On Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Using AMI ami-923575c0)

1 Ubuntu Environment Setup
This section explains the basic environment setup for Ubuntu.
These Installations are a pre-requisite for Installing Mifos and Mifos BI

1.1   Update Server for any Patches
First we ensure that our Server is updated with all currently available patches
(Note: Always use LTS version of Ubuntu)
Command :-
sudo apt-get update

(This command gets the list of all available update packages)

sudo apt-get upgrade
(This command actually installs newer versions of the packages present)

1.2   Configure Timezone
Set the appropriate Time zone for the Ubuntu server (here we set the Time Zone to I.S.T)

Command :-
sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

After being prompted to select Continent, choose “Asia” and then choose “Kolkata” for Country. Now, verify that the right timezone is set

Command :-
date

Similar data should be displayed.

user@ubuntu:~$ date
Wed Jun 20 10:20:46 IST 2012

user@ubuntu:~$

1.3   Install MySQL Server
Now, we go about Installing MySQL Server version 5.1
Command :-

sudo apt-get install mysql-server-5.1
Next, set the password when prompted, here we set the password to “password”.
Ensure you are able to login using the new password.
Command :-
mysql -u root -ppassword


Allow Remote Access {Optional}
This step is required if the application and the database are in two different servers

Command :- (to enable remote access)
sudo nano /etc/mysql/my.cnf

In this file,Replace “127.0.0.0” with “0.0.0.0”
Command :- (to grant rights remote access to a user)

grant all on *.* to ‘root’ identified by ‘password’;
Replace ‘root’ and ‘password’ with appropriate credentials.
Restart MySQL for changes to take effect.
Settings for MIFOS Bugs {Optional}
This setting is to resolve mifos database tables case sensitive issues
Command:-
sudo nano /etc/mysql/conf.d/mifos.cnf
Copy the following contents to the new file

[mysqld]

#due to issue 1513
lower_case_table_names = 1
# optional,but saves disk space
innodb_file_per_table


Restart MySQL for the changes to take effect.
Command:-
sudo restart mysql

1.4   Install JDK 6
Sun JDK is not available by default in Ubuntu repositories.
We have to add a partner repository for the same and then go about installing Sun JDK
Command :-
  • Remove any openjdk packages:  sudo apt-get purge openjdk*

  • Add this PPA to your system:     sudo apt-add-repository ppa:flexiondotorg/java
  • Update:                                      sudo apt-get update
  • Installjava 6 packages:             sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-jdk
  • Test the java version:                   java -version

user@ubuntu:~$ java -version

java version "1.6.0_30"

Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_30-b12)

Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 20.5-b03, mixed mode, sharing)
user@ubuntu:~$

Java is installed successfully if the above lines are visible.


2   Mifos Installation

To install mifos,we need to download a server to deploy mifos application.
(Jetty 7.3.x is the recommended server)
(Download all the necessary files to your home directory)
(In this example,the home directory is “/home/ubuntu/”)

2.1    Install Jetty

Navigate to your home directory.
Command:-
cd ~
Download jetty server
Command: -
wget http://archive.eclipse.org/jetty/7.3.1.v20110307/dist/jetty-distribution-7.3.1.v20110307.zip

Before extracting,unzip package must be installed.
Command:-
sudo apt-get install unzip
Extract the jetty-distribution-7.3.1.v20110307.zip file in the home directory
Command:-
unzip jetty-distribution-7.3.1.v20110307.zip
2.2   Download Mifos 
Get the latest stable version of Mifos
wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/mifos/files/latest/download
Now the file is downloaded as ‘download’ in the home directory.
Rename the file
Command:-
mv download mifos-v2.4.0.zip
Unzip mifos file.

Command:-
unzip mifos-v2.4.0.zip

2.3 Restore Database.
Next we restore the database for Mifos
Command:
//Navigate to the SQL files folder
cd /home/ubuntu/mifos-v2.4.0/db/sql

//Login to mysql and create database mifos


Command:-
mysql -u root -ppassword
create database mifos;
use mifos;
source base-schema.sql
source base-data.sql
source init_mifos_password.sql

2.4  Configure Local Settings.

We specify details of our Database including its credentials for Mifos.
Command:-
//create a folder called ".mifos" in the users home directory
cd /home/ubuntu 
mkdir .mifos
//Here create a file called local.properties
Command:-
cd .mifos

touch local.properties


//Copy the following contents to this file


# settings used at build time and by a running/deployed Mifos instance

# (defaults are in mainDatabase.properties)

main.database=mifos main.database.host=localhost

#use the internal ip add of the database server if DB server is on a different box

#main.database.host=ip-10-130-18-69.ap-southeast-1.compute.internal main.database.port=3306

main.database.user=root

main.database.password=password


OR


//Navigate to the config folder in mifos-v2.4.0 directory.


Command:-


cd /home/ubuntu/mifos-v2.4.0/config


//Copy local.properties file to the .mifos folder.


sudo cp local.properties /home/ubuntu/.mifos


//Edit the copied local.properties file


sudo nano /home/ubuntu/.mifos/local.properties


Replace


# settings used at build time and by a running/deployed Mifos instance

# (defaults are in mainDatabase.properties)

main.database=mifos

main.database.host=localhost

main.database.port=3306

main.database.user=mifos

main.database.password=mifo



With


# settings used at build time and by a running/deployed Mifos instance

# (defaults are in mainDatabase.properties)

main.database=mifos

main.database.host=localhost

main.database.port=3306

main.database.user=root

main.database.password=password


2.5 Deploying Mifos.

Deployment means the process of copying Mifos war file to Jetty's deployment directory

(webapps) and starting Mifos


Command:-


//copy mifos.war file to Jetty deployment directory


cp /home/ubuntu/mifos-v2.4.0/mifos.war /home/ubuntu/jetty-distribution-7.3.1.v20110307/webapps


2.6 Configure Jetty.

Jetty supports JNDI, but by default it is disabled in a standard server.

In order to enable JNDI in Jetty a few changes to the start.ini file in Jetty home directory must be made:


Command:-


sudo nano /home/ubuntu/jetty-distribution-7.3.1.v20110307/start.ini


1) Add 'plus' and 'annotations' to OPTIONS, so that it looks something like this:


OPTIONS=Server,jsp,jmx,resources,websocket,ext,plus,annotations


2) Enable the plus configuration by adding the following line:


etc/jetty-plus.xml


at the end of the file next to other similar entries.

That's it, Jetty should now support JNDI.


2.7 Starting mifos.

//Navigate to Jetty directory


Command:-


cd /home/ubuntu/jetty-distribution-7.3.1.v20110307


//Start mifos using the following command.


java -Xms768M -Xmx768M -XX:MaxPermSize=256m -jar start.jar


Once the server is started visit http://localhost:8080/mifos


Enter username and password as ‘mifos’ and ‘testmifos’ respectively.

 
 
As MIfos cloud images are uploaded and registered on the Amazon EC2 cloud, they are referred to as AMI (Amazon Machine Images). Each AMI is a machine template from which you can instantiate new servers. Each AMI has its own unique ID. In order to launch an instance on the EC2 cloud, you first need to locate its ID. This page helps you quickly locate an AMI ID. Here’s how to use it

Here’s how to start an instance using the AMI ID you just found

1- Locate the AMI-ID by searching the table below
2- Assuming your ec2 environment is setup, run an instance by “ec2-run-instances ami-xxxxx -O AWS_ACCESS_KEY -W AWS_SECRET_KEY
OR click the ami ID, which will direct you to the AWS console

 
 
This release is first to support daily meeting, which is most anticipated feature
Mifos 2.6 (Esha K) is the fourth major community-supported release led by SolDevelo. It includes several new features: dashboard on home page, COA interface, support for daily meetings and possibility to add attachments to clients and loans. It also contains a number of critical bug fixes.

For a full run-down of what's being shipped, see the release notes. Some of the major features include:

Full details on all functionality and enhancements contained in Mifos 2.6.0 can be found in the Release Notes as well as this detailed list of all thetickets resolved.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE: For installing or upgrading to Mifos 2.6.0 and subsequent releases, Jetty 7.3 has replaced Tomcat as the Web Application Container. Please see upgrade instructions to learn more.

Important links

 
 
Conflux Technologies celebrates its first birthday today.

On this ocassion we moved into an awesome new Office, our employees are psyced and so are we. Amidst the celebrations, we thanked our dear friends and customers without whom this day would not have been possible. 

Here are some pics of the get together we had in our New office
 
 
Below is a note written by an Anonymous visitor to Germany. I thought the message in the end is very meaningful
that we can inculcate in our lives ‐
Germany is a highly industrialized country. It produces top brands like Benz, BMW, Siemens etc. The
nuclear reactor pump is made in a small town in this country. In such a country, many will think its people
lead a luxurious life. At least that was my impression before my study trip.
When I arrived at Hamburg, my colleagues who work in Hamburg arranged a welcome party for me in a
restaurant. As we walked into the restaurant, we noticed that a lot of tables were empty. There was a
table where a young couple was having their meal. There were only two dishes and two cans of beer on
the table. I wondered if such simple meal could be romantic, and whether the girl will leave this stingy
guy.
There were a few old ladies on another table. When a dish is served, the waiter would distribute the food
for them, and they would finish every bit of the food on their plates. We did not pay much attention to
them, as we were looking forward to the dishes we ordered. As we were hungry, our local colleague
ordered more food for us. As the restaurant was quiet, the food came quite fast. Since there were other
activities arranged for us, we did not spend much time dining. When we left, there was still about one
third of unconsumed food on the table.
When we were leaving the restaurant, we heard someone calling us. We noticed the old ladies in the
restaurant were talking about us to the restaurant owner. When they spoke to us in English, we
understood that they were unhappy about us wasting so much food. We immediately felt that they were
really being too busybody. "We paid for our food, it is none of your business how much food we left
behind," my colleague Guy told the old ladies. The old ladies were furious. One of them immediately took
her hand phone out and made a call to someone. After a while, a man in uniform claimed to be an officer
from the Social Security organization arrived. Upon knowing what the dispute was, he issued us a 50
Mark fine. We all kept quiet. The local colleague took out a 50 Mark note and repeatedly apologized to the
officer.
The officer told us in a stern voice, "ORDER WHAT YOU CAN CONSUME, MONEY IS YOURS BUT
RESOURCES BELONG TO THE SOCIETY. THERE ARE MANY OTHERS IN THE WORLD WHO ARE FACING
SHORTAGE OF RESOURCES. YOU HAVE NO REASON TO WASTE RESOURCES.
Our face turned red. We all agreed with him in our hearts. The mindset of people of this rich country put
all of us to shame. WE REALLY NEED TO REFLECT ON THIS. We are from country which is not very rich in
resources. To save face, we order large quantity and also waste food when we give others a treat.
THIS IS A LESSON TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT CHANGING OUR BAD HABITS.
 
 
Microfinance Focus, March 16, 2011: Kredits, a technology solutions provider for microfinance institutions (“MFIs”), announced it has received a USD $4.5 million investment from Sophia ApS, a Danish investment vehicle. Kredits will use the investment to accelerate delivery of new technologies and expand its global client services presence.

“We are excited about our partnership with Shailendra Robin Patel, Founder of Sophia ApS, who helped build Saxo Bank into one of the world’s leading online financial institutions,” Mr. Eggert added. “Robin’s experience in building successful, scalable financial services will strengthen our ability to meet growing demand for business driven solutions. Our commitment is to help MFIs accelerate their outreach in providing financial services to the world’s poor on an affordable basis.”

Kredits is internationally recognized for the outstanding scalability and reliability of its technology solutions, and its ability to conform to any MFI’s unique set of operating requirements. An acknowledged industry leader, Kredits was one of the first solution providers to support the Grameen models and all principal forms of microcredit, savings, insurance and livelihood financing.

Kredits will present its solutions at the Microfinance Centre Annual Conference in Prague on May 18-20, 2011.

 
 
Author:Carmen Nobel

By 2050, the Earth's population will likely exceed 9 billion people, up 30 percent from 6.9 billion today, according to projections from both the US Census Bureau and the United Nations. What's more, the population in the world's cities is expected to increase by 3 billion.

With those sobering numbers in mind, several of the planet's top city planning and environmental business experts gathered at Harvard Business School earlier this month to discuss how to support the inevitable population growth. The conference—titled "Investing in Cities of the 21st Century: Urbanization, Infrastructure, and Resources"—tackled three giant subjects: water, energy, and transportation. The conference was sponsored by Harvard Business School's Business and Environment Initiative and co-chaired by professors Rebecca M. Henderson, John D. Macomber, and Forest L. Reinhardt.

Water planning gets short shrift In terms of urban planning, "water is often planned last and gets short shrift," said John Briscoe, a professor at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who participated in a panel a session dedicated to water. "Water is absolutely the poor cousin of the utilities."

For starters, panelists talked about how the majority of the world's controlled water resources are dedicated to agriculture, leaving precious little for drinking, cooking, and bathing. (It's a subject complicated by climate change; wonky weather patterns have made it that much harder to predict rain and droughts.)

"There is a huge public need here, which is potentially a great opportunity for business" —Rebecca M. Henderson "The next big revolution is going to have to happen in food production," said Anand Shah, CEO of Piramal Water Private Limited, a for-profit start-up that provides clean drinking water to more than 64,000 rural villagers in India. The company uses a franchise model in which local entrepreneurs filter and sell water to members of their community. "In India, 87 percent of water is used for agriculture, and another 6 percent is for industry."

The panelists also discussed the idea that relative to other utilities, water is very cheap in most cities, suggesting that charging more to city residents would make them realize that it is a valuable—and not infinite—resource. The possibility of profit would also encourage more participation from the private sector.

This raised the question of how to persuade urban residents that price increases might be necessary to support the burgeoning population—and how to make them understand that public-private partnerships might make sense to expedite allocation.

"There has to be someone at the top who says, ‘This will be good for the city‘—and who will make sure it isn't corrupt," said Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (HBS MBA 1987), chairman and CEO of Ayala Corporation, one of the largest business conglomerates in the Philippines, a nation that recently started relying on public-private partnerships for water filtration and distribution.

Ayala's public utility subsidiary, Manila Water Company, was awarded the operation of the privatized water system for the East Zone of metro Manila. He said it wasn't difficult to warm residents to the idea of privatization because the public water supply had previously been damaged by the effects of El Niño.

"There wasn't much dispute because things were terrible," he said, adding that many poor residents—who used to have to buy water from the back of a truck—are now paying 10 times less for water than they did before the private sector got involved.

"There is a huge public need here, which is potentially a great opportunity for business," said professor Rebecca Henderson, about water research. "It is one of the great innovation frontiers."

Energy—our buildings are wasting it In a panel on energy entrepreneurship and demand management, moderated by Professor Forest Reinhardt, experts focused on two main problems: buildings in general are far too inefficient, and people in general are clueless about their individual electricity usage. The sole investor on the panel, Craig Huff (HBS MBA 1993), co-CEO and co-founder of Reservoir Capital Group, said that rather than focusing on brand-new energy sources, his firm often focuses on companies that make current energy sources more efficient.

Urban buildings consume 40 percent of the world's electricity, said Andreas Schierenbeck (HBS AMP 176, 2009), president of Siemens Industry's Building Technologies Division. Fortunately, for most of those buildings, there's the potential to cut down electricity usage by up to 75 percent via various readily available energy-saving measures, noted Philippe Delorme, EVP of strategy and innovation at Schneider Electric, which is based in France, but does a third of its business in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Unfortunately, it's hard to persuade people to institute those energy-saving measures.

"Human beings don't like to change, and everything involving energy management does imply the need to change," Delorme said, adding that electricity demand will double in 20 years if we maintain status quo practices.

This raised an important question: "How do we connect the energy consumers with a value proposition that makes it worth their while?" asked Gregg Dixon, SVP of marketing at EnerNOC USA, which helps large organizations in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom track their electricity use.

"Human beings don't like to change, and everything involving energy management does imply the need to change" —Philippe Delorme Dixon noted that while many consumers would jump at the chance to save 25 percent on their monthly mortgages, even if it meant paying some financing fees up front, they seem less apt to invest in energy-saving measures that will save them money in the long run, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, air-sealing services, and tools that help customers measure energy expenditures.

Schierenbeck supposed that electricity customers might be more apt to conserve energy if their utility bills reflected exactly how they were using that energy from month to month—giving them a better idea of how and where they could save money. "Right now, people can't tell you where they're expending energy but they can tell you what their monthly bill is," he said.

Delorme agreed. "We don't know how much we spend because it's not visible enough," he said.

Moderator John Macomber noted a general need for entrepreneurial funding for start-ups that cater to greener cities. "The need is huge, the demand is huge, and you have to partner."

Transportation—making public transportation worth our while The transportation panel kicked off with a presentation by Liu Thai-Ker, an urban architect and city planner who helped plan the oft-praised public transportation system in Singapore. The city encourages use of its system by keeping rider fees low, discourages individual automobile purchases by charging high ownership taxes, and keeps the trains running on time through public-private partnerships. Some 65-70 percent of city residents ride public transportation, he said, and while the city's population has doubled since 1970, it does not look congested. "In Singapore, we always plan for 100 years of growth."

US particpants at the conference acknowledged that the Americans might do well to follow in Singapore's footsteps. "We are a long way from having anything you'd call a sustainable urban transportation system in the United States," said Tyler Duvall, associate principal in the Washington office of McKinsey & Company. "Incentives in urban transportation are exceptionally weak."

A conference attendee from Seattle noted that bus fares in his city are higher during rush hour than at any other time—which, he said, only discourages him from taking the bus to work.

Another panelist noted that while public trains are important to any large city's traffic ecosystem, they're only one part. "It doesn't make sense just to move people from station to station," said Fabienne Herlaut (HBS MBA 1984), president of Ecomobilité, a Parisian venture fund that focuses on transportation start-ups. "You don't spend the night in a station. You have to provide transportation from door to door."

Paris has seen success with its self-service bike rental system, Vélib', which features thousands of bicycles and cycle racks all over the city. Subscribers pick up a bike close to their point of departure and return it to a rack closest to their destination. Herlaut is bullish on electric bikes; Ecomobilité recently funded the company Urban-Cab, an electric bike courier and taxi service.

As for Singapore, Liu said the country would like to do more to encourage bike riding, but there's an inherent humidity problem, especially for women. "Once on the bicycle, all the makeup just melts off their faces," he said.

About the author Carmen Nobel is a senior editor for HBS Working Knowledge.

 
 
   Kanpur is the tenth most populous city in India and the largest within the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the largest city in the Hindi-speaking belt after Delhi and remains one of the oldest industrial townships of North India.

We are here for an appointement at Sharmik Bhrati.
Picture

Shramik Bharti is Kanpur based NGO which work’s with both rural and urban communities. The areas where Shramik Bharti works is a plethora of diversity where on one end they work with communities living in urban slums of Kanpur, On the other end of the spectrum they work with communities in rural areas of Kanpur which is characterized with large tracts of saline lands, ravine areas and also highly inaccessible pockets with extreme poverty.

We demoed Mifos to Shrikanth (Shramik bharti MIS manager). They are currently using a standalone MIS developed by a local Vendor, we migrated some data from their old MIS into Mifos and showcased how the data was better organized in Mifos, the kind of reports available and how easy it is to search/find relevant data in Mifos
Picture
Vinay (Conflux team) & Shrikanth (Shramik Bharati, MIS manager)
Tommorow we are planning to Demo Mifos at Rajiv Gandhi Self help Group .. lets see what happens 
 
 
Picture
We started detailed training and mapping the MFI's operations in Mifos











Mifos training at Shakti Foundation

The next task at hand was entering old Data into Mifos(around 8 months data)


Picture
Archanji (maintains to maintain client/group and center details along with the cash book) , Dilishan (loan officer) and Suchit (SF's data entry operator ) along with Vinay (QA Engineer from Conflux technologies) started manually maving the data into Mifos 

They entered around two months of data in a single day!

Once data entry was done, we trained them on taking database backup's and using Dropbox for storing the copies across multiple devices...
Picture
Dilip Sevarthi and Vinay
Picture
Dilip Sevarthi's Office (Seva Hut)
 
 

@Shakti Foundation

Picture
  • We gather at SF head office for demoing Mifos
  • Dilip Sevarthi, who leads SF, gives details about their operations
  • SF snapshot: Grameen methodology, operating from the last 8months, 38 JLGs of 5 members each.

Picture
  • Nayan talks about "what is information"
  • Why information is critical ?
  • How to capture information and make it easily accessible ?
  • How Mifos solves the above problems
  • How do you take decisions based on said information ?
  • Discussion on Mifos' Reporting system.

Picture

At the end of presentation, we had a QA session.

Some of the questions/feedback we got
  • The software looks as though it is made for our MFI's operational Model
  • How do we handle any mistakes we make?
  • Shah Alam from SEED Federation was present, he wanted to implement Mifos at SEED Fedration.
  • Dilip Sevarthi also runs SHG's in Shikobad, he wanted to use Mifos at the SHG's too.



At the end, we got requests for deploying Mifos @Shakti Foundation, SEED Federation and Mahila Swayam Sahayak Sangh (SHG) 


But the challenge was that in 3 days we needed to train three Institutes, Configure Mifos for each institute and also make sure they feed all their old data into Mifos. Also, they wanted to see how their data is shown in the reports, a couple of them also want custom reports in a day or two.

read our next blog to find out what happened next....