Upcoming changes to SugarCRM

I’ve been in San Francisco for SugarCON 2009 for the past few days and have learned a lot and gained a pile of new ideas. While I don’t have time to post everything I gained from the conference, I’d like to point out some of the exciting new stuff coming toSugarCRM:

  • Upcoming API changes in SugarCRM 5.5 (June 2009):
    • Anyone that uses SugarCRM’s SOAP API knows that it sucks. A lot. It is slow, clunky, antiquated, and difficult to extend.
    • Versioned (for example, /api/v1/soap/ instead of just /soap.php)
    • SOAP and REST will be supported
    • REST can output JSON or a serialized PHP array
    • Every method can be extended in an upgrade-safe way
    • Related modules can be queried in a single call. For example, if you have an ID for A, and A is related to B, and B is related to C, you can get A, B, and C in a single call. This would take several calls using the current API.
    • SOAP has been re-worked to be 60-70% faster.
    • The backend code is separate from the API method. For example, you can write a single chunk of code that works for REST and SOAP.
  • SugarCRM 6 changes (no ETA):
    • All user authentication will be moved into a single module. This will keep all usernames/passwords in a single spot and allow any module to add authenticationwithout having special fields or duplicated authentication code.
    • Password management is going to be enhanced
      • Password reset tool for users
      • Ability to force users to change passwords at certain intervals
      • Minimum password requirements (length, complexity)
    • Enhanced LDAP support
      • Restrict access based on LDAP criteria
      • Grant access/assign roles based on LDAP criteria
    • Enhanced roles support
      • Currently, all users have access to everything by default. Roles are used to restrict access. In the SugarCRM 6, roles can optionally be used to grant access instead of restrict it.
    • New theme engine
      • Less CSS is required
      • More elements have id attributes
      • Better div-based layout
      • May require lots of changes to custom themes
    • New rules engine
      • Calculated fields
      • Dependent drop downs (eg, only show a certain drop down if field A is true)
      • Dependent fields
      • Modify field properties (required, visible, read-only, default value, style)
      • Customizable actions/expression functions. This allows developers to easily develop their own custom rules and actions.
    • Full-text search in all modules
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