14 December, 2006
By kurund
Filed under CiviCRM

Last weekend Rupam Jaiswal, our CiviCRM team developer from India got married. A few of us from the team had gone for the wedding. It was great to see the transition from a developer whose days revolved around putting together code, into a bride who was now busy getting things together for the big day. She looked resplendent in her traditional Indian outfit.

We traveled for 2 days to reach her place, the venue for the wedding. In spite of being a remote town in Uttar Pradesh (India), the place was surprisingly very well developed. The thermal power plant in the area had to do with having such a huge township built around there. We were in for a surprise as Indian weddings are generally an all vegetarian affair and few of us were hardcore non-veg fans. We decided to take control of things and explore the town side on our own. We managed to get to a local dhaba and fill in the missing link – A feast on some spicy and delicious chicken curry with traditional tandoor rotis....

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14 December, 2006
Filed under v1.7, Architecture, CiviCRM

One of our major goals for this year is to optimize CiviCRM to handle load in a graceful manner. This is extremely important for us with the Branner Project. One of our main goals for the project this year is to optimize CiviCRM to be able to handle the last weekend load nicely (similar to the slashdot effect, the application process has most of the applications being filed and completed the weekend it is due)

The application is a multi-step form, made up of approx 25-30 forms. We have data from last year that we can scramble and potentially get a good random data set that is fairly accurate. Writing a functional test for this is potentially quite painful, but there is the wonderful testing tool Selenium. We've been using it for testing CiviCRM with pretty decent results. We hope to make it part of our...

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11 December, 2006
Filed under CiviCRM

One of the most frequently asked questions on the CiviCRM dev list is for help with installing CiviCRM. Most of the questions are quite similar, although each of them seems to have their own specific twist. We do agree that installing CiviCRM is not for the faint-hearted and it takes a fair amount of skill to get it up and running the first time.

In the recent past, CivicSpace has started rolling out a fabulous new service called CivicSpace On Demand. This is basically pre-installed and pre-configured Drupal 4.7, CiviCRM 1.5 along with the other Civi components CiviContribute, CiviMail and CiviMember. This is an incredibly valuable service for the community and we do work pretty closely with the CivicSpace folks to address the needs of the community. Obviously a major advantage of ASP services is upgrades are virtually free to the end user. With both Drupal and CiviCRM going thru release cycles at a fairly quick pace, having...

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06 December, 2006
Filed under CiviMail, Architecture, CiviCRM

CiviMail, described in general previously, is our component for mass-mailing the CiviCRM contacts. In this entry, we’d like to get a bit more into the details on how CiviMail exactly works ‘under the hood’.

Recipients List Building

Getting the final list of recipients is not as easy as it may seem. If you look into the getRecipients() method of the CRM_Mailing_BAO_Mailing class, you’ll see that we’re building some temporary exclude (X_*) and include (I_*) tables, based on

  • the user’s selection – excluded/included CiviCRM groups,
  • the user’s selection – excluded/included previous mailings’ recipients,
  • whether the contacts already received this mailing in...
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04 December, 2006
Filed under CiviCRM

Don't worry, the body is not as dire as the subject indicates. Just wanted to give folks some background about how we operate and manage to do what we do, and what we need to do to continue delivering an awesome product (or so we think ...)

We currently are spread across India (9 developers), Poland (1.5 developers), US (dave) and NZ (lobo).

CiviCRM was initially sponsored by a generous grant from the OSI Information Program. This enabled us to start our Polish and India operations. OSI funds helped pay for our Polish and India teams for the first year. In 2006, OSI funded Kabissa to implement CiviCRM in Kabissa and its partner organizations. We've also been supported by an anonymous private foundation for our India and US operations. All our non-profit funding goes via Social Source Foundation, a 501(c)(3) registered in the US.

In 2006 we also did a couple of...

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02 December, 2006
Filed under v1.7, CiviCRM

Now that 1.6 beta has been released - it's time to look ahead and prioritize the NEXT release (1.7).

There are a few "big features" we're targeting:

... and a number of smaller but significant feature candidates.

Check out the proposed release features here.

We strongly encourage you to take some time to review the list, and add your feedback. This is one of the best ways you can ensure that CivCRM meets your current and future CRM needs.

AND... if there's a "candidate feature" that's important to your organization - help "make it happen" by contributing financial or engineering resources.

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29 November, 2006
Filed under CiviCRM, Teams

As some of you are aware our development team is fairly distributed. We have developers in Mumbai - India, Warsaw - Poland and San Francisco - US. Effective next week, we will have a presence in Nelson - New Zealand. I'm moving to NZ for 9 months and am looking forward to it. You could follow our adventures on my newly created personal blog. If there are any CiviCRM'ers / Drupal'ers in the Nelson area, would be great to form a co-working space, join forces and spread the open source paradigm with organizations in that area.

Dave Greenberg will also be on vacation for a large part of December. We are pretty confident that the rest of the team will do a great job of keeping the project and community moving forward at our normal blistering pace. Feel free to keep them busy and on their toes with a constant supply of feature requests, bug reports and installation issues :)

lobo

27 November, 2006
Filed under CiviReport, v1.7, CiviCRM

It was a pretty productive thanksgiving weekend :) Learnt way more about reporting, how complex an issue it is and the number of companies that are built on reporting (or to use a more trendy phrase, Business Intelligence). So here are some conclusions:

  • PHP does not have a decent open (or closed) source reporting tool.
  • Reporting is too complex an application and fairly well addressed by other open source projects. We should use one of those applications rather than doing it ourselves
  • All the reporting open source projects use Java / Tomcat. CiviCRM users will need both java and php tools if we adopt this route
  • I dont think we really have a choice with regard to this.

I continued my adventures with BIRT and read the IBM tutorial (registration required) and learnt a fair bit more. The BIRT ...

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27 November, 2006
Filed under CiviEvent, v1.7, CiviCRM

We've posted a draft specification for CiviEvent (phase 1) on the wiki. We are actively soliciting community feedback prior to finalizing the specifications on or around December 7. If you are interested in an integrated Event Management component for CiviCRM - please review the spec carefully and post your feedback and questions as comments on the wiki. We are targeting this for the 1.7 release.

This specification reflects feedback and suggestions from many folks in the CiviCRM and Drupal communities. We'd like to especially thank and acknowledge Jeff Porter of The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research, and Dan Robinson of CivicActions for their extensive contributions.

27 November, 2006
Filed under v1.6, CiviCRM
We're pretty excited about the cool new features in the upcoming 1.6 release (now in Alpha) - and want to encourage folks to check out / play with these features on the Public Sandbox. So... open the sandbox in a separate window - then login (user = demo, password = demo) and try these out...
  • The quick "Contact Search" block in the left column uses a suggestive search widget which finds contacts as you type in letters. Try typing in "ada" and see what happens.
  • Site Administrators no longer have to struggle with editing civicrm.settings.php to set and modify site configuration. Most settings are now controlled from the Admin Control Panel » Global Settings section.
  • The contact summary screen now uses an Ajax-based tab widget to make it faster and easier to look at different types of info about a...
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