CiviCRM and OG (Organic Groups)

2007-09-16 23:26
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We recently got a consulting contract to integrate Organic Groups, CiviCRM Groups and CiviCRM ACL's. The project specification is here. I've just committed a set of files that implement most of the above functionality. Here are a few highlights of this module.
  • This is a one way update from OG to CiviCRM. Admin changes via the CiviCRM interface are not reflected back to the OG group.
  • All OG groups are mirrored in CiviCRM with the same name. All members of the OG are members of the corresponding CiviCRM group.
  • Each OG group also has a CiviCRM Administrator Group created for it. The OG owner and admin are members of the corresponding administrator group
  • ACL entries are created so that all contacts in the Administrator group have edit permission on all contacts that are in the corresponding CiviCRM group. Thus OG admins have edit access on both their OG subscribers and the corresponding CiviCRM group. This enables us to send broadcast emails to all members of the group (using CiviMail)
  • CiviMail now respects ACL's (a new feature in v1.9)
The above is a good example of an integration facilitated by Drupal's hook mechanism. The one missing element is no support for hierarchy in both OG and CiviCRM. The nestable groups architecture (coming in v2.0) is the first step in addressing this problem on the CiviCRM side. However, I do not think this is on the roadmap for OG. The next step will be to enable the reverse, i.e. reflect changes in CiviCRM groups in OG. Hopefully OG will have the right combination of API calls and we can avoid hitting the database directly Thanks to Rob Thorne and CivicSpace On Demand / Kieran Lal for their work on og_civicrm which made the implementation of this much easier.
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