Sugar 6, the new edition of SugarCRM's software-as-a-service package, entered a public beta test program on April 13. The open-source CRM package now includes a revamped UI that is designed for faster navigation with simplified one-click access to most features and a completely rewritten mobile connectivity application.
FRANCISCO-The latest edition of SugarCRM's
package, released as a public beta April 13, includes a revised UI designed to
deliver speedy, simplified navigation along with improved mobile accessibility,
company officials said.
Sugar 6, which was introduced during the company's SugarCon user conference
here, is scheduled to become available to a subset of production customers in
June and will be released to all customers in July, said Clint Oram, SugarCRM vice
president of products.
"We have spent quite a bit of time updating the user interface. What
you will see right out of the gate is a very bold new look around the color
schemes," Oram said. The developers of Sugar 6 also used the AJAX
development language "to update the look and feel even further than we
have done" with earlier versions, he said.
To improve mobile accessibility, Sugar CRM
has completely rewritten its mobile application with Sugar 6 using the
Appcelerator's Titanium smartphone application development platform, Oram said.
The new version includes the Sugar Shortcut Bar, which is designed to give
users one-click access to common tasks, such as creating an account, a document
or a task, finding contacts, noting sales opportunities or logging a call. Oram
said overall the Sugar 6 interface requires about 20 percent fewer clicks to
perform common tasks.
The new edition also delivers a streamlined search process. "Now when
you do a search you get this hover-over view of the search results rather than
being navigated away to a separate screen" to see search results, Oram
said. This eliminates the need for users to go back to the previous screen if
they didn't get the results they want or need to run another search, he said.
SugarCRM also announced several application integrations with other ISVs,
including SnapLogic, which designed its DataFlow architecture to allow
customers and third-party software developers to deploy links to any cloud, SAAS
(software as a service) or enterprise application. The company also announced
integrations with the Intuit QuickBooks bookkeeping application and the Box.net
collaborative document editing application.
The Box.net application, for example, will allow a sales representative to
create a draft of a contract or sales proposal and invite others to remotely
view and revise the documents, such as the customer, a sales manager or the
Oram said SugarCRM will also continue to make it easy for customers to
access the application on cloud platforms. In November 2009, the company
announced a partnership with Microsoft to put SugarCRM on the Windows
Azure cloud system
to allow customers and VARs to take advantage of the
scalability and high availability of this platform.
In summer 2009 SugarCRM revealed that it had struck a deal to deploy the
Sugar Community Edition on Amazon.com's Amazon
Elastic Compute Cloud platform
to provide CRM
developers with an easy-to-deploy cloud development environment.
"There is a huge amount of leverage to take advantage of with all these
cloud platforms that are available today from Microsoft Azure to Amazon EC2 to
Rackspace Cloud and others," Oram said. SugarCRM will continue to support
these platforms in the future, he said.
The company also announced that it has made the primary
source code repository for the Sugar Community Edition publicly accessible
through the SugarForge open-source development community. The company is doing
this to make it easier for SugarCRM developers to write their own applications,
add-ons and extensions to the open-source CRM
The SugarForge community has grown from three developers and a single core
development project in 2005 to more than 22,000 developers working on 800
projects, according to company officials. The company claims there have been
nearly 8 million downloads of SugarCRM over the past five years.