3.1 Alpha Release

2009-11-11 15:22
Written by
Dave Greenberg - member of the CiviCRM community - view blog guidelines

The team is excited to announce that the first ALPHA release of version 3.1 is now available for download. You can also try it out on our sandbox site. Please remember this is an ALPHA release and it should NOT be used on production sites.

This release includes several major new features:

  • Contact Subtypes - Extend (and / or rename) the built-in contact types and create custom fields specific to a subtype (e.g. Staff vs. Volunteer custom fields). Thanks to the folks at Alpha International for sponsoring this much-requested feature (learn more...).
  • HTML Emails for Receipts, Event Confirmations and more - Templates for all system-generated emails are now stored in the database and editable by administrators. You can easily add styles, logos and more to your emails.
  • HTML layout overhaul for online contribution pages - Phase 1 in efforts to make front-end CiviCRM pages much easier to style / modify via CSS (learn more...). Thanks to Kyle Jaster and the folks at rayogram.com..
  • Usability improvements - Streamlined DATE input and list sorting widgets. Prevent users from losing work by alerting them if they try to navigate away from a form with unsaved changes.
  • Support for price sets in Contribution - Allows the admin the flexibility to incorporate the more complex contribution options (e.g. "Contribute $25 more to receive our monthly magazine.").
... and lots of other improvements. Check out the 3.1 Roadmap for a good overview. Or you can review a compete listing of new features, improvements and bug fixes on the issue tracker.

Step up and help out!

CiviCRM 3.1 Alpha release is a great occasion to get involved in CiviCRM community. There are many ways you can help make this release better and bug free.
  • Log in to the CiviCRM 3.1 public sandbox and try out your favourite features. If you find a problem, please report it on the appropriate forum board. Remember that sandbox data is periodically reset.
  • Download the tarball and upgrade a copy of your site to 3.1 - let us know if you encounter any problems. This is an especially valuable contribution since we need to have the upgrade process tested on different sets of data. After you've done this, play around with your favourite features, with your local data. Problems appearing? Use the CiviCRM 3.1 release testing board on the forums to discuss problems and find answers!
  • If you're a developer and have PHP skills, we strongly encourage you to develop and attach a code patch AND a unit test along with any bug you report through our issue tracker. Ping us on IRC if you need help figuring out how to do this.

Existing issues

CiviCRM 3.1 alpha1 is not bug free, it's just the first step on the way to the stable version. We know about some problems and are working hard to fix them before the next release (expect it a week from now). The list of currently open issues is available here. If you notice any new problems, please report them as mentioned above.


You can download the release from SourceForge - select from the civicrm-latest section. The filenames include the 3.1 Alpha 1 label: civicrm-3.1.alpha1. Make sure you're downloading correct version: for Drupal, Joomla or Standalone.

New Installations

If you are installing CiviCRM 3.1 Alpha from scratch, please use the 3.0 versions of the automated installer instructions (the installation process has not changed):

Upgrading 2.2.* or 3.0.* Sites to 3.1 Alpha

An automated upgrade process is included in the alpha release, and the procedure for upgrading to 3.1 alpha1 is the same as for upgrading to 3.0.x. You can upgrade directly from 2.2.x or 3.0.x. Instructions: We will continue to include automated upgrades for subsequent alpha and beta releases of 3.1 - so you should be able to upgrade your test site easily over the course of the release cycle.
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