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Vision & Purpose

The idea behind Kardia is simple: to create and encourage collaboration between missions-minded people to provide software that will serve the administrative needs of many types of non-profit organizations. We believe that the open source development model can help provide an environment that encourages open collaboration and sharing of development resources between missions organizations. Kardia is the first offspring of this idea (with the development of The Christian Open Development Network soon to follow).

Project Origins

During ICCM 2001, about fifty or sixty people got together and discussed the current state of administrative software in missions. The general consensus was that the best solution had only provided perhaps 75% of the desired functionality, and the resources poured into these types of projects were enormous. The smaller missions organizations cannot even afford to make this type of attempt. We asked, "What can be done about this?" Learning from past endeavors, we decided to start a project called Kardia which would be a place to pool our resources and create something that can work for all of us.

One of the biggest requirements was that this be built upon open standards and completely free software. What we learned from history is that basing a large project like this upon proprietary software generally is not a good idea. We heard many stories of projects that were eventually canceled because an underlying technology provider went out of business or started charging enormous amounts of money for their software upgrades. We vowed to not let this happen.

Fall and winter of 2001 were spent trying to orient ourselves with this project. The name Kardia was selected by vote, and means "Heart" in Greek (other names that were considered included Oigo, meaning "to open", and OpenPetra, reflecting Operation Mobilization's significant contribution from their Petra system -- Kardia is in some ways an open-source rewrite of Petra, and additionally is based on research and analysis from many different missions organizations). A lot of prayer was poured into it, and things started working out. During a missions conference at Taylor University, Tim Young and Greg Beeley of LightSys talked with several professors and started a class for the spring semester to study the open source development model, and using Kardia as a case study. This class helped lay the groundwork for the project and the students have been very instrumental in getting Kardia up off the ground.

One year after the idea was formed, a working demo was created on the open-source Centrallix app platform, a Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform that was one of the first to utilize AJAX techniques, and which provides a Declarative Domain-Specific Language (DDSL) environment. This demo was presented at ICCM 2002 in Upland, Indiana at Taylor University, where it placed First in the ICCM "Technology for Missions" contest.

Initial Pilot Implementation

In October of 2006, work began to replace Action International Ministries' donation and payroll management system. During 2008, LightSys interfaced Kardia with ACTION's legacy system, and both systems began to run side-by-side. In January 2009, ACTION's office moved to Kardia from the legacy system, with a complete conversion of all administrative functions to Kardia by September 2010.

The goal of Kardia is to inexpensively ease office operation managment in missions organizations, and to package Kardia such that it robustly meets the needs to missions organizations, and to be easily distributed and adopted.

Kardia is open to additional developers who are interested in making a positive impact in missions through software.



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