Here is, yet another, CRM we have been using lately and some of the limitations that drive us crazy around here. SuiteCRM is an open source branch of Sugar CRM (get it! Suite sounds like sweet and sweet is like sugar.) Some years ago Sugar CRM was an open source CRM package and then the developers created a fork that became the commercial SugarCRM. SuiteCRM is the open source fork of the original Sugar CRM package that remains open source. Open source has it pluses and minuses with the obvious plus that the software license is free. The less obvious minus are about limited paid support plans, no financial incentive for development which means fewer connections to third party packages and less features or less ease of use. SuiteCRM has both of these pluses and minus, in our humble opinion. Below is a list we are maintaining of those things that are driving us crazy.
- Added fields (through admin tools) are in overflow tables, not in the table itself. This means that the current tables are fixed and truly modifying the table like just adding fields requires a programmer’s assistance. The overflow tables create a tremendous inefficiency down the road because every query requires a complex JOIN of the original table to the overflow table.
- The tool for screen design and field creation are extremely primitive. This is not a simple drag and drop–although it does have drag and drop, it just is messy. There is a group field concept in design studio that presents a group of fields, like address, as one object. It requires custom coding to split it out for example if you want just the zip code out of the address.
- You can’t create a link between modules through the administration screens. It requires a programmer involvement.
- Changing module names doesn’t change the names everywhere so there is a mix of old and new names.
- Changes to module access and permissions do not take place until a user logs off and logs back on again. This is insane because people may not log off for weeks. This is a real “no go” factor in many corporate environments.
- Module view screens cannot be tailored to change which fields are displayed without editing code.
- In general, the ability to modify fields, modules, reports, workflows, permissions, etc. is more primitive than other systems we have used (and we have used a lot of them). The software may be free, but you will certainly pay more for skilled administration because there is a lot less that an “power user” can do without real technical ability.
If we have missed something or have been unfair in any of these, please let us know.