My apologies for my near silence for the past week. I know that all three of my readers are disappointed. 😉 I have a legitimate reason, let me explain…
For the past four months, CaseySoftware has been offering professional dotProject hosting. Two of our three developers are on the core development group and we have numerous modules, customizations, integrations, and deployments under our belts, so it always made quite a bit of sense.
Along the lines of these integrations, the most requested have been Mantis Bug Tracker and SugarCRM. But as I've noted in one of my public presentations, integrating Open Source projects is like Dancing with Elephants. No matter how hard you work, no matter how fast you write code, eventually you realize that you're not actually in control of anything and you will get stepped on. This creates an ongoing cycle of development, happiness, frantic coding, relief, happiness, frantic coding… you get the point.
Now, what if you had a model that allowed for this integration to occur at a data level without changing any of the User Interfaces at all? This would allow for your different business units to share information, but allowed them to still use their existing applications so you don't have to worry about re-training or those behemoth “It everything, but nothing well” applications.
Well, our proof of concept is dotProject and SugarCRM. The two systems synchronize across selected areas without any additional actions from the user. Therefore, your data is available but you don't have to share the application. Your Customer Account Reps can now pass along an entire customer file to the Project Managers and your Project Managers can share project status in real time.
Now, my initial question was “Oh, but what happens when database schemas change?” Good point. Luckily we've thought of this and we've been tracking how long it takes to write modules from the ground up and modify existing ones. Using our methods, it takes anywhere from 20-60… minutes.
More details along with an online demo will follow next week. Stay tuned.