By Tenly Snow, OpenLMIS Community Manager
Mar 2, 2017
The following post originally appeared on the OpenLMIS blog. PATH, USAID, Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities, JSI, ThoughtWorks and others first helped shape OpenLMIS and define its original code base (v.0.9) for deployments in Tanzania and Zambia in late 2013 under the name “eLMIS.” Today’s stable release is a re-architecture that improves end-to-end visibility within the supply chain with underlying architecture to support track and trace, and supports configurable features to manage a sub-national health supply chain. Key features include offline data entry while requisitioning stock and programming interfaces to improve interoperability. BID Initiative in Tanzania is already exchanging real-time facility data with the eLMIS, and is being designed for interoperability with this new release of OpenLMIS.
The release of OpenLMIS version 3 is truly something to celebrate – it is the result of an extraordinary collaboration of organizations and individuals around the world.
Teams from multiple countries contributed technical requirements, defined business processes, and wrote countless hours of code for the latest iteration of OpenLMIS, a powerful, enterprise class logistics management information system (LMIS).
The OpenLMIS Initiative’s mission is to make a high quality, powerful LMIS software available in low-resource environments – providing high-quality logistics management to improve health commodity distribution in low- and middle-income countries. OpenLMIS increases data visibility, helping supply chain managers identify and respond to commodity needs, particularly at health facilities where lack of data significantly impacts the availability of key medicines and vaccines.
Over the last year, software development teams led by VillageReach in the U.S. and SolDevelo in Poland completely redesigned the core software architecture of OpenLMIS, using a micro-service approach to create a more flexible and extensible architecture.
As of today, an initial set of services is now accessible under this new architecture, providing users a high degree of customization without changing the core code. Users can choose which features they want to “turn on” – and have the ability to further refine those features to meet their needs. As new modules are developed for particular country implementations, these modules will be available to other users, further emphasizing the key vision of the OpenLMIS Community – shared benefit, shared investment. OpenLMIS version 3 provides a way for users to contribute improvements back to the core, increasing the return on funders’ investments and encouraging collaboration between countries.
At SolDevelo, we are proud to have played a key role in establishing the new micro-service architecture. We are excited to see OpenLMIS version 3 released and ready to be deployed in the field to improve the work conditions of logistics and healthcare workers. We look forward to further serving the community through work on future releases and further improvement of OpenLMIS. – Pawel Gesek, Technical Project Manager, SolDevelo
The OpenLMIS Community has been highly active throughout the entire re-architecture process, and the release of OpenLMIS version 3 has made it stronger than ever before. From contributing to initial design considerations, prioritizing features and functionality, and assisting with user acceptance testing (UAT), the re-architecture could not have been completed without the invaluable participation and support of the Community. The OpenLMIS Initiative depends on its partners for guidance and assistance, and they continue to guide and strengthen the Initiative.
Having deployed OpenLMIS in three countries, JSI has experienced first-hand how dynamic the environment is. A more modular version with plug and play features will provide much needed flexibility to meet the evolving demands of tomorrow’s health supply chains. – Chris Wright, Practice Lead, Data Visibility & Use, JSI
The launch of version 3 also represents a renewed focus on community building. Streamlined community processes, transparent development and documentation, and information sharing between partners are the hallmarks of the OpenLMIS Initiative in 2017. An updated logo, refreshed website, and a new communications strategy will focus on expanding global awareness of OpenLMIS to increase opportunities for implementation.
From the earliest requirements gathering workshop conducted in 2008 to the launch of the OpenLMIS initiative in 2011, the first release of OpenLMIS in 2012, and the formation of the OpenLMIS Community in 2015, the OpenLMIS Initiative has continued to expand in scope and scale. With the support of major global health stakeholders like PATH, CHAI, and JSI, and new partners like BAO Systems and Chemonics, OpenLMIS has become a key player in the global health landscape.
OpenLMIS version 3 is the result of a bold undertaking by the Community to re-architect the way the software adapts to varying country contexts and needs. I’m excited to see its impact moving forward in future implementations, particularly in how a country can extend the system to fit their needs without sacrificing their ability to upgrade easily to future versions of the software. – Chris George, Principal Consultant, ThoughtWorks
OpenLMIS would not be where it is today without the support of all OpenLMIS partners and donors, and we are incredibly grateful for their continued guidance and participation in this growing initiative.
See the OpenLMIS 3.0 Release Notes for the full details of the release, and visit Features and Benefits on the newly updated openlmis.org for a full feature list. Please contact email@example.com to see a demo of OpenLMIS version 3.0.