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ByWater's Koha Development Roadmap

Recently a new library partner asked us what our development roadmap for Koha contained. In traditional software development shops, a development roadmap is designed by the Product Manager and involves input from sales and marketing teams to identify features while the devops team identifies useful or needed technologies to include in the software. Working in an Open Source software project affords us the opportunity to think differently about how our roadmap is built.

Community Focus

The first objective in our roadmap is to support the initiatives in the Koha community. The Koha community's Roadmap is set in two ways. The first way is through suggestions from the larger Koha community for new features, enhancements and bug fixes. The second way, is through the work of the current Release Manager. You can find information about our current Release team and their focus on the Koha community wiki page. These two paths, in turn, become areas that we know we can focus on with our work in the community and that work will have benefits for the greater community at large.

If you're interested in participating in the community here are some helpful links.

Bugzilla - Set up an account in the Koha community ticketing system to suggest new features, comment on other's suggestions, and vote for your favorite enhancements/features.

Community Dashboard A high-level view of work happening now in the community.

Koha Community The following link is to the Koha community where you can find information on upcoming meetings (calendar), how to get involved, IRC information, and much more.

Mailing List If you like email list-serves, here is information on how to sign up for the Mailing Lists available.

Our Development Roadmap

Now that our primary focus is identified we can talk about the work that we would like to see incorporated into Koha. We break out our roadmap into two parts: Architecture and Feature developments.

Architecture

Typically the architectural work we propose is funded internally and is designed to compliment the work that other developers in the Koha community have committed to working on or have identified as work needed. The architectural work is listed below with high level descriptions. If you are interested in any of these topics and are interested in learning more about the specific details or technical specifications, please let us know.

  • Inclusivity in Language: Code, documentation, etc
  • API all the things: Write APIs that we need but don't have, i.e. Search API
  • Monitor ElasticSearch Rewrite - This is coming from the community and we will need to offer assistance as needed.
  • Koha ILL - (Koha to Koha ILL system) - Continue discussion with beta libraries to improve this feature.
  • Plugin versioning and unit testing
  • Tighter Integration with Student Information Systems. E.g. Banner. Write new APIs? Connect to external APIs to facilitate data transfer?
  • Speed - Break down our speed goals by area ( caching, code, db query deduplication, etc ).
  • Dockerization of Koha
  • Task Manager -
  • Further work to make Koha a Mojolicious app - Dependency here is the task manager.
  • Improve SAML and plack - Make SAML work under plack.
  • Multi-tenancy with Plack

Features

Nearly 100% of the features and enhancements that we develop and submit to the Koha community come from YOU, our partners, who suggest these options and fund them wholly or in part. We do not rely on a sales or marketing team to provide us with a list of features to include, although they have given us some good ideas! The features we develop for Koha are provided by library staff who are using Koha and have first hand knowledge with what features will make it even better and useful. The feature list below is not an exhaustive list of the developments we have in process now. But it is a fair representation of features and enhancements you may be looking forward to in a next release of Koha. Every development project you suggest and we undertake is submitted back to the community for inclusion into the code.

  • Custom email notifications to patrons for Cancelled Holds
  • Twilio Voice Integration (3rd party vendor integration)
  • Museum Pass automatic checking
  • Place holds for a patron who placed the order suggestion
  • Multi receipt of orders in Acquisitions
  • Hoopla Integration
  • Frequent SIP developments to accommodate 'standards'
  • Patron Clubs- place holds for all club members on new items
  • Show hold history in the OPAC
  • Remove items from Holds Queue after scanned (and hold filled) so another library does not attempt to fill the same hold with their item.

We are currently developing a webpage that will list our current developments with links to the Bugzilla ticket to make it easier for our partners to see what new features we are working on and when they can expect to see these features in future releases. We are excited about this initiative and look forward to sharing the work that our development staff is doing. We're hopeful it provides you all with a more complete picture of the Koha features under development by ByWater.

Read more by Joy Nelson

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