Update for the last 8 weeks until the middle of May

What happened in the past weeks

  • There have been organisational changes in the team.
    Timotheus is now working independent from ICT, but still heading up the OpenPetra effort.
    Christian and Bernd from the Petra Team have now joined the OpenPetra development. They work for ICT on OpenPetra.
  • There has been the preview release 0.0.14 in the beginning of April. The bank import screen now supports split gifts, and contains now the plugin for the MT940 files provided by german banks.
  • Christian and Timotheus have worked on the Winforms Generation, and fixed some bugs and added lots of features.
    New Features for Winforms generation are for example: better possibilities to layout the screen, and automatic data binding to different fields from several tables in a dataset on one screen.
    The goal is to generate the Partner Edit screen, which is a quite complex screen, and is still manually created in the current release which is hard to maintain.
  • Christian is working on analysing the Petra 2.x code written in 4GL to see how much work needs to be done to get all code converted to C# and to OpenPetra.
  • Bernd moved a number of reports from Petra 2.x to OpenPetra, which he had already written using our own XML definition for reports.
    He has also worked on the generated screens for the report parameters, and has added user controls for sorting the columns and selecting which columns to display.
  • Timotheus has visited the British office of OM and worked on a nightly data conversion from Petra 2.x to OpenPetra,
    in order for them to be able to run SQL queries against PostgreSQL which is much more stable than the old 4GL database,
    and they now can login with the OpenPetra client to their own database!
  • Timotheus is working for the German office on a partner import screen which allows to detect existing partners and addresses.
    The goal is that this import can be extended to import many data items, eg. which are entered on a secure website by new people who register for job applications etc.
  • The Navigation menu is now able to detect all available ledgers and to display menu items for them. It is now also possible to create new ledgers from the client. These changes are only available through git, there is no new release yet.
  • There is now auto generated code for submitting changed datasets to the database, which will deal with the right table order of committing new rows to the database or deleting rows from the database, and will also care about populating tables with new sequence values, and updating tables that depend on those values.
    This reduces the risk of programmer errors, and makes the code much easier to read.
  • Continuous Integration with CruiseControl.net: Due to several people now committing code to the git repository, it is now good to have an hourly automated build to check if anything broke in the code by the last commit.
    We have implemented this on a Debian server running with Mono. Thanks go to Martin, the brother-in-law of Timotheus, who sponsors that server!
    See Timotheus’ blog about minor issues with the installation of Cruise Control.net with Mono: CruiseControl.net and Mono.
  • In the past days, Timotheus has worked on the 2009 financial data for the Nazareth charity, to post all donations and expenses correctly. This has helped to find a number of bugs, and also shown that some of the core financial reports are not up to scratch yet.
  • We are working on recruiting new developers for OpenPetra, but it is not easy, and many things are unclear. We are thinking into many different directions, trying to make things possible.
  • ICT is working on 2 flyers which promote OpenPetra to recruit new developers and to invite other organisations to join the effort. There even will be a new OpenPetra logo!

What did not happen in that time

  • Well, we should have sent out a report much earlier…
  • There is still no somewhat stable release that we could call version 0.1.

What should happen in the next weeks

  • We are aiming for a first version 0.1, which should be somewhat reliable. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to do.
  • We need to implement access permissions based on user permissions, eg. to make sure that only members of the finance department can see the actual financial data.
  • We would like to replace the Partner Edit screen with our generated screen. It would be good to add the tab page for managing subscriptions of the donors
    to the Partner Edit screen as well.
  • For a hosted version, we need to implement encryption based on a Public/Private Key Pair, rather than the current symmetric encryption which we currently have.
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