Passing the Torch - Community Ships First Release Post-Transition
Grameen Foundation is pleased to announce the release of Mifos 2.2.1 which has been fully developed and supported by the SolDevelo team, Udai Gupta, and other members of the community. Major enhancements include the first API module in Mifos, the ability to attach client photos, the flexibility to edit client date of birth and center, a new Telugu translation, and numerous bug fixes. Beyond the new functionality and the API module that's been launched, what's most important is this is the first Mifos release that's been purely supported and developed by the community independent of Grameen Foundation.
We are thrilled by the community support for this release. This is a significant release functionally and architecturally and marks a major step in the transition of Mifos from Grameen Foundation to the community.
Rather than simply list off features let's look at what this release means for the community.
Back in June when Grameen Foundation announced the Mifos transition, Mifos 2.2 was issued as a release candidate and put out there in the community for anyone to use. SolDevelo rose up to the calling and took leadership over maintaining the current branch of Mifos - they've completed a full release cycle on Mifos, fixing nearly two dozen bugs, and building out a variety of functional and architectural enhancements.
SolDevelo continues to maintain this branch and has already begun work on the upcoming release including major improvements to localization.
Likewise, our implementer community is moving forward - new customers going live across India and Africa, Conflux taking over support of our Indian Mifos Cloud customers, and the availability of more hosting options beyond Mifos Cloud including SolDevelo's MifCloud offering. Keith Woodlock has been actively helping users get upgraded to current versions via the mailing list. Across the community, a number of local support options exist - working towards an ecosystem that wherever you are, whatever service you need, you can find help.
One of the most notable advancements made by Jakub and his SolDevelo team along with Udai Gupta has been the REST API Module - Simply put it will be easier to extend, integrate and build on top of Mifos. These APIs will provide the community an easy way to interact with Mifos the application, providing the building blocks toward moving Mifos to an open architecture and platform where new modules and plug-ins can be built to extend Mifos.
Already the community is starting to innovate. SolDevelo is working on building a mobile client to Mifos while other community members are looking at building SMS interfaces, accounting modules, offline clients, mobile financial products, and more.
What innovation do you, the users and the community think this new API module can enable? Let us know.
Responding to the Needs of the Community
Shortly after the transition, community leaders did a quick survey of the top gaps in the product and what our users would like to see. One that came up most frequently was the ability to attach client photos in Mifos. This legacy functionality had been removed in a past release but continued to be widely need across India and Africa. This upload client photo functionality has been added back in and we welcome any feedback or requests on how to improve your ability to identify and track your clients.
The community also continues to rally around other core areas of need in the product - volunteers are working on accounting modules to integrate with Mifos in addition to reporting improvements to make business intelligence more accessible for our users.
What do you want to see? Continue logging your feature requests in the issue tracker.
Collaborating across the Globe
As we transition towards being a community-driven project, the Mifos product has the tremendous potential to grow by incorporating the contributions from the community across the world. One such example of this is the Telugu translation - members of Hugo Technologies in Hyderabad quickly completed the translation of the Mifos interface and shared it with the community. Udai and Keith were quick to act, making sure this would make it into the next release. Many thanks to Shiva, Mr. Pridhvi, Mr. Madhukar, and Mr. Madoori from Hugo for making Mifos accessible to even more users across India.
Uniting the community is our quickest way to scale microfinance and the reach of the Mifos platform. This is evident from SolDevelo partnering with Udai Gupta to ship this Mifos release as well as joint efforts across the community like that of Iniciativa Mifos® Moçambique and SolDevelo to win new business opportunities.
Propelling the Mifos Community Ahead
Jakub Sławiński put it best - "The most rewarding thing about working on Mifos is satisfaction. Mifos is a big project and even small fixes can improve a lot of things. Moreover, every code change can have a significant impact on someone’s life. I strongly believe that the phrase 'too small of a contribution' doesn't exist, if you want to help other people, simply do it.”
This common passion and drive towards our vision of 3 Billion Maries is the underlying force propelling the Mifos community ahead.
The release of Mifos 2.2.1 is an important milestone as the community takes ownership of Mifos moving forward. We will soon have some more exciting news to announce regarding ongoing leadership and governance of the community. We are also continuing to open up participation throughout the community - building off of our successful open developer meetings, will soon be launching a weekly implementer meeting. We also want to hear more of what you want to see and need - hosting a community-wide meeting as well as conducting an online survey of the tools you need to collaborate better.
SolDevelo Sp. z o.o. has been working closely with the Mifos team for more than a year. During this time they implemented new features to both the Mifos and Mifos BI platforms, provided quality assurance services and greatly improved stability of the product. SolDevelo Sp. z o.o. (located in Gdynia, Poland) is a dynamic software development and information technology outsourcing company, focused on delivering high quality software and innovative solutions. They are specializing themselves in the Java/JEE platform, but also have experience in mobile solutions and other languages.
Their first contributions came in 2009, from Jakub Sławiński who was recognized as Star Contributor of the Month in January 2010. From there, they put a lot of effort towards fixing bugs and implementing improvements raised by the Mifos users. After this close engagement with Mifos customers, they began work on new Mifos functionalities including M-PESA, Question Groups and FTL frontend as well as rewriting hundreds of tests in the Automated Regression Testing project and continued enhancements to the Mifos BI platform.
Since the Mifos transition, they've stepped up to provide support to existing Mifos Cloud customers and began promoting their own hosted service offering in Amazon EC2, MifCloud. Please visit www.mifcloud.com to become a customer of this new service offering for Mifos.