Project of the Month - October 2011
JJWDesign Google Maps
Description of project
Google Maps Integration: Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, Cases and Projects (records) can be mapped. Multiple records can be mapped, instead of just one record at a time. Records can be mapped from a module's listing or by distance.
Why are you a leading contributor in the SugarCRM community? What are the benefits that you experience from your involvement?
There are many benefits I have experienced while contributing to the SugarCRM community.
First, contributing within the forums has enabled me to gain valuable knowledge and experience with the SugarCRM product. Without those countless contributors willing to answer questions, I would have never started this project.
This project has also given me an opportunity to prove myself to potential employers. It’s a great thing to have on a resume. Being able to openly showcase an entire project code base to a potential employer, without any non-disclosure agreement, is a beautiful thing.
Lastly, I think that many people these days may be lacking fulfillment in their full time 9-5 jobs. We work to make money. We contribute because it’s what we love to do. It’s truly a fulfilling experience to do something that may have a very beneficial effect on many peoples lives. I’ve received many very thoughtful comments from people all around the world.
What other projects have you been involved with on SugarForge.org?
I’ve been a big fan of SugarCRM CE, ever since about v2.0 rolled out. So, you can say I’ve followed SugarCRM for many years now. In return, I’ve tried to contribute what I can back to the community that has help so many small businesses with an Open Source CRM solution. I’m mainly involved with the JJWDesign Tools and Reports project and this JJWDesign Google Maps project.
What inspired you to create this project?
Well, I was bored at work one day; previous employer. I had been thinking about a detailed Marketing Campaign Report (ROI) and thought, “wouldn’t it be great to be able to see/view on a map where the Leads and Opportunities for a Campaign are actually coming from?” The idea was born. A few hacks later, a map was generated.
Creating the JJWDesign Google Maps SugarForge project came several months later as I found myself unemployed; don’t ask. I was then able to take the time to completely rewrite the maps concept into the very functional project you see today. The project has continued to develop over the past year.
What business pain points were you solving specifically?
Is there anything that the users should know about those? Something hidden/new in this project? Think of this as an opportunity to describe how it works to a user?
Records can be mapped from a module's search listing. Records can also be mapped by radius (distance) from a central record. Cases and Projects are mapped with the address information supplied through relationships; typically Accounts or Contacts. The possible uses are only limited to your imagination.
What other integration points do you see between CRM and geolocation data?
I believe all CRM systems will eventually have geolocation data integration. Mapping record data is an extremely valuable process in helping you understand the relationships to your customers. This shouldn’t just be a tool to help a sales person plan business trips. It can also be used to help determine Marketing Campaign effectiveness (ROI); viewing Leads and Opportunities in various ways. Mapping Account address relationships to Cases can give a whole new perspective on product issues.
What would you say to encourage additional community participation?
For those of you looking for a little fulfillment in your lives, try giving back to the online community. Get out there and get involved. Start out small at first; answer a few forum questions. It will be a more rewarding experience than you expect.
Concerning the JJWDesign Google Maps project, keep sending me feedback! Especially feel free to let me know how you use this project, as it can greatly effect its future development. Also, this project needs translation support/help. If you feel you could help provide a translation, feel free to contact me.
What do you want to build next for Sugar?
If I could find the time, I would like to continue develop of this JJWDesign Google Maps project with the addition of a configuration view, better grouping, labels and other additional functionality. But, at this time, I’ve got to focus the majority of my time and effort towards my current full time job. Yet, I plan on supporting the existing projects I have created and making sure they are usable with newer versions of SugarCRM CE/Pro/Ent.
Past Projects of the Month