Update October 2016: Current status of the project

There has not been a news update for the Open Source OpenPetra for ages. Nevertheless, the work has continued. Especially the friends at ICT have been busy working on stabilizing OpenPetra, and since December 2015 they are rolling out their internal version of OpenPetra to various offices around the world! That is a huge achievement, and reason to be thankful and proud (in a good way)!

One challenge has been to merge the changes from ICT back into the Open Source version of OpenPetra. Some bits are not needed for the Open Source OpenPetra, others are not allowed for licensing reasons. Some issues that are being solved in the closed ICT branch of OpenPetra deal with .NET remoting and database connections in AppDomains, which we don’t have in the Open Source version. Despite all that, we are now in sync again between the two OpenPetras, up to the latest July release. See the 2016-07 release on https://www.openpetra.org/download-openpetraorg

Unfortunately, there is still not a community around the Open Source OpenPetra. Therefore there has not been any progress on documentation, tutorials, and stabilizing the core functionality for a proper release. On the other hand, without that documentation and level of stability, it is hard to get people interested. Some people have expressed interest, and anyone is welcome to join us on the IRC or on the forum!

A lot of energy has gone into providing uptodate packages of Mono in Fedora and in Epel7 (for CentOS7). The effort was worth it: when CentOS 7.3 will be released probably around December 2016, then Mono 4.2 will be available in Epel7. You can already test it by enabling epel-testing. The aim is to not need a special copr repository or self hosted build of Mono to run OpenPetra in production on a CentOS server.

There has also been work on updating uncrustify to a newer version, which supports new features of C# 6. This project still has not been finished yet.

There are probably more things to mention, but hopefully the news updates will be more regular from now on…

     Wednesday, 5 October 16@ 4:34 am UTC

Update December 2014: work of past months and friendly fork

Statement from OM:

The last months have been used to on the one hand round off functionality that was nearly complete and on the other hand work on features that had not been started. As mentioned in the last News Update we work closely together with OM Switzerland on the future development. As a direct outcome of the visit to OM Switzerland the link between finance and partner information has been improved, which results in an easier workflow from a data entry perspective.

Looking at the future development of OpenPetra it became clear that OM has a number of unique requirements. Currently it’s impossible to come up with a generic solution in each case. To meet OM’s needs we felt it necessary to now start an OM specific private fork of the OpenPetra project. This does not mean the Open Source idea is abandoned, nor does it mean that the Open Source project will not be developed any further. OM will continue to be a major contributor to the OpenPetra Open Source project. Enhancements which are not OM-specific will be taken over and made publicly available. For this reason we named it a “friendly fork”.
When OM is forking off, Timotheus will take over the responsibility of maintaining the Open Source project. We believe that this is the way forward to serve both worlds best.

Notes from Timotheus:

In the past days, the code of OpenPetra has moved to Github: use the shortcut code.openpetra.org. This is one of several steps how we want to prepare the way for an active community of developers and users around OpenPetra. You will see more details for the infrastructure of the OpenPetra community appear first on the forum at forum.openpetra.org and later on the OpenPetra website and monthly updates mailinglist.

The copyright of OpenPetra will remain with OM. Therefore each developer that contributes towards OpenPetra needs to agree to a Contributor License Agreement which we still have to write down. This will make it easier to switch to another license in the future.

The new place to report issues for OpenPetra will be at Github: http://issues.openpetra.org

Today, we release a new version of OpenPetra, that contains all the work from the OM team up to the friendly fork, and also includes the extensions that Timotheus has worked on over the past 2 years. Please read the release notes for further details: OpenPetra 2014.12 Alpha

Timotheus will publish a roadmap towards a Beta for OpenPetra and a stable version soon.

You are welcome to discuss this news update in our new Discourse Forum!

     Friday, 5 December 14@ 7:19 am UTC

OpenPetra 0.3.0 News Update


  • OpenPetra Alpha 0.3.0 was released on July 24th, 2014.

The release contains a lot of new functionality and bug fixes! It can be downloaded from here. A Windows installer is available.

OpenPetra becomes more and more mature. Therefore we have decided to work closely together with one particular OM office, which is OM Switzerland. Thankfully OM Switzerland has taken on the role of becoming a test and trial site for our project. They have agreed to help us with their expertise to complete missing functionalities in OpenPetra so that it fits their needs.
Although some features will just be specifically designed for them, other OM offices will benefit from improved usability, too. The input of OM Switzerland already helped us to improve the interaction between components to make the workflow smooth and intuitive.

OpenPetra has received more testing than ever. Many problems that were identified by the testers got addressed and have been solved. As a result the application is more stable overall and we increased OpenPetras’ version number to 0.3.0 to indicate that. Still, any use of the application at this stage must be seen as ‘experimental’.

Major improvements in this version

Filter/Find Implementation
• The Accounts Payable screens and the Extract Maintenance screens are finished.
• Filter/Find implementation is essentially complete across the whole of OpenPetra.

Keyboard Shortcuts
• A number of standard keyboard shortcuts to aid in navigating around the main parts of any OpenPetra screen have been implemented. There is even a help screen to remind the users what the shortcuts are (launched via the Help Menu).

Gift Destination
• Gift Destination settings in the Partner Edit screen now determine the Field that the money is sent to. This is closely linked to the Commitment Records in the Personnel Module.

• The Address Tab on the Partner Edit screen has been re-written so that it now complies with OpenPetra standards in terms of coding as well as user experience.
• Search for Bank Details in the Partner Find screen has been implemented.
• A new screen to browse through Short Term and Long Term Applications has been added.

• The Ledger Setup has been improved.
• The Gift Entry system is enhanced by a global search function for gifts.
• Donor and Recipient history is now accessible from the gift entry screen.
• The last Transaction is loaded as soon as the donor is entered, which makes data entry easier for regular gifts.
• In the General Ledger, Transactions can now be imported into an empty Journal.

Technical Notes:
At the moment the public forum is unavailable as SourceForge has discontinued hosting this service and we haven’t swapped to a different provider yet. However, issues can be reported via email using info@openpetra.org and will be dealt with.

Web Services
Some time was taken up with contributing to the work to replace the current client-server communication layer with Web Services. However, we have decided to shelve this for the time being.

NB: For advanced testing of OpenPetra we recommend to run it with PostgreSQL as database system rather than SQLite, which this demo runs by default.

Thank you for your interest and support,

ChristianK for the OpenPetra developers

     Thursday, 24 July 14@ 15:00 pm UTC
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