Update for the last six weeks until February 8th, 2012

We had an excellent time in January with eight students and a professor from Calvin College, U.S.A (http://www.calvin.edu/) who came to the OM offices in Carlisle (England) to work on OpenPetra. During their two-week inter-term overseas experience they were assigned to several projects. The students got to know quite a few aspects of the OpenPetra development and created very useful functionality.

For several weeks a major focus of our team was preparing for the visit of the students and so everyone was excited to actually start working together with them on the various projects. It was amazing to see how quickly the students picked up their tasks and how eager they were to contribute to the project. After a brief introduction and just a few days of working on the projects they produced a remarkable output: in the end they created ten Personnel Data Screens, four new Extract screens, did research on single source publishing for user guides and application help and created Unit Tests that automate the testing of user privileges on screens. That result proves that it is rather easy for developers to start working with OpenPetra’s technical setup and architecture and that new developers can contribute to the project to a certain extent without having had extensive training beforehand.

Other work on OpenPetra:

  • WolfgangB created a framework for the creation of Extracts, after initial work from TimotheusP. He is currently working on refining the Extracts framework which includes filtering by address fields, saving of settings, etc. The decision has been taken to incorporate the Extract screens into the Reporting area to reduce double effort and improve usability.
  • ChristianK is in the process of further improving the Data Validation framework, automating source code generation so programmers need to write less program code for data validation, among other notable improvements.
  • Tim Ingham has continued work towards the completion of the functionality of the Accounts Payable system. Among other improvements the reversing of a payment is now working.
  • ChristopherT has worked on the Budget sub-system of the Finance Module. He is now working on Phase 2 of the International Clearing House sub-system of the Finance Module.
  • AlanP continued to work on Maintain Table screens and lately worked on more advanced ones (Local Data Label screens). He also did an update to the OpenPetra Developer’s Assistant this month, improving its functionality.
  • Since there was interest in the forum and on private email for testing the Linux Client of OpenPetra, TimotheusP fixed the build for the Linux Client, and it is now again working on Linux. The fix will be part of the next release (0.2.18). You might want to have a look at this Forum post if this topic is of interest to you.
  • The gift receipts for the Nazareth Charity have been printed by TimotheusP for the third year running. Work is underway to move the whole bookkeeping of that charity into OpenPetra.
  • Two core developers of OpenPetra, TimotheusP and WolfgangB, are attending the ICCM Europe conference in the Netherlands (8 – 11 February, 2012).
  • We have put updated screenshots of OpenPetra on our website to reflect the current state of the program (you can have a look at them here).
  • We are looking forward to an evaluation phase in March where we want to review the whole project, have a closer look at its achievements and re-prioritise tasks.

“Technical bits”:

  • The web-based backend for the online registration for conferences works now with the latest Mono and Ext.Net packages. See this blog article written by TimotheusP.
  • The work on a Linux remote developer’s machine got delayed a bit, but it will be announced soon. We might use that as a testing environment for an early round of user acceptance tests.
  • TimotheusP is working on rewriting the layout manager of the generated WinForms (thereby removing the dependency on the WinForms TableLayoutPanel), which should improve the screen layouts on both Windows and Linux clients.
  • We can now create Solution and Project Files in the SharpDevelop 4.1 file formats.

Thank you for your interest and support,


ChristianK for the OpenPetra developers.

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