Well this is my first post on the CivCRM Blog and I am very honoured to have been given the privilege by David Greenberg. We are a CRM consulting company - meaning that we provide consulting and advice to companies who require a CRM system or who have a CRM system in place but want to know how to use it to its full capacity.
We received a grant from the Western Australian Department of Commerce to work in partnership with the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce. The funding was to provide educational workshops to West Australian businesses about what CRM is and how it can benefit your business. As part of the funding we were also to carry out two pilot CRM implementations. One of which was to be for the Chamber to manage these workshops as well as their other events and memberships.
The Fremantle Chamber were actually the ones who suggested that CiviCRM would be a good fit for them as it was open source and seemed to meet their requirements. After some research and...Read more
For those of us that have tried CiviReport with ACL's and custom data, we'll be aware of the issue that in order to use the custom data in reports the user must have Access All Custom Data privilege enabled. This is not the desired functionality and thanks to funding from Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research a patch is available which cures the problem, allowing you to use ACL's with Custom data without compromising the CiviReport functionality.
You can get the patch from the following JIRA issue
These features were quite a roller-coaster to implement as an extension. In the end, I made some small core customizations, which are not good enough to commit, but might be inspiring to fellow travelers. The extension code itself is alarmingly hacky, and to spoil a long story, doesn't work in production ;)
The goal was to allow a Civi admin to go to the Advanced Search page, enter criteria and then view results as a list of contacts, with all that individual's contributions appearing in an indented list below the contact. Selected data would then be exported in a maximal form, with all available info about the contact, and a list of their contributions laid out as columns on that person's spreadsheet row, along with various, calculated LYBUNT flags.
Custom Advanced Search Results
First, it turns out that advanced search results (called "modes" in the source code) come in a...Read more
I seem to spend a large amount of time helping people to get data back out of CiviCRM. I'm a big fan of the reports framework and up until 4.2 I made a number of improvements to the core reports for my customers. However, from 4.2 I switched to doing reports in an extension. I have been doing almost all my reports in the extended reports extension and have been playing with a few ideas in that extension. Some of them are well developed, others are in the early stages.
I'm just going to show a few of the problems I have been tackling for customers and how the reports look. These reports are all available from manage extensions - but many need some understanding to configure and some things here I'm currently working on. However, I wanted to just put out there a smattering of possibilities so people can ask more about the ones that interest them.
1) "I want to see how people's most important...Read more
So as every consultant, there is a bit of new projects, maintenance, stuff you do for free for the community, new ideas, meetings, pre-sales, funky developments & the dreaded admin part (invoicing/timesheet).
As any consultants, we are trying to get an overview on what are the issues, where we spend the time, who's involved and what has to be invoiced. For what I've seen for the past 20 years, the choice seems to be between separate tools that work well but don't talk to each other and one big ERP that tries to do everything but does it badly and that no one uses without cursing.
As all our contacts are in civi and that it also can track activities, was wondering if some of you are already using it as part of that combination and hopefully not turned it into a clunky 'ERP'?
We have started with Andreas, Tamsin, Julian & Cristel with some civi/drupal tools and Civi, but are in the...Read more
A couple of weeks back I wrote here some thoughts about letting users manage and modify their own private collection of reports without actually having site-wide "administer reports" privileges. I've since gone ahead and written up the code to make this happen, and I would love to get feedback from the community on its usefulness and ways to improve it.
This code is available as a Drupal module for CiviCRM 3.4.x and 4.0.x, on Drupal.org by the project name CiviCRM Private Report. Following is a quick overview of how it works.
- Each user has a private space for reports visible and editable by that user alone.
- Users can copy any report that they can access into their own private report space.
- CiviCRM's native listings of available...
I recently completed a conversion of about 8 years of history from a 5 year old Blackbaud Kintera site to a Drupal CiviCRM solution. Confused yet? Don't worry, all we be revealed in time. As a way of giving back, I am planning to share my experiences good and bad, what worked, what did not, what I learned and what I will and won't do next time.
Let's start with a little background. I have been the technology consultant for Women in Development, New York (www.widny.org) for the past 8+ years now. I started out as a member, graduated to a board member and in the end became their consultant. I have been with this organization since before they had a formal database to manage their members and before they had their first website. Back then, I used my own mail servers to send out their mass emails, my how the times have changed. In addition, to selecting and managing their original database solution, maintaining their first website and...Read more
Note: You can see videos of these features in action on NS Web Solutions' case study page for this project.
Update: Some of the code for these features is available on GitHub. See my comment below.
CiviCRM offers an incredible set of features straight out of the box. At NS Web Solutions we're sometimes asked to provide a CRM system with some pretty unique features, and we've found that by relying on CiviCRM's wide array of hooks and customization features, there's a lot that can be done.
Eli Beckerman is the second winner of a copy of Using CiviCRM from Packt Publishing. Eli is excited about the potential of CiviCRM to organize bottom-up transformations to deal collaboratively with the many crises facing the world today.
Packt has also selected a runner-up in its contest: an experienced CiviCRM user from the City Bible Forum, ken, will get a downloadable eBook copy of the book.
Here's some background on Using CiviCRM from Packt's site:
What you will learn from this book:
- Create a successful CiviCRM implementation project
- Install and configure CiviCRM in Joomla! or Drupal, understand advanced configuration options, and review the upgrade process in detail