January 13, 2021

Disciple.Tools Theme Version 1.0: Changes and New Features

Release Date Planned: 27th of January 2021.

We’ve made a few major changes to the theme and are happy to announce:

  • Contact Types: Personal Contacts, Access Contacts and Connection Contacts
  • UI Upgrades: Upgraded Lists and Records Pages
  • Modular Roles and Permissions
  • Enhanced Customization: New “modules” feature and the DMM and Access modules

Contact Types

Previously, certain roles such as the Admin were able to see all system contact records. This presented security, trust and management/workflow issues that needed to be navigated, especially as Disciple.Tools instances grew and added hundreds of users and thousands of contacts. For clarity we attempt to show each user only what they need to focus on. By implementing contact types, users have far more control over access to private information.

Personal contacts

To start, with personal contacts, users can create contacts that are only visible to them. The user is able to share the contact for collaboration, but is private by default. This lets multipliers track their oikos ( friends, family and acquaintances ) without worrying about who can see the details.

Access contacts

This contact type should be used for contacts that come from an access strategy like a web page, Facebook page, sports camp, English club, etc. By default, collaborative follow-up of these contacts is expected. Certain roles like the Digital Responder or the Dispatcher have permission and responsibility for fielding these leads and driving towards next steps that would lead to handing the contact off to a Multiplier. This contact type most resembles former standard contacts.

Connection contacts

The Connection contact type can be used to accommodate for movement growth. As users progress toward a movement more contacts will be created in connection to that progress.

This can contact type can be thought of as a placeholder or soft contact. Often the details for these contacts will be extremely limited and the user’s relationship to the contact will be more distant.

Example: If a Multiplier is responsible for Contact A and Contact A baptizes their friend, Contact B, then the Multiplier will want to record this progress. When a user needs to add a contact simply to represent something like a group member or baptism, a connection contact can be created.

The Multiplier is able to view and update this contact, but does not have an implied responsibility that compares to the responsibility of access contacts. This lets the Multiplier record progress and activity without overwhelming their working list, reminders and notifications.

While Disciple.Tools has developed as a solid tool for collaborative access initiatives, the vision continues that it will be an extraordinary movement tool that will aid users in every phase of Disciple Making Movements (DMM). Connection contacts is a push in this direction.

Where do contact types show up?

  • On the list page, you now have additional filters available to help differentiate focus on your personal, access and connection contacts.
  • When creating a new contact, you will be asked to choose a contact type before continuing.
  • On the contact record, different fields will be shown and different workflows enacted depending on the contact type.

UI upgrades

List Pages

  • Choose which fields will show up on your contacts and groups lists.
    • The Admin can set up system defaults with greater flexibility
    • Users can tweak or change defaults to meet their unique preference or need
  • Bulk Edit feature to update many contact at the same time.
  • Drag field columns to rearrange them on list pages.
  • Filter for recently viewed records
  • More capable list querying API (for developers).

Record Pages

  • Customize Create New Contact and Create New Group entry pages.
  • All the tiles are now modular. Add fields to any tile you want, even the Details tile.
  • Condensed display of record details.
  • Specific fields show for each contact type.
  • Delete a record you have personally created.
  • Better way to add tiles(for developers).

Modular Roles and Permissions

  • Add new roles with permissions that fit specific needs.
  • Create a role and give that role access to certain permissions, tags, sources or anything you want.
  • This is a stepping stone to adding greater team functionality within Disciple.Tools

See roles documentation (for developers)

Enhanced Customization

New “modules” feature

Modules extend the functionality of types of records like Contacts or Groups. A module resembles what can be done through a plugin. The big difference is that modules can be added to a Disciple.Tools system while allowing each instance Admin to enable/disable the modules they want or need. The core theme and plugins can now package multiple modules. A developer is still needed to create a module, but once created, control of its use can be distributed to the Admin of each site.

A module can be used to add/modify:

  • Fields on records
  • List filters
  • Workflows
  • Roles & Permissions
  • Other functionality

New DMM and Access modules

With the v1.0 release, the Disciple.Tools theme has added 2 main modules by default.

The DMM module adds fields, filters and workflows that pertain to: coaching, faith milestones, baptism date, baptisms etc. These are fields needed for anyone pursuing a DMM.

The Access module focuses more on collaborative contact followup and come with fields like the seeker path, assigned_to and subassigned fields and update needed functionality. It also adds a follow-up tab to the filters on the contact list page.

See modules documentation (for developers)

Code Development

See list of code changes: here

October 7, 2020

Community Plug-in: Data Reporting by cairocoder01

This Disciple.Tools Data Reporting plugin assists in exporting data to an external data reporting source, such as cloud providers like Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure. Currently, only available for Azure with more to come as need arises.

The plugin allows you to manually download your data in CSV and JSON (newline delimited) formats. However, its primary intended use is for automating data export directly to your chosen cloud provider.  By default, the plugin can export data in JSON format to a webhook URL for you to process in any way that you need. Additional plugins could accommodate  other data provider types for sending data directly to your data store using the APIs or SDKs that are available for them. 

Currently, only contact records and contact activity data can be exported, but the same export functionality for groups and group activity data will be coming in upcoming releases.

Multiple exports can be created on a single instance of Disciple.Tools so you can export to multiple data stores if you partner with others who would like reporting data available to them.

Download latest release: https://github.com/cairocoder01/disciple-tools-data-reporting/releases/latest


  • Contact / Contact Activity export
  • Preview of data to be exported
  • Data download (CSV, JSON)
  • Automated nightly export
  • Integration with your cloud storage of choice
  • Multiple export configurations per site
  • Externally-created export configurations created by other plugins

Upcoming Features:

  • Group / Group Activity export
  • Configure selection of fields to be exported
  • Documentation for setting up your own cloud reporting environment

September 15, 2020

Theme Release: v0.32.0

  • Contact Duplicate Checker and Merging Upgrade
  • List Filter fixes
  • Allow typing Arabic or Persian numbers and dates into Date fields by @micahmills
  • Site link tweaks for IP filtering
  • Comments: show dates with time and hover
  • Group Tags @micahmills @mikeallbutt
  • Dev: add filter for assignable users
  • Fix update needed triggering early
  • Custom fields: dropdown UI has a default empty value.
  • Change the last_modified field to be a date type.
  • Languages: Slovenian and Serbian
  • Fixes


September 1, 2020

New Website Launch

Celebrate with us the launch of Disciple.Tools as an enhanced community resource. Learn WHY we exist and HOW we work and quickly access information about the most frequently asked questions.