Published
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 06:44
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The constituents of NGOs and nonprofits regularly leave the workplace to work with the local communities or vulnerable groups. As a result, members of organisations often lack an access to the CRM system and cannot find the necessary information on their cases during the fieldwork. Agiliway has developed a mobile application for CiviCRM - CiviMobile - that allows organisations’ members to reach their CiviCRM databases anywhere and anytime .

The first basic version of CiviMobile allows users to establish a secure connection to the CiviCRM databases and search for the necessary information. In particular, the current version of the mobile application has the following features:

  1. Contacts. The mobile application allows secure connection to user’s contacts and their profiles.
  2. Search. Users can search for contacts available in the database and dial them in one click.
  3. Calendar. Users can view the planned events and activities in a graphical calendar.
  4. Events. The mobile app allows to view all the planned events in the system and filter them by type, date or title. Users can view the details of the planned event, register for an event and receive a registration confirmation, view all of their past events, and share the events in one click.
  5. Activities and Cases. Users can view their planned activities and cases, access their details, see what other members are engaged in them.
  6. Offline Work. The application can operate offline due to cache retention on the mobile devices. The event registration made when there is no internet connection is placed on hold and executed once the internet connection is resumed.

More information about the current features of CiviMobile can be found on the CiviMobile website.

In about two months, Agiliway team will present a second version of CiviMobile application, which will allow not only viewing, but also adding and editing the information in CiviCRM database. In particular, users will be able to add new contacts, events, cases or activities, comment on them and change their statuses. Other features, which will be implemented for the full version, include the ability to renew passwords, view all the members of the branch organisations, share the events in the social media and view the events on the map.

It should be noted that Agiliway is eager to develop the mobile application even further. We are working on the roadmap for future iterations of CiviMobile, which will incorporate feedback and needs of its users. As for now, we see the following opportunities to enhance user’s experience with the product:

  • Push notifications. We would like to use the advantage of a mobile device over a desktop - being readily available - to notify the users of their planned activities and events with push notifications displayed on dashboards of their mobiles. It can be done with the help of Apple Push Notification service (APNs) and Google Cloud Messaging (GCM). A custom CiviCRM extension will allow to retain the mobile devices identification and send notifications to the right people at the right time or display organisation’s news on the mobile dashboards.
  • Advanced security. We would like to develop double identification, which will assure the connection is established by an authorised person. In addition, we plan to add an anti-theft security system, which will allow users to block the application using the web version once they lose access to their devices.

To start using the mobile application, you need to deploy a CiviMobileAPI extension to your CiviCRM server and to install a CiviMobile application on your mobile device from AppStore for iOS or from Play Market for Android. More details about the installation process are given in the How To section of the CiviMobile website.

We are also looking forward to your feedbacks and ideas about how the product may address the needs of your organisation. Please contact our CiviCRM team on civicrm@agiliway.com or report your issues/suggestions directly to CiviMobile project in GitLab .

Comments

Very impressive! I tested on Android and logged into the demo site. It even has French translation. Demo works as advertised. Very nice/clear microsite too.

This looks amazing! Is the API extension definitely Drupal only? I am happy to test with WordPress if that'd help...

A now we tested it for Drupal only.

I hope we will have more time after releasing the second version with Edit functionality. We are out of resources now to cover all CMSs 

Impressive!  You mention that you;d like feedback.... so how and where?  I noticed that dates are a mixture of UK and US formats - this is shown on the illustration on this page - very confusing.

Good catch. Thank you! Will fix in next update.

You can also send your comments/idea to our email civicrm@agiliway.com.

Just added the contacts to the article.

Event checkin and using CiviSurvey on the doorstep are two areas we've seen lots of requests for. Mapping a contact or event location into a mapping provider like Google so people can get directions would a nice to have slick feature taht may not be much work.

Are you interested in PRs from the community?

Thank you for the great ideas.

I think that Survey will be a nice feature. In the future, we plan to have an area for external visitors (who do not have CiviCRM account). There the person will be able:

  • read news
  • view/register to the public events
  • receive notification about coming events
  • provide feedbacks
  • Survey looks to be a good option here

Regarding other topics, could you please write me to sergiy.korniyenko@agiliway.com 

I just tried out the demo version and it looks really nice and impressive. Is there any source code of the app available? I might have a use case but that one needs the addresses of the individuals shown in the app.

Hi Jaap, thank you for the feedback.

Let's chat about your case details. I will contact you.

Great work!  However, I'm concerned that "CiviMobile" is already the name of the CiviCRM extension that provides a jQuery Mobile interface to CiviCRM, and this will cause confusion.

Agree, I have the same concern. We noticed this when tried to upload CiviMobile extension. So we had to rename it to CiviMobileAPI. Hope that confusion will not be dramatic because one is CiviCRM extension and another is a mobile app.  

 

You haven't answered questions about repository or what license this software is published as. Please, be clear: is this open source or not?

Good question. My current answer would be “I do not know yet”.

Now we have:

  • CiviMobileAPI is a CiviCRM extension with open code available at civicrm.org/extensions/.
  • CiviMobile app is separate mobile application – it is free to download and we do not share code, YET.

I am saying “yet” because:

  1. Firstly, it is not completed yet – we published only first “read-only” part and working on the fully editable version. It will be a complete mess if somebody starts altering the code at this stage. So, if we decide to open the code then it should be after the app is completed  
  2. The most important question is that we have not finalized the strategy of the app development: what features should the app include? how to keep it aligned with CiviCRM (or possibly not to align them at all)? Who will continue the development? should it be an open-source product or managed by a single provider? who will be responsible for accepting/approving commits? How to fund further development?  How to customize and/or deliver the app (please note that this is absolutely different application – even the way the mobile app is delivered to end-users requires absolutely different approach)? etc.

 

Currently, we are talking with CiviCRM how to better align this strategy.

If you have any reasonable vision how to setup such strategy for the mobile app I would really appreciate you can help us. There is my contact above in the article. 

Ah, thanks for your substantive reply ... I didn't notice it till now despite normally receiving emails about replies. 

I don't have a lot of insight into a good strategy for paying for development and maintenance of CiviMobile.

I expect that if you ever begin charging a fee, eg $1/month or $10/month for the app, then there will be less incentive for folks to submit PRs.

However, I think it's quite variable whether extension maintainers get much useful contributed to them from the ecosystem now. 

Note that some software projects use a dual license model where there is a free community version. Either features, or type of client, or level of support desired determine who pays. That might be a way to bridge the gap. 

As you likely know, there are many in our CiviCRM community who would be uncomfortable with a non-open source license. I think that other things being equal, this more true in Europe and in the Drupal community compared to North America and WordPress.

Good luck.

Following our discussion with CivCRM core team, we will initial CiviMobile project in GitLab (https://lab.civicrm.org/) to make sure that the entire community participates in the project backlog forming. I will let you know when it is ready.

Regarding maintaining community and enterprise (or whatever we will call it) versions – this may be a good idea. But let us complete the fully-working app first and gain some number of real users. Yes, we will continue thinking about the licensing model in the background, still our current focus is to make working product …

Hey!
 
Per the suggestion of Coreteam we have created new gitLab project to maintain CiviMobile requests and backlog.
 
Please feel free to come in and add your input.