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Google Summer of Code 2010 IDEAS


This is the ideas list of the Sahana (PHP) project for the Google Summer of Code, 2010.

We have been involved with GSoC in 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009. These involvements have been very effective in building both the project and the community, so we are looking forward to having another productive year as well…

Below are the tentative ideas of the project, but you are also encouraged to submit new ideas as well….these can be discussed on IRC or the Mailing List.

Student Guidelines

You can also check out the following to know how to get started with Sahana development from scratch.

Project Ideas

Sahana Logistics Ideas


Logistics module is a large module that includes lots of functionality. Building the entire project by one person is not practical. If independent sections of the module can be identified and developed separately it would be a good start for logistics.

For all these sections to work together when combined several guidelines will have to be followed. Adhering to a common database structure by everyone. Using a common API to access the data and functionality.

Logistics module sections

Item Catalogue Idea

Item Catalogue should be able to create the item catalogue for sahana(Logistics).

It will include a categorization of the various items. Each category can have either more sub categories or items. A item can be individual item or a composite item that is made up of multiple items of the same type or different item types.

Red cross item catalogue -

Catelogue Management

Item Catalogue should have a management functionality. CRUD new categories , CRUD sub categories under a parent category, CRUD items. CRUD of sub items under a parent item. ( the sub items too should be included as a record in the Item catalogue)

When adding items, a item that is not already in the catalogue should be added. This should be placed in the system as a temporary item, then a administrator should be notified about the new item catalogue record. If the admin verifies the new record, it will be added to the catalogue. if not added, a alternative record of the catalogue has to be selected.

Controller/widget plugin

Various other sections of logistics will need to access the item catalogue ( eg. add a new item into warehouse , add a item to a shipment ). For the aid catalogue to be accessible through other forms, a item catalogue controller that and be easily added to other forms is required. This controller could be like a jQuery plugin.

This should provide the following - ability to browse through the categories and find a item from catalogue. search for the item name and find items from catalogue. search for item category and find a item.

Logistics Site Functionality Idea

A logistics site can be a intake point ( airport , port , collection center ) , a warehouse , a camp or a shelter. Basically any entity tracked by sahana as a place where items are managed can be considered a site.

Storage Location - A site can have multiple locations where items are stored, these are called storage locations.

Site Management

CRUD of a site should be possible. Associating any sahana location entity ( organization, camp, shelter ) with a logistics site should be possible. CRUD of storage locations to a Site must be possible.

Items in Site

Various items can be stored at storage location of a site. This item could be a single inseparable item or a composite item

All the items stored in a Site should be retrievable , editable, deletable ( should audit what happened , why deleted). All the items in a storage location should be retrievable, editable, deletable and should be transferable to another storage location in the same site.

Item Shipping

A shipment to be sent to a different site has to be created from the items stored in a site. When creating a shipment, items to the shipment can be added by selecting the items in stock in the site. All the selected items are temporarily deducted from the site and placed in a temporary location till the shipment is completed. When the shipment is completed, the items are removed from the site and permanently stored in a location to be loaded in to transportation.

Shipment Receiving

A pre confirmed shipment can be added to a site with the hope of intaking it when the shipment arrives. The shipment details are either received from a different site or added manually from a document. When the shipment is received, each of the items are received into the site together with checks being made to verify if the shipment received is complete. If there are differences in the received shipment, the differences should be recorded ( damaged , lost ).

Logistics Shipment Functionality Idea

Vehicles used for logistics need to be registered in the system. These vehicles can be any type of a vehicle ( trucks, boats, cars, jeeps, helicopter, ship).

A vehicle should belong to a vehicle category. Each Vehicle could be assigned to a site as the vehicle's hub.

When a shipment is being loaded on to a vehicle a shipment is being marked to a state of being “shipped”. The Shipment can have various transit points while its being transported to the final destination. At the final destination, the shipment is intaken to the destination's site.

A vehicle could be shipping either one or multiple shipments in one trip. There can be a functionality to find the route that has to be followed to deliver the shipments. For each trip, a driver/responsible person can be assigned, he would be responsible about the items that are being shipped.

Item Shipping - reuse the above feature under the above idea

Shipment Receiving - reuse the above feature under the above idea

Item Functionality Idea

Item Kitting


Adjusting units of measure

Distribute item to recipient( organization or individual )

Record destroyed items

Record lost items

Record damaged items

NOTE - destroyed , lost , damaged should record all additional information that are required to determine at which point the items were destroyed, lost or damaged.

Reorder levels for items

Request stock low items

Country Customisation

by Gavin Treadgold

There are many aspects of Sahana that need to be customised to suit a specific country before Sahana can be effectively deployed. There is a need for a system that allows experienced Sahana administrators to customise and configure Sahana for a particular country. These setting and database entries then need to be saved and implemented in the administration section of Sahana to enable easy customisation of a Sahana server to suit a particular countries requirements. This may involve the creation of a configuration file that contains all database inserts (e.g. to create regions, set name preferences, forms of ID, preferred units, currency etc).

Additional thoughts by Glenn Pearson

Sahana “Central” might want to create its own large data repository, of pre-formatted, pre-vetted data (but in some cases automatically refreshed from sources), from which the new administrator could pick and choose using a wizard.

For example, for the Location Hierarchy and Country List, there could be a map-based interface to quickly select/prune geographic areas of interest from a “gazetteer” database. (Current, for Location Hierarchy you can define more levels to the hierarchy than you may need, and then hide levels above or/below those of interest when a disaster actually occurs. But there's no way to hide siblings on the fly, e.g., show country A but not country B.)

For more, see our discussion about some of our experiences in configuring and customizing Sahana content for a particular project, including coding standards and data sources.

Additional thoughts by Michale Howden

How about a master list of catalog items? That would be valuable, but very time consuming. Or suppliers? Regarding importing settings, I would say that csv files are a good way to go. They can be edited by a non-technical user.

Sahana Reporting Module

By Nishantha Pradeep Reporting is one of the essential component in most of the software systems but the SAHANA seems not to be armed with a good reporting mechanism. Although it has two reporting modules named as Reporting and Dynamic reporting, the functionality or the features of those modules are not up to the standard of enterprise level software.Therefore we expect to bring reporting capability of enterprise grade software systems to the SAHANA and hope that would be helpful for most of SAHANA users.

Proposing module should be capable of handling large databases (millions of records ) and should be efficient as well as user friendly. Besides it would be plus point for you if you could provide us information about what are the reports that you can generate and would the module can be extended for future needs.



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