How to setup subscription models in OFBiz

I suppose like many small IT companies, we are using a bunch of Back-Office Systems to support our day-to-day operations.

As an internal project we are investigating the use of OFBiz to replace 3 Systems in the first place.

CRM = currently handled by Sugar CRM Community Edition
OTRS = Support and Ticketing System
Lexware = Accounting and basic contract Management

What is apparently the most annoying part, and I know we are not alone here, that all 3 systems keep more or less accurate customer records (Contacts, E-Mails, Addresses). We've tried our best to keep the systems in sync but with more and more customers subscribing from online services a single and central customer view is clearly preferred.

The key requirement for us is, how well subscriptions or recurring invoices are supported. We offer cloud services charged monthly, quarterly or yearly and we have maintenance and service agreements of similar nature.

That leads me to the reason of this post – I couldn't find an accurate and most current description, if this business cases are supported in OFBiz out of the box (OOTB) or if it does require customisation.

The good News first – subscriptions do work OOTB for our model but the Forecasting does need some work - which we will cover off in a separate post.

Here are the steps to setup a subscription or recurring invoice. We are using OFBiz 13.07 as of to date the most current release using the OFBiz demo data.

Subscriptions are setup in the Catalog Manager – you will need to set-up a catalog – with a category-holding your product. This product needs to be of product type digital good.

Next we will need a Subscription Resource,  you navigate to Subscriptions in the Catalog Manager Menu.

Once this has been done you go back to your product and add this resource to your product under subscription resources.

Here you set up the intervall for the subscription and important
The subscription will be extended at the end of the subscription period with a new order = Y

Now you create an order for your customer and approve it. OFBiz will set-up a subscription record for this order. You can find all subscriptions in the Catalog Manager under subscriptions - first click on Find  Subscription Ressource - once you select your Resource click on Find Subscriptions for Resource

In the Demo Version, OFBiz has scheduled a job every midnight to run through all subscriptions and check, if they expire - OFBiz will then create a new Order for the subscription and also insert a new Subscription record. This record is also the one, you will want to modify in case your client terminates the subscription.

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