Wow, things at CaseySoftware have been expanding and growing in ways I never quite expected. Starting on 02 May, we started offering our first official product: dotProject Hosting. In the meantime, we've been bootstrapping and supplementing this effort by building numerous customizations and modules for dotProject and various integrations and expansions of other Open Source Projects. It's been fun, educational, and we've worked with quite a few people, but it's about to get even better.
Next week, I will be attending the Power Your Business With PHP Conference and I am formally announcing our second Real Product(tm) offering which I have been hinting at and describing for weeks: The Domino Bridge
Here are a few of the questions that may be springing to mind…
What is Project Domino?
Quite simply it's an integration between dotProject and SugarCRM.
But I thought you said that One Size does Not Fit All in terms of interfaces and Use Cases for users!?
Yes, and I still believe that wholeheartedly. A CEO, a Sales Rep, a Project Manager, and a Developer all need different slices of the same information and will want to do different things with it. Therefore, we have not integrated the User Interfaces of dotProject and SugarCRM, we've integrated the data. A Project Manager and Developer will still use dotProject and not have to learn a new interface. The CEO and Sales Rep will still use SugarCRM and not have to learn a new interface.
Oh crap, if you're integrating the data then we're going to be on an Endless Upgrade/Integration Cycle, aren't we?
Nope, not a chance. We've taken this into account and implemented the integration layer so that the only modification required to either system is the insertion of four lines of code. That's it. The proof of concept was developed under SugarCRM 3.0 and was upgraded to work with SugarCRM 3.5.1 OS and 3.5.1 Pro with a simple cut and paste. The same applies to dotProject.
Well that's just great, but we only use [One of them: dotProject or SugarCRM] because we built our own system for doing X and it works very well thank you, what good does this Domino Bridge do for us?
Hmmm… Good point. Now we'll have to go back to the drawing board and… Wait a second! The Domino Bridge is built in a way to allow multiple systems to communicate regardless of what the actually are. All we have to do is some field mapping. Are you using VTiger? We can support that. Are you using Microsoft CRM? We can support that. Are you using some monstrousity that you developed yourself by stacking rocks and sticks to represent tasks and dollars? Well, I don't think we can do anything for you, but I'd like to see that system…
No rocks or sticks here… so how much does this wonderful thing cost?
Well, I'm still working on that part. I envision three different licenses:
- A license which handles the dotProject and SugarCRM integration. This is already complete and therefore could be delivered within a business day of being purchased. All we would need from you would be some basic information like what version of dotProject and SugarCRM you are using so we can test it before delivery. Yes, we test our software before we give it to customers.
- Next, a support and development license which will provide some development time from my team to assess your current internal systems and prepare a custom integration layer. This is more time intensive and will require an investment of time and information from your organization.
- Finally, a developers' license. We don't care what you do with it as long as you don't redistribute it. If you'd want to redistribute/resell it, we'll have to talk.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments?