Update for the last three months until May 25th, 2012


  • OpenPetra Alpha 0.2.18 was released on March 10th, 2012.
  • OpenPetra Alpha 0.2.20 was released on May 25th, 2012.

Both releases contain a lot of new functionality and bug fixes! They can be downloaded from here. Packages for Windows, Linux and MacOS are available.


Since the last News Update in February we have achieved significant progress in all of the OpenPetra Modules. We are now working on the missing bits and pieces and are aiming for a feature complete version later this year. With the current speed in development comes a high demand for testing.

In recent months many bugs have been reported due to the fact that data validation had not yet been implemented. Because of that wrong data could be entered in many screens, which in turn lead to errors in the program. Since ChristianK finished the Data Validation Framework there are ongoing activities across all OpenPetra Modules to implement data validation wherever it is needed. Through that testers (and later users) will receive notices of wrongly entered data while it is being entered and they should not be able to store invalid data anymore.

Once data validation is introduced widely we will be able to enter a phase of extended testing. A prerequisite for that is the creation of a Test Platform, and that needs to be populated with generated random yet valid test data for all the OpenPetra Modules. We have started to set up that Test Platform and are now developing additional tools for testing.

We will have a team meeting in June. Among other topics, testing procedures and the documentation of test cases will be discussed. Another topic will be the upgrade and migration of the current Petra installations within OM to OpenPetra. The initial plan for that is to have OpenPetra running in parallel to Petra for quite some time in several OM offices. That will allow us to validate results and make them comparable.

Other work on OpenPetra:

  • TimotheusP created the Alpha 0.2.18 and Alpha 0.2.20 releases. He fixed a number of longstanding problems on the Address Tab of the Partner Edit screen (Partner Module) and fixed the Budget Consolidation (Finance Module) together with TimI, which he followed up with a code review and optimisation where it was needed. TimotheusP also added several Unit Tests to the Finance Module to automate testing and increased the record pool of random yet valid test data used in the demo database. Furthermore a tool for the data migration from Petra 2.x to OpenPetra was introduced by him. He is currently working on the Gift Import from Bank Statements (Finance Module).
  • WolfgangB finished work on Personnel Data Screens (Personnel/Partner Module) which included fixing of various minor Bugs, brushing up of the user interface and implementing the new Data Validation Framework so the users are only allowed to enter valid data. He also added a number of new Extracts for use in the Partner, Personnel and Finance Modules, increasing the total number of currently available Extracts to 14.
  • ChristianK finished the Data Validation Framework and is currently documenting it. He moved from the U.K. to Austria and continues to work fulltime on OpenPetra from there, after taking a break due to the relocation. In numbers, the OpenPetra core team members that are ‘remote’ are now more than the team members that are based in Carlisle, England…
  • TimI finished working on the Accounts Payable Subsystem (Finance Module). He also did some investigative work on the implementation of the Main Menu before adding some tweaks in the area of the Budget Subsystem (Finance Module).
  • ChristopherT worked on the International Clearing House Subsystem, including the creation of the HOSA statements, on the email distribution, and on their respective Unit Testing  (all in the Finance Module). He is now moving onto Recurring Batches for the General Ledger and Gift Subsystems of the Finance Module.
  • AlanP has continued to work on ‘Maintain Table’ screens.  In recent weeks this has involved adding validation using the new Data Validation Framework.  So far he has added the same validation that is found in Petra’s Maintain Table screens to more than 30 of those screens in Open Petra.  He recently had a ‘holiday project’ in which he got debugging and development in the Visual Studio 2010 environment working again and went on to enhance the generation of Project and Solution files for all supported Integrated Development Environments (IDE’s), so that important Non-C#-files are included and as a result can now be edited within the IDE’s with ease.  This results in an improved coding and debugging experience for the developers.

“Technical bits”:

  • TimotheusP did some experiments with jQuery with the aim of providing a part of the OpenPetra application in a web browser.
  • TimotheusP also ‘refactored’ our Forms Generator and resolved a number of layout problems that were exposed by the OpenPetra Client when it was run on a Linux Desktop.


Thank you for your interest and support,


ChristianK for the OpenPetra developers

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