About a month before I left my old team I was potentially going to be assigned to work on the SugarCRM application integration within IBM so I got to spend a little time analyzing the package. Sugar is an open source customer relationship manager software package that basically competes with a few of the big boys – like Saleforce.com. The really cool thing about this software is it has a pretty good community around it and has all kinds of plugins and extensions available. You can even deploy it internally or host it in the cloud – one thing I think sets it apart from SalesForce. Your data will be internal and safe. So now lets dive on the code!
I downloaded the open source code and began digging. The first thing I noticed about the software is the structure of the code is excellent. It heavily uses PHP classes for its object model and structures the packages in a clean manner. After about three days of diving in the code I realized this was no college project and the code was well thought out. I have been doing a lot of PHP with WordPress and Drupal so when I compare it to those projects I have to say Sugar actually exceeds in cleanliness and abstraction. The open source projects and extensions for Sugar is amazing, you can check out SugarForge for more detail. I look at this as a huge opportunity for business partners and ISV’s. With a company like IBM on board there are all kinds of integration opportunities available. It will be very interesting to see what Lotus and IBM business partners will do in this space going forward.