OpenPSA posts

I've been writing more or less regularly to this blog since 1997. Here you can find my posts categorized with "openpsa".

cover image for Building a smarter workplace

Building a smarter workplace

As part of the SmarcoS project, we have been investigating how to make workplaces smarter through sensors and context awareness. Here is a video showing what we’ve built:
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Open Advice

I seem to have not blogged about this, but Open Advice, our book on Free and Open Source Software: what we wish we had known when we started, was published last month. The book was edited by Lydia Pintscher and includes essays from 42 authors, many of whom you'll recognize if you tend to go to FOSS conferences. The LWN...
cover image for Business analytics with CouchDB and NoFlo

Business analytics with CouchDB and NoFlo

The purpose of business analytics is to find data from the company’s information systems that can be used to support decision making. What customers buy most? What do they do before a buying decision? What are the signs that a customer may be leaving?
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Midgard in 2010

Wow, 2010 was quite a hectic year in the Midgard world. Here is a quick summary: We held three Midgard Gatherings: one in Lodz, Poland in April, one in Tampere, Finland in July and one in Gothenburg, Sweden in November. In April we announced the new directions of the project. The project completed a migration to Git (and GitHub) for...
cover image for Help testing the OpenPSA business suite

Help testing the OpenPSA business suite

OpenPSA is an web-based management suite for consulting companies. The GPLd suite includes functionalities like calendaring and contact management, product configurations, sales processes, project management and invoicing. The application was originally developed by Nemein but since 2008 has seen excellent maintenance work by the Content Control team. As a result of last weekend's Midgard developer meeting in FSCONS, the OpenPSA suite has...
cover image for CouchDb and Midgard talking with each other

CouchDb and Midgard talking with each other

CouchDb is a really cool document-oriented map/reduce database that is nowadays an Apache project. Previously we created the distributed CRM application Ajatus on top of the system and ported CouchDb to Maemo. Here in Gran Canaria Desktop Summit CouchDb has been somewhat a hot topic, as the Ubuntu project is planning to use it as the content repository for desktop...
cover image for Come to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Midgard Project

Come to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Midgard Project

May 8th 1999: The Midgard Project has finally released the first public version of Midgard Application Server Suite. The new release contains Midgard core libraries, a PHP3-based web application server for the Apache platform and the needed web-based administration tools. May 8th 2009: It's time for celebration - Midgard CMS turns ten in May! The decade of Midgard will be...
cover image for Free software at work: OpenPsa2 is making a return

Free software at work: OpenPsa2 is making a return

In the recent OpenMind conference we were discussing how open source projects simply don't die as long as there is an interested user community: Even if the original company or individual who built the application stops working on it, somebody will always rise and start maintaining it. Last few weeks have been a great example of this. Nemein is the...

ETech 2009 CFP: Building the peer-to-peer business network

ETech 2009, the O'Reilly conference on emerging technologies now has a call for papers. Here is my proposal for the "Nomadism & Shedworking" track: The recent direction of business applications has been centralization to web-based systems, easing deployment, upgrades and management of application security. However, at same time centralization provides new risks like the introduction of a single point of...

Scrum in management of a small software consultancy

Over the years we at Nemein have been experimenting with various ways of keeping our operations managed. Now with some personnel changes including Joe's departure it was a good time to change the way we work again. I had some goals: Keeping status of different projects up-to-date with more accuracy Ensuring our sales and project management knows if some project...

XMPP publish/subscribe for Midgard and Ajatus replication

On the side of FOSDEM we went today to the XMPP devcon held here in Brussels. In there we started formulating our ideas of XMPP publish/subscribe (XEP-0060) based replication for both Midgard and Ajatus.
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Offline web applications: a technology trend of 2008

MIT Technology Review's 10 Emerging Technologies of 2008 report includes offline web applications as a rising trend. When developing Ajatus, our new P2P personal CRM the offline issue was often in our minds. We even wrote in the manifesto: Ideas may come to you when you're sitting in a bus, boarding an airplane or visiting a hospital. For a CRM...
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Conferences this spring

While last autumn was more quiet, this spring seems to have a number of events that I'm going to: Feb 15th - 17th: Midgard developer meeting in Linköping, Sweden. Lots of hacking and talking about Midgard 2 and MidCOM 3 Feb 22nd - 24th: FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium. I'm going for Open Business Organisations of Europe (OBOOE) meeting on behalf...
cover image for Replicating Ajatus with your colleagues

Replicating Ajatus with your colleagues

I’ve mentioned before that Ajatus is a P2P CRM, but what does that mean? It means that Ajatus has been designed to be a personal tool for information management, but that is has also been designed to help you connect with anyone you need to work with.
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First beta of Ajatus available

Barely made it in December, but first beta of Ajatus, the distributed CRM is now available. Enjoy!
cover image for Making Ajatus feel like a native app

Making Ajatus feel like a native app

Ajatus, our new distributed CRM app is evolving very quickly. For example, this week we got form validation and auto-saving support, and there has been talk of supporting binary file attachments.
cover image for CouchDb 0.7.0 is out

CouchDb 0.7.0 is out

Version 0.7.0 of CouchDb was released yesterday. CouchDb is a very interesting object database that powers our Ajatus CRM.
cover image for Previewing Ajatus - the distributed CRM

Previewing Ajatus - the distributed CRM

While there is no public release yet, I though to give a heads-up on a project we’re working on with Jerry: Ajatus is a distributed, or peer-to-peer CRM system built on top of CouchDb.

jQuery and CouchDB

CouchDB is a very interesting evolution in open source data storage: an ad-hoc document database with replication support. I heard the first time about CouchDB when Jan Lehnardt was presenting it in FrOSCon a month ago, and became immediately very interested.
cover image for Meet Nabaztag, our new general manager

Meet Nabaztag, our new general manager

Nemein has today acquired a new General Manager into the company. We are delighted to benefit from the experience and keen insights of the brand new Nabaztag. Here you can see it already settled in our office:
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Contact management and Microformats

I’ve blogged earlier on how OpenPsa 2 can utilize information pulled from the websites of organizations and persons entered into the system.
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More photo backlog

Now, this one has been on my TODO list for a while:
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Digital Business Ecosystem in LatinoWare 2006

Like last year and FISL, I’m again representing DBE in LatinoWare. My talk was yesterday, and this time I focused a bit more on the practical applications of DBE instead of the politics.
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Going to LatinoWare

I will be flying to Foz do Iguacu tomorrow for the LatinoWare 2006 conference. My talk on Digital Business Ecosystem is scheduled at 2pm on thursday the 16th. As I’ve already given two earlier talks on DBE in Brazil, I will this time skip most of the politics and focus on how DBE can make everybody in the business of...
cover image for Finding resources automatically in OpenPsa

Finding resources automatically in OpenPsa

We rolled the initial Project Broker user interface into OpenPsa 2 with Rambo yesterday. Since we were on schedule we went to work in the countryside where we wouldn’t be disturbed. Fireplace, a bit of snow, and no Internet connection make it a perfect place for a coding sprint.

Contact management in semantic web

One big idea we’ve had with OpenPsa has been supporting various standards and Microformats to make the user experience richer.
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Firefox extension for Microformat utilization

I’m now running Tails, a Firefox extension that recognizes and handles Microformats embedded in web pages. This means that if I browse to a compliant event calendar I can add an event there to my calendar with single click, or add contacts from a web page into my address book.

iCal is adding CalDAV support

The mysterious collaborative feature of iCal hinted at the WWDC keynote seems to actually be CalDAV:

OpenPsa sources moved to Subversion

OpenPsa2 source code has now been moved to the Subversion repository used by MidCOM. Since OpenPsa is now a pure MidCOM component system this should aid in cross-project collaboration.
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Eating our own dogfood

This tuesday was the “day of the beast”, and we decided to finally eat our own dogfood and deploy OpenPsa 2 into production.

What to demand from Open Source contractors

We’re currently struggling over contract terms related to a large outsourced Open Source development project. As the intellectual property terms seem to be difficult to many I thought to summarize the terms I feel comfortable with:
cover image for OpenPsa2: Minor features matter

OpenPsa2: Minor features matter

We’re in process of making a new beta release of OpenPsa 2. While there are new major features like sales project management and phone interview support, I wanted to also mention some of the small things that are happening.
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Motorcycles and targeted marketing

Last night I got SMS spam from Moto-Seinäjoki, a motorcycle dealer in the bothnia region of Finland, quite far from here. The message was advertising the possibility of test driving some of their new Honda range.
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Digital Business Ecosystem in FISL

I just finished my Digital Business Ecosystem talk in the 7th International Free Software Forum, Porto Alegre.
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In Brazil now

After a 24 hour trip from Helsinki I arrived yesterday to Porto Alegre, where the 7th International Free Software Forum will be held. I have to say I'm happy to be again in sunny Brazil. The people are very friendly, and the Free Software community here is amazing. My Digital Business Ecosystem talk will be tomorrow at 10am in the...

On simple business applications

Sproutit’s Charles Jolley talks about how Web 2.0 applications make things easy for small businesses:
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OpenPsa will have real SyncML

We have just contracted Yukatan to work on integrating SyncML support into OpenPsa 2. The idea is to enable users to synchronize their web-based calendar and contact registry with cell phones, PDAs and Outlook.

Going to California and Brazil

With these two recent conference invitations, it looks like the spring will be extremely busy.
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Joel Spolsky on AJAX calendars

There is a new Joel on Software post about calendars. Lets see how the OpenPsa 2 calendar fares with his feature requirements:

Open Source and Web 2.0

Dave Johnson seems concerned that Web 2.0 and Open Source seem mutually exclusive:

Concerns with working over the web

I posted yesterday about switching to Web 2.0 business applications. However, when organizations do this they should be aware of the other side of it: privacy. Boing Boing notes:

Working over the web

There have been some interesting posts lately about switching to use hosted “Web 2.0” applications as the main IT infrastructure. Jukka Zitting writes:
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How OpenPsa uses DBE

I’m writing this in the DBE Project Review in chilly Tampere. Looking at lot of the presentations, it seems to be a common view that actual end-user businesses would be using tools like the DBE Studio to model their business and services.

Happy New Year, and a look back at 2005

We spent the New Year’s Eve at our favorite rock star’s place having sauna, and welcoming the new year with Pikkuoravat, Verka Serduchka and Sovetskoe Shampanskoe. Globalization was really showing through, with SMS messages arriving in several languages and from several different time zones. Some samples:

Delaying OpenPsa 2 beta release

We wanted to make the beta release of OpenPsa2 this week. However, there are two issues preventing this for now:

Looking at the PHP workflow options

We have recently been contracted to develop a new workflow engine on top of OpenPsa to support different pharmacovigilance and drug regulatory processes from the viewpoint of a drug manufacturer.

Digital Business Ecosystem slides from Curitiba

My DBE tutorial in Fórum GNOME went quite well. Learning from the translation issues in Saturday’s Midgard tutorial, this time the presentation was held in the main auditorium of LatinoWare Mercosul with simultaneous translation.
cover image for Going to Fórum GNOME

Going to Fórum GNOME

I’m traveling next week to the Fórum GNOME conference in Curitiba, Brazil. The actual conference is held together with Latinoware Mercosul on November 26th - 27th. My two sessions in the event are: Saturday 26th: 14:00 - 18:45 Midgard CMS - four hour tutorial for building your first Midgard-powered web site Sunday 27th: 16:00 - 17:00 Digital Business Ecosystem -...

Networked Project Management with DBE

As hinted earlier, we have integrated the OpenPsa project management system with the Digital Business Ecosystem P2P network.
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Midgard meeting in Linköping

This weekend is being spent in the Midgard developer meeting hosted by Anykey Solutions in Linköping, Sweden. Besides the ferry Suicide Tequila episode reported by Edi, the time has been both productive and fun. Happened so far: Tarjei ran a pretty interesting demo and presentation on the Aegir 2 project. It seems that once the object browser is done, we...
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Prepare to be synchronized

Something interesting is going to happen with OpenPsa and Digital Business Ecosystem:
cover image for Some refresh to the OpenPsa style

Some refresh to the OpenPsa style

Flash designer Joonas Kallioinen of Itse Valtiaat fame contributed a minor refresh to the OpenPsa 2 style:
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OpenPsa Calendar goes horizontal

After a bit of thought we’ve returned the Group Calendar module of OpenPsa 2 to using horizontal layout for days. The earlier versions used a vertical layout designed with Tigert that proved to be a problem with larger number of resources. This should solve the scalability issue:
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Direct marketing component for OpenPsa

Despite some schedule setbacks, we’ve been recently working on a new component to handle direct marketing in OpenPsa. Previously the Campaigns mass mailer was integrated in the contact manager, and was used with some large campaigns including the Telvis awards.

Latest Midgard and MidCOM

Midgard 1.7 and the development release of MidCOM, version 2.5.0 are now available. Using these, it should be much easier to test OpenPsa 2.x.

Business software and microcompanies

The makers of the Basecamp project communication software, 37signals have made an interesting post on targeting software at microcorporations:
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Contact display widget for MidCOM

There are several places in OpenPsa where persons are displayed in some list: Search results, campaigns, buddy lists, project participants, etc. To make them more informative, I’ve now implemented a contact widget library that can be used anywhere in MidCOM.

OpenPSA 2 Preview 1 released

ESPOO, Jun 23rd 2005 – The first Preview release of the OpenPSA management suite is now available. This release showcases the new user interface concept and completely rewritten technology architecture.
cover image for Some snapshots from OpenPSA 2

Some snapshots from OpenPSA 2

OpenPSA rewrite to the MgdSchema database back-end and MidCOM component architecture is progressing well. The current goal is to release a feature-limited alpha next week to get more feedback. Before that, here are some quick screenshots:
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The DBE Driver Workshop

The first Driver workshop for companies integrating open source business applications to the Digital Business Ecosystem was held this week in Tampere.
cover image for First running OpenPSA 2.0 component

First running OpenPSA 2.0 component

The development of version 2.0 of OpenPSA, an open source management system for consultancies is now moving rapidly forward. Contrary to original plans, the system is being written using the MidCOM component architecture.
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Hour approval component for MidCOM

Following Kaukola’s Support ticker viewer and kindly financed by our friends at Protie, we now have a Midgard CMS component that allows customers to view and approve OpenPSA Projects hour reports.

OpenPSA project in Rome

We’re now spending a week in Rome to get a major OpenPSA development project started. The project is done for the Italian regional competence centers together with the local Midgard consultancy, This project will add much more granular access controls into OpenPSA, and will enable its usage as a more general project communication tool.

Business according to OpenPSA

Design your product or service. This is the single most important step for business success. You should be clear enough about what you offer to be able to explain it in couple of sentences.
cover image for First look at Digital Business Ecosystem

First look at Digital Business Ecosystem

I've spent the last two days in the Digital Business Ecosystem (DBE) Workshop arranged by Hermia Science Park in Tampere. DBE is an EU-funded Open Source technology for enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to work together in P2P fashion.

OpenPSA as a resource planning tool

Centre for Open Source Software (COSS) has published a very nice case study in Finnish about utilizing OpenPSA for resource and work shift planning.

New layout for OpenPSA

As Eero has rolled out OpenPSA 1.10, I thought it would be time to update the visual outlook of the project. Before: After: What do you think? Next we will need a logo for OpenPSA. I will announce a logo contest soon.

iSync woes with Sony Ericsson K700i

My old Nokia 6820 phone had a weird issue that made it keep the backlight of the keyboard lit all times. This made the battery run out in less than a day, which was very irritating. As Kaukola had praised the Sony Ericsson K700i I decided to buy one for myself. Obviously the first thing I tried with it was...

Preparing for OpenPSA usability day

Tomorrow has been marked as the Beautiful OpenPSA Day in our corporate group calendar. The idea is to gather the whole team together to fix OpenPSA usability and eye candy issues. The date was set down when we decided to move Midgard CMS closer to the GNOME desktop usability-wise in an effort known as Project GNOMEgard. Here are some ideas...

Managing nanocorporations with OpenPSA

There was an interesting story in a recent Yrittäjä magazine about a concept called nanocorporations, or networked small businesses. Nanocorporations are formed by one or two individuals around a core competence. They are able to manage growth and larger projects by networking with other similar units, which again can network with other units. This all forms a fine mesh of...

New OpenPSA Campaign Query Tool

Eero has been working on OpenPSA Sales lately to support the CRM deployment Helsinki Business Polytechnic (Helia) is now doing.

OpenPSA Documents supports WebDAV

WebDAV is an HTTP based file transfer protocol supported by most major operating systems and Microsoft Office. WebDAV support now makes OpenPSA Documents a much more useful document repository. The WebDAV server was implemented with the PEAR HTTP_WebDAV_Server package. So far I've only tested it as a network filesystem for Mac OS X and Windows XP and with the Goliath...

Work Shift Planning with OpenPSA

All work positions will appear as resources in the group calendar Doctors can apply for a particular shift by making a reservation Email notifications will be generated monthly about unallocated shifts and sent to all doctors After each day the times of the work shift will be copied by the system to the doctors' hour reports The doctors check the...

OpenPSA demo available

OpenPSA is an Open Source Professional Services Automation system built on top of Midgard and PHP. The system provides management tools for software companies and consultancies. The modules include project management, CRM, help desk and group calendaring.

OpenPSA User Documentation Online

The most complete sections are Personnel, Projects and Sales.Whole OpenPSA documentation section is Open Content available under a Creative Commons license. using standards based web design methods.Hosting for the website is provided by our partner Finnish Teleservice Center. User training is handled by TMV-Vision.TMV-Vision has a news release in Finnish about the site launch.

Over 200 OpenPSA Downloads

In addition there were 40 downloads of the beta package.All in all, not too bad for a first public release of specialized server-side business software.Most referrals came from Freshmeat, Midgard Updates and Newsforge.

OpenPSA 1.9.0 Released - Open Source Management Software for Consultancies

The web-based OpenPSA suite was originally developed in 2001 under name Nemein.Net. The name was changed to OpenPSA as the application was moved to Open Source licensing.The OpenPSA is suitable for consultancies and service organizations ranging from 1 to 400 users. The software package is now available in English, Finnish and Italian, and it is easy to translate to other...

New Features in OpenPSA Support

There are several new features in the CVS version:Ticket locking: edit view displays if somebody else is editing the ticketArchiving of old closed tickets to separate topicSLA handling: notifications if ticket is due to be handled. The service levels can be configured on per-type basis, but can be changed for individual ticketsSLA selector in ticket editor: Lock and SLA notification...

First OpenPSA beta available

This is a semi-public beta, in the way that the package can be downloaded by anyone, but we've invited some organizations to try it out. The software is available under GNU GPL.We're mostly interested in the following beta testing areas:Installation hurdlesConfusion with how to get startedPossibly new translationsTo get started with the OpenPSA beta test,Install MidgardInstall OpenPSALog into OpenPSA ManagerCreate...

Some OpenPSA TODOs

Here's a quick list:OpenPSA CalendarHide starting and ending hours for multi-day events of the start/end date is not the one being displayedDifferentiate events that allow overlapping from regular events in some way (for example, blue instead of red bar in the week view)OpenPSA SalesCountry and state/region are missing from Campaign CSV exportsAdd option to display persons that have been removed...

OpenPSA Now in CVS

There were some issues with getting the yamp Perl plugins to work with our UTF-8 encoded development database, but from now commits should work fine.

OpenPSA Project Started

Work done today:Creating the OpenPSA project website at www.openpsa.orgSetting up new, clean development database with Nemein.Net nightly build and SpiderAdminMoving localization libraries from under NemeinLocalization to their correct module snippetdirsSwitching old Evaluation Key system into Testimonials registration systemSetting up the OpenPSA project at TigrisStarted collecting beta participantsTODOs for tomorrow:Change all instances of Nemein.Net to OpenPSA in the applicationMake first CVS...

Dashboard: Managing contact relationship

Integrating Dashboard support to Nemein.Net might be interesting. NN already stores information related to persons in several places, including:Contacts databaseSales projectsSupport requestsProject contactsIn addition to those, we will probably have to start connecting Calendar entries to persons from the Contacts database. The Calendar API already supports connecting any person records to the entry, but there is no user interface to...

New features in Nemein.Net Sales

These include:Sending notification when any company belonging to a group is changed. Configured by setting parameter to the group:NemeinNet,sendNoticeOnChange,emailNotes field for companiesExtranet user account editing for personsSending email to campaignsThese changes can be found from the latest nightly.