It's all gone quiet over there

I haven't been blogging much recently. I kind of fell out of love with it for a while, and realised I was putting myself under too much pressure to produce stuff. While I have a few readers, I decided it's not worth the effort forcing myself to write stuff, just to keep my blog popular. So I've been kicking back, going to bed early, leaving the computer at work, doing nothing in the evening, watching more DVDs. Plus I was off work for a couple of days with a cold, which took me out of it for a while. That's why it's been a bit quiet round here.

But I'm back in the saddle now, rewriting my PHP course and reviewing open source CRMs for the OpenAdvantage website (SugarCRM has been occupying me for most of the last week: it's a beast [how bloody hard is it to setup email campaigns?!], but I figured it was worth indulging the time, as people keep ringing me up about CRMs - it's this year's CMS). I spent a couple of days just writing a glossary of CRM terms to get my head around it (which will be part of my review eventually). Any suggestions for open source CRMs I should consider for my review, put 'em in the comments. Here's my current short list (NB some of these aren't CRMs, or just have CRM bits, but I thought alternatives for contact and project management might be handy too):

  • SugarCRM (the daddy)
  • activeCollab
  • EGS
  • Centric
  • Queplix
  • CiviCRM
  • CentraView
  • hipergate
  • vtiger (is this anything other than a SugarCRM clone?)
  • Daffodil
  • OpenCRX
  • Cream
  • Ofbproject
  • Compiere (vast, looks nasty)
  • Ohioedge
  • OpenERP
  • OpenTAPS
  • xanders:one

Some of these aren't even open source (probably) and some will get dismissed flippantly out of hand (I haven't got time to go in-depth on all of them), but there you go.

Next week sees me visiting the House of Commons for the launch of the National Open Centre project (yes, it's a Drupal site). Funding is still being sorted out, but we're hopeful it will come off. The launch "party" will be the official start of the project (without funding, but we're going ahead anyway). I'm still working full time at OpenAdvantage, and it will be interesting to see how (if) we morph into the NOC, and what my duties will be then. Like OpenAdvantage, it's tricky to predict until you get into it, but I'm sure it will be interesting: open source and open standards, but at a policy level, is the aim, but how that will translate into day-to-day work I'm not sure.


Your suggestions are very

Your suggestions are very concrete and helpful. I’ll pass them on to writers who are maintaining their own blogs.


why you not include wordpress?

For CRM?! I didn't think it

For CRM?! I didn't think it had that functionality.


All "human" bloggers go through that "maybe I need to reconnect with my life" kind of period and it's a good thing because, afterwards, the articles seem to flow a lot more easily.

It's good that you took some time for yourself but I hope you'll soon have time to go over the best Drupal mods so we can finally have a decent CMS to build up our Web 2.0 "destination".

Keep up your awesome work!

Thanks for the support,

Thanks for the support, Claude, it's much appreciated. That's a good idea for an article: useful Drupal mods. I use a few myself, and have found a few duds too, so it might be worth sharing that.

CiviCRM integrates quite nicely with Drupal ...

and is well worth installing and trying out :) We'd love feedback and a review. we have a pretty good, open and supporting community.


p.s> obviously am a bit biased, as i'm part of the core team :)


Thanks, nice topic indeed.

Thanks for the suggestion. I

Thanks for the suggestion. I am a big Drupal fan (as you can probably tell), and was fully intending to write up a review of CiviCRM. I've installed it a couple of times before, but never sat down to give it a real grilling.

At SilverStripe we use SugarCRM

We've been using SugarCRM for quite some time now and its great. I do enjoy the fact that each release that comes out seems to provide useful general new functionality, rather than just bug fixes or tweaks to obscure modules. My only grudge is that for a popular contemporary web app, it could use a bit more clever AJAX to improve the user experience (this is what we try hard to do with our silverstripe cms )

Haven't tried CiviCRM though, I'll give it a whirl :)

Hi Sigurd. I have been

Hi Sigurd. I have been impressed by SugarCRM, but find the interface a little inconsistent and labyrinthine at times. And the setup for sending out email campaigns is horrific: the combination of external cron job, internal scheduler, sendmail, email templates, target lists etc. was very confusing. Too many variables interacting unpredictably with few tools to help debug the problems. I got it going eventually, but think I would use a dedicated newsletter tool or something in preference if I had to set this up for someone. Silverstripe looks interesting: I may well give that a go, too, as I talk about CMSs a lot.

drupal rocksss

well, sugarcrm is enough good in the beginner. but when we need to build complex and flexible site drupal rockss. imho

Well... Drupal is good

But when it was time for me to chose what CMS to chose - drupal or TYPO3, I've chosen TYPO3

I tried Typo3 a while back,

I tried Typo3 a while back, but I found it very difficult to get started with. I also felt that the Drupal community was more friendly than the Typo3 one. And I thought Drupal could meet my needs (which it has so far).

Hi Alexei. I agree: Drupal

Hi Alexei. I agree: Drupal is a great CMS. But until I've tried CiviCRM, I don't know how suitable it is as a CRM (looks good at first glance, by the way). SugarCRM has some great CRM features, but is probably difficult to integrate into a website.