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November 10, 2008

SugarCRM Offers Gmail Tracking Options with DolceGmail

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Industry observer Edward J Correia wrote a nice piece recently on SugarCRM (News - Alert), specifically on the ability to track Gmail messages about specific features and bugs from within your defect tracking system. You can do that “if you’re using the open-source SugarCRM,” he writes, “thanks to a team of Italian developers that launched DolceGmail.”
 
The new plug-in for Firefox, Correia writes, links Google’s (News - Alert) browser-based e-mail system with SugarCRM, “allowing users to add contacts, e-mail messages and attachments from Gmail directly to their SugarCRM system.”

“SugarCRM is a business application framework with a CRM app on top,” Clint Oram, vice president and co-founder of SugarCRM told Correia. “We have tools for building new modules on top, and you might not even use the CRM aspect. Customers can build new objects specific to their business.”

Oram told Correia the system is most commonly used for keeping track of bugs and feature requests, but can be used in lots of other ways. “Let’s say they need to do asset management...you have hardware you keep track of in Excel and have trouble tickets for those assets,” he said. Such a system could be built on Sugar in about a day, Correia says Oram claimed.
 
DolceGmail, the article says, was built by developers at OpenLiven, a small IT services and development company in Italy that tracks customer contact using SugarCRM. “OpenLiven had lots of customers using Gmail, so they built a plug-in connecting Firefox and Gmail APIs to ours,” said Oram. “Now they can keep track of all e-mails from specific customers and relating to specific projects.”
 
Correia notes the project was named “Project of the Month” by SugarCRM.

In August, TMC reported that SugarCRM had announced the general availability of Sugar 5.1, which included new reporting and wireless capabilities for SugarCRM.
 
The reporting and analytics engine provides SugarCRM users with "improved insight into sales effectiveness and customer behavior," company officials said, adding that the "revamped wireless capabilities" allows SugarCRM to be used on mobile phones, including support for the BlackBerry and iPhone (News - Alert) smartphones.  
 
SugarCRM's commercial open source model invites the download and inspection of source code by users, developers, customers and partners, on the theory that this produces a higher quality product than possible in proprietary development models.
 
SugarCRM is available in several editions ranging from the free Community edition to an Enterprise edition costing $480 per user per year. Correia notes that the English-language plug-in is written in JavaScript, licensed under the Mozilla Public License 1.1, and works with SugarCRM Community, Professional and Enterprise editions versions 4.5.1, 5.0 and 5.1.
 
For more, be sure to check out the Open Source CRM channel on TMCnet.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi



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