SourceTap CRM review

Technical Overview
  • Webbased
  • J2REE application, should run nicely on Apache's Tomcat (and other, commercial environments)
  • Comes with built-in database (hSQL), but can use MySQL and PostgreSQL (and other, commercial databases)

License

SourceTap is dual licensed, so I guess there are some commercial spinoffs of this project. I was, however, unable to find links to those project on the homepage (didn't look further). Since we're only users and not developing some commercial product, I can use the GPL, which makes this product Open Source.

Interface

The interface is cleanish, but far from perfect. Some pages are very stuffed with information, which can make it hard to judge where to look exactly. I reckon this will improve if you use the product for a while, since by then you'll know where to look. The product is massive, lots of options and features. Not quite sure if I like all of those options, though. Although theoretically it improves flexibility, it makes the product a lot more complicated.

The thing that bugs me the most is that some screens make me scroll horizontally, which is absolutely hate. The "Leads" page does that, and the "Accounts" page and some others. I'm not on a 1600x1200 resolution, but 1024x768 should be enough to view all pages nicely. In my opinion, this is bad website design. Since it's Open Source, we could improve this, but it would require lots of work.

Each screen is, well, full. I don't think you can cram any more information and input boxes on the real estate that is my screen. Could be handy for other people, but I don't really like it.

The menu is nicely made, but has too many options. I think somelike like "Most Used Items" would be a large improvement.

Workflow

SourceTap's workflow is quite intensive. I'm not sure if that's good for our way of working. Yes, we need to record everything, but the interface (I'm really annoyed by the interface, it seems) is so full, it can be a pain to work with the system. I remember I had the same gripe with PHProject, which I looked at about two years ago. It's not that it doesn't look nice, but if you need to work with it often, you want something easy and quick. The GMail and Hula come to mind.

So the workflow looks okay, in first glance, but very pervasive in our every day work. I think we'd prefer something easier and simpler.

Functionality

I can't find any "Customer Overview" screen. Well, I can find it, but not in the way I like it to be. I'm not interested in how much annual revenue my customer makes. Or their stock symbol. At least not when they call me with their problems. This isn't automation, this is a electronic version of an addressbook. Doesn't do what I want.

Conclusion

No. Not an option. For us at least. I have to admit, I only really looked at it for 15 minutes. But it doesn't feel good. Since it's Java it would be easy to extend, but I don't feel up to it. The program looks a bit amateurish. Not something I would deply at a customer's site. Or at our own. Let's move on.

Comments

Comments powered by Disqus