Mark your calendars for 4.7

2016-01-04 20:11
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The Core Team is very happy to announce that CiviCRM version 4.7 will be released on January 27th. Packed with both fixes and new improvements, 4.7 is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication from the community. If you’ve not demo’d it yet, check it out. If you’re planning to upgrade to 4.7 out of the gate, we encourage you to test a beta on a copy of your organization’s data and ensure that it’s bug-free for you. If it’s not, your testing can help the community squash any remaining 4.7 bugs!

Top 5 reasons to be stoked about 4.7

  1. Huge improvements to deduping
    Thanks to Veda Consulting for expanding on CiviCRM’s dedupe capabilities to allow for multiple record deduping, identification and batch merging of duplicate pairs, and big improvements to the UI. Full details online here and watch a video from CiviCon Denver 2015 highlighting the new dedupe functionality. Managing big data just got a whole lot easier.

  2. New admin status page
    A little bit of administration goes a long way. That’s why the new admin status page is so sweet! A single page packed with key info such as cron status, outbound email settings, file and directory permissions check, requirements checking, and more. You can even run several commands such as clearing cache, templates_c, and others that until now are accomplished with ‘magic’ url parameters. One page to rule them all!

  3. CKEditor for CiviCRM
    4.7 now ships with the latest version of CKEditor, and includes the brand-new CK Configurator, which allows you to customize the editor toolbar for your users with a few clicks! TinyMCE and other editors are now extensions, which means that you can integrate an editor of your choice. Just package it as an extension and off you go!

  4. Payment processor improvements
    With 4.7, all payment processors are extensions and have been refactored to support token-based recurring payments and non-credit card payment methods (ACH/ETF, etc.). Receiving money has never been so easy!

  5. Enhancements to contribution and activity reports
    Big thanks to Korlon for several nice improvements to contribution and activity reporting in CiviCRM. Search by premiums, include median and mode amounts in results, recurring contribution report improvements, and several more!

We’re really psyched with all of the improvements in 4.7 and to have nearing release. Not only is it the best Civi yet, it also represents the last release in the 4.x series. What does that mean? It means that once 4.7 is out, tested and bug-free, the Core Team will turn its attention to CiviCRM version 5.0 and will begin tackling the platform-wide improvements laid out in the product roadmap.

Beta Testing needed

Considering upgrading to 4.7? Don't wait, try it now! Upgrading a copy of your site now to 4.7 and leaving feedback on the beta testing forum will help ensure it is a rock-solid release.

Read more about how to beta-test 4.7.

Special thanks to everyone that made 4.7 happen!

AGH Strategies - Andrew Hunt, Tyrell Cook, Nikki Murray; Arete-Imagine - Nathan Porter, Marisa Porter; Backoffice Thinking; Cambridge University; Caroline Badley; Christian Wach; Circle Interactive - Dave Jenkins; CiviDesk - Nicolas Ganivet, Sunil Pawar, Virginie Ganivet; Compucorp - Guanhuan Chen, Jamie Novick; CiviCoop - Jaap Jansma; Coop SymbioTIC - Mathieu Lutfy, Samuel Vanhove; Dave D; Emphanos LLC - Allen Shaw; Freeform Solutions - Lola Slade, Stephanie Gray; Future First - David Knoll, John Prescott; Fuzion NZ - Chris Burgess, Eileen McNaughton, Peter Davis, Torrance Hodgeson; Giant Rabbit - Peter Haight; Ginkgo Street Labs - Frank Gomez, Galata Tona, Michael Daryabeygi, Roshani Kothari, Toby Lounsbury; Joanne Chester; JMA Consulting - Joe Murray, Pradeep Nayak, Edsel Lopez; Johan Vervloet; John Kingsnorth; Greenleaf Advancement - Guy Iaccarino; K Sneed Consulting - Kate Sneed; Ken West; Korlon - Stuart Gaston; Lesley Evensen (zorgalina); Lighthouse Consulting and Design - Brian Shaughnessy; National Urban League - Lisa Taliano; New York City Council; New York State Senate - Ken Zalewski; Northbridge Digital - Oliver Gibson; Palante Technology Cooperative - Jon Goldberg, Joseph Lacey, Paul Campbell; Progressive Tech Project - Alice Aguilar, Jamie McClelland; Saurabh Batra; Seamus Lee; Semper IT - Karin Gerritsen; Skvare - Jeremy Proffitt, Peter Petrik; Smiling Heart Enterprises - Neil Planchon; Stephen Palmstrom; Systopia - Björn Endres; Tadpole - Kevin Cristiano; Tech to the People - Xavier Dutoit; Tim Mallezie; Torenware Networks - Rob Thorne; Veda Consulting - Parvez Saleh, Deepak Srivastava; Web Access - Sudha Bisht.

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Actually the deduping improvements also encompass a bunch of UI improvements - I'd have to check but off the top of my head I think it was JohnFF that contributed them.

Top of my list for reasons to upgrade are

1) Scheduled reminders now have a more extendable interface. They don't yet support reminder regarding expiring credit cards etc but the steps to make that happen are really do-able

2) Code improvements. It's hard to sell the benefit of these to people who haven't experienced them but there is a massive extension of unit testing within 4.7 and a lot of bad code has been improved. For organizations that have suffered through having something fixed in one version and having it later regress the underlying cause is code that needed fixing up. Key areas like the storage of settings and scheduled reminders have undergone a massive tidy up. The code improvements around payment processing will probably not be visible aside from the ability to use the back-office payment form for direct debits, but the amount of work involved in writing new processors and the maintenance cost of them should be going steadily down from 4.7 on.

What Eileen mentioned about tests and code improvement would be my number one reason to update. However, at the same time I would be quite scared to update because I don't know what features (not covered by tests and utilizing code that is not pinned down) might stop working. I would be quite surprised if everything kept working after an update from 4.6 to 4.7.

Question: in your rough estimate, what percentage of the team's time is spent on bug-fixing and what on developing new features?

I believe there's a rocket ship included in v4.7.

Possible acquisition target for SpaceX in 2016?