CiviCRM v3.3 highlights and update

2010-10-18 15:40
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As we are getting ready to roll out the first alpha for CiviCRM v3.3, I figured a status update on some of the cool new features of 3.3 was in order. So without further ado, here are some of the cool new features that are part of 3.3

  • The CiviCampaign component is now part of the 3.3 code base. This includes initial support for Canvassing, Surveys and Petitions. There is still a fair amount of work that remains to integrate it with the rest of CiviCRM, more details can be read on our wiki: CiviCampaign and CiviEngage and CiviCRM for Canvassing and GOTV.
  • Thanx to Xavier Dutoit and Tech To The People (TTTP), we've also managed to include powerful petitioning functionality into CiviCRM. The spec for this is on the wiki: CiviPetition
  • We've extended the core searching capabilities of CiviCRM to show other objects (and object related actions) as part of Advanced Search. For e.g. This allows a user to do a complex query and get the Contributions that match the query. I suspect this will need some tweaking and changes in a future release to make it even better.
  • Deepak spent a fair amount of quality time with the dedupe queries to improve performance. Results on a 65K database have been very impressive, the query run time dropped from 6.4 mins to 4 seconds. A brief specification is on the wiki: DeDupe Optimization Project. We've got a few more improvements lined up for DeDupe in the future releases. A more detailed blog post on this coming in the next week or so. This work was partially sponsored by IMBA and Roland B.
  • Thanx to the persistence and perseverance of Eileen M, we experimented with crowd sourced funding for some CiviCRM Projects. This was fairly successful and two projects met their goal completely: Incorporating the CMS User in DeDupe merge and Adding an exception table for Dedupe functionality. In addition, we also raised a fair bit for: Gift Aid module for UK charities and Canvassing and Campaign project, both of which are also part of the 3.3 code base. We do hope that the Make It Happen initiative will drive a lot of funding, features and stability for the project. The other make it happen projects and funding will be pushed forward to the 3.4 / 4.0 release.
  • At the New York Code Sprint, we added "sub job" functionality to CiviCRM. This allows multiple threads to process one job simultaneously and thus increase throughput by a significant factor. This feature was added by Matt and Chang from emotive LLC. They also took the time to convert the current mailing reports to CiviReport.
  • CiviCRM v3.3 ships with a new mechanism to incorporate CiviCRM plugins (payment processors, custom search, custom reports). This allows developers to package and distribute the above extensions in a clean and extensible manner. This also avoid adding too many of these plugins in core. You can read more about this on our blog: Packaging custom reports, Packaging your custom search and CiviCRM Extensions framework - taking off in 3.3.
  • We've added a couple of case reports to give organizations a better overview of cases in the system. Also a new grant report that gives an organization an overview of all the grants and grantees across a data range.
  • Implemented better "session" management support for CiviEvent. This will allow an admin to set "max" attendees for individual price set items, thereby capping attendance at various sessions if needed. You can read more details about this on the Issue Tracker. This work was done with Brian Shaugnessy from Lighthouse Consulting and Design.
  • The first version of database logging is now in core. This has been implemented via MySQL triggers allowing the administrator to log all actions against a table. More details on this in the blog article: Upcoming feature: logging and on the wiki.
  • We are working on extending the "address inheritance" feature between households and individuals to apply to any two contacts. This will allow users to use this across organizations and individuals also (the other requested case). This feature is scheduled for completion before 3.3 beta.
  • We've upgraded to the latest version (v1.4.3) of jQuery and v1.8.5 of jQuery UI. We've also upgraded to the latest version of all the jQuery widgets that we use in CiviCRM.

Wow, 3.3 is indeed quite an impressive release :) We were much more focussed since it was a much shorter release cycle (compared to 3.2), which helped us get a lot more things accomplished in a shorter time span. We also spent a fair amount of time on adding and improving our test suite and plan on spending even more time with tests before the final release.

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