Six Reasons to Switch Your Proprietary Software and LOVE the Open Source with Tendenci AMS

Tendenci is a gift to the world. And during this month of love, we want to share with you six reasons why you should switch your proprietary software and LOVE the open source with Tendenci AMS.

Open Source wins over closed proprietary softwares. Check out our list of closed source alternatives to Tendenci.

Adobe Stock Image File:279876642
Love Open Source Software with Tendenci AMS
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You have a lot of options when choosing an MMS or AMS. But if you need to scale to support hundreds of thousands of members, have recurring individual and corporate level memberships, and need the full features of a seasoned large scale enterprise AMS, it’s possible you might hit some limits with the new kids on the block.

Proprietary vendors are companies first and communities second. Tendenci is a community first, and though there is a small company behind it, with the support of the Open Source community, Tendenci software has grown far bigger than we ever expected. And given it started in 2001, when you switch from a proprietary solution, it’s an upgrade!

Open Source is the voice of the people – a shared language that brings everyone together.

Think Free In Terms of Freedom with Tendenci AMS

  1. Free Software, Free Society – In the selected essays of Richard M. Stallman Second Edition ‘Four Freedoms’ he wrote “A program is ‘free software’ if the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:
  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  1. Tendenci Software Means Greater Functionality and Usability on a Global Scale – Tendenci is a very large project with robust functionality. But it’s still a great low-cost AMS solution for small Associations too! You can easily disable modules you don’t need and keep it simple. Functionality will be there as YOUR small association needs to expand in the future! Freedom is actually pretty cool. Pay less with Tendenci and get greater functionality. 

Note: Tendenci AMS, as measured by an independent third party ranking firm, is the only top 5 AMS on the market that is Open Source on a global scale. We are people who understand the power of associations. And the importance of freedom from centralized platforms and the tyranny of regimes limiting access for all. 

  1. Tendenci Is Community First – Open-source is in line with our core values at Tendenci. Our mission is to Connect and Organize the World’s People. Do good. We are change makers who understand the power of associations, which is why we built a software to help NPOs anywhere with any budget to further their cause both nationally and internationally.
  1. Freedom to Choose With Tendenci AMS – Looking to make real changes in the world? Host your site and your data on your own server if needed. We dig that! Tendenci, however, is not just for hosting websites. Tendenci is an investment that results in a financial gain to our clients. And while you can certainly host with us, you don’t have to. It’s okay to support local open source developers in your own country and community as well. Or even get started with our Tendenci AMI and grow!  
  1. Freedom to Customize Tendenci To YOUR Associations Needs – You have innumerable ways to customize Tendenci. Association Management Software is complex because associations are complex! So if you are looking to make some minor changes, do it! Looking to write an entire app specific to your organization that integrates with Tendenci? We love it!

Tendenci scales  to support large national and international organizations with multiple chapters, who may also benefit from a custom server configuration. 

Need even further customization for your organization’s unique needs? You can fork Tendenci AMS on GitHub at https://github.com/tendenci/tendenci/. Every Tendenci site lets you pull down and customize existing templates as well. You can try that out on our free Demo site.

  1. Tendenci Is Accessible To The World – Languages, languages, languages! Translation and localization of your AMS is possible because the community uses the amazing Django Project web framework and thanks to the people at Transifex who support open source. The world is anxious for growth and because your organization needs to communicate with different constituents in the language of their choice, Tendenci  allows each individual user to specify the language of their choice. 
Disruptive Technology Adobe Stock Image File#242937992 
Love Open Source Software with Tendenci AMS
https://stock.adobe.com/images/disruptive-technology/242937992?prev_url=detailDisruptive Technology and Science Engineering in Robotics

Lastly, our CEO Ed Schipul has attended enough board meetings to understand your organization is likely made up of volunteers and the rules for nonprofits are different. Tendenci – The Open Source AMS software is a relationship marketing application that fully meets the needs of large organizations. Have any doubts and concerns? Contact us today. We are here to serve you. Join us

We want to say THANK YOU to all of the developers out there who are contributing, translating, updating and maintaining a very complex piece of software. Tendenci AMS software is inclusive of other languages and cultures, and run by a team that believes in security and privacy. We love and very much dearly appreciate you all. Let’s continue to do good today, and tomorrow even more, together. 

Remember, all of the code is on githubdocumentation is on readthedocs, and translation is crowd-sourced on Transifex. Self-host or host with us – your choice, your data, your association.

Give us a call, let’s talk at (281) 497-6567 or visit us at www.tendenci.com 

Much open love always,

Team Tendenci
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Tendenci Puppy Logo
www.tendenci.com/open-source

Data Lakes for Smarter Associations

Open Source is Winning the Internet. Join us to be the BEST regardless of culture or country.

What is a “data lake”?

Data lake – it’s a big, partially structured and differently structured set of data from your association that you can use to answer interesting questions. Think of it like throwing everything in your pantry into one magical cauldron and it comes back with answers. Of course be careful what you ask, as SECURITY IS ALWAYS JOB 1! But it’s cool.

This is how AWS visualizes it:

Source: https://aws.amazon.com/big-data/datalakes-and-analytics/what-is-a-data-lake/

Having been personally involved in politics, analytics, electrical engineering, programming, robotics, public relations and media strategy not to mention the whole entrepreneurship thing, I must to start with a warning; do NOT go overboard.

Luckily Tendenci as your AMS makes this a whole lot easier with all of the ways to import and export data (or your whole database.) And pretty much every report has a structured export as well, from custom forms, donations, event registrations, memberships, you name it. You have FULL ACCESS to YOUR DATA in both flat files and in the actual database schema. For example:

I like this quote from wipro:

If the data in a lake is not well curated, then it may turn into a data swamp, flooding an organization with information.

https://www.wipro.com/en-US/analytics/five-best-practices-to-keep-your-data-lake-healthy/

You can see more screen shots of the built in reporting within Tendenci. Yet let’s be realistic, you are integrating data from many sources and a Data Lake including but not limited to your data on Tendenci might be just the thing. Contact us for more, because we LOVE DATA!

And we’ve got over 20+ years of experience to back it up.

Why not make 2020 the banner year to grow your membership and donations? Because that’s what we THRIVE ON! YOUR SUCCESS!

Tendenci AMS API Integration

Python Rules

For more on The Open Source AMS integration via API visit our AMS API Helpfile

Tendencithe Open Source AMS is unique in that it is fully open source. However at times people would prefer to use an API to pull specific information. For that Django has several API integrations for your Association Management System such as:

django-tasty-pie is a REST based API to your AMS
https://github.com/django-tastypie/django-tastypie
The Django Rest Framework is also something the Tendenci community has been discussing switching to it as well.
http://www.django-rest-framework.org/

API’s aren’t mutually exclusive after all, right? You have options.

There are legitimate reasons to use an API. Examples include integration between a legacy mainframe system, ecommerce, or a development team that has chosen a different platform such as .NET or PHP.

Tendenci doesn’t meet all of the functional requirements for everyone by design. Instead we work with great technology like machine learningThe open AMS community isn’t focused on reinventing the wheel. It just doesn’t make economic sense for a non-profit, or even a for profit company, to reinvent Amazon.com or Ebay.com. This is particularly true if you are causes-based association or non-profit given the expense.

Does Tendenci AMS work with other providers? Absolutely. Any provider with an API or that supports SSO or RSS or has their own technology like google tag manager.

Non profits don’t have money to waste. Therefore we aligned our product to major industry supported technology.

Our technology stack as of 2018 is:

  1. Tendenci
  2. Django Web Framework
  3. Javascript and jquery
  4. Bootstrap CS
  5. Python Programming Language
  6. Postgres Database with GIS
  7. Docker Containers
  8. Ubuntu

For more on The Open Source AMS integration via API visit our AMS API Helpfile or read up on everything Tendenci Works With. Or if you aren’t into open source, there are definitely alternatives to Tendenci.

If you do pick an alternative, we suggest you consider Security FIRST and go from there.

The Incredible Growth of Python – StackOverflow

growth of python programming language

Python, the language used to program TendenciThe Open Source AMS, continues it’s meteoric rise in the world of developers. And where the developers go is where the rest of us go. Thus Python’s rise matters. And it benefits every Tendenci user, self hosted or hosted with our small company (same software either way).

IEEE Spectrum rates the languages by its readers as follows:

Python has continued its upward trajectory from last year and jumped two places to the No. 1 slot, though the top four—Python, CJava, and C++—all remain very close in popularity.

StackOverflow, a go-to site for pretty much every programmer and sysadmin out there, has a new blog post up on the incredible growth of the Python Programming Language. Python is of course the programming language used in Tendenci – The Open Source AMS. From the Stack Overflow post:

June 2017 was the first month that Python was the most visited tag on Stack Overflow within high-income nations. This included being the most visited tag within the US and the UK, and in the top 2 in almost all other high income nations (next to either Java or JavaScript). This is especially impressive because in 2012, it was less visited than any of the other 5 languages, and has grown by 2.5-fold in that time.

They have numerous charts to back up the data, but these two in particular paint a telling picture.

From Stack Overflow – the current tag questions viewed:

Growth of Python Programming Language
StackOverflow – The Incredible Growth of Python

Perhaps even more impressive is the projection on the continued growth of Python. Just WOW!

growth of python programming language
Python – Incredible growth with developers

The above graphs should give you confidence in your choice of using Tendenci as your AMS as the developers are not only there, but growing. Given Tendenci is fully open source (this is different from “free trial” AMS systems which are NOT actually FOSS (Free and Open Source Software). Wikipedia describes the difference as:

(FOSS means) anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.[3] This is in contrast to proprietary software, where the software is under restrictive copyright and the source code is usually hidden from the users.

Many of our competitors who are NOT Open Source and not true FOSS which can sometimes confuse people. I’ll do a future post on examples of sometimes misleading representations by AMS systems that are not “actually” Free and Open Source (FOSS)  as defined on Wikipedia.

The good news is with the growth of Python, it only make sense that developers will look at and many will join in to help the community improve the software as they join associations themselves.

We’ve written about why we chose Python over PHP to develop Tendenci open source several times. Correctly choosing the open source stack gives us, and everyone in the community, confidence to see the trends predicted correctly. It wasn’t rocket science – we just listened to our team, we listened to younger developers, and most importantly we listened to our clients on what the future was/is going to be.

And associations are kind of a big deal and they can’t use minimum viable products.

Why are associations unwilling to accept apps that meet only minimal requirements? Um… because they started as Guilds and go back to Medieval times. From Britannica on Guilds and Trade Associations:

Guildalso spelled gild , an association of craftsmen or merchants formed for mutual aid and protection and for the furtherance of their professional interests. Guilds flourished in Europe between the 11th and 16th centuries and formed an important part of the economic and social fabric in that era.

and Britannica goes on….

… associations are known to have existed in ancient Rome, however, where they were called collegia. These craft guilds seem to have emerged in the later years of the Roman Republic. They were sanctioned by the central government and were subject to the authority of the magistrates.

This is a huge topic of course. Just know that Tendenci is the ONLY top ranked AMS system that is truly FOSS. Unlimited admins, users, contacts – you can self host or if hosted with us we only charge for processing power. Got 1M users and contacts and 50 admins? No problem. And the growth of Python assures your continued freedom from vendor lock-in no matter what.

#peace and happy (Python) programming y’all!

Post Django Dash 2012 Recap

We did it. Django Dash for our second year in a row. A little different, but still memorable.

From home

This year we spent the majority working from the comfort of our own homes.

Thanks to Schipul and our decision to move toward a remote work lifestyle we were able to easily face this year’s competiton in style aka in our jammies.

If anything this saved us valuable travel and setup time.

Lessons learned

I said this last year, but I’ll say it again this year; because apparently we did not learn our lesson.

Make as many decisions as possible before the competition. Think roadmap or dare I say clipboard of fun.

One of our greatest strengths is our team. We work together every workday, this competition was no different. I can only imagine the stop-and-go speed of competing on a team that doesn’t know each other.

Not the time to learn

This year I spent some time on two things I’ve only spent a couple of minutes on in the past. The Twitter Bootstrap project and Class Based Views. While my colleagues spent their time learning about Google authentication and the interim their experiencing as they adopt new technologies.

Competition time is definitely not the time to learn new things. It’s just so hard not to. You find yourself inspired and when inspiration strikes all you want to do is strive, learn new things and create.

In the case of Google authentication, it had to be learned.  Our project was dependent on it, as always; it’s amazing what you can do when you have to.

I don’t foresee this habit waning any time soon. If anything I look forward to it. I learned a lot of useful things this weekend and I’m left wanting more. Give me that feeling anyday.

Veering from the original mission

Early Sunday morning we found ourselves having to make a choice. A choice between accumilating more points by submitting more commits and focusing on specific code requirements such as standards and creating tests. Or making a product that might actually provide some value to many in the near future.

We chose the latter. The idea of our project actually being useful at more than just collecting points is an honor. With this in mind we refocused and put effort into submitting a finished product that’s worth demoing.

We’ll be demoing our finished 48 hour project to the office and get our first ouside perspective. No matter what people say I’m not-so-secretly wishing we can keep up this momentum and continue improving our project.

What did you build, tell me already!?

Without getting into too much detail – at this point in time – it’s best summarized here. http://theoldmail.com

You can sign up for the site now and take it for a spin. Keep in mind that this was 48 hours of code. You might find some quirks and so-called missing features.

What about the competition?

It’s been said that we get our results some time this week; but as I mentioned before we’re more excited about the project itself and what it can bring to others.

It’s open sourced

One of the rules of the Django Dash competition is that the project itself must remain open sourced. So feel free to take a glance at our code on github.com and fork the code if you’d like to start contributing.