Boostrapping a connector

We’ll see the steps to bootstrap a new connector.

Besides that, you may want to use the existing connectors to have some real implementation examples:

Some boilerplate is necessary, so this document will guide you through some steps. Please also take a look on the Naming conventions.

For the sake of the example, we’ll imagine we have to synchronize OpenERP with a coffee machine.

OpenERP Manifest

As we want to synchronize OpenERP with a coffee machine, we’ll name our connector connector_coffee.

First, we need to create the OpenERP addons itself, editing the connector_coffee/ manifest.

 # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
 {'name': 'Coffee Connector',
  'version': '1.0.0',
  'category': 'Connector',
  'depends': ['connector',
  'author': 'Myself',
  'license': 'AGPL-3',
  'description': """
 Coffee Connector

 Connect OpenERP to my coffee machine.


 * Poor a coffee when OpenERP is busy for too long
  'data': [],
  'installable': True,
  'application': False,

Nothing special but 2 things to note:

  • It depends from connector.
  • The module category should be Connector.

Of course, we also need to create the file where we will put the imports of our python modules.

Install the module in the connector

Each new module needs to be plugged in the connector’s framework. That’s just a matter of following a convention and creating connector_coffee/ in which you will call the install_in_connector function:

from openerp.addons.connector.connector import install_in_connector



If you miss this line of code, your ConnectorUnit classes won’t be found.


The reason for this is that OpenERP may import the Python modules of uninstalled modules, so it automatically registers the events and ConnectorUnit classes, even for uninstalled modules.

To prevent this, we use a little trick: create an abstract model and look in the registry if it is loaded.

Declare the backends

Our module is compatible with the coffee machines:

  • Coffee 1900
  • Coffee 2900

So we’ll declare a backend coffee, the generic entity, and a backend per version.

Put this in connector_coffee/

import openerp.addons.connector.backend as backend

coffee = backend.Backend('coffee')
coffee1900 = backend.Backend(parent=coffee, version='1900')
coffee2900 = backend.Backend(parent=coffee, version='2900')

Backend Model

We declared the backends, but we need a model to configure them.

We create a model coffee.backend which is an _inherit of connector.backend. In connector_coffee/

from openerp.osv import fields, orm

class coffee_backend(orm.Model):
    _name = 'coffee.backend'
    _description = 'Coffee Backend'
    _inherit = 'connector.backend'

    _backend_type = 'coffee'

    def _select_versions(self, cr, uid, context=None):
        """ Available versions

        Can be inherited to add custom versions.
        return [('1900', '2900')]

    _columns = {
        'version': fields.selection(
        'location': fields.char('Location'),
        'username': fields.char('Username'),
        'password': fields.char('Password'),
        'default_lang_id': fields.many2one(
            'Default Language'),


  • The _backend_type must be the same than the name in the backend in Declare the backends.
  • the versions should be the same than the ones declared in Declare the backends.
  • We may want to add as many fields as we want to configure our connection or configuration regarding the backend in that model.

Abstract Binding

If we have many Bindings, we may want to create an abstract model for them.

It can be as follows (in connector_coffee/

from openerp.osv import orm, fields

class coffee_binding(orm.AbstractModel):
    _name = 'coffee.binding'
    _inherit = 'external.binding'
    _description = 'Coffee Binding (abstract)'

    _columns = {
        # 'openerp_id': openerp-side id must be declared in concrete model
        'backend_id': fields.many2one(
            'Coffee Backend',
        # fields.char because 0 is a valid coffee ID
        'coffee_id': fields.char('ID in the Coffee Machine',


We’ll often need to create a new environment to work with. I propose to create a helper method which build it for us (in connector_coffee/

from openerp.addons.connector.connector import Environment

def get_environment(session, model_name, backend_id):
    """ Create an environment to work with. """
    backend_record = session.browse('coffee.backend', backend_id)
    env = Environment(backend_record, session, model_name)
    lang = backend_record.default_lang_id
    lang_code = lang.code if lang else 'en_US'
    return env

Note that the part regarding the language definition is totally optional but I left it as an example.


When new records are imported and need a review, Checkpoint are created. I propose to create a helper too in connector_coffee/

from openerp.addons.connector.checkpoint import checkpoint

def add_checkpoint(session, model_name, record_id, backend_id):
    return checkpoint.add_checkpoint(session, model_name, record_id,
                                     'coffee.backend', backend_id)

ConnectorUnit classes

We’ll probably need to create synchronizers, mappers, backend adapters, binders and maybe our own types of ConnectorUnit classes.

Their implementation can vary a lot. Have a look on the OpenERP Magento Connector and OpenERP Prestashop Connector projects.