The Power of Community—Improving Sync 2.0 After Its Release
Author: Zuzanna Perkowska
Earlier this year, we shared our work on OpenMRS Sync 2.0. Here is an update on our continued work!
OpenMRS is a patient-centric medical record application that documents the details of interactions between health care providers and patients. The software gathers a patient’s treatment details into a single patient chart. The Sync 2.0 module improves the synchronization of data by providing a way for health workers to manually sync their data at a central office. As a long-time contributor to the OpenMRS community, SolDevelo saw the importance of these features. We began developing Sync 2.0 as a pro bono effort before pursuing funding through Digital Square. SolDevelo worked as the main coders on this software module.
“Software is never finished, only abandoned.” — John Saddington
Even after Sync 2.0 was released publicly, there was plenty of work left to do. Nothing shows the need for new features like users testing the software in real-life situations, where users often uncover unexpected errors and bugs. This illustrates why having a good community is so important for open source projects. When users detect bugs, people from around the world can offer help to fix these issues. This community helps us ensure that the software will continue to improve.
SolDevelo brought together developers to fix bugs discovered during the Sync 2.0 release. The community sourced problems and created tasks in GitHub to repair them. Ten developers from Uganda are currently working over the next two months with the mission of improving this project. They have already submitted tasks for review, which is the last step before publishing for all Sync 2.0 users. Altogether, the backlog has more than a hundred reported issues, so there is still plenty to do. We can’t wait to see how their hard work will improve the Sync project.
OpenMRS is not just software. OpenMRS is also a community—developers, implementers, and users working together toward one goal: saving lives and helping people that live in low-resource communities. The OpenMRS community is constantly growing, and everybody who wants to help can join.
Using an open forum called “Talk,” coders are working on new features and bug fixes for Sync 2.0. On this forum, everyone can see the work being done and help with the outstanding tasks. The community helps everyone see the importance of this work and how OpenMRS and Sync 2.0 improves health services for people around the world.
SolDevelo has been working with OpenMRS since 2013, and we’re proud to see where OpenMRS is today. Our team has been working on the Sync 2.0 module for several months, getting it ready for use. SolDevelo supports this community through knowledge, skills, and experience with this specific software. We are constantly impressed by their initiative and would love to see the OpenMRS community continue to grow and thrive.
If you are interested in getting involved, visit the OpenMRS page and start a conversation with the community. Together, we can do many great things!