Rock ChMS Update

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 5:03 PM by nairdo
Rock ChMS Update

A little over a year ago the Spark Development Network was formed and at RefreshCache v3 we announced our intentions to begin developing a Church Management System called Rock ChMS.  Where are we now?

Well, hopefully you've subscribed to the semi-regular newsletters we've been sending out.  If you didn't, go do it right now (bottom right corner of the Spark Dev Network home page) before you continue reading... I'll wait here.

Over the past year the guys on the Rock core team (such as David, Jon and Mike Peterson) have been coding like mad.  These are the hardest and smartest working guys I know.  Sometime during 2012 the first phase was completed -- an entire modern application development framework and CMS was created from scratch!  It's got all the bells and whistles you'd want in a modern application development framework: Entity Framework, LINQ, REST api, Bootstrap adherence, integration with a job/task scheduling system (Quartz), etc. And then the team moved on to creating additional features needed to build the ChMS parts of the system including: a Workflow engine, a generic Group and Attribute system, reusable UI Toolkit, etc.... and also began creating the core ChMS functionality.

For a few months during the summer of 2012, my church dipped our toes into the development waters and gave Jason and I official time (albeit part-time) to work on Rock during office hours.  (Up to that point, we were only contributing a little during our personal free time.) Now as of Jan 2013, Jason and I have begun working more regularly (I'm still part time due to other baggage responsibilities that I deal with) simply because we're now actively planning for our future -- to use Rock ChMS here at our church when it's ready. Part of my job has been coding up some of the smaller features and building the ever-growing live Rock developer wiki (an ePub snapshot is also available and looks pretty decent on the iPad).

Jon gave an update at the recent National Church IT Network Roundtable showing a nice slide with progress bars representing the status of the big ChMS features. [insert slide here].  He also did a demo of his very sweet and simple Rock Installer and David Turner showed the check-in system -- built entirely on top of the Workflow engine. It still blows my mind seeing that in action.

Ok, so there you have it. I'll probably be "heads down" for another 6 months until I pop up for RefreshCache in October.  This year we're holding RefreshCache alongside the Fall National Church IT Network Roundtable (CITRT) in Kansas City.  Keep your ears open and look for the registration announcement on the CITRT events page. Don't miss that event! If you do, you're going to regret it later.

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