Mifos X Platform 1.0 is the first official release of the completely re-architected and re-written codebase that the Community for Open Source Microfinance has been working on since the transition of Mifos from the Grameen Foundation. As the next generation of the Mifos software, we are building off of everything we learned as the industry’s first web-based and open source software. We’re pleased to release the first open source platform for technology-enabled financial inclusion.
The Mifos X Platform is at the forefront of COSM’s strategy to scale Mifos through a community-driven development model and a network of local Specialists all contributing to a global cycle of innovation.
MIfos X is already being used in production in the cloud by a number of small MFIs. Elevate Africa from Mali and Heaven’s Family with operations in Latin America and Africa have been using Mifos for several months now. We welcome other small MFIs focused on individual lending to use a free hosted instance of Mifos X in the cloud.
Musoni has chosen Mifos X as the platform to to scale their award-winning mobile microfinance model pioneered at Musoni Kenya as the first “cashless microfinance institution in the world.” They are already putting the platform to work, building out applications and an interface specific to their operational model.
“Combining the experience of the Mifos team and community with Musoni’s expertise in cashless and paperless microfinance offers a unique opportunity to revolutionise microfinance around the world,” said Cameron Goldie-Scot, co-founder and COO of Musoni.
What’s in the Release
Mifos X is designed as a platform. The back-end has the client management, financial product, portfolio tracking, and reporting services needed to provide a full range of financial services to the poor. These back-end services are exposed through a RESTful API allowing others to rapidly build new applications to serve the poor. This clean layered, multi-tenant architecture is lightweight, modular, and ready for the cloud providing the extensibility and scalability for our community to grow.
The brand new architecture of Mifos is fully multi-tenant meaning you can run multiple instances/databases of Mifos on one server. This lighter footprint will increase performance and dramatically reduce the cost of hosting. We have a public AMI available so you can spin your own cloud instance up or we welcome any small MFIs practicing individual lending to use a free hosted instance in the Amazon Cloud we’ve set up.
For this first release, we’ve built a simple reference application and user interface focused on individual lending to demonstrate the capabilities of the API. Upcoming releases will add the group lending functionalities found in the existing Mifos 2.x software as well as a polished user interface to provide the same user friendly experience you’ve come to expect from Mifos.
Our reference application for individual lending nicely shows off the flexibility and control that is possible through the new platform. Whatever your methodology, workflow, or the products and services you offer, the Mifos X platform can support you.
Client Management: We’ve made client management much more robust with the ability to upload documents and track identity documents.
Portfolio Management: Loan product creation is even more flexible as you can now dynamically see the loan products you create on the fly.
Accounting: We’ve put in an integrated cash-based accounting module with automated portfolio tracking as well as the ability to manually input non-portfolio journal vouchers.
User Management: You’ll find the same granular-based permissioning module but now with the maker-checker workflow concept so you can ensure better data integrity.
Reporting: We continue to use Pentaho as our reporting engine but have also added another layer of lightweight screen-based reports for a total of 30 reports including standard financial reports.
What’s Coming Up?
We have a lot in store over the next several releases.
July 31 Release: The next release will contain all the platform support for group lending as well as individual and group savings products. We’ll also add expanded accounting support including configurable account posting rules, bulk collection sheet entry, client and loan cycle performance tracking, along with improved support for other group lending methodologies, and more.
September 30 Release: The most significant release for 2013 will come at the end of September – when we unveil our completely redesigned user interface that will show off the full power of the platform. This UI design work is being led by Deanna McCusker, a senior UX designer from VMware who is spending several months traveling to and working closely with our community. This release will come with full documentation, an installer, a number of translations, integration with the PPI, and other tools to ensure smooth adoption of Mifos X. This is the target release for existing users to migrate to and for our Specialists to promote and support.
Take a look at our current product roadmap for further detail. This is a living document and we welcome the requirements and collaboration of Specialists and MFIs with new opportunities to implement and extend the platform. We are now a platform and eager to support new channels for bringing financial services to the poor.
2013 Mifos Summit in October
Join us in India from October 22 – 25 for our second annual Mifos Summit – a community-wide gathering to collectively discuss our product strategy, receive and conduct ttraining, and network with the community.
Intended Users for this Release
Specialists and Developers
The first stable release of the new Mifos X Platform will enable specialists and product developers to develop new applications and workflows through the API – as Musoni is doing.
Larger MFIs with IT Staff
This release is also a great preview for large MFIs and existing Mifos users looking to familiarize with the new codebase. We have been working hand-in-hand with Grameen Koota, Musoni, and other MFIs to incorporate their requirements into the platform for upcoming releases.
Small MFIs using Individual Lending
This release is also suitable for small MFIs practicing individual lending to be used in production – as Elevate Africa from Mali and Heaven’s Family with operations in Latin America and Africa are doing.