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Octopus Microfinance Software OctopusLogo Stable release 2.10 / October 2010; 6 months ago (2010-10) Written in C# Operating system Windows Type Microfinance License LGPL Website Octopus Microfinance Software is an open source (LGPL) microfinance IT software. This software is available to the community of microfinance_institution. Contents 1 The project 2 History 3 Methodology Approach 4 Used technologies 5 Screenshots gallery 6 References 7 External links The project The aim of microcredit and thus of this project is to make the customers responsible for their small amount loans, to develop business entrepreneurship. Microcredit helps them become self-sufficient enough to ensure their project’s viability in the long run. Octopus is a Social Business that helps MFI to improve their efficiency and transparency through Open-Source. The objective is to make available as widely as possible a robust and intuitive MIS for Microfinance Institutions. History The OCTOPUS project started in 2005. OCTO Technology has participated to the creation of OXUS Development Network, ACTED’s subsidiary that specializes in micro finance projects in Central Asia. As the technical partner, OCTO Technology has undertaken the definition of Oxus’s IT systems : OCTOPUS. In 2006 this expert patronage gave birth to the first Open Source version of Octopus, freely available to [1]. In July 2007, Octopus announced their partnership with PlaNet Finance (French Microfinance leader) for distributing the software to small MFIs. In 2009, the community published its Manifesto : for the continuous improvement of Micro Finance Institutions through the use of Information Technologies. At the end of 2010, the software is used by 15 MFIs with regular use of technical support and 15 others self-sufficient MFIs. The software is updated every month (system releases), and the latest stable release has been downloaded 500 times in two months. The online help forum and the wiki are frequented by 500 users. In September 2010, OXUS managed a 12M$ portfolio in Central Asia with Octopus. Methodology Approach The analysis of organisational patterns, business processes and the existing system This approach helped in improving the communication between the headquarter and the field, focusing on the main characteristics of the processes and the architecture. Using short descriptions and pictures for patterns helped Oxus staff understand what was going on. The incremental creation of the information system A 10 person team is in charge of developing an integrated software aimed at optimizing day to day activity: clients, contracts, global accounting and risks. This software is available to the community of micro finance institutions. We keep on developing it to add new features and adapt it to the field specificities Octopus is developed with the [Agile method |Agile_software_development], based on [continuous improvement | Continuous_improvement]. A new release comes out every month. Used technologies OCTOPUS is mainly based on Microsoft .NET Framework technologies. SQL Server / SQL Server Express / MSDE database engine WinForms application written in C# Reports built with Crystal Reports Screenshots gallery Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2 Screenshot 3 Screenshot 4 References Swiss radio podcast talking about Octopus (in French) Oxus-Octopus corporate alliance Planet Finance distributes Octopus CGAP rating of Octopus Microfinance Software Paper in Indian Microfinance Business News External links Free software portal Octopus Main Website Download latest release on Sourceforge Octopus Jira Website (project management) Octopus Wiki Octopus Twitter account Octopus Facebook Group