Monday, November 16, 2015

Microsoft Open Tech and Mifos X

There being just over a month for Christmas, it's time to write about one of most rewarding Mifos X related projects, not only for SanJose Solutions but also the entire Mifos community. The second quarter of 2015 has proved to be a landmark time in our involvement in making Mifos X far more widespread and easier to install and setup as well as helping programmers and contributors to Mifos X get kick-started quickly. I recall an email I received from Paul Lor of AFSC, who had been trying, in vain to setup an instance of Mifos X on MS Azure. Like our earlier Mifos X Packaging Project last year, we agreed to nosedive into another adventure to reliably package Mifos X on multiple platforms. Like Paul, many people have been wanting to deploy Mifos X quickly and effectively but found themselves confronted with a lack of support for cloud instances, except Amazon AWS. The AWS instances were being manually updated after each release by Sangamesh Nadagoudar from Conflux Tech (fellow Mifos partner from Bengaluru).

Of the cloud service providers, Amazon has been the most popular and practical to get started with, whereas Microsoft with it's Azure offering is the tech giant's foray into the cloud space. The guys at MS Open Tech have been working on the Azure shell and ARM and to their credit, have provided the source code of the former on Github, which personally made it easier to persuade us to partner with them. I need to especially thank Ed Cable co-founder of Mifos Initative for his role in mediating and co-ordinating. And of course  Ross Gardler, Head of Microsoft Open Technologies and President of the Apache Software Foundation, who coordinated Microsoft funding in an effort which has changed the way Mifos X is deployed and in the future should even change the way it is developed.

Though my personal preference for the Desktop / Laptop and Server is and has been linux, many of the partners in India and Africa are known for their preference and comfort using MS Windows and so are many of the Government departments. From a business perspective, we at SanJose Solutions do understand the importance of these people and cloud is the big leveller today with interoperability being the mantra. By simplifying the Mifos installation process and the ease of install and deployment, we have seen a manifold growth in new partners and demand for Mifos services and customizations around the world.