Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software facilitates, captures, and analyzes the varied relationships between a business and its customers. Used as part of an overall business and sales strategy, CRM can boost efficiency, yield more intelligence, shore up weaknesses, and improve what you already do best.

Let’s look at what CRM software can do and investigate a compelling open source solution that suits any budget.

A complete CRM package is likely to include:

Sales force automation to manage prospects, automate workflow, manage accounts, and keep track of events.

Marketing automation to manage ad campaigns, transmit email newsletters, and manage and measure lead conversions.

Information management to control revisions of documentation and to distribute corporate and product literature.

Contract management to securely manage existing contracts, help generate and record new contracts, and alert sales staff when contracts are up for renewal.

Reporting to provide business intelligence, insight, and ad-hoc feedback.

Customer service and support to manage support requests and distribute customer satisfaction surveys and rewards.

Moreover, an effective CRM solution weaves all of these components together. For example, CRM software should index product documentation and make it available to sales to answer a prospect’s questions.

The larger commercial CRM vendors include SAP, Peoplesoft, and Oracle. Recently, Microsoft Business Solutions has also jumped into the CRM fray. Of course, all of these proprietary solutions require good amounts of capital for software licenses and perhaps gobs of hardware.

Another option is to use a third-party, hosted solution, such as SalesForce.com, that charges you a per-user fee for online access to CRM tools. While third-party hosting is perhaps the easiest way to deploy a CRM solution, you might find the thought of hosting core business intelligence on machines outside of your control appalling.

If you want to self-host, yet another alternative is open source software.

One such project is SugarCRM, available at http://www.sugarcrm.com.

SugarCRM runs on PHP, Apache, and MySQL, and is made available under its own license, the SugarCRM Public License (SPL). Under the terms of the SPL, itself a variation of the Mozilla Public License Version 1.1, you can run SugarCRM for your business, make changes, and fix bugs, but cannot sell any core SugarCRM code or any derived works.

Now lets see how to go about implementing this :

Download SUGARCRM from

I downloaded : SugarCRM 4.0 Latest Stable Full (5.93 MB)

Before Installing What you need ?

The host I ran had :

Kernel - 2.4.22-21mdk-i686-up-4GB

Apache - Apache-AdvancedExtranetServer/2.0.47

PHP - 5.0.4

MySQL - 4.0.15

OpenSSL - OpenSSL 0.9.7b

Step 1

Create a directory opencrm in /var/www/html (My Document root)

cd /var/www/html/sugarcrm/SugarSuite-Full-4.0.0

[root@mybox SugarSuite-Full-4.0.0]# mv * ../

[root@mybox sugarcrm]# chmod 706 config.php/

[root@mybox sugarcrm]# chmod 777 cache/

Step 2

Next create a Mysql user for sugarcrm thats able to SELECT,INSERT,UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE and DROP. For example:

mysql> create database sugarcrm;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.12 sec)

mysql> GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP ON sugarcrm.* TO sugarcrm@localhost IDENTIFIED BY "sugarcrm";
Query OK, 0 rows affected (1.22 sec)

Here I create a database name,user and password as sugarcrm

Step 3

Next, open up your favorite web browser and go to the address


You will see

Welcome to the SugarCRM 4.0.0
Setup Wizard

This installer creates the SugarCRM database tables and sets the configuration variables that you need to start. The entire process should take about ten minutes.

Click Start, and verify that the system is ready to be installed

Step 1: License Acceptance

Select - I Accept >> Next

Step 2: System Check Acceptance

In order for your SugarCRM installation to function properly, please ensure all
of the system check items listed below are green. If any are red, please take the necessary steps to fix them.

Component Status

PHP version OK (ver 4.3.3)
MySQL Database OK
XML Parsing OK
cURL Library Not found: scheduler will not be functional
Writable SugarCRM Configuration File (config.php) OK
Writable Custom Directory OK
Writable Modules Sub-Directories and Files OK
Writable Data Sub-Directories OK
Writable Cache Sub-Directories OK
Writable Session Save Path (/tmp) OK
PHP Safe Mode Turned Off OK
PHP Allow Call Time Pass Reference Turned On OK
PHP Register Long Arrays On OK
PHP Memory Limit >= 10M OK (100M)

Note: Your php configuration file (php.ini) is located at:

I got the above details in step 2

I did >>> Next

Step 3: Database Configuration

Please enter your database configuration information below. If you are unsure of what to fill in, we suggest that you use the default values.

Database Configuration

Host Name localhost

Database Name sugarcrm

User Name for SugarCRM sugarcrm

Password for SugarCRM sugarcrm

I have unticked Create database and Create user

Populate database with demo data? was unticked

Database account above is a privileged user? was ticked

Step 4: Site Configuration

Please enter your site configuration information below. If you are unsure of the fields, we suggest that you use the default values.

Site Configuration

URL http://mybox.sriram.com/sugarcrm

SugarCRM admin password admin

Caution: This will override admin password of previous veriosn

Re-type SugarCRM admin password admin

Sugar Updates Config

Enable Sugar updates?
When this is enabled your system will periodically send SugarCRM Inc. anonymous
statistics about your installation that will help us understand usage patterns and improve the product. In return for this information, administrators will receive update notices when new versions or updates are available.

The above was ticked

Advanced Site Security

Use defaults? was Ticked

Step 5: Confirm Settings

Please confirm the settings below. If you would like to change any of the values, click "Back" to edit. Otherwise, click "Next" to start the installation

Database Settings

Host Name localhost
Database Name sugarcrm (will not be created)
User Name for SugarCRM sugarcrm (will not be created)
Drop and recreate existing SugarCRM tables? No
Populate database with demo data? No
Priveleged Database User Name sugarcrm

Site Configuration

URL http://mybox.sriram.com/sugarcrm

Enable Sugar Updates

Sugar updates enabled? Yes

Advanced Site Security

Use a Custom Session Directory for SugarCRM? No
Use a Custom Log Directory for SugrCRM? No
Own Application ID Provided? No

Step 6: Perform Setup

In the bottom it should show you

The setup of SugarCRM 4.0.0 is now complete.
Total time: 5.029501 seconds.
Approximate memory used: 9185048 bytes.

Your system is now installed and configured for use. You will need to log in for the first time using the "admin" user name and the password you entered during

Step 7: Registration

You can bypass this click finish

After you have completed the installation, Delete or move install directory to offline location such as /tmp

mv /usr/local/apache/htdocs/sugarCRM/install /tmp/

Then make sure configuration file cannot be edited by anyone

#chmod 755 /usr/local/apache/htdocs/SugarCRM/config.php

the above can be performed by root to do the trick.