Frequently Asked Questions
Mifos FAQs provide a quick way to get answers to the most common problems and questions posed by our users. FAQs are sorted by topics and the content is searchable so you may quickly find the answers you need.
The Mifos source code is hosted in a git repository on sourceforge.net. Our version control guide provides all the guidance and tips you need to access the source code.
Commit privileges are granted to community members who’ve demonstrated strong coding standards, good knowledge of the Mifos platform, and a willingness to openly participate in the community. View our commit privileges process to learn more.
Our community spans the entire globe - we all work in different time zones and need to stay connected and collaborate at any time. We try to use the latest and greatest tools to promote transparency across our project, enable effective collaboration, and openly document all that is going on. We currently use this list of tools to collaborate. Have ideas on how to better connect the community? Want to set up a new tool that the community can use. Go right ahead. Just email the lists to let us know how you’re helping. We’re always open to take on help in maintaining our tools and infrastructure - see how you can help!
By signing the contributor agreement, our contributors have explicitly accepted the terms of the Apache 2.0 license and transferred copyright ownership of their contribution to Grameen Foundation. The contributor agreement provides the community the assurance that there won’t be future legal disputes over origin and ownership of individual contributions. The agreement clearly defines how intellectual property has been contributed to project and ensures that users can use Mifos without concern that they’ll be asked to stop using pieces of the code in the future. Signing only takes a minute so don’t skip the fine print and make sure to sign the contributor agreement.
Fixing bugs is a great way to get familiar with Mifos and to improve the Mifos product. First, sign the contributor agreement, create a MifosForge account, send an email to the developer mailing list introducing yourself, and then find a bug to start working on. Browse through our new volunteers bugs list or if you're ready for a bigger challenge, take on one of these issues. Click "assign to me" to assign the bug to yourself - we'll then know that you're working on the issue. Begin fixing the issue, ask any questions you have on the developer mailing list. One you’re done, submit the patch according to our code and patch submission process.
The strength and functionality of the Mifos platform can only grow with the assistance of our community. We want high quality code that won’t break Mifos - follow our patch submission process so you can write code that we can ship.
We encourage all development to be shared back with the community and welcome you to openly discuss the new feature on the Mifos users mailing list so the community can assist. We also like to track what’s being worked on - so please create a feature request ticket in JIRA and assign it to yourself if you are actively working on a project. Every new feature starts out with a good functional spec. Follow these guidelines for advice on writing a strong functional specification that captures the detailed use cases of the feature. Now you’re ready to build, follow our coding standards and converse on the developer mailing list to build a feature that the whole community can benefit from.
The frequency of new releases will depend upon the level of community engagement. Deeper more active involvement from users in the requirements gathering process will help developers understand what must be built. New features can only be built through volunteer resources or development funded and sponsored by users. We welcome users to advance development in Mifos by sponsoring development of features that are strongly needed, providing user feedback on the product, or testing new features in development.
Gap Analyses are a valuable tool in the needs assessment process. Conducting one is helpful in fully understanding Mifos functionally as well as clarifying on the actual processes that drive your business. The gap analysis can be led internally or by your Mifos Specialist but should be conducted with key operational and business staff. You are welcome to follow your own Gap Analysis process or use our detailed gap analysis template process.
The best way to understand if Mifos will properly support the operational processes of your organization is to carry out a needs assessment including a gap analysis. The needs assessment is a valuable process in which you’ll identify your information needs and business goals for technology. Carefully analyzing your business processes will help you understand where technology can help you the most. With a clear understanding of your information needs and your business processes, you can map these against Mifos functionality to better understand if Mifos is a good fit for your organization.
The new features and functionality that go into the product roadmap and ultimately get shipped to users as a new release will depend on the activity of the community itself. We need both active users providing input on features and active developers building those requested features. Both, from the perspective of the amount of user input provided on features desired, as well as volunteer resources and developers to build these new features. The community will work to have an open community-driven process to identify features based on direct feedback from users and prioritizing these based on need and resources available.
Look at How do I request a feature? or you can start a discussion on the mifos-users mailing list. We always want to learn how we can improve Mifos to support more of your operations.
Do you have an idea on how to make Mifos better? Mifos not supporting your business needs? Let us know what new features, functionalities and improvements you want to see in Mifos. You can do this in two ways. If you would just like to list an idea and get some feedback - post it to uservoice. Have more details on how the feature would work and the business requirements it would support? List it as a feature request in JIRA.
What is to be done after running MIFOS on a standalone workstation before detecting codes/names error on mifosChartofAccounts.xml(does not initialize) & mifosBeanConfig.custom.xml. The default Account codes are displaying instead of the modified Accounts codes/names in the mifosChartOfAccounts.xml?
What do i do to make the changes effect and mifosChartOfAccounts to initialize(Already,i have craeted Offices/Roles & permissions/set lookup options b4 the error was detected)?
Are you stuck? Have a question you can't answer? Turn to Google. You should first try searching for your problem/question/issue on Google - all our documentation/mailing list conversations/bugs/feature tickets are publicly indexed and searchable. It's likely someone else had the same issue and the problem has been addressed in the past. Can't find a solution on your own? Now it's time to ask a question on the mailing list. We don't want to overload the mailing list with questions that already have been answered so always try to answer your question on your own first.
These tips and more advice on getting help can be found on our Getting Community Support page.
Documentation for Mifos is located in a number of places on mifos.org and http://mifosforge.jira.com. Mifos.org contains several self-contained guides including our deployment toolkit, installation guide, and configuration guide. It also contains live deployment case studies, a file repository with templates like training materials and the product functional specifications. The majority of our documentation is located on the wiki on MifosForge. Technical documentation, system administrator documentation. reporting documentation and more are located here. They can easily be navigated through with the lefthand navigation.
The Mifos User manual which can be customized and remixed to be used for your own organization is stored on FLOSS Manuals.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a chat room system used by many Free/Libre/Open Source Software projects. What matters to you is that it’s a live chatroom where you can get help and talk with others in the community. You can join this live chatroom online through this web client or through a local desktop client. If you don’t find anyone online when you’re in the chatroom, you can send a message to the mailing list instead. Our IRC overview contains additional information on using IRC and logs of all conversations from the #mifos chatroom.
Our mailing lists are the easiest way to solve a problem you're facing with Mifos. You can reach a wide number of people very quickly. To post, you first must sign up and register for the mailing list. Once registered, you simply email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If email is convenient for you, and you would like to post via a web interface, once registered, take the extra step of signing up for our Google Group. Once signed up for the mailing list and the GoogleGroup web interface, you can post either through email or through the web interface. Follow these tips for advice on asking good questions.
Our mailing lists are administered through SourceForge.net. You first need to sign up for the mailing list for permission to post to the list via email. For convenience, we also provide a web interface for posting through Google Groups. Once registered for the actual list, you can then sign up for the Google Group to post via the web/forum format. Please remember to actually post to the list, you must registered through SourceForge. The GoogleGroup is optional and not required. For links to signing up for each list visit the Mailing List overview page.
The mailing lists also known as discussion lists or listservs are the primary form of communication in our community. We have two separate mailing lists - a technical one for people working on the code base (mifos-developers) and one for implementers (mifos-users). Subscription to the list allows you to post questions and receive answers from the rest of the community. Everyone who is registered receives each post by individual email or as a summarized digest.
The community always wants to see and hear from more MFIs using Mifos. We're on the look out for updates and personal stories about Mifos in action at you organization. You can post links to the wall on the Mifos Facebook page. You can send updates to @Mifos on Twitter. Want to have a story written about you on the Mifos Community Newslog? Email email@example.com with details of the story you'd like to tell about using Mifos.
As with any software implementation, there will be unexpected surprises and challenges you will need to overcome. As a community, we need to help each other out by sharing our experiences deploying Mifos. Create a deployment case study on mifos.org so you can highlight why and how you're using Mifos, document your lessons learned, share best practices and advice, and give fellow community members tips on how to smoothly roll out Mifos.
We need all the grass-roots effort we can get to grow the Mifos community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the community will help you organize and promote the event.
MFIs, specialists, and volunteers using, implementing or working on Mifos are spread ing across the world. It's likely there are members of the Mifos community nearby; you just don’t know about it! Make it easier to find each other by:
Interested in meeting up in-person with a fellow community member? Email the appropriate mailing list with details of who you'd like to meet, what you would like to discuss, and where and when you'd want to meet. Face to face meetings go a long way and our community needs to stay connected.
Mifos Specialists have the same access to support as any other community member. Ask questions on the technical and user mailing lists. Browse our documentation and share your advice. One of the best ways to overcome challenges is knowledge sharing amongst fellow Specialists - browse the deployment case studies or don’t hesitate to reach out to other Specialists with questions you might have.
Browse through the local directory to see MFIs that have specifically requested Mifos services. Contact your local microfinance association who can provide you the contact information of local organizations. Please browse the Marketing Toolkit for resources to help you promote Mifos. An effective technique is gathering local MFIs together in a workshop format to discuss and promote Mifos. See Find MFIs Needing Service for more tips and advice.
Training for Mifos is self-guided. The deployment toolkit is a great resource to understand all the stages of a Mifos deployment and how this fits in your project management approach. The Mifos functional specifications serve as a functional primer on Mifos - documenting everything it’s capable of and how it’s configured. The user manual provides a step by step guide to use each feature in Mifos. All specialists need to have strong project management practices, good expertise in deploying web-based business applications and working knowledge of microfinance and its business processes. To extend your microfinance domain knowledge, Microsave is a valuable resource.
There is no cost to be a Mifos Specialist or to be listed in the directory. However, building a successful Specialist business requires upfront investment of time and resources to learn and understand Mifos, develop a business and support model, and identify MFis needing service.
There is no fee to modify the software. Any modifications to to the software must be made under the terms of the Apache Version 2.0 license. Any modifications or redistributions of the software must provide proper attribution. Apache Version 2.0 license is a permissive free software license meaning you are not required to share back your modifications with the community or release them under the Apache License. However, we encourage all contributions to be shared back with the community so that other can benefit your innovation and help to collectively maintain it. Please see the Apache License FAQs for more on on the license.
Becoming a Mifos Specialist is somewhat informal right now. Active participation in the community is the best way to build your business, increase your visibility and attract more users. Follow the steps listed on the Become a Mifos Specialist page to successful engage with the community. We are beginning to provide more formality around this role to help MFIs more effectively identify qualified local service providers.
A Mifos Specialist is an individual or consulting firm that provides technical support and consultation for microfinance institutions using or seeking to use Mifos. Mifos Specialists are the local support channel providing a wide range of cost-based services to assist MFIs in the effective adoption of Mifos and technology solutions in general. They can manage the implementation process, extend Mifos to meet local market needs, provide ongoing support, deliver Mifos in a hosted environment, provide training, and more. They serve a critical role as the interface between the MFI user and the Mifos community. Visit our Specialists page to learn more.