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Mifos Conference Rundown

One of our goals in 2018 was to be more active at conferences in getting the word out about the Mifos Initiative and the great work our community and ecosystem has been doing. To that end, we’ve had an active presence at a number of conferences this summer and a couple on their way this fall.

ApacheCon North America 2018

Next week I’ll be traveling to Montreal to give a talk at ApacheCon. Check out my separate post on ApacheCon to learn more about the Fineract Fintech track taking place on Tuesday.

Linux Foundation Open Source Summit Europe

In October, I’m going to cross over the pond to Edinburgh, UK to give a keynote at the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit Europe. My talk will highlight the massive need to bring financial services to the more than 3 Billion underbanked worldwide and how we can only do that through the game-changing OPEN approach we’ve pioneered that unites open source technology, supported by open community and sustained by open business models.

This will be an awesome chance to promote our initiative and community to the broader tech community in Europe. Thanks to Dave Neary for the introduction and to Angela Brown and Jillian Hall for making this happen.

 

OSCON

We returned to OSCON once again for the 8th time and as is tradition we hosted a booth in the Non Profit Pavilion under the sponsorship of O’Reilly. 

Our booth really helped us capture and experience how big of a fintech presence there was at the conference; as compared to years past, the financial services sector has really been starting to embrace open source.  We were able to tell the story of our ecosystem and the innovation its enabled on top of our open API to representatives of companies including Square, Paypal, American Express, MasterCard, Capital One, Royal Bank of Canada, Farm Credit, Decred, Thomson Reuters, IBM, HyperLedger, Sovrin Foundation, and more. Read more

Mifos in Ecuador

Hello Mifos Community,

There are still 2.5 billion people worldwide that do not have access to basic financial services. Financial inclusion is working to bring this number down. However, financial inclusion only works when available. It is costly to implement and difficult to access for many developing countries. This is why the Mifos Initiative has been working to develop Financial Inclusion 2.0, an innovative approach to allow every person access to financial services using just their phone.Mifos in front of Central Bank of Ecuador

Mobile Money in Ecuador

In 2013, Ecuador reported that there were more mobile phone lines than citizens in their country. Yet, 60% of the Ecuadorian population does not have access to financial services, and that number only gets higher in rural areas. Realizing this, the Ecuadorian government saw an opportunity where a mobile electronic payment system could be the answer to their financial inclusion problems. Ecuador implemented the first-ever state-run mobile electronic payment system that is low cost and easy to access for everyone that has a mobile phone. Read more

OSCON and the Growing Influence of Open Source Technology

Hello Mifos Community!

I’m back again with another post about yet another conference.

Over this past weekend, I was blessed with the ability to go to OSCON, an Open Source conference centered on the power that open source technology can have over a variety of industries, countries, and methodologies. From healthcare reform to open source cloud computing, this conference had an amazing variety of industries that were positively impacted by open source technology. To give you a glimpse of our weekend, I would like to both highlight a few of my favorite moments and give some insight into how the Mifos Initiative has both been a beneficiary and contributor to the open source movement.

OSCON general

Unlike most years, this year OSCON was held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Personally, I thought it was very powerful holding the conference in Austin, (a vastly different city than its predecessor Portland) as it shows how open source is now truly a national movement and is being embraced across the country, even in areas that are historically more resistant to change. With the new venue came a host of new organizations and new speakers, all with new views and stories on how open source has helped advance their respective fields in one way or another. Below are a few of our favorites:

Performance Case Study: Capital One’s quick shift from closed source to open source

This session was especially intriguing to me, as a large bank (Capital One) is finally starting to embrace the open source movement that we at the Mifos Initiative have been a part of since 2006. After the first few minutes of the session, it was easy to see the commonalities between the big banks and our open source initiative. One common thread was the idea that banks must be a technology company first. In other words, in order to be a successful organization, the bank had to produce a banking platform that was easily scalable, user-friendly, and customizable to suit client needs. Sound familiar? All of these features are what we at the Mifos Initiative hang our hat on and are what makes the open source movement so powerful. In our age of agility, scalability, and customization, big banks are beginning to realize the power that the smaller open source initiatives, like the Mifos Initiative, are starting to have on a global scale.

Modern JavaScript Architectures: Clients, microservices, and containers

This session was more technical than the other sessions I went to but nevertheless fit very well with the third generation of our Mifos platform. For those of you that don’t know, the third generation of our platform encompasses taking our current MifosX platform and converting it to a series of microservices that we will containerize and navigate using a variety of cloud-based apps. So, as you can already tell, this talk directly correlated to the work we are doing in the conversion from our current Mifos X platform to the third generation of our open source platform. While I am currently on the business side of the Mifos Initiative, this talk helped me visualize how our platform will be set up at the developmental level. It was a great way to learn more about the inner workings of our platform and see how and why we are following the popular trend towards microservices and cloud-based apps.

Want students who are ready to contribute? Here’s what they should know.

As a student at the University of Washington, this session also struck very close to home for me. I’m lucky to have gotten the opportunity to intern for a great organization that works in the open source community, but not everyone is as fortunate as I am. For those that do not get exposed to the power of open source technology, how do we, as teachers and industry professionals help mold the future developers of the world? As a Google Summer of Code mentoring organization, the Mifos Initiative deals with this issue quite often. While we hope to get interns that are well equipped to take on any project we give them, we realize that not everyone is set up for success coming out of college. In order to maximize the production of these interns, we realize that we have to utilize the techniques given in the session to make sure all our students are ready to contribute right away so our projects will get done faster and more developers will be getting necessary experience to help them start their open source development careers.

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OSCON booth

In addition to the new speakers and exhibitor crowd, we were happy to see that a few members from our Mifos community made the trek from Cameroon to learn more about our organization and our industry. Among them was Nyah Check, a good friend of Ayuk the head of Skylabase Solutions, our partner organization in Cameroon working on creating a customized Mobile Wallet/Mobile Money application integration with Mifos. Nyahis currently in the States trying to learn as much as he can about open source technology from the various conferences he’s attended. He hopes to bring this knowledge back to Cameroon so he can build on top of the Mifos banking platform to give needed support to his community back home. He is truly an inspiration to everyone at Mifos and is living proof of just one of the millions of people that we have reached through our open source banking platform.

To wrap up, I would just like to say a quick thank you to our very own director Director of Community Programs, Ed Cable. It was a pleasure running the booth with you and I had a great OSCON experience. I look forward to many more exciting adventures with the Mifos Initiaitive over the summer!

Signing off,

Drew Fass

4th Generation Mifos Intern

Star Contributor of the Month – Markus Geiß

We’re recognizing Markus Geiß as our Star Contributor. He’s a one-of-a-kind volunteer that stepped right in and immediately became a tight-knit member of the community. In the brief 6 months he’s been here, he’s become a dedicated mentor, a sage architect, a proficient contributor, a respected committer, and most importantly a trusted friend. Join us in congratulating Markus who was also recently recognized by Social Coding 4 Good as their Featured Contributor (pictured in his now famous flower photo from back in the day). 
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Mifos X API – Call for Feedback

We are embarking on an exciting time as we advance the next generation of the Mifos platform, Mifos X.

Keith and John Woodlock have released the first version and published and documented the full API.

We’re seeking the feedback and questions of any past, current, and interested developers or for anyone who has ever wanted to build anything on top of Mifos. As we build out the next generation Mifos platform, we’re designing it be easy to extend and we want to know if that’s true with what we’ve shipped so far.

This API will be the foundation of Mifos as an extensible platform that can easily be extended to support the delivery of financial services to the poor. We are hosting two meetings this week to discuss and gather feedback on the API and the vision for Mifos X.

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Mifos X – The Next Generation

Fresh off the recent Margaret H release, we’ve published the product roadmap for 2012. SolDevelo will be leading the community as it develops new functionality and extends the reporting and accounting capabilities for the upcoming year.  With current development plans squared away, I wanted to share with you what’s in store for the future. Our vision for Mifos is to be the operational platform to deliver financial services to the poor – whatever your methodology, however you reach your clients, we want to be the lightweight technology powering your outreach.

 I sat down with the leads for our community architecture team, Keith and John Woodlock, to discuss with them the Mifos X project, the long-term development initiative that will provide the community a revamped platform for scale and extensibility.

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Mifos 2.2.3 is Released

SolDevelo released Mifos 2.2.3 on January 4, 2012.  This is the last maintenance release before on the Marie G branch before Release H. It contains more than 67 resolved tickets including numerous fixes to the user interface, various fixes to improve stability of embedded BIRT reports, and the completion of APIs to apply transactions to Mifos.  You can see these new APIs in action in version 1.2 of the Mifos Android Client which SolDevelo launched on December 23.

The JIRA release notes contain a full list of all the tickets resolved in Mifos 2.2.3.

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Star Contributor of the Month for June – Keith Woodlock

Keith WoodlockFor the month of June, we’re showcasing Keith Woodlock, who came on as one of our most productive volunteers this past summer and then joined the Mifos team as a contractor.  He’s been an instrumental contributor helping to refactor the Mifos platform so it can be easier for other contributors to participate and build on top of Mifos.

 

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