CiviCRM 1.5 released

I should have put something out about the new version of CivicCRM (1.5) last week, but it got buried with other priorities. My apologies to all the CivicCRM fans out there. I have not loaded CivicCRM myself, but my understanding is that CivicCRM is now based on the Drupal 4.7 code.

For those that do not recognize what CRM stands for, try customer relationship management at Wikipedia. Here is how CivicCRM describes the software in their announcement:

CiviCRM is the first open source and freely downloadable constituent relationship management solution. CiviCRM is web-based, internationalized, and designed specifically to meet the needs of advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups.

New features and enhancements you can expect in CivicCRM 1.5 include:

  • A new membership management component
  • Search Builder - a new tool for building complex search queries
  • Significant memory and speed optimizations

Should Microsoft Financially Support Open Source Projects?

A series of posts and questions on the CMS blogs are asking whether Microsoft should help finance the costs of open source projects. I have no opinion to give that would add value to this topic. However, I'm happy to give the rundown so far of the posts that speak the loudest regarding Microsoft and open source projects.

The thread of blog posts seems to originate with a post at Dave's Tech Shop. In that post, Dave talks about the need for Microsoft to better support open source projects. Dave's reasoning:

osCommerce 3.0 to deliver new features

For the first time, an alpha version of osCommerce 3.0, an e-commerce application written in PHP, was released to the public for testing. While this third alpha was made available to the general public, the first two alpha releases were made only available to osCommerce's community sponsors.

According to osCommerce, the "alpha releases are made to showcase the new features being worked on and to generalize a version specific for testing to help fix and improve subsequent alpha releases for a final, stable, secure, and production ready 3.0 release".