SugarCRM Review

Technical Overview
  • Webbased
  • PHP, which runs great on our servers
  • MySQL support

License

Like SourceTap, this product is dual licensed. The company offers several products that are extensions or appliances based on the SugarCRM suite. They say they have an Open Source version, but the license (called SPL) is modelled after the MPL, with one major addition:

This License does not grant any rights to use the trademarks "SugarCRM" and the "SugarCRM" logos even if such marks are included in the Original Code or Modifications. However, in addition to the other notice obligations, all copies of the Covered Code in Executable and Source Code form distributed must, as a form of attribution of the original author, include on each user interface screen (i) the "Powered by SugarCRM" logo and (ii) the copyright notice in the same form as the latest version of the Covered Code distributed by SugarCRM, Inc. at the time of distribution of such copy. In addition, the "Powered by SugarCRM" logo must be visible to all users and be located at the very bottom center of each user interface screen. Notwithstanding the above, the dimensions of the "Powered By SugarCRM" logo must be at least 106 x 23 pixels. When users click on the "Powered by SugarCRM" logo it must direct them back to http://www.sugarforge.org. In addition, the copyright notice must remain visible to all users at all times at the bottom of the user interface screen. When users click on the copyright notice, it must direct them back to http://www.sugarcrm.com

This addition makes the whole license not Open Source imho. I'll still take a look at it, though. But I added vTiger to my list of "CRMs to look at".

Interface

I like the interface much better than the interface from the previous product I look at. Even though it's still very busy, it's better organised and I no longer need to scroll horizontally (although I do still get the horizontal scrollbar at several pages, but only the edges seem to fall of the visible real estate). The menu's are clean and simple, only contain the items that need to be in there and are worded very clearly.

The default theme is quite plain, but not bad looking. There are some opportunities left behind though, especially if they would start using AJAX.

Workflow

The workflow is very open. There are no really specified paths to follow, although if you wouldn't make some rules about the usage, things could get messy pretty soon. Also, the CRM seems constructed for a programming company, since it includes Bug Tracking. It feels made for programmers, too, but that could be my imagination (it's late, after all).

They allow for a lot of non-concrete data though (% of chance that an opportunity will work out, for example). First thing I'd change is do away with those 'gut-feelings'. I'm not saying they're not important, but they should be noted in the textfield, if you feel like supplying them. Nothing's more of a turn-off than seeing lots of empty fields. And they will be empty, because hardly anyone will feel the need to actually fill those in. When you do, it seems like you can forcast my magical means or something. Not happy with that.

Functionality

Customer overview looks fine. It seems to be able to classify and archive emails, which would be a nice feature. I do hope it's something automated that reads IMAP folders or something. There seems to be a lot of possibilities to interface with other programs, but I'm not sure if these possibilities are provided for. It would mean a lot of work.

Overall I'm quite okay with the functionality.

Conclusion

Not an option, because it's not Open Source. Looks okay, though. I'm not heavily impressed by it, I must say.

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