SugarCRM Releases Version 3.5 Beta of Sugar Suite
Upgrades Include Utility for Easy Deployment of Third-Party Add-On Modules
Cupertino, CA (August 1, 2005) â€” SugarCRM Inc. has released the beta version of Sugar Suite 3.5, its open source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application, with new features that simplify the use of third-party add-on modules and strengthen the programâ€™s functionality and personalization capabilities. Enhancements in Version 3.5 include a new plug-and-play installation utility for third-party add-on modules, cross-module reporting, HTML email support, simplified upgrade of customizations, improved Microsoft Outlook integration, and new user interface skins.
Sugar Suite is a full-featured CRM solution that costs far less than proprietary, closed source CRM products while offering source code access for easy integration with legacy customer databases. The software is available in on-premise, hosted and appliance-based versions that offer the full range of CRM functionality required to manage customer interactions from acquisition to retention.
The new Sugar Module Loader in Version 3.5 allows users to add or remove third-party modules without programming and keeps the add-ons separate from the base application code, allowing core updates to be made without affecting accessory modules. This removes deployment barriers and makes it easier for developers to build Sugar Suite platform enhancements. To date, SugarCRM community software developers have created more than 80 Sugar Suite accessory modules, ranging from language translation packs to document and knowledge management systems, timesheets, database backups and Java synchronization.
â€œThe Module Loader offers new revenue potential as well as an upgrade-safe path for open source and commercial developers who write add-on modules for our Sugar Suite,â€ said John Roberts, CEO of SugarCRM. â€œBy making it easier for end users to install third-party extensions and by preventing product updates from affecting those extensions, we are increasing the developersâ€™ opportunity to perpetuate their modules, bringing a new business model to the open source community.â€
Other upgrades in Sugar Suite 3.5 include:
- Cross-module reporting, allowing users to merge data sets from different Sugar Suite modules. This enhancement to Sugar Suiteâ€™s reporting capabilities makes it possible to filter customer data in hundreds of ways to gain new insights and information that can help drive sales.
- HTML emails, enabling the use of embedded graphics and formatted text both in single-use emails and in email marketing campaigns created and managed through Sugar Suite. This complements existing plain-text email abilities and helps users attract the attention of prospects and customers.
- Improved upgradeability of customizations, with new upgrade-safe event handlers that will preserve modifications during future release upgrades.
- Improved Microsoft Outlook plug-in, offering faster navigation and greater control over synchronization of contacts and calendars into Sugar Suite. Users can archive customer emails to a contact, opportunity, lead or account with one click; transfer scheduled meeting information from Outlook to Sugar Suite through the Free/ Busy Server; and more.
- Four new interface templates, giving end users a total of 10 different looks to personalize their SugarCRM application. Skins can be changed immediately before logging into the application, allowing users to have a different experience at any time for variety.
Licensing and Availability
The beta release of Sugar Suite 3.5 is available today, and the GA release will be available on August 15th. Download the free Sugar Open Source at www.sugarforge.org. The more advanced Sugar Professional Edition and new Sugar Enterprise Edition are available at www.sugarcrm.com for $239 and $449 per user per year, respectively. Subscriptions include 12 months of application updates, installation assistance, trouble ticketing, global weekday email-based technical support (9AM-6PM Pacific time), and full production support including patch and fix distributions.
Both Sugar Professional Edition and Sugar Enterprise are available in a hosted version, Sugar On-Demand, which eliminates in-house software installation and maintenance starting at $39.95 per user monthly; and on the Sugar Cube, a ready-to-deploy stand-alone server that has Sugar Professional or Sugar Enterprise and all supporting software installed and optimized.
SugarCRM provides commercial open source customer relationship management applications for companies of all sizes worldwide. The SugarCRM platform is available in installed, hosted and appliance-based versions that offer the full range of CRM functionality. The company is headquartered in Cupertino, California, and was founded in 2004 by three Silicon Valley CRM professionals with over 20 years of experience spanning marketing, application design and engineering. For more information, call (408) 454-6900, email email@example.com, or visit http://www.sugarcrm.com.