Change is inevitable.
Change is constant.Benjamin Disraeli

The Driving Force and Motivation

Our goal with SpiceCRM is to deliver the next level of Open Source CRM. We believe that with SugarCRM the Open Source part of the project has a great base but needs to be taken to the next level. Development of SpiceCRM is driven by a set of market forces and believes that are the base for the project and the successful collaboration in delivering a superior product.

OPEN SOURCE

We want to keep up the commitment to Open Source continuing where SugarCRM is leaving CE at this Stage. The core of SpcieCRM will remain Open Source and be available to the community driving and developing it further.


COMMUNITY DRIVEN

A core idea is to keep up a community that jointly drives the products core. Development should be driven by technology and Innovation but also by the customers and communities needs. The idea is to share what can be shared and allow cross utilization of new standards and ideas with the goal to make CRM more effective and affordable for everyone.

PROVIDE CONTROL

We want to keep Control on the product and the strategy and be able to drive it and influence the direction where the product is going. The power should remain in the hands of the team and community driving the product and not in the hands of single companies. We do understand that this process also costs time and effort but see this working in so many other products that we believe this will also work for CRM.


CREATE REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES

While we embrace Open Source as a driving pattern we are also focusing on developing strong business driving the Open Source Platform. SpiceCRM is also clearly intended to enable contributing partners to generate Revenue with extensions, services and support. The business Opportunity should be there for contributors as well as for companies using the provided technology.

 
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.Bill Gates

Vision and Objectives

We set a clear Focus and guiding principles for the development of SpiceCRM.

  • Enterprise Ready

    The focus for SpiceCRM is the enterprise market. Thus the technological layer as well as methods for operations, maintenance and configuration needs to be oriented on an enterprise customer’s needs. This is geared towards robustness of the product, capability to manage large and complex organizations as well as clear procedural driven IT operations.

  • Configurable & Deployable

    The focus is to reduce the level of coding currently required to adopt SugarCRM and move this to a level of configuration where via settings in the system processes can be easier customized to match a customers need. At certain levels of customizations there will only be the requirement of extensions using custom coding but that should be an option not a prerequisite.
    System changes in definition of metadata, configuration, languages etc. needs to be tracked by tools supported within the system to enable organizations to professionally operate SpiceCRM and be aligned with internal processes and Standards like ITIL or others. Quality of the software as well as quality of the change management and processes need to follow clear and standardized workflows.

  • Open Architecture and Standards

    SpiceCRM will remain a product being based on open Standards. We intend and need to leverage industry leading frameworks (e.g. Angular JS, EXT JS) yet the choice shoud be clear and all developments as well as extensions should remain within that framework.

  • Performance, Scalability and Security

    The Platform needs to follow the latest releases as published by the providers of the technology Stack (e.g. latest version of PHP, Database, Webserver, etc).
    SpiceCRM must not be the blocking factor forcing a customer to not be able to upgrade the base platform to the latest, and for security reasons sometimes necessary, version.

  • Robust Functionality / Feature Rich

    The first Phase Focus is to get the core platform right including an updated and state of the art HTML5 UI, mobile App as well as providing the underlying framework. Subsequently we want to step by step extend the existing functionality, extending where possible, replacing where this makes more sense than extending it, adding in areas where functionality is missing.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.Buddha
 

Areas of Focus

We know that Rome was not built in a day and that there is quite a task ahead of us. In any case we see several areas of improvement and focus along which we want to deliver enhancement and drive SpiceCRM to the next level.

UI

We want to deliver a state of the art UI experience to the user. To achieve that SpiceUI has been developed as separate component built on Angular in its latest release. The design is built on the lightning design system as we assessed this as the most suitable framework for a business application of the current available UI Frameworks. The development for the UI started in early 2016 and as per End of 2018 we are releasing it to the public.

Operations

Coming from mainly enterprise driven and large customer deployments of SugarCRM a key aspect of SpiceCRM is the operational aspect. Tools like a Deployment Manager and a completely new way of customizing the UI and SpiceCRM are at the heart of our developments.

Flexibility is key to allow customization and drive user adoption but this must not sacrifice operations and allow to manage a stable and reliable System Environment.

Technology

We try to leverage best in class technologies yet still attempts to not add too many components to the stack. This helps us to ensure a clean, manageable and stable environment. The core component used is Angular from Google as well as the Lightning Design System from Salesforce. Both are Open Source Stacks and in our opinion best in class technologies. In addition we add a limited set of javascript libraries we use (currently moment.js, underscore) as well as libraries for visualization (currently High Charts, AM Charts, DHTMLX). A further core element is the use of Elasticsearch as search engine powering fast and flexible Full Text Search Capabilities and features like aggregate search and others.

Functionality

The last 2 years a large focus has been on Technology, yet we still added and cleaned out a lot of functionalities looking at the core SugarCRM Code. Major Enhancements have been made to the area of Service Management, Marketing, but also in core areas like Emails Handling, Email Templates, Printouts, Audit Management and others.

We also enhanced the Project management and added a complete new set for the Product Management and the handling of Sales Documents and Offers.