CiviCRM integration with Drupal Rules module

Workflow has been an important piece missing from CiviCRM. We figured that integrating with the Rules module in Drupal would address this problem. I decided to tackle it on as a weekend project :) Kudos to the rules developer, Wolfgang Zeigler for designing AND documenting an excellent module. The developer documentation is very comprehensive and along with the integration modules, i was able to write an integration module in a few hours. The source code for the module can be found in our svn repository We hope to address and answer some of the integration questions with the community, similar to how the Views Integration Module has been developed. CiviCRM has got pretty good hook support, so I suspect adding extensive rules support is very feasible, i.e. fire rules based on CiviCRM hooks. We need to answer a few other questions to help us move this integration forward in a fruitful manner:

3.0.3 Stable Release

The team has released version 3.0.3 stable today. This release includes 60+ bug fixes. We recommend that you review the list of fixes and upgrade your site as needed. New installations should definitely use 3.0.3. Kudos to folks in the community who have reported and helped diagnose / fix bugs during this release cycle! Top bug hunter / squashers for this release include: Dave Jenkins, Graham Gilchrist, Jack Aponte, Joe Murray, Nathan Kinkade, Raphael Vering, Tim Otten, Will Brownsberger, and Xavier Dutoit.

Undelete and Logging

As we’re closer and closer to the release of CiviCRM 3.1, we began thinking what to schedule in CiviCRM 3.2. As one of the features we want to add is the ability to undelete certain CiviCRM entities, we want to discuss with the community the initial approach to undelete that we came up with – along with a sketch of logging functionality that we consider for a future release.

General Remarks

Extending contact demographic information with a custom group

We are working with PTP and Dharmatech to incorporate their work on Canvass and Phonebank into CiviCRM v3.1. Initially we plan to package and release this as the civicrm_canvass drupal module As part of this work, we need to "extend" the core demographic information in a seamless manner. CiviCRM holds the gender / birth date / deceased date as core fields. However PTP also wanted to collect additional demographic information: ethnicity, primary language, secondary language and number of kids. We plan on storing this additinal demographic data as a custom group. We had to inject this custom group into the demographic section for the contact view and edit forms. We also wanted to hide the custom group showing up as a tabbed pane in the contact view screen. We accomplished all this using the all powerful and mighty hook system. We could inject a complete custom group into the edit field by implementing the buildForm hook and using some internal CiviCRM functions

Application of Civicrm to Support Office and Campaign operations of a State Legislator

I am member of the Massachusetts state legislature. I represent 40,000 people, 25,000 of whom are registered voters. I run for re-election every two years. During the non-campaign seasons, my small (one-paid staff plus volunteers) legislative office handles an average of roughly 30 email conversations and roughly 5 new constituents per day. We work on a range of constituent and legislative issues and I run an issues discussion website based on Wordpress at willbrownsberger.com.

Looking for Beta Testers for the School Module

Some of you'll are aware of the work i've done for The San Francisco School using Drupal 6.x / CiviCRM 2.2. You can read more technical details about this project on my blog.

Database

  • Maintain name/email/phone/address information for people associated with the school (students, staff and parents)
  • Maintain relationships between parents and their children
  • Maintain relationships between a teacher / advisor and their students

Current Features deployed at SFS

  • Give all parents and staff a login/password
  • Online signups for all Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Online signups for all extended care activity (classes after school)
  • Sign-in / Sign-out for students attending extended care
  • Computation of how many "activity" blocks a student has spent on extended care
  • Parent viewing of the various extended care activities their kids have attended in the past
  • Online maps of "Where we Live" of the school families
  • Online directories of the schools and grades.

Handling Attendance for Extended Care Activities in CiviCRM

This is a continuing series of blog posts on deploying CiviCRM at San Francisco School. In the previous blog posts we discussed how to expose relationship information in a profile and how to manage parent teacher conferences. There are also some slides explaining the module from a recent training seminar Our latest project was automating the extended care (classes before and after school) system. The previous process was quite manual and labor intensive (and error prone). The attendance sheet was printed (via a CiviReport) from the students signed in. The students queued up and were signed into the extended care program. Some of the students had to be manually written in (if they were not signed up). At the end of the day, the parents would pick up the child and locate the childs name in the multiple sheets and sign them out. Typically 10-20% of parents would not sign their children out. The business office would then take this piece of paper and then calculate the "activity blocks" (based on time spent in extended care) and enter them in an excel spreadsheet. There were a few exceptions to the rule (children of staff, students who signed up for unlimited extended care and some activities are free)

Final Call for CiviCRM / Joomla Developers at Joomla Dev Camp, NY, Dec 5-6

Worried that CiviCRM integration with Joomla is not keeping pace with Drupal? Wanna take CiviCRM / Joomla integration to the next level? Want better permissioning support for CiviCRM in Joomla? Want more front end exposure of CiviCRM in Joomla?

Report from the 2009 Non-profit Software Development Summit

A passionate posse of folks interested in advancing the state of non-profit software gathered this week at the Non-profit Software Development Summit. CiviCRM was a sponsor of the event which featured a full "track" of Civi-related events. Some civ-highlights from the conference:
  • Helping some current users solve problems and get up to speed on more advance features in the CiviCRM 201 session. Our community does pretty amazing things in the "cloud" - but I really love having opportunities to interact with users and integrators and developers "live and in person". The feedback on 3.0 usability improvements (especially the new navigation menu) was super positive and very gratifying.
  • Participating in Lobo's "action-packed" 60 minute session on Extending CiviCRM without Hacking Core. The more I play with all the things that can be done with our evolving hook functionality - the more excited I get.
  • Joining with a group of CiviCRM integrators (and a few users) to brainstorm about Building the CiviCRM Community. This session was organized by the folks at Dharmatech - and partly inspired by a really cool book - The Art of Community - written by Jono Bacon who is the community manager for Ubuntu (a popular open source operating system distribution based on Debian Linux). It was exciting to collaborate in thinking about how folks with different interests and skills can potentially contribute towards strengthening the CiviCRM community and accelerating adoption of the platform. If you're interested in the ongoing sustainability of CiviCRM - I would encourage you to read Jono's book and think about what "team" you can join and / or create.
Thanks to Gunner and the team at Aspiration for organizing a great event!