Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sweeter than SugarCube...

Customer Relationships Management (CRM) has been a hot requirement for the e-business application domains quite for some time now and the number of the clients of Fanafzar looking for CRM systems is increasing everyday.

Most of these clients require the back office CRM features which will be used by the employees, most probably on the local intranet, however they have a few scenarios where the customer will directly interact with the system, usually through a self service portal. Examples for this customer interactions would be online help desks that are integrated with the internal enterprise CRM system.

Being a firm which mostly promotes the open source solutions, we had initiated an integration systems research project code named SugarCube. In this solution the Joomla CMS is integrated with the SugarCRM system. All the back office requirements are provided by SugarCRM and the front end poral is based on Joomla. However, the scenarios which require interactions and communications between these two systems will be designed and the communication protocol between the two is web services using SOAP. The fact that sugarCRM has implemented most of its UI in terms of web services in addition to normal web forms has made this integration quite feasible. The SugarCRM server will be based on the company intranet and it will communicate with the Joomla server on the company internet web server.

The next step for this integration project is using a work flow engine to manage the business processes needed and provide the flexibility for modification of these processes for the enterprise. We've studied JBPM, but some proof of concept prototypes would be necessary before any further design decisions. JBPM being a java based engine would need some web service based wrappers around it to be able to talk to other service providing sub systems, which are mostly PHP based.

Code name was SugarCube since the integration was planned for the XoopsCube portal initially. XoopsCube has got a far better architecture and design structure compared to xoops or joomla open source portal but for practicality, Joomla has been selected for the current project.

SugarCube is coming out of research phase an being implemented for an ISP client these days.

Hope we don't drop it in tea !


Dan Bonab said...

Well done guys! Very impressive indeed.

Amir H. Fassihi said...

Thanks Danesh!