DHIS version 2.14 is out. There are lots of new features this time, too:
- Events in GIS: You can now visualize events, or individual cases, on maps. This means that you can easily drill down from mapping of the aggregated data to the underlying cases. As an example, you can go from viewing percentage of delivery by skilled health worker in the country, to where those deliveries actually took place in a district. You can query for events from a particular program using any number of data elements or attributes, using both exact and partial matches.
Try it out on the demo - log in with admin/district - the event layer is the leftmost layer on the top menu, e.g. for the “inpatient morbidity/mortality” program.
- Data approval: A work-flow where data must be approved at each level of the organisational unit hierarchy is now supported. Data is approved per data set, time period and organisation unit. Data may be approved for the organisation unit for which it is entered, as well as for higher-level organisation units to which the data is aggregated. It can be approved for a higher-level organisation unit only after it has been approved for all that organisation unit’s children for the same data set and period. When a data set is approved, the form will be locked and any further data entry prohibited.
Data approval is configurable per data set, and can be set in the add/edit data set screen. It comes with two new authorities: “approve data” and “approve data at lower levels”. Data approval happens in data set report in reports module. When a data set report shows data that is configured for approval, it shows the approval status of the data in the report which will be one of “ready for approval”, “approved” or “waiting for lower level org units to approve”. The approval and un-approval buttons can be found below the actual data set report. Note that approval must happen for the data set collection period type / frequency.
Approval does not yet affect data analysis - we want your input on the requirements before building the next step. Try it out on the demo for the “ART monthly summary” and “Population” data sets.
- Data set categories: You can now link a data set to a category combination in order to capture information which is common to the entire data set. Typical use-cases are data capture for an implementing partner, funding mechanism or project. Categories and category combinations can now be of type “disaggregation”, representing the kind of categories used for data element disaggregation, or type “attribute”, representing the new categories for data sets.
By linking a category combination to a data set, those categories will be displayed as drop-down boxes in the data entry module. Data captured in the form will then be linked to the selected category options from those drop-down boxes. As an example, you can let users select a specific funding mechanism, a project or an implementing partner organisation, and then capture data in a form against that selection. Try it out on the demo by selecting the “ARV monthly summary” data set in data entry module.
- Dynamic person attributes only: All fixed attributes for persons have been removed and replaced with various new types of dynamic attributes, including age, phone number and associate. This avoids previous situations where the system required you to input gender, birth date and so on even if this information was not being collected for persons. The idea is also to improve the applicability of the tracker component and allow for tracking of all kinds of entities, including commodities, logistics, medicines, equipment, lab samples, boreholes, crops and students. We plan to further generalize the system for next release by replacing “person” with a more generic “tracked entity” and encourage you to be creative when considering new use-cases for tracker.
- Support for embedding pivot tables, charts and maps: By going to share > embed as plugin in any of the data visualization modules you can now get the code required to embed your analysis directly in a web page. This lets you build attractive web portals with live data visualized as pivot tables, charts and maps.
- Context menu: The menu system for performing actions on objects in lists has been much improved, and now appears as a nice contextual menu which clearly identifies the available operations. This relieves the user of the previous, confusing long row of similar-looking icons. Try it out on the demo by clicking on any row.
- Google Analytics support: You can now set up Google Analytics for your DHIS instance simply by entering the analytics key under settings > general settings > google analytics key. This will let you learn more about how people are using your system, like how many people are regularly logging into the system, utilizing the analysis modules, which favorites are most popular, what devices and browsers are being used, from where are people logging in and what is the average loading time for reports.
- Pivot table sorting: Pivot table now supports sorting by columns by clicking directly on the column labels, letting you sort ascending or descending on any column in the table. This enables you to quickly find the highest and lowest values for data elements, indicators and reporting rates. Note that sorting currently works with only one dimension as rows.
- Forced password change: The system can be configured to require users to change their password at regular intervals. From settings > access > Require user account password change you can choose between “3 months”, “6 months” and “12 months” intervals between each user is asked to update her password. This feature is optional and you can leave it on “never” to disable it.
- Interpretations can be edited and deleted by the person writing it. This allows you to modify or correct errors, or remove completely. You can click on the gear icon next to the interpretation or interpretation comment to edit.
- Detailed meta-data export: You can now create meta-data export files tailored to your needs. You can freely select from any type of meta-data, and select individual items from any number of object types. This is useful e.g. when you work on a staging server and want to move data sets, indicators and reports over to a production server. Try it out from services > import-export > meta-data detailed export.
- GIS has a new admin option for swapping longitude and latitude of points. This is useful when cleaning up wrongly entered coordinates - a typical source of error is users mixing them up.
Cache problem fix: The system is now using the revision number to retrieve fresh copies of static files on the web server. This will solve the frequent problems we see caused by outdated web browser caches when upgrading to new DHIS versions. The data entry module, which is entirely stored in the browser local storage, will ask for permission to update itself once a new version is available on the server and then download a fresh copy of all files.
The FRED module (Facility Registry API) has been improved and externalized as a Web App. You can get it from http://appstore.dhis2.org, and try it out on the demo by going to services > FRED UI.
- Lots of minor fixes to improve usability have been made: Allow for self-registration of users without captcha for intranet contexts. Files uploaded as resources can be flagged for download as attachment as well as rendered inline in browser. Group sets can be configured to be used or ignored as data dimensions. Organisation unit groups can be assigned directly to data sets, allowing for more flexible associations. Data sets can be associated with legend sets for automatic rendering in GIS and pivot table. Content which is stored in the browser’s local storage is separated by user, letting many people use the same computer to enter data without clearing cache. The smartphone mobile client now displays the current data set, period and organisation unit during data entry. Pivot table downloads supports the hide empty rows and show org unit hierarchy options. There have also been several fixes related to IE8.
For developers, it might be interesting to know that we are constantly rewriting the application to improve the Web API and use it for our own user interface modules. The pivot table, data visualizer and FRED modules have now been rewritten as Web apps, and the Web API has gotten several new resources: data values, data approval, plugins, translations and svg conversion. The meta-data resource supports deletion, and has a new option which speeds up minor imports. The event analytics resource supports coordinates.
You can download the new WAR file and Live package and get the source code and sample database from the web site here:
You will find documentation here:
We have made a web page for the highlights in 2.14 here:
Full overview of features and fixes here:
Enjoy the new features.
the DHIS 2 development team