iDempiere Hero of the Month – June 2023

iDempiere enthusiasts share many examples of how iDempiere changed people’s lives for the better. Here we present to you our hero of the month for his contributions during June.

Meet Frank Wolff, the co-leader of the documentation committee. Frank is a dedicated and passionate contributor who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to enhancing project documentation.

Frank Wolff

DHBW Cooperative University
Mannheim, Germany

Tell us a little bit about your childhood and where you grew up.

I grew up in Duisburg on the river Rhine in the northwest of Germany. I practiced diverse kinds of water sports when I was young.

How did you get into programming?

Actually, I liked technology and electronics, but until now I did not seriously get into programming. I liked working with computers. In this context, I was doing diverse work, especially in designing new commercial applications from the domain side perspective. This work led me to first draw sketches of the way the systems worked. Later the sketches were refined to models of IT systems and business processes. Modelling still is one focus of my work. In many cases, this has proven to be a valuable aid to convey the structure of new or complex IT systems.

How long have you been part of iDempiere?

I used Adempiere from 2008 and switched to iDempiere around 2013. But then I was just using the software for short course elements. Only in recent years, I got more into the system and the project.

How and why did you get involved with iDempiere?

Well, newcomers to the project will rarely find a consistent set of documentation explaining how to use iDempiere. As my students are all newcomers, I am looking for ways to improve this situation. So I am now part of the documentation initiative.

What is your experience in other OS projects?

I am a user of other OS projects. But I have not been actively involved in them.

Is there something that makes you passionate about open source in general and iDempiere in particular?

The iDempiere system structure is very challenging. This is valid for any ERP system, but some crucial aspects for larger organizations like an extended role concept, multi-nationality and multi-currency are rooted deep inside the system, which makes it a good showcase for teaching.

What does your typical day look like?

There are different days with either teaching, preparing lectures, evaluating exams or sometimes investigating new things. Well, many days are a mixture of those activities.

If you have your customers for whom you implement or customize iDempiere, what are they like and what do they typically want?

I do not have typical customers, but different kinds of new users I introduce to iDempiere. Some just want to learn how to operate or manage day-to-day business, others work in groups to accomplish a case study for an ERP implementation or do a technical integration of some external service into an iDempiere-system.

What are some of the things you would like to improve in iDempiere?

In technical respect, this project has evolved considerably in recent years. I hope this real strength will be complemented through the ongoing efforts for documentation and also improve other supporting assets.

How does it feel to win the Hero of the Month title?

It’s a mixture of feeling honored and puzzled as the list of heroes entails so many people with very considerable contributions to the project.