CiviCRM second boot camp report ...

Tue, 12/11/2007 - 22:29
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We just concluded our second boot camp in San Francisco earlier today. Running a boot camp is a bit harder than it seems. We'd like to thank the good folks from Chicago Techonology Cooperative (Tom, Brandon), Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) (Blake, Patricia) and USPIRG/FFPIR (Wes) for attending and being willing and gracious bootcamp participants

Similar to the first bootcamp, we structured this bootcamp as a mixture of design and coding sessions. We also split into smaller groups for a couple of sessions to address some more specific issues with the respective organizations. Some of the highlights and things accomplished include:

  • A deeper look at the 2.0 feature set and schema changes. We played around with the custom search functionality and built two custom search forms for CiviContribute. The first custom search found all contacts who contributed an aggregate amount between min and max amounts in a given time period. An extension to restrict the contacts to a certain tag was left as homework to the participants. The second custom search focused on finding all contacts who contributed last year but not this year. Tom volunteered to wrap this up to completion and send in the code for inclusion in the 2.0 code base
  • Wes, Brandon and Kurund made significant progress towards the standalone code base. We are pretty close to having a standalone system in 2.0 using OpenID as the login/auth mechanism. It was cool to see Brandon dive into the codebase and help clean it up, in addition to fixing some of the issues we've encountered with using Standalone as the third UF (user framework) for CiviCRM
  • Wes gave a good overview of the nestable groups feature along with the current implementation. We'll tweak it a wee bit and release it with the 2.0 code base. We also skimmed multi-org and permissioning a wee bit, but opted to discuss it further once we are done with the 2.0 release
  • Shane Hill spoke about the CiviSMTP service that makes CiviMail installs significantly easier and doable for the smaller orgs. This is definitely a great service and it is growing quite nicely. We've also started a support forum for this service within the general CiviCRM support forums. Brandon volunteered to investigate a simpler bounce return path mechanism for folks using CPanel based hosting
  • We spent some time with the folks at CMD about potential data migration issues from a commercial provider. CMD was one of the early adopters of CiviCRM and then moved onto a commercial system and are now considering a move back to CiviCRM. Hopefully this does mean that CiviCRM is maturing as a platform :)

We are quite jazzed about the success of the bootcamps. We hope to conduct them on a regular basis in 2008 (couple of times a year?). We also understand that we need to document and provide good simple examples to help folks to extend and customize the platform for their needs. Hopefully the custom search plugin is a step in the right direction. The two bootcamps resulted in quite a few new issues being posted to the 2.0 issue tracker. As a result, we probably need to push the 2.0 dates out a bit more. We'll come back with a revised schedule later this week

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