SugarCRM Custom Module Development – create and deploy a new module in SugarCRM

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SugarCRM facilitates custom module development to customize CRM for businesses that require more than the built in features provided. The built in modules like leads, accounts, activities, opportunities, cases etc may not be enough for certain businesses. Sugar provides two tools to cater to this need and are available in the admin section of the system. The Developer Tools – Studio and Module Builder help creating and maintaining custom modules in SugarCRM.

Let us say a company wants to track the expenses of sales people in SugarCRM, the standard modules may not allow you to store information about expenses. But companies cannot ask the sales guys to go to another system or use excel sheets to maintain that information. That is when SugarCRM module builder and studio comes in handy.

SugarCRM Studio

You can decide to add a few more fields to an existing built in module or you can create an entirely new module for tracking the expenses. If you decide to enhance the existing “Meetings” module to add fields related to expenses, you can use Studio.  Module Builder and Studio development tools do not require the person who is using to have extensive programming or software development skills. The Sugar administrator who has access to these tools should be bit of tech savvy person and should understand what it means by text field, date field, drop down field etc.

When an admin logs into the system they see the Studio in “admin” section. He can click on the Studio and see all the existing modules of the system that are made editable there. Navigate to the “Meetings” module and expand the section. You will see tools to add fields and a subsection where you can edit the field position. Go to the Add Fields section and add a Number Field or Text Field and name it is “Distance”. To store the mode of transport, you can add a drop down field with options like “Car : Two Wheeler : etc).

So adding fields to existing modules is easy using Studio. There are close to 18 different types of fields you can add to the existing modules to customize the modules to your needs. Some of the fields that are available to customize SugarCRM are text field, text area, drop down, date, date and time, currency, number etc. ( Bhea provides SugarCRM Administration Training that covers both Studio and Module Builder to familiarise and do customisations on your own)

But if the amount of information that you want to track in SugarCRM is more and its relationship with other in built modules is to be maintained well you may need to add a new custom module.

SugarCRM Module Builder

Module Builder helps you to add a new module to SugarCRM. There are multiple templates that you can chose while creating the Package. Depending on the type of tracking that you need, you can choose the template. Once you create package, it opens up ability to create a new module. For example if you are planning to collect information about a person in the new module, you have a template by name “Person” but if the information you need to capture is of an organisation, then you need to chose the “Company” type.

Once you choose the template type, the system creates a module with a few default fields that are for the template type you have chosen. There is a template by name “Base” which gives you without any template information. We have to create all the fields ourselves. Once you create the fields that you require minimum, you can save and deploy the package.

When you deploy the package, the module gets deployed in the current instance. But if you want to deploy this package in another system, you have to export this package and deploy in the target SugarCRM system.

Once a package is deployed, all modules in that package will be available in the CRM and Studio can be used for editing the fields and modifying them.

Bhea is an Advanced Partner for SugarCRM and provides services like SugarCRM Training, Consultation, Installation, Maintenance and Deployment. Our Admin Training covers a session on Studio and Module Builder.

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