ChurchInfo is Ten Years Old!
I just noticed that this project was registered on SourceForge ten years ago!
It certainly has been a fun ride, getting to know people from all over the world with the common goal of caring for our churches. We are serving churches of every denomination I ever heard of. If you Google "free church database" we have been one of the first results almost from the very beginning. Almost every day I get emails from people asking, "How much does it cost?" or "Is this software really free?". I always enjoy answering "nothing" and "yes!".
It is impossible to know how many churches are using ChurchInfo, but here are a few numbers:
The latest version 1.2.13 has been downloaded 15,320 times.
162 churches have registered their installations.
1050 discussions have been registered on the SourceForge forums.
24 developers have participated in developing the code for this project. Most developers participate for a while to contribute features that are particularly useful to their own churches.
The great thing about a pure volunteer project is that we don't have to worry about money at all. We can't go bankrupt. We speed up when more developers participate and slow down when they finish their tasks and move on.
This seems like a great time to thank the developers and all the churches that have inspired us. I'm looking forward to the next ten years!
ChurchInfo Team Leader
World's Smallest ChurchInfo Server
ChurchInfo user and contributor Robert Bennet has built an image for Rasberry Pi that includes everything required to run a ChurchInfo server. This tiny server is inexpensive, uses hardly any power, and can be set up fairly quickly. The basic steps are to transfer the image to a flash card, log into the new system via ssh, and tell it to expand the file system to use the whole flash card. For a dedicated server in the church office this may be all that is required. If the system will be exposed to unfamiliar networks or users the default passwords should be changed.
Here is a link to the documentation: churchinfo-pi.pdf
Here is a more recent document: CIPiReadme.pdf
ECHO Service Transition
Intuit has given notice that the ECHO electronic transaction processing services will be terminated soon. This is a shame, but also an opportunity to upgrade! There will be a new release of ChurchInfo replacing the ECHO service with a similar service from Authorize.net. This version should be available in time to transition before the ECHO service is discontinued. Please contact your bank and see if they offer merchant services through Authorize.net. If so, you should be able to complete an application and activate merchant services through your own bank. If you cannot use your own bank you can still transition to a new back-end service through Intuit. If you have any questions please use the Contact Us button to send a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Read Before Downloading
ChurchInfo is a web server application, which is nice because you can use it from anywhere with a browser but it isn't your typical download/install application. If you just want to run stand-alone on a PC please read the article below "Simple Installation on Windows". You can get the server infrastructure from xampp and then browse to localhost. The general instructions for installing on any server are in the distribution file Documentation/Readme.txt. There is a shared demo running on our web site; see article below "Try our demo". You can also register for a private demo that will run for a few weeks. See the article below "Private Demos Now Available". Your experience running a demo on our web site will be exactly the same as running your own installation. If you have any trouble with the shared demo, or a private demo, please use the "Contact Us" link above and tell us what happened. We can normally fix issues with the demos the same day.
If you want to use a commercial server please do not use GoDaddy. Their servers seem to be overwhelmed and trying to use the admin interface is terribly frustrating.
This is a very quick demonstration video showing operation of our demo installation. You can use the demo any time starting from the link near the bottom of this page. If the shared demo gets too messed up please send me a message and I will reset it.
Financial Features Video
A lot of people have been watching the quick introduction video so I decided to make another one focusing on the deposit slip. I get a lot of questions about the financial features of ChurchInfo and this video answers many of the most common questions. If you would like to see more videos for other subjects please use the contact link to send me email.
These two videos take you through the entire process of installing on a commercial server.
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