29 July, 2009
By michal
Filed under v3.0, v2.3
Yes, first item of business - the official announcement of news that has been showing up here and there already. The upcoming release, that was previously referred to as 2.3 has been renamed to 3.0. :-) After long discussions we decided that the return of CiviReport, together with many other changes and improvements that have been introduced in this release deserve a major version number. Robust reporting abilities, introduction of major changes in thhe user interface, and an abundance of other new features - we think it's a big step forward and want to underline it. The whole team has been busy finishing up the functionality for the 3.0 release, but we're getting to the end of the path. The first alpha release for 3.0 is scheduled for Wednesday, August 5th (which is one week from now). We estimate that the first beta is going to be released 4 weeks after that, on August 26h. There is also another... Read more
11 July, 2009
By xavier
Filed under v2.3
You might want to display more information that those that are assigned by default in the template. My goal was to have a simple way of retrieving more information from civicrm than the ones available in the template, without having to modify the php code . For instance, I used it to display all the employees of an organisation from the profile that displays the organisation, or to display a list ofother contacts that live in the same country than the contact you're viewing. In London in the last training, we discussed about displaying the activities directly in the contact summary tab for instance. The general idea is to be able to use any api method to fetch the content and assign it to a regular smarty variable, so it can then be templated and display how you want it. It simply introduce a new function in the template, "crmAPI". I'm assuming in the rest of this post... Read more
24 June, 2009
Filed under v2.3, CiviCRM
Two key usability goals for the upcoming 2.3 release are:
  • Reduce the number of "clicks" needed to move around in CiviCRM
  • Allow sites to optimize CiviCRM navigation for the way they use it
We've been working hard on the new navigation system - and it's now ready for folks to try it out on the 2.3 sandbox. Login as usual with: user = demo password = demo ... and click CiviCRM on the Drupal navigation block. The "default menu set" gives you one-click access to pretty much any screen in CiviCRM. I've been using the new menus a lot recently since I'm doing a lot of issue review and QA - and I have to say it really puts a smile on my face :-) Some comparisons....
  • Find Contributions: Instead of clicking the CiviContribute link, waiting for the dashboard to load, then clicking Find Contributions .... just click the Contributions menu and select Find Contributions
  • ...
Read more
16 June, 2009
Filed under v2.3
In my last blog post about multi-org, I made the case for merging groups and relationships as an elegant solution to the multi-organization data modeling requirements. My thinking boiled down to:
  1. Groups represent a relationship between "you" (i.e. one of the owner organizations of that Civi instance) and a contact (i.e. a member, newsletter subscriber, media contact, alumni, etc.).
  2. Relationships represent a relationship between 2 external contacts.
So, under multi-org there would be more than one "you" for the first scenario above, and I thought well, let's just piggyback on the existing many-to-many data model we have for relationships. However, this proved too drastic a change to make it into 2.3, so we (I and the core dev team) went back to the drawing board. We ended up revisiting an old idea that now seemed much more feasible thanks to... Read more
16 June, 2009
By shot
Filed under CiviEvent, v2.3, CiviCRM
As mentioned previously, we’re introducing quite a few new CiviEvent features in CiviCRM 2.3. Most of them are still undergoing our internal CiviCRM QA cycle, but do check them out at our CiviCRM 2.3 sandbox if you’re interested (there is still time for some minor fixes to accommodate your use-cases!). Waitlisting CiviCRM 2.3 introduces the concept of wait lists, where participants who registered after a given event was full are placed. These participants are informed before their initial registration that the event is full, and if they continue their registration process, they are put on a waitlist. Once the event gets some free spaces (because some other participations expire, or participants cancel their participation, or are removed by an admin, or the event gets more spaces…), a cronjob-based script makes sure that the participants from the top of the waitlist (first-registered-first) are moved to pending state.... Read more
12 June, 2009
Filed under v2.3, CiviCRM
This month's Community Advisory Group phone conference focused on the usability improvements which are being implemented for the 2.3 release. The advisory group was responsible for making usability the top priority for this next release, and they've been quite involved throughout the 2.3 release cycle - identifying pain points, suggesting new approaches, and helping to prioritize the issues. I had asked group members to review the key change areas and if possible also gather end-user feedback from users inside their organization or clients. Overall the feedback was quite positive - and we also got some excellent suggestions. You can check out the meeting agenda here - including a list of areas we reviewed. I've also added a section listing some of the recommended changes from the group. We'll be... Read more
04 June, 2009
Filed under CiviMail, v2.3, CiviCRM

Greetings and Salutations :-)

As some of you may already know, the existing "Greeting Type" feature in CiviCRM is pretty broken. You can't use it to specify a greeting for either email or printed / postal communications (no token or export support). In addition, as described in Tony Guzman's recent blog on Better Household Management - it's not designed to support a number of key use cases. So... Tony and the folks at Dharmatech have been working with us to figure out a flexible WORKING solution which can handle the simple cases ("Dear Dave") as well as the more complex cases ("Dear Dave and Bob", "The Honorable Scout Conberg", etc.). If you haven't read Tony's blog yet - start with the Greetings and Salutations section there. Then, if this... Read more
27 May, 2009
Filed under v2.3
CiviCRM Multi-Org refers to the ability to support multiple owner organizations (usually a hierarchical structure of umbrella orgs and sub-orgs or local chapters) and keep some data siloed in each org while allowing other users to aggregate data across orgs too. It has been been a tough nut to crack. But I and the organization I work for (The Public Interest Network) are committed to getting it working in CiviCRM 2.3. At the recent developer camp in San Francisco, we had 2 great brainstorming sessions on multi-org, which resulted in this wiki page: http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRM/Multi-Organization+Support+in+CiviCRM. For many multi-org use cases, one of the currently-possible options listed on that page could very well work. However, I need a little more flexibility, and I also want better multi-org support "out-of-the-box" (the current options involve custom fields... Read more
25 May, 2009
By michal
Filed under v2.3
A few weeks ago, we started designing the new looks for contact edit screen, as a part of usability focus for CiviCRM 2.3. Quick remark on this - it's a very last minute to submit your feedback on that improvement, so if you have some good idea, come back to this blog post and submit your comments. Anyway, now it's time to introduce some changes to contact viewing screen! Following the same process as previously with contact editing, we prepared the screen mockup for your perusal. Make sure to read the rest of this blog post, take a close look at the mockup and post your feedback/comments/critique/ideas below or on... Read more
21 May, 2009
By kurund
Filed under v2.3, CiviCRM
As we focus on usability improvements for the 2.3 release, we are looking at ways to use screen space more efficiently AND ways to streamline commonly used workflows. With these goals in mind, we'd like folks to take a look at two newly implemented features in the 2.3 sandbox - a new shortcuts dropdown menu, and a streamlined workflow for entering offline contributions.  

1. Shortcuts for creating new records

Prior releases included a "Shortcut Block" which had links to create a new contact record (New Individual, New Organization, New Household), a new group, etc. We've replaced this block with a dropdown menu (select box) with the prompt - create new -. Using a dropdown menu saves a lot of space, and allows us to include lots more shortcuts. You can see the new interface by logging in to the sandbox: Username: demo Password: demo ... then click the CiviCRM menu item. Currently you can create a... Read more