goals.

Setting Up the Development Environment

Before diving into module creation, let's ensure you have the necessary tools at your disposal. Here's what you'll need:

  • Python: Odoo is built on Python, so having a recent version installed is essential. You can download it from the official website 

  • Odoo Instance: You'll need access to an Odoo instance where you can develop and test your modules. This can be:

    • A local Odoo installation: Download the source code and set up your own instance

    • A cloud-based Odoo instance: Many hosting providers offer Odoo as a managed service.

Virtual Environments: Your Development Sandbox

While you can technically develop modules within your system's main Python environment, it's highly recommended to use virtual environments. These isolated environments help manage dependencies and prevent conflicts with other projects. Popular options include venv (built-in with Python 3.3+) and virtualenv. You can find detailed instructions on creating virtual environments in the official Python documentation 

Using a virtual environment ensures your module's dependencies are isolated, preventing them from interfering with other Python projects on your system. This promotes a clean and organised development environment.

Creating the Module Structure

Now that your development environment is ready, let's explore the basic structure of an Odoo module. This structure helps Odoo identify and manage your custom code.

Here's a breakdown of the key components:

  • This empty file serves as a marker, indicating that the directory is a Python package. It's essential for Odoo to recognize your module.

  • This is the heart of your module, containing all the metadata Odoo needs to understand its functionalities. We'll delve deeper into the structure of this file in the next section.

  • Optional Directories: Depending on the functionalities you want to implement, you might create additional directories within your module folder:

    • models: This directory houses Python classes that define the data structures used by your module (think of them as custom tables in a database).

    • views: This directory contains XML files that define how data is displayed and interacted with within the Odoo interface.

    • static: This directory can store custom CSS files, JavaScript code, or images specific to your module.

By following this modular structure, you keep your code organised and maintainable, making it easier to develop and manage complex functionalities.

Defining the Module Manifest (

The file acts as the blueprint for your Odoo module. It provides essential information about the module's functionalities and how it interacts with the Odoo system. Let's explore some key elements you'll encounter within this file:

  • name: This defines the human-readable name of your module, displayed within the Odoo interface. Choose a clear and concise name that reflects the module's purpose.

  • description: Briefly describe what your module does. This helps users understand the value it offers.

  • depends:  Specify any other Odoo modules your module relies on.  For instance, if your module interacts with customer data, it might depend on the "sale" module.

  • data:  List the XML files defining your module's functionalities. These files might include views for displaying data, reports, or security configurations.

  • application: Set this to True if your module introduces a new application menu within Odoo. This allows users to easily access the functionalities offered by your module.

  • (Optional) Other configurations:  The file allows for additional configurations, such as defining icons for your module or setting up security groups to control user access to specific functionalities.


Here's a basic example of a file to illustrate these points:



  'name': 'My Custom Module',

  'version': '1.0',

  'description': 'This module adds a new field to the product model.',

  'depends': ['base'],

  'data': ['views/product_view.xml'],

  'application': True,




In this example, the module is named "My Custom Module", depends on the core "base" module, and introduces a new application menu. The data key points to a view file (product_view.xml) that likely defines how to display the new field within the product form.

By carefully defining the elements within, you provide Odoo with a roadmap for understanding and integrating your custom functionalities.


By leveraging the power of custom modules, you can transform Odoo from a powerful business management tool into a system perfectly tailored to your specific needs.  This guest post has provided a foundational understanding of the module development process, equipping you to embark on creating your own custom functionalities.

Author Bio 

Anuj Singh, Founder of Inwizards Technology, a leading Odoo Development Company based in India, USA. UAE. 


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