Almost every week on the forum someone posts a search / reporting question...
- How do I get a list of contacts whose records were added in the past month - along with the name of the person who added them?
- Is there a way to export total contribution amount for a given year by Household? I want to include all contributions from individuals that are household members.
- I can't export the name of each contact's current Employer. What's the solution?
... and although CiviCRM's built-in search components are pretty powerful - there's clearly lots of things they just don't do. AND, given how varied the organizations using CiviCRM are - these general search tools probably will never be able to handle everyones' needs.
So we're pretty excited about rolling out a new "framework" that makes it fairly easy for developers (and "accidental techies" with a bit of PHP and SQL skills) to create full-fledged searches which can do "just what you need them to." Based on our "experiments" with the framework - we think you'll be able to structure a search that can retrieve almost any information from your data that is possible to extract with SQL queries. And you can do this by cloning a modifying a single PHP file!
Of course - we also expect to learn and improve things based on YOUR experiences and feedback using the framework. We're hoping to see our simplistic examples fleshed out, and quite a few a cool new searches posted back for community use (and included in future distributions).
So... if you're ready to get started, we've posted step-by-step documentation
covering the how-to's. Please test-drive the doc and the framework (and, as usual, jump-in and tweak the wiki as needed to make it more complete / easier to follow). Happy searching!