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An Engineered Point of View: Back End SugarCRM Solutions

by Lydia Teffera on February 12, 2014

4 minute read

In this blog series, W-Systems engineers share experiences and stories related to projects, assignments and anything else they enjoyed working on. We love what we do and thought we’d share it with you. In this interview, Ethan Kennedy talks about his new position with W-Systems and his first experience working with SugarCRM.

Ethan Kennedy is one of W-Systems’ newest Software Engineers, joining the team in January 2014. While Ethan has had some previous experience with other CRMs, this is his first time working with SugarCRM. That did not stop him from jumping in and getting straight to work. He has already been given four different projects, and has begun the process of mapping out their solutions! While most of them include debugging, which primarily deals with fixing some errors in existing code, others were a bit more challenging and required a lot more effort. In this interview, Ethan dives into one of the four projects and how it helped him become more acquainted with Sugar and W-Systems’ project management process.

Q: Can you explain the project you are currently working on?
A: Recently I was given a project by Engineer Andy Hidalgo that deals with improving a custom module in Sugar for one of our customers. The end goal for our client’s project was to show every past relationship made/occurring with each of their individual customer accounts. So once our client would click on their customer’s account, they would be able to retrieve any past history with their customers including contracts, products, and agreements. This inevitably helps our client have a more well-tuned database on each of their customers and their business history. 

SugarCRM Accounts screenshot

Q: How did you come up with this specific solution?
A: At first I had to draw up a diagram just to figure out what approach would be the most appropriate for our custom solution. But once I sketched it out it was pretty easy to get the ball rolling. I needed to start by building the overall framework of the process which I did by creating a Relate Through Module in Sugar. Then I had to use the job-queue to populate the Relate Through Module with all of the historical data. This part was pretty cool because the job-queue works behind the scenes to fill in the information without disrupting our clients access to their Sugar system. (This is where I currently am on the project).

Q: Did you use any other software tools beside Sugar? What software packages did you find the most helpful during this project?
A: Yes, I actually used a lot of command line programming in Bash. This helped me to easily monitor the overall process and its results.

Q: What did you really like about this project?
A: I really enjoyed being able to work with the back end of the client's Sugar system. It’s my first time working with Sugar so being able to take on this project helped me to learn more about the server and the SugarCRM system as a whole.

This is just the first post from Ethan’s three-part series. We look forward to learning more about his internal projects with Sugar and his progression with W-Systems! For more information about Ethan’s project or other customizations mentioned in this post, contact us today.

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