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Introduction to Sugar CRM



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Name: Anna C
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SugarCRM and Salesforce.com consultant with 18+ years of IT experience. Salesforce.com/SugarCRM Full cycle projects delivery services: • Business Process Consulting • System Configurations • Sy... [More]
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Add Date: 04/27/2012
SugarCRM is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform which is designed to manage sales, marketing and support. Sugar is open-source, web-based CRM solution and completely customizable and flexible. It can run in the cloud or on-site. You can modify the source code. Sugar can be hosted at Sugar, at any 3rdparty of your choice, or on your own servers without having any vendor locking. You can use your own datacenter and it is not mandatory to use SugarCRM data centers.
SugarCRM is open source CRM software which means the underlying source code is available to programmer- and developer-types who want to totally transform the software. More clear explanation of this would be as follows:

•Free redistribution: Open Source software is free; as in, it doesn’t cost you anything. •Includes the source code: Users have opportunity to change the software based on their needs. •Derived works: Once downloaded, you can share the software legally with any of your friends, neighbours, and relatives. •License must not restrict other software: There are no hidden charges. Users can use this software along with other applications. •License must be technology-neutral: It will work on virtually any operating system.

•Sugar Professional
• Sugar Corporate
• Sugar Enterprise
• Sugar Ultimate

Each edition includes: • On-premise or cloud deployment
• Scheduled data backups
• Social media integration
• Mobile device accessibility

SugarCRM application will provide value in following ways: •Generate Higher ROI on Marketing Activities
•Increase the Productivity of Your Sales Force
•Create a Consistent Customer Experience
•Provide Better Visibility Across the Business
•Improve Communication and Information Sharing
•Create Powerful Business Processes Easily
SugarCRM requires PHP, a webserver and a database. It also provides fastStack installer for windows, Linux and Mac Operating systems. It installs PHP, Apache web server, MySQL along with Sugar Community edition. It will also create database on your machine and load the dummy data which will help to analyze the software.
SugarForge.org is the community site which provides access to developer community, blogs etc. SugarExchange.com is the SugarCRM market place which provides access to various applications for SugarCRM available free of cost or available at charges. SugarExchange.com provides more than 5,000 integrations with other applications which is much higher than any other CRM system.
Advantages of Sugar CRM – Apart from the open source benefits, advantages of SugarCRM are as follows:
• Customization - The ability to customize SugarCRM to fit your specific business requirements is unlimited. It does allow creating your own modules and integrating with the existing software.
• Integration - : SugarCRM integrates with your business applications. It provides various SOAP based API which help to integrate with your business applications. Since SugarCRM is open source hence it allows easy integration with other applications has no limitations to the number of custom modules and work flow.
• Flexibility - Unlike few other CRM systems it allows reporting on all fields hence providing flexibility to users.
• Social CRM - SugarCRM provides built-in integration with facebook, twitter, Google Apps, LinkedIn, Webex, Go to Meeting and Lotus Live.
• Mobile - Sugar Professional comes with Free Mobile (for both looking up data and entering data).
• Database - Unlike some of other CRM, SugarCRM provides you with a full relational database backup anytime you want.

Users who want to customize SugarCRM or write new modules for their specific needs are expected to have basic programming and software development experience. They should be familiar with PHP programming language and SQL.
The Sugar application code is modular with secure entry points into the application (e.g. index.php or soap.php). A module encompasses definitions for the data schema, user interface, and application functionality. All modules, core or custom, must exist in the /modules/ folder. A Sugar Module consists of the following files:
• A Vardefs file that specifies the Sugar metadata for the database table, fields, data types, and relationships.
• A SugarBean file that implements the functionality to create, retrieve, update, and delete objects in Sugar. SugarBean is the base class for all business objects in Sugar. Each module implements this base class with additional properties and methods specific to that module.
• Metadata files that define the contents and layout of the Sugar screens.
• ListView: lists existing records in the module.
• Detail View: displays record details.
• EditView: allows user to edit the record.
• SubPanels: displays the module's relationship with other Sugar modules.

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