SugarCRM 6.3 Lends More Tools to Developer Community
SugarCRM sweetened things up a bit with today’s release of version 6.3. The latest iteration of the customer relationship management platform demonstrates deeper integration with third party apps, faster feedback for real-time collaboration and tighter admin control.

The new features break down like so:

Enhanced Administration

With more thorough controls, administrators can now arrange either role-based or policy-based access for better project management. The lead conversation process has also been enhanced with added flexibility, and Sugar Logic (an expression engine for more complex customizations) has been granted with the ability to import data, create formulas, rename modules and manage mass updates.

Designed for Integration

SugarCRM has been about integration for some time now, but the newest version can include even more sources than before (such as Google Contacts and external e-mails) with the help of an enhanced Import Wizard. Users can also perform more inline editing with the quick edit feature in list views, sub-panels and reports.

Continual Feedback

SugarCRM 6.3 enables the open development process to gather continual feedback from customers and users. By always being in the most immediate loop, the company will have the power to develop products that answer needs as they arise. For example, through Sugar’s Open+ Developer program, Sugar 6.2.4 had a record 10% of the bug fixes that came directly from community contributions, and there have been nearly 100 accepted code contributions this year.

The new platform also offers an upgraded AJAX user interface,  which Sugar says has resulted in a 40 percent average performance improvement with faster response time.

Same Ol', Same Ol' 

As Customer Experience and Social Business become bigger topics around these parts, so does CRM. Sugar's efforts to keep up in the race have been appreciated, but come as no surprise to the community. 

For example, back in April, SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin named social media, analytics and cloud computing as the major disruptions of our time, and offered a few tips to keep in mind while dealing with the changes:

  • Be engaged, transparent and nimble
  • Embrace networks of people if you want to create real business value
  • Simplify through extension of the enterprise — nobody works alone anymore
  • Expand the perimeter to the cloud
  • Always start at the client level. Deepening those relationships will drive traditional business into social business.

While Sugar's releases certainly reflect these thoughts, I wouldn't call them particularly innovative or inspiring. If you're a SugarCRM user, tell us what about the platform makes it a better choice than its most well-known competitors, such as Salesforce.com.