Documentation

Extending the platform

AbleOrganizer can easily be extended to handle other kinds of outreach and advocacy activities.

AbleOrganizer is open source software. You are free to modify the code and distribute it under the terms of the GPL. Using this platform, you are never locked in with a specific vendor and can feel free to enhance it yourself. There are also a large number of technology partners who can work with you to extend it to work the way you want. When you do enhance the system, you are free to share your work with other members of the community of users.

This gives you some interesting ways to think about the platform and how it can fit into your own strategies for outreach and engagement. While this platform can certainly act as a website, it can also be used as a system that implements your own organizing methodology. The contact and activity tracking features, along with the tools for reports and form building, provide a simple platform that can be used to create new and unique forms of engagement. Simply set up the proper activity types, build forms to collect information, and then you can create reports within the system to visualize the results.

For more sophisticated applications, the features that ship with AbleOrganizer can be used as models for how to craft your own. The donation, event, petition and volunteer features are examples of best practices for how to work with the underlying Drupal platform, which are built to integrate with other tools such as Drupal Commerce, rules, tokens, and other modules. Feel free to explore the code to find ways for creating new report widgets, views bulk operations, sending e-mail, and the like.

Customizing the platform

AbleOrganizer is designed to be customized. You can control the appearance of contacts, activities, reports, and other entities within the system using a mix of web-based administrative tools and custom code. 

The platform includes a number of tools that can be used to customize contact records, activities, reports, and even to create your own branded installations. There are some things to consider when customizing the system.

  • Customizing reports: All of the reports that ship with the platform can be customized to your liking. This article explains how to work with the basic tools for modifying reports and creating new ones.
  • Tracking offline activity: AbleOrganizer was designed so it can act as a comprehensive system for managing the operations of organizations. Learn how to put tools in place for tracking offline activity. 

Extending the platform

You can also extend the platform to do new and interesting things, within a standalone site or even as part of your own customized distribution. There are a few best practices associated with extending AbleOrganizer you should be aware of.

  • Creating your own features: A good feature can work on any AbleOrganizer site. Here are some ways to ensure your features will not conflict with others being used in the platform.
  • Creating custom matching engines: Matching engines are used to identify duplicate contacts in the system. They can also modify contact records when they are being matched. This article explains how to build your own.
  • Creating report widgets: A good report widget is easy to build, a great one can be more challenging. Here are some tips for how to build great ones. 
  • Creating your own branded installation: You can use this platform as a building block for creating your own customized distribution. Here are some tips for how to achieve that.