SugarCRM is now up and running on our Gentoo Linux Box and seems to be fairly stable, I say fairly because we have a few niggling problems which we are looking into that stop certain functions from working.
The first install took days, mainly because we took our normal route and tried to just install it without too much reading of the manuals! It wasn’t the install that was the problem it was the merging of the data from our databases into the SugarCRM databases. We did eventually find a document which gave the correct way to install Account information and Contact information but that was after we spent many hours trying to tidy up the mess we created. So if you want to install the product and bring your data in, to make sure the contacts attach to the Accounts correctly you should install the Accounts first, then the contacts. Simple and makes sense but we did it the other way round and then installed the accounts, we ended up with thousands of account records which were duplicates. We then went through and manually merged the duplicates.
There is an option to merge duplicates which we used (incorrectly at first) which did help a bit but with over 2,500 records to merge it took a loooongggg time
The next problem we found was the non upgrade capability of the 5.2 beta version we installed, we were trawling through the forums and found a sticky which stated that no upgrade path would be available from the beta (or due to be released RC versions) to the GA version! Makes sense but when you go for the download the beta versions are the first you come across and seem to be pushed towards downloading them? So we then downloaded the Stable version 4.5.1g and installed it side by side in the hope of being able to migrate the data between two MySQL databases if not simply attach the old database to the new install. Unfortunately that did not work at all so we went back and re-merged our data. A couple of things we did find out when moving to the GA version which didnt appear in the beta version. First of all the PHP version we are using 5.2.4-plc-gentoo was not supported! so we had to add it to the relevant file after finding a note in the forums about it. Next was the session_save_path was not valid! We looked into the config file and it was commented out? It was a valid path so we simply uncommented it and it worked. A problem which we found on the GA version but not sure if it was in the beta version was due to names we exported in certain cases were full names and not split into FirstName,LastName, this resulted in those records being ignored because LastName is a required field. Each time we changed the config we had to restart the Apache Server as well so make sure you do…There were a few other problems such as the screen would show PHP errors after the install had finished but they didn’t seem to affect the final result (only time will tell?).
The next step was to set a few new options which were very easy and worked well, the interface and results seem to be better than I found when implementing MS CRM 3.0, but it does not have all the functionality of MS CRM 3.0 either.
Overall we liked the ease of the install of both versions, the 5.2 beta had a lot of nice new functions which we will definitely use once the GA version is available and an upgrade path provided. The current problems are probably to do with the way we have the environment configured and will be resolved quickly. I would not go back to the MS CRM 3.0 install even though it had some very nice features where automation and tracking are concerned. I am sure SugarCRM will eventually encompass a lot of that functionality eventually.
Now we have it installed and running in the Linux environment we will now start the LAMPS project again on the i515. We know the problems with installing it on the Linux Box so installing it on the i515 should be a lot easier?