Tryton by example: library

Almost every Tryton functionality that you are going to develop on a daily basis is enclosed into the modules. In order to get an idea of available modules you should take a look inside trytond/modules. You will see many folders in the modules. Each one comprises one set of facilities that can be installed and will be available to the end users. Some examples are company, country, currency and party.

Module structure

First thing in the birth of a new module is the creation of a python package with the following structure:


Let’s see the contents and purpose of each one in detail:


This file must be present at the root of your module’s directory. It contains the server-version the module was developed for, a list of the xml files the module contains and the modules it depends on:


In this case we are creating a module for trytond 3.2 series. We state that library.xml has to be parsed and our module doesn’t have any real dependencies (ir is a builtin module)


All our static data is usually put into xml files.
  • actions
  • views
  • reports
  • users/groups
  • access restrictions

Observe that this file is a regular xml file. So it starts with the ordinary xml version declaration at the top, and it has as its master element the tryton element, followed by a data element. The other elements will all be children of data

 <?xml version="1.0"?>
         <!-- All our definitions come here -->

This file must be present at the root of your module’s directory. It serves two main purposes: it transforms your directory into a Python visible package (according to Python general rules) and it also registers in the Pool the entity classes of the module.

You can think of the Pool as a “in memory synchronized image” of your database, because Tryton follows the so called active record pattern. Tryton takes care of database table creation and of the mapping between the in-memory representation of the entity and the respective columns in the database. It also takes care of the synchronization of the data loaded in your in-memory entities and the persistent data on the database.

Whenever we are building a module in Tryton, we deal with a high-level, object-oriented representation of our entities. Generally, we are free from writing explicit SQL or python-sql instructions, but in order for this magic to happen, Tryton’s Pool must be “aware” of the existence of your entity classes.

from trytond.pool import Pool
from .library import Book

def register():
        module='library', type_='model'

In the example above, we are registering the Book class into the Pool. Whenever the trytond service runs, it starts with initializing every module that is installed (more on that in the coming lines), i.e., it performs the regular Python initialization of packages. That means the execution of the code contained inside the

If you are unfamiliar with the package initialization, you can think of it as performing an analogous role as the __init__ method inside a Python class, but, in this case, it performs initialization tasks semantically relative to the whole package.

This file must be present at the root of your module’s directory. According to a domain model, it contains the entity classes.

If your domain model is a commercial enterprise, your domain model would contain entities such as SaleOrder, Product, Customer and so on. Our tutorial here is proposing a library domain model, where you would expect to find Book, Author, Publisher, etc. A domain model encompasses real world objects that your software solution is expected to deal with.

In our tutorial, we are going to have a simple Book model. It has some fields associated with it: title, isbn, subject, abstract.

Each field has a Type. This type determines many aspects and behaviours of the application. For instance,

  • Char field will be created as a Char Varying column inside the database.
  • Text field will be displayed as a large text box in the Tryton Client window and so on.

In order to know every field avaliable, you can consult official Trytond docs: fields

Defining the model

from trytond.model import ModelView, ModelSQL, fields

# list of all classes in the file
__all__ = ['Book']

class Book(ModelSQL, ModelView):
    # description (mandatory on first declaration)

    # Internal class name. Always used as a reference inside Tryton
    # default: '<module_name>.<class_name>' on Tryton
    # becomes '<module_name>_<class_name>' in the database
    __name__ = ''

    title = fields.Char('Title', required=True)
    isbn = fields.Char('ISBN')
    subject = fields.Char('Subject')
    abstract = fields.Text('Abstract')

In our example we have defined four fields in the class. Tryton will automatically create a table in the database called library_book, consisting of nine columns: the four defined above and another five that are present on every column of the database:

  • id
  • create_date
  • write_date
  • create_uid
  • write_uid

The first column is the surrogate primary key of the table. The following ones are self-explanatory, and are created for auditing purposes. In general, we should not worry about those columns, because Tryton takes care of them for us.

If you access the defined database, you are going to see the the aforementioned table created.

Creating the View

As we need our model to appear in the client we have to define a view. A complete list of all the available views can be found in Tryton docs, but in this tutorial we’re only going to define the following for our module:

  • tree view: to display a list of all our books
  • form view: to view and modify all the details of one single book at a time

Each view is defined by its own xml-file which has to be placed in the ‘view’ folder of the module. Again this is a regular xml file with the following structure:

 <?xml version="1.0"?>
 <!-- This file is part of Tryton.  The COPYRIGHT file at the top level of
 this repository contains the full copyright notices and license terms. -->
 <form string="Books" col="6">
     <label name="title"/>
     <field name="title" colspan="3"/>
     <label name="isbn"/>
     <field name="isbn"/>

in our simple case we only need labels to put a translated version of our field name and fields to input/view field-data. There is a lot more formatting tags available which can be looked up from Tryton docs

adding a menu

In order to create a new menu we have to edit the library.xml file so it will contain the declaration of our menu and its respective menu item (submenu):

 <menuitem name="Library" sequence="0" id="menu_library"/>
 <menuitem name="Books" parent="menu_library" id="menu_books" action="act_library_window"/>

In the xml file above we have declared two menuitems. The first one, named Library will be placed on the root menu of Tryton client. Observe that it has, besides the name attribute, a sequence, that indicates the position of the menu, and an id, that must be unique. This id will identify this element to the rest of the software. It will be placed on the root menu because it has no parents.

The second menuitem, named Books has another element: a parent element, which points to the id of the former menu (id=”menu_library”), indicating that it is going to be nested on the first one. this menu-item also has an associated action to call: ‘act_library_window’.

Associating the views

there is four types of actions we could call from our menu-entry:

  • ir.action.act_window
  • ir.action.wizard
  • ir.action.url

obviously we want to use act_window, which should open up a new tab in the client:

 <record model="ir.action.act_window" id="act_library_window">
     <field name="name">Books</field>
     <field name="res_model"></field>


Our action has to be defined before referencing in the menu

We can then add different window-views to our newly created window:

 <record model="ir.action.act_window.view" id="act_library_view1">
     <field name="sequence" eval="10"/>
     <field name="view" ref="library_view_tree"/>
     <field name="act_window" ref="act_library_window"/>

which themselves point to views

 <record model="ir.ui.view" id="library_view_tree">
     <field name="model"></field>
     <field name="type">tree</field>
     <field name="name">book_tree</field>

Where the “name” field points to our xml-file (form/book_tree.xml) containing the actual layout of the view.

Installing the package

When installing your package you can either link directly in the modules folder of tryton or use python setuptools (recommended). to use python-setuptools:

  • obtain the contrib-module-setup.tmpl from
  • replace ‘MODULE’ and ‘PREFIX’ with your desired values
  • save the file in your module-root as ‘’
  • install like any other module (refer to the installation guide)

Applying changes

In order for your changes to be applied we need to insert the module in the database. You can either achieve this by installing the module within the client or directly from command line using -i (insert):


Whenever you make changes to the module, those changes can be applied by using the -u flag (update):


Let’s also restart the Tryton client now. Remember to start it with the -d (development) flag, so it can update the cache and show the changes we have just made:

TRYTON_HOME/tryton/bin/tryton -d

When you log in again on the client, you are going to see that the menu Library and the submenu Books have been created.