Customer Relationship Management CRM systems in Perl

I’m looking for a CRM system implemented in Perl. As it turns out, so are the Perl Foundation.

So I thought I’d summarize my interpretation of the comments on that thread, as much for my own benefit as yours, and see if this post flushes out any further information.

We’ll start with the smaller/personal projects and work up from there…

John Cappiello

John mentioned that he was working on something. I sent John an email to ask for an update and he said it had “morphed away from a CRM into something not really overlapping much at all”.

Gábor Szabó

Gábor Szabó mentioned in the thred that he has “a simple CRM I use in-house that I plan to release as open source one day. It is written in Perl. While it is very minimalistic if you are interested I can show it and we can discuss what additional features TPF might need.”

Affinity

Affinity was mentioned in the thread, but I can’t find any references to it being open source.

CustomX

The web pages are in German, so here’s a translation to English of their web site, which gets visually mangled in the process, and a much more readable translation of their 2006 whitepaper.

It’s available under the Perl Artistic License. The base language is German. I don’t know what level of internationalization/locaization they support.

They currently use mod_perl v1 and say it’s “not tested” for v2, which seems to suggest a lack of maintenance. Databases supported include Postgres, Oracle, MySQL, and Informix. It’s extensible via plugins.

I couldn’t find any indication of a development community.

Wice CRM Groupware

Another German CRM system, so here’s a translation of their home page. It’s in use by a range of companies, and they even have a glossy magazine (though it looks like a once-off produced in 2005).

“Wice is a LAMP system with Linux as operating system, Apache as web and application server, MySQL as the database and the system is developed as an Apache module in mode_perl.”

“We have Wice a plugin architecture, which we almost arbitrary adjustments, enhancements and interfaces can be realized […] There are also numerous standard plugins, such as a web, an integrated CMS, or a Customer Self Service Center.”

The source code is not ‘free’, however. You get the source code only when you licence the software.

Donor.com

“Our software has been serving non-profits for 30+ years. We have spent the past 5 years wrapping all of our C-based business logic with Perl to expose everything as Web Services (50 modules and 300+ methods so far). Our presentation layers are the WebGUI CMS (also Perl) and a cross-client GUI (Win/OSX/Linux) written in wxPerl. Our systems integrate everything from CRM, inventory management, event tracking, credit card processing, bulk email, direct mail, magazine subscriptions, sponsorships, etc. Almost everything in our system is configurable. We have not yet open-sourced all of our code, but we did just transition our ownership to a new 501(c)3, the DonorWare Foundation, to help facilitate that in the future.”

Jim Brandt replied to comment in the thread saying “I got another response from the folks who run donor.com. Turns out they are heavy perl users, so we’re looking at their system right now to see if it will meet our needs. I’ll post with more details once we know.” No news yet.

Josh Berkus expressed some pros and cons of using donor.com.

Other Perl CRM Systems?

What have I missed? Are there any other open source CRM systems out there implemented in Perl?

For comparison, here are some details (mostly skimmed from Wikipedia) of open source CRM systems not implemented in perl…

CiviCRM

Designed to meet the needs of advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups. Implemented in PHP. The license for the current version is the GNU AGPL 3.

CiviCRM may be deployed either standalone or alongside Drupal and Joomla! content management systems. Both the Drupal and Joomla! professional associations use CiviCRM. The standalone version is intended to work alongside other CMSs.

CiviCRM is used by many large NGOs including Amnesty International, Creative Commons and the Wikimedia Foundation for their fundraising.

They’re currently considering a new architecture:

In short, we propose using PHP Doctrine for the ORM layer […] we propose using thin controllers which speak XML and JSON. All UI is subsequently pushed directly to HTML, JS and jQuery. The controllers and the UI are connected through authenticating RESTful interface.

Link to the CiviCRM project page at Ohloh.net.

vtiger CRM

An open source fork of SugerCRM. Implemented in PHP, initially released in 2003. Seems to be supported by AdventNet, who make a non-open source Java based CRM called Zoho. Licences: vtiger Public License 1.1 and SugarCRM Public License 1.1.2.

Hosted at sourceforge. Link to vtiger project page at Ohloh.net.

epesi BIM

Implemented in PHP. Links to the developers wiki, forums, and Ohloh.netproject page.

A search on Ohloh.net for tag:crm yields 649 projects with the CRM tag!

It turns out that Ohloh is a great way to look for projects. The Analysis Summary on each project page gives a useful overview of some key metrics: “Large, active development team”, “Few source code comments” etc.

Sorting the list in various ways and taking the projects (other than those above) that appear on the first page of each, gives this list, in no particular order:

OpenERP

“Python. Formerly known as TinyERP. OpenERP is an Open Source enterprise management software. It covers and integrates most enterprise needs and processes: accounting, hr, sales, crm, purchase, stock, production, services management, project management, marketing campaign, management by affairs, …

Once in production, it automates and help you to control all activities: sales triggers manufacturing orders, accounting entries are updated by stock operations, incoming mails are tracked in the system, the integrated document management system helps your team to collaborate, …”

Open For Business Project (Apache OFBiz)

Java. “The Open For Business Project is a set of tools and enterprise applications including ERP, CRM, e-commerce, SCM, MRP, and CMMS/EAM. It uses a service oriented and events driven architecture and tools to automate all aspects of application development and maintenance.”

Omni ERP

Python. “Omni ERP is an innovative business application platform; it is completely based in open source technologies and brings a whole new level of modularity and flexibility to the business solutions environment.
It uses a new approach combining new software engineering techniques like plugin based architecture, inversion of control and aspect oriented programming with a refreshing new RIA UI to bring a new level of experience to the SME market”

ADempiere

Java. “ADempiere Business Suite ERP/CRM/MFG/SCM/POS done the Bazaar way in an open and unabated fashion. Focus is on the Community that includes Subject Matter Specialists, Implementors and End-Users. We are a community fork of Compiere”

ERP5

Python. “ERP5 is a full featured high end Open Source / Libre Software solution published under GPL license and used for mission critial ERP / CRM / MRP / SCM / PDM applications by industrial organisations and government agencies.

It is distributed to linux community via packages for numerous distributions (Mandriva, Debian, Ubuntu,…) and a dedicated Live CD.”

JFire

Java. “JFire is an ERP, CRM, eBusiness, and SCM/SRM solution for business enterprises. It uses JavaEE, JDO, and Eclipse RCP, and is designed to be highly customizable. It is a complete and extensible solution that fulfills business needs like user management, online trade with business partners, points of sale, various distribution channels forming a distribution network, store management, etc.”

CK-ERP

PHP. “CK-ERP is an open source accounting / MRP / ERP / CRM system that runs on top of multiple middlewares. It provides accounting and back office functionalities to SMEs and utilizes the underlying middleware to administer accounts/groups.

It comprises 22 modules – Administration, Multilingual Facility, Contact Management, Customer Relationship, Customer Self Service, Vendor Relationship, Material Requirement Planning, Warehouse, Inventory, Service, Accounting Ledger, Bank Reconciliation, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Purchase Order, Sales Order, Quotation, POS for Cashier, POS for Manager, Human Resources, Staff Self Service and Payroll.

Operating platform can either be LAMP or LAPP. Backend database engine can be anyone of MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite”. Oddly, their home page says “minimal documentation will be made available to users of CK-ERP” and their roadmap is old.

Blue ERP

PHP. “Blue ERP is an open source, web based ERP application. Its goal is to provide a flexible and user friendly interface that can work out of the box and be modified to suit specific needs easily.

The main goals of the projects are:* provide a feature full ERP application
* be open in licence and in spirit – in blue ERP everything is open, especially the development
* be user friendly by providing adequate documentation and assistance to users to encourage widespread adoption”

OTRS::ITSM

After all the PHP systems, it’s nice to find one implemented in Perl! Though the description suggests it’s geared towards the needs of an IT Service organization.

“ITIL compliant Open Source IT Service Management Solution (ITSM). Requires the OTRS (Open Ticket Request System) framework.

Besides all OTRS features, new ones include Incident, Problem and Configuration Management, integrated Configuration Management Data Base; process spanning Communication management: within the IT Service organization, towards Customers/Users/Management and Suppliers/Providers; powerfull statistical features for (Trend-)Analysis, key figured Reporting, ITSM-Planning/-Controlling; flexible configuration, customizing and expandability regarding your individual requirements.”

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems in Perl