The IATI Technical Team is currently working to review the large range of products it provides. This will ensure we are best able to provide the features and capabilities that are useful to publishers and users of IATI data. This review is being undertaken with an overarching long-term plan to migrate core IATI products to a new Architecture - as described in a separate post.
To help ensure core IATI products are useful to the widest possible audience, the Technical Team is making their product roadmaps public as it becomes reasonable to do so. It is desired that feedback from the wider community will provided and integrated into roadmaps as appropriate.
At present the IATI Technical Team maintains a large number of distinct products. To best ensure that the products provided are useful to a wide range of relevant persons, it is important to have information about the current, intended and future status of each product. This may involve creating new products, maintaining existing ones, or closing down products that are no longer useful.
As part of a wider series of projects, personas based on the various IATI user groups are to be developed. Once finalised, these will form the basis of ongoing roadmap and feature discussions. The short-term roadmap until the personas are developed is designed to provide a strong architectural foundation for a sustainable future.
This Google sheet contains the high-level IATI Technical Team product roadmap as of late-February 2017.
Product Roadmap Table
The Product description and Product purpose columns define what a product should do and why.
Technology Stack and Current Status define the current technical status of products
The Headline long-term development status column gives the summary of our plan for each product in the longer term - see below for more details.
The Long and Short-term development plans columns offer more detail on the intended future for products over varying timescales
Headline long-term development statuses
There are several states that a product may be in.
New product: There are plans to provide some new functionality that is not provided by the IATI Technical Team at present. In the roadmap this applies to:
- Python library
- Conversion Tools
Improve: The base functionality that exists is either useful in its current state, or there is a clear path to make it useful. It is likely that the improvements will be based around the new architecture. In the roadmap this applies to:
- Standard Single Source of Truth (SSOT)
- Datastore Query Tool
3rd party products: Some 3rd party products, such as a discussion forum, are used to provide IATI functionality. New versions of these products will be upgraded to as they become available. In the roadmap this applies to:
- Registry (CKAN)
- Community Forum (Discuss)
- IATI Support platform (Zendesk)
Maintenance only: No new features will be added, though if it breaks in some manner the Technical Team will endeavour to make it work again. In the roadmap this applies to:
- Data Tickets
- Publisher Guidance and Wizards
Close down: The end result will be that the product is shut down. For some products that contain written content, the copy will be migrated to the main IATI website before the product is closed. Where appropriate, clear timescales will be announced to ensure there are opportunities to migrate to utilising alternative products. In the roadmap this applies to:
- Preview Tool
- Aid Info Labs CSV Converter
- CSV2IATI Platform
- IATI Wiki
- Google Group
- Open Development Toolkit
Short-term plans are more concrete at this point in time than those longer-term. Up to the end of 2017 Q2, we plan to allocate time for:
Maintenance: All currently supported IATI products must keep working until they are closed or replaced.
Time-sensitive work: The IATI Technical Team is involved in a number of projects that are to be completed short-term. These include managing a upgrade to create v2.03 of the IATI Standard, and (independently-funded work) to add Grand Bargain monitoring on the IATI Dashboard.
Architecture design and development: Create a solid foundation for future development to build upon. This includes development of the initial stages of an IATI python library, which will offer functionality to deliver common IATI tasks (e.g. fetching and loading files, data validation, extracting data, etc). This library will be open-source and reusable by 3rd party tool builders and developers.
Validator development: This will be used to demonstrate that the aspects of a new architecture relating to SSOT representation and communication between services works. It will provide capabilities beyond that of the existing public validator, notably a public API.
Datastore development: Improvements to the official IATI Datastore are essential to better support data use. Specific use cases will begin to be scoped at the forthcoming TAG and we will then scope product options. Depending on results, this may include a thorough overhaul of the current Datastore, or formal adoption of a currently third-party product.
Ongoing Roadmap Development
Once a cast of user personas for IATI have been developed and validated, with the support UX consultants, a more thorough look at user needs and how to meet them through the provision of technical products will be undertaken. It is expected that this will occur towards the end of Q2 2017.
Feedback from the wider IATI community will also be utilised to help inform the direction of technical product roadmaps. We invite comment on these roadmaps in this thread as well as during the session at the forthcoming TAG.