08 August, 2018

In this blog post I want to show how you could use the new form processor extension to handle form submissions from an external website.

My (imaginary) organisation provides buddies for young people and the form on our website is submitted when somebody is interested in becoming a buddy for a teenager. We ask for the name, address, e-mail, telephone number, birth date and gender.

After the person has submitted the form one of our employees should make an intake phone call with the person and this should happen within a month.

When the form is submitted we want to have the following situation in CiviCRM:

  • A new individual with subtype Buddy is created
  • The new individual is added to the group 'Interested in becoming a buddy'
  • An activity of type 'Intake' is added and scheduled a month ahead

In this blog post I am going to show how you could create...

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10 July, 2018
Filed under Tools, Tips, Training

Last year at #17NTC, I met a consultant who reminded me of the dreaded phone call, “Hey, a colleague referred me to you and I want to get a quote for moving to CiviCRM.” Those phone calls are often challenging, as the client hasn’t done much in the way of organizing their needs and helping us help them.

Since that time, the consultant (Betsy Block at B3 Consults) and her partners (Public Profit) released a toolkit funded by the SH Cowell Foundation to help our clients be great clients—the Making Wise Decisions toolkit. The toolkit asks folks to take a brief quiz first and helps nonprofit organizations think about their system readiness. The toolkit itself helps nonprofit organizations organize their materials around:

  • Objectives in implementing new system

  • Program...

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20 April, 2018

This is a first blog post about how we build the team portal for Roparun.

But first what is Roparun? The Roparun is a relay race of over 500 kilometres from Paris and Hamburg to Rotterdam, where people in teams, take part in an athletic event to raise money for people with cancer. It’s also called an adventure for life. This is also clear from the motto, which for years has been: ‘Adding life to days, when days often can’t be added to life’.

So each year Roparun organizes this race and around 400 teams participate in the event. The first part of the project was to setup donation functionality and that is working right now.

The next part of the project is to create a new portal for team captains where they can manage their team data, (e.g. name of the team, start location and the individual team members). We...

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26 March, 2018
Filed under CiviMail, CiviCRM, Extensions, Tips

I've had a few requests from clients recently with queries around updating contact details and permissions with the new GDPR data protection legislation coming into force in Europe in May.

As a result I've developed two very simple extensions which I'd like to share:

Contact Checksum

This extension provides a simple UI under the contact summary via Actions->Contact Checksum.

When opened a simple UI is displayed with information and example links to use in emails when sending personalised / "update your details" links from CiviCRM.

Available from https://civicrm.org/extensions/contact-checksum-ui

 

Opt-In Communications Fields

This is a simple extension that provides a set of "Communication Preferences" custom fields for each contact.  Email, Phone and Mail(Post) are provided.

 

The fields are provided as "Yes/No" fields so that when...

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22 March, 2018

While CiviCRM has undergone major updates and re-organization under the hood since the platform was started in 2005, it's User Interface has largely remained the same. This is all about to change with the introduction of the new Shoreditch Theme for CiviCRM.

 

This new theme modernizes the CiviCRM Interface in a thoughtful way, better utilizing screen real estate and creating consistent treatment of design elements to better highlight the things you want to see and minimize the elements you don't. 

It's a stunning transformation and mostly thanks to the efforts and vision of the Compucorp Team. You can read a more in depth comparison to the UX evolution of other platforms like Salesforce and Blackbaud's Raisers Edge...

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14 August, 2017
By totten
Filed under Architecture, Release, Tips

Compatibility with PHP 5.3 will end in December 2017, and compatibility with PHP 5.4 will end in March 2018. These changes follow a number of discussions and a multi-year deprecation process. The current recommended version is PHP 5.6.

Discussion

According to php.net, PHP v5.5.x became "end of life" in July 2016. This means that the official publishers of PHP no longer support v5.5.x -- if there are security issues in the PHP runtime, the PHP project won't provide advisories or fixes. They recommend that all PHP users upgrade. (That's just the security side of the equation -- upgrading to a newer PHP also brings access to better libraries and design-patterns.)

But... for small organizations using CiviCRM, upgrading their servers to a newer version of PHP would be an expense. So CiviCRM has continued to support PHP 5.5 (declining to...

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04 July, 2017
Filed under CiviMail, Partners, Tips, Training

Based on feedback from clients, we're launching a series of Masterclasses this year. They will provide an opportunity for you to deepen your knowledge and skills in a particular area of CiviCRM. These courses will assume that you have a basic understanding of CiviCRM as a Contact Management System.

We're starting with our CiviMail Masterclass which will be on 8th August at the St Thomas Centre in central Manchester. You'll spend a day getting your hands dirty with the CiviCRM Mailings module.

We willl also be looking at the how you need to think about your communications overall and how to manage your communications with CiviCRM.

Course content includes:

  • Basic HTML
  • Using CiviCRM checksums
  • Mailing groups / un-subscriptions
  • A/B...
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30 January, 2017
Filed under v4.7, v4.6, Tools, Extensions, Tips

My clients regularly need to import data from sources such as Just Giving, CAF, and various other sources like Mailchimp downloads. The problem they had was that the data was a mix of contact and contributions, and some of the rows belonged to new contacts, others belonged to existing contacts. Sometimes they had a scrappy list of names and emails where the name was all in one field instead of split out. You know the sort of thing.

At the time (a few years ago) I knocked together a Drupal module to help pre-process this data so that it could be used efficiently with CiviCRM's built in import functions. I made it in Drupal because that was quickest for me to develop a solution and they used Drupal, but I've now re-written it as a native CiviCRM extension that should work for Drupal users, and the ever proud and cheerful (but wrong) Wordpress fans alike. Maybe even Joomla. ;-)

How does it help me?

It takes your spreadsheet (...

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02 January, 2017
By totten
Filed under Tools, Extensions, Tips

cv (https://github.com/civicrm/cv) and civix (https://github.com/totten/civix) are Unix/CLI tools for developers. cv provides access to your Civi site on the command line, and civix generates skeletal code for new extensions. We've had a few recent updates to each of these tools, so I wanted to introduce cv more formally and then recap some of recent improvements for each tool.

cv: Introduction

cv originated as part of the Testapalooza project which broadened support for automated tests in CiviCRM -- testing of CiviCRM extensions or external integration modules; testing with PHPUnit or Behat or Codeception; testing for headless scenarios or end-to-end scenarios; ad nauseum. In all of these cases, we start with some...

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19 July, 2016
By totten
Filed under Architecture, Release, Tips

To ensure that CiviCRM continues to work with standard, contemporary PHP hosting platforms, a future version may make a subtle change in hosting requirements. We expect this to be mostly seamless; however, we're looking for administrators responsible for sites running a recent CiviCRM (e.g. v4.7+) to spend a few minutes to help ensure a smooth transition.

Q: I'm not too fluent in geek-speak. What should I do?

Forward this to whoever manages your server. If you work with a CiviCRM partner, they may be thinking of you already.

Q: I am fluent in geek-speak. What should I do?

Determine if your web server has the PHP extension mysqli installed. Any of these will tell you:

  • Use the server's command-line:
    • Run "php -r 'echo extension_loaded("mysqli") ? "loaded\n" : "missing\n";'".
    • It should display "loaded".
  • ...
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