Odoo Essentials: Discussion and Chatter


Purpose

This document will cover the basic functions of the Odoo Discuss app, as well as the 'chatter' of messages below Odoo records, how to configure followers, and the differences between logging notes and sending messages. These tools are amazingly functional for communication within Odoo and with customers.

Process

To get started, Navigate to the Discuss app.

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This app functions as both inbox and chat feature. Under user preferences, there is an option to handle Odoo communications through email, which will forward notifications to your inbox. If this box is not checked, notifications will appear at the top right of the navigation bar. Mousing over the  bubble will allow you to quickly review all new communication under "All",  begin a chat with another user, or check on channel updates.  

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Inbox

The discussion Inbox will show you any new messages that you have not read. At the top of the screen there is an option to Mark all as Read. This will clear the notifications in the Navigation bar. You can also star conversations and channels if you need to access certain topics quickly.  Filter and Favorites options are also available at the top of the window.

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Channels

Channels are used for group conversations regarding a specific topic. They can be added to records as followers so the members can be kept in the loop for quick updates. Administrators can create channels and users with manager permissions can be assigned as moderators, if needed. To create a new Channel, click on the  icon.

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To configure your channel, mouse over its title. You will have the option to open  Configuration or  Delete the channel from your list. Click on  Configure, and you will be presented with the following screen. Click  Edit.

You can choose to handle communication via email by checking the first box. Set a topic description to keep the channel on task. The first tab, Privacy, allows you to choose how accessible the channel is to your team and auto-subscribe certain user groups who may find the information relevant. A custom icon can be selected for the channel. 

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Under the Members tab, you can refine who is invited to the channel to include users who may not be included in certain groups, but still need to have eyes on the subject. 
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Under the Integration tab, you can choose to post messages based on updates to GitHub repositories. Note that you must first configure your GitHub repositories within the Integrations menu.

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When ready, click Save. To alter your notifications, be sure to click Follow at the bottom of the screen. You then have the option to Select Activities and Notes by accessing the   menu.

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Chatter on Records

Chatter is the communication tool located at the bottom of most records. You have the option to email customers directly from a quotation or sales order for instance, to discuss details and maintain contact. Employees can log internal notes that the customer cannot see to alert each other to progress or problems in the workflow. Additionally, other users can be pinged to participate in a conversation, even if they were not originally involved. Our example will take place in Odoo CRM.

To get started, open a new tab and navigate to CRM.
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Open one of your leads and scroll to the bottom. There you will see the following options:

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  • Send Message: Sends an email to all users currently following the document. Templates can be used with this option. Any customer that is following the document can reply and their answers will be routed back into Chatter.

  • Log Note: Is the function for internal discussion that the customer doesn't see. This is useful for tracking progress without sending the customer too many updates or starting a discussion with other employees that you may not wish the customer to be notified of.

  •  Schedule Activity: Allows you to schedule and assign activities to users. 

  • #: Shows the number of attachments included on this document.

  • Follow Following  : Shows at a glance whether you are following the document, and allows you to choose from a dropdown what you would like notifications about.

  •  #   :  Shows at a glance how many followers are on the document. You have the option to add more Followers, Channels, or edit their subscription to the item. 

We will review a few configurations for the followers. Mouse over the  #   menu and inspect the dropdown list to see who is currently following the lead. We are going to add a Channel, and then edit its notification settings. After that, we will schedule a meeting with the customer and the sales person.  

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Select Add Channels.

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Once you select your channels, click on Add Followers and inspect the  icon again. It should update accordingly. After the channel is added, we need to edit how the channel receives notifications. Mouse over the channel's line in the follower drop down menu, and you will see the option to  edit appear next to the  remove option.  Click on the  pencil. 

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This will present you with the notification settings for the channel you've selected. Please note there are warnings about adding internal notifications to a channel, because the system can create a lot of these, leading to unnecessary clutter. It will also notify of all internal notes if selected, which means that conversations between users are not private, and if multiple items are posting to the same channel, context for these notifications can be lost. However, we've created this channel specifically for this event and we're interested to see this lead through to the end, so we'll check those boxes regardless. When finished, click Apply to save your changes.

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Now, we'll test our settings. We'll select Log Note from the left side of the screen, and in the text box below, we will write a message to the Wedding channel. 

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Important!

You must include the '#'  for Channels and "@" for Individuals if you want them to be notified! If the name does not appear in green in the text after you send the message or log a note, the link was not complete. It's good practice to click on the suggestions when Odoo prompts above the cursor, as this will auto-complete the name and create the link. 


When the salesperson checks their notifications, they will see this message in their discussion app. To schedule the activity requested, they will click on the   SCHEDULE ACTIVITY option. The default available activities are: Email, Call, Meeting, Todo, Follow Up Quote, and Call for Demo. These can be customized under CONFIGURATION > ACTIVITY TYPES.

For now, here are the various ways that notification takes shape in Odoo. 

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Scheduling Activities

Now that we've covered notification, it's worth exploring how activities can be assigned from the chatter. The  Schedule Activity option in the chatter section will prompt you to select an activity type, write a short description, and then assign a due date and user to complete it. 

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If a Channel is subscribed properly, Activities will show up in the channel as they are completed.
 
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