Google Summer of Code – We’re Halfway Home

Put on your socks and lace up your shoes. Our Google Summer of Code interns are racing along and making amazing progress. We just passed the midterm evaluation point and all our projects are well on-target for completion. Since you all aren’t a part of our weekly check-ins or daily status updates we wanted to give you a glimpse into each project and what the interns are readying by the end of the summer. We also got a nice shout-out on the Google Open Source blog.


Summer’s end is getting closer…Michael and Kojo are making travel arrangements to attend the GSoC Mentor Summit in Mountain View and I’m already thinking about how we can keep our priceless interns involved after this summer’s program wraps up. Avik has already been evangelizing the project amongst his fellow students for a class project.

Our interns have been been enthusiastic about show-and-tell so we’ve got a nice collection of blog posts and screencasts to show off their hard work.

Distributed Caching

Anuruddha’s been steadily plugging away at his distributed caching to help optimize Mifos X performance and give it ability to scale. He started out identifying all the APIs to cache, then demonstrated the dramatic improvements caching has abled using in-memory cache, nicely integrating in Spring Insights to monitor these performance improvements. He’s now moved on to implementing storage of the implementing support for distributed storage of the cache, exploring ehCache and BigMemoryMax but leaning towards using MemCache.  Anurddha’s thoroughly documented his work on the wiki and in the screencast below you can see the dramatic improvements from caching through his initial usage of in-memory cache, reducing processing time ten-fold.

Mix XBRL Taxonomy

For the summer, Yanna’s helping MFIs efficiently get their into Mix Market, with thousands of MFIs reporting to their database, they’re the information clearinghouse for the sector. She’s building out a direct integration with the XBRL reporting framework that MIX has standardized the financial inclusion sector on. Once she’s finished up her project, users of Mifos X will have one easy way to report their data in one-standard format to all the funders and reporting agencies using Mix Market.

Yanna has completed all the back-end server-side work, mapping all of the XBRL taxonomy to their corresponding values in the Mifos X database. She’s now working on the front-end UI for extracting and compiling this data. Yanna blogged about the halfway point of summer of code including the many things she’s learned while pair-programming with her mentor, Kojo including using Mokito for test-driven development. Yanna’s also had a busy personal summer as she’s moving from China to the USA to start grad school at Carnegie Mellon University. She’s now enroute to Pittsburgh so we’ll be happy to have her on a closer time zone.

User-Generated Documents

Putting the client first is essential for responsible financial inclusion. This module will help Mifos X users be more transparent and provide full disclosure to their clients. Users, regardless of their technical level will now have a WYSIWYG editor along with mail-merge facility to generate any client-facing documents (receipts, loan contracts, loan letters, repayment schedules) on the fly.

In this blog post and screencast Michael Vorburger recaps what Andreas has been working on. He’s got the server-side work complete with the mustache templating engine in place, Andreas is now turning to work on the front-end for calling these templates and integration with a WYSIWYG editor.


Excel-Based Data Import Tool

Avik’s been hard at work under the leadership of Udai on an Excel-based data import tool to help smaller MFIs quickly get up and running on Mifos X. He’s completed the client import and loan import portions and is now moving into the import of the loan transactions and refining the user interface for these uploads. Take a look at one of his screencasts – you’ll be quite impressed with how robust these templates are – some of the nicest I’ve seen for getting data into a system. For loan account imports, you configure your products in Mifos X, then download your template which will be pre-populated with the default amounts for the available loan products. You don’t even need to enter in your clients – you simply select an office and then select from a list of available clients in a dropdown.

This tool is targeted for new installations migrating relatively small amounts of data over from Excel or another MIS. Nayan has completed a Mifos 2.x to Mifos X migration tool which we’ll highlight in a future post.

Click here for a screencast with audio.

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