Report from the Bristol, UK meet up

Yesterday afternoon the CiviCRM UK usergroup got together for their first proper meeting in Bristol. It was a great chance to meet other users in the UK and be involved in interesting discussion about how we use - and want to use - CiviCRM. It was also nice to go to the dockside afterwards, catch the last of the sun, and watch hot air balloons flying over the city (though at that point, the discussion did move on from constituent relation management).

On Karma and Sandboxes

The 2.1 release hits code freeze this week - and we're really excited about all the cool new features and improvements. For folks who haven't been following progress on the release with "baited breath" - some highlights:

  • Joomla 1.5 and Drupal 6 compatibility
  • Contribution Pledges (back-office and self-service)
  • Multi-language / single site support (with thanks to Google Summer of Code and the Joomla team)

Incorporating email into CiviCRM

Integrating CiviCRM with an email client (specifically Outlook) has been a long requested feature. Unfortunately we dont really have any internal windows expertise to make this happen (for now). For now, we've built some code for the HRD project that attaches incoming email as an activity to the contact record of emails that are in the from / to / cc / bcc fields (we create a contact record if not found)

Adjusting the code to use the view-based approach

One of the issues to solve when implementing the view-based approach described in my previous post on the topic is how to make the current codebase be aware of when to use a view and when to keep operating on a table.

Pledges are Coming!

I'm excited to report that a pretty full-featured 'phase 1' set of Pledge functionality is well on it's way to being completed and will be a part of the 2.1 release. This will fill in a significant hole in the overall CiviCRM feature-set.

Phase 1 will include the following functionality:

  • Record pledges received from contributors. This includes pledges for a one-time gift and pledges with regular payments spread out over a period of time.
  • Send pledge acknowledgments with payment schedules.
  • Generate payment schedules for multi-payment pledges.

Next stop Bristol for CiviCRM UK usergroup

Next meet up for the UK usergroup will be at the Create Centre in Bristol on Tuesday 22nd July, 4-6pm. Thanks to Dave Moreton, Circle Interactive, and and Sean Kenny, VOSCUR, for kindly organising and donating the venue. We're keeping the agenda open and attendee led so it is of maximum use: we'll start with introductions and a couple of short presentations (volunteers, anyone?), and then follow with an open discussion/round table.

Joomla CiviCRM Membership Authentication Plugin

If you’re running a site using Joomla you’re no doubt aware that some things which appear to be straight forward with a Drupal base aren’t so easy. Both Joomla and Drupal have their strengths and weaknesses, I just happen to be a long way down the Joomla path. A big issue for me was how do I restrict access to my site depending on memberships to a real world (non internet) organisation. All my members have an entry in the CiviCRM database but many will not have a CMS login. Out of the box there was no real way of achieving this without getting into LDAP territory.

A view-based approach to multi-language CiviCRM

Long time no blog – mostly because my initial concept of bringing the multi-language features to CiviCRM was replaced with a brand new approach, which should be much more developer-friendly.

Having the contents of a CiviCRM site in multiple languages means that certain columns in the database (the user-visible ones) must be localisable – but how to implement this from the database point of view is far from obvious.

CiviCRM integration with views ...

The Drupal Views module has some pretty cool functionality. Views 2 fixed the "everything is a node" concept from Views 1, this enables integration with CiviCRM (which does nothing with nodes). A concise description of Views from its project page: This tool is essentially a smart query builder that, given enough information, can build the proper query, execute it, and display the results.

CiviCRM profiles (in view/search mode) behaves like views. However it is not a flexible or configurable as views is for the end user. Integrating with views also allows the potential of integrating CiviCRM information with other Drupal specific information. e.g. Contact information on folks who are most active on your blog / forum / comments

I took user.views.inc as a model and started hacking away to create civicrm.views.inc. You can get a copy of that file from our svn respository. So far its quite simple and just integrates the civicrm_contact and civicrm_email tables. I hope to add the phone/address fields in the next couple of hours/days and get a better idea of how to potentially generalize it.

Default Dedupe Rule Settings

We made few changes to default settings for New dedupe Now default dedupe rules settings are as follows Fuzzy Rules for
  • Individual => First Name AND Last Name AND Email
  • Organization => Organization Name OR Email
  • Household => Household Name OR Email
Strict Rules for
  • Individual => Email
  • Organization => Organization Name OR Email
  • Household => Household Name OR Email
randomness