25 February, 2015
Filed under API, Documentation, Tips

Whether you're just getting started with customizing CiviCRM or you already think you know everything about it, I invite you to spend a few minutes playing with the new API Explorer in 4.6. You'll be glad you did.

New look

Building on Xavier's great previous work (thanks X for writing the original explorer) I rewrote the interface in 4.5 to reflect new api techniques and take advantage of new user-friendly UI widgets like select2. In 4.6 I've added even more goodies, so be sure to upgrade when it is released - some of the features listed below (marked with a *) are only in 4.6.

Interactive option lists

No need to type in secret codes, you can...

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02 December, 2014
Filed under Documentation

Having gone on long car journeys with young children before the ACPED (Age of Cheap Personal Electronic Devices), I am very familiar with “Are we there yet?”  Now I usually only hear it in my head as I try to make light of the longer than 12-hour flights I have to endure as an Australian who likes to attend CiviCon. Lately, however, it is there whenever I visit the CiviCRM Area 51 site on Stack Exchange. I want to be at the “beta” phase when we will actually be able to ask and answer questions.

We have a positive start with 253 people committed to using the new site. However we need 100 committers with a reputation of 200 or more on another SE site before we can transition to “beta”. We have only 61.

Michael McAndrew thinks we will get the extra 39 experienced committers we need, but “it will take a while”. Ever the pessimist, I am not sure it will happen unless more of our existing...

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03 November, 2014
Filed under Documentation

As you may have heard, CiviCRM is about to launch an exciting new help site on Stack Exchange, which will make getting support with CiviCRM easier and more effective.

The new site is about to launch, but the initial "beta" phase will only be available to a limited group of people. This pilot group will have unprecidented access to world's top CiviCRM experts, and it's not too late for you to join them.

Sign up now to be part of the pilot group and gain exclusive access to the best free CiviCRM help on the planet.

Are there any strings attached? Am I going to have to take a survey or something?
Nope, no strings, we just want people to ask questions in the new help site to get the ball rolling before it's open to the general public.

What if my questions aren't good enough?
There are no dumb questions, ask...

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20 October, 2014
By mpeth

As you may know from a recent blog post by artfulrobot, CiviCRM is applying for a dedicated platform on Stack Exchange. I don't know about you, but I would love to see this happen. (If you wonder what this is all about, please refer to the beforementioned blog post which explains it very well.)

This initiative needs backing from Stack Exchange veterans now! Here is why:

In the current phase of the proposal, Stack Exchange wants to see how many and what kind of people would actually be contributing to the platform. People are asked to commit to using it. Three values are being measured, out of which the minimum counts. In our case, this is "committers with 200+ reputation on any other [SE] site" with only 8 out of the required 100 committers so far. So while we...

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03 October, 2014
The course resources for trainers on the Wiki have now been updated for CiviCRM 4.5.
This has been done as part of the Edale sprint taking place in the UK.
 
The courses can be found on the CiviCRM Wiki - wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRM/Training
The course is based on a modular format with 14 individual sessions and each session contains both trainer notes and exercises for the learners.
 
The modular nature of the course means this can be run in multiple formats, like a '2 day course' or a '1 day course focusing on fundraising'.
Instructions for the trainer have been provided along with training tips, suggested course timetables and printable trainer/learner notes.
 
The full course is slide free - the idea is that the trainer delivers the whole course on a live CiviCRM site. The...
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30 September, 2014
By maya

After the excitement of CiviCon with new features and extensions being discussed, the Civi Sprinters are hard at work improving and finalising these for release, as well as discussing future plans. 

However not all of us can bask in the glory of cool features and improvements. The documentation team have been hard at work attempting to improve the Civi Book.

The 4.5 version of the book has recently been released, updated with new 4.5 features and interface changes. In addition to this the membership section was restructured into a (hopefully) more meaningful and usable structure. At this years sprint we are working on the events section in an attempt to restructure it in a similar way. The aims are to ensure the documentation is up to date, get it into a more logical structure for end users and removing duplication of content. Watch this space for a new book release!  

After restructuring documentation all day, it was time to restructure and refresh our heads...

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25 August, 2014
By totten

Good testing is critical for providing quality software. Some testing is always manual but writing automated tests to do the heavy lifting is a key part of modern coding practices. For developers, the discipline of writing automated tests helps to proactively identify and control edge-cases, and regularly running tests helps to identify problems quickly (before they grow and cause greater harm). Fostering a healthy culture of testing requires easy, consistent, timely test-results which in turn requires an easy, consistent, quick way to setup a new test environment. Easy, consistent setup of a test environment helps both (a) with individual developers who write and run tests on their personal sandboxes and (b) with teams which run tests in a continuous-integration environment.

This need is shared equally by the core team and many other active development teams in the CiviCRM community: many teams need to install and run tests with CiviCRM, a CMS, and a set of modules or...

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21 August, 2014
By Stoob
Filed under Documentation, Training

CiviTeacher organizes clear and concise videos into a portable and searchable training library.

Last September CiviTeacher launched with 14 published videos. I promised to make at least one new screencast per week until the end of 2013 and I delivered. Today CiviTeacher offers 53 videos, is still growing... and is the only available service of its kind. Rates start as low as $15/month or $150/year USD. I've learned a lot about making useful content for beginners as well as advanced users.

I consider CiviTeacher to be financially self-sustaining, although not a replacement for my job as an independent consultant (yet). Given the small, budget-conscious marketplace of CiviCRM users, I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of organizations who subscribed. Speaking of subscribers, who uses CiviTeacher?

... Read more
31 July, 2014
Filed under CiviCRM, Documentation, Tips

Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the Structure of Dedupe Rules
  3. Creating Dedupe Rules
  4. Basic Dedupe Rule Attributes
  5. Field Weights, and Weight Threshold
  6. Some Recommended Rule Recipes
  7. Using Dedupe Rules
  8. Merging Contacts
  9. Using Dedupe Rules when Importing Contacts into CiviCRM
  10. Dedupe Exceptions
  11. Tips for Setting up Effective Dedupe Rules
  12. In Conclusion

1. Introduction

Dedupe rules are a very useful feature of CiviCRM, but one that can cause a fair bit of confusion to new or less technical users. The documentation on them is fairly spartan — sufficient for developers or...

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18 July, 2014
Filed under Documentation

"...not on those days." 

That's fine, we'd still love your help. If you have some time to spare before the formal sprint dates either leave a comment on the Join the 4.5 Documentation Dash blog indicating the issue you've chosen and a comment on the issue on Jira or claim it yourself if you have that level of Jira permissions.   If you won't have any free time until after 28th July, don't claim an issue now; please leave a comment below and I will contact you if there are still issues left after the formal sprint ends. (Issue CRM-14635 will need to wait until all the other issues are completed, so is a likely candidate for post-spint work.)

 

"...I am very new to CiviCRM."...

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