I Need a CRM Package

| 25 Comments

Over the past few months, I've been working with Kurt to evaluate LedgerSMB, a Perl-based accounting system that we thought we might be able to start using for our Perl Foundation accounting. So far, it looks promising and we're continuing our evaluation on a demo install.

I've been looking for an open source package because we want the flexibility to integrate with Act, the conference software used by many Perl events, and with our donation site. And this leads me to my next investigation. I'd really like to deploy a customer relationship management (CRM) package to allow us to better track our relationships with our donors, big and small.

I was a bit surprised to turn up next to nothing when I typed "perl CRM" into Google. In fact, all I found was someone else looking for one too.

So here's my call for help finding a Perl-based CRM. Do you know of one?

If I can't find one, I'll probably start evaluating CiviCRM since that seems popular with non-profits. I've also worked with SugarCRM and might consider that again, but it's very business-centered. In either case, any customization will be slow since I'm no PHP expert. I'd really prefer a Perl-based solution if one is out there.

25 Comments

I have found one CRM written in Perl. It is available at http://www.thinx.ch/customx.html, but I haven't tested it yet.

How about a grant to get someone to write one?

I couldn't find one either. Hmm, maybe that is an opportunity.

one, relatively good, php based is xrms. however, they make releases very seldom.

good, perl based crm, would help me too.

"Might" be the sort of thing you're looking for - licenced commercially but the source code is made available. Feel free to use the contact panel in the website to find out more...

WebGUI is an incredible CRM. It's written in Perl and was created by JT Smith, the founder of the Madison Perl Mongers and a well-known member of the Chicago Perl Mongers. If you want a sample, the MadMongers website runs on WebGUI. I'm just a user so I can't speak to its ease of administration, but I'll bet it's straightforward.

http://madmongers.org/
http://www.webgui.org/

Chris, don't confuse CRMs with CMSes! There are several Perl CRMs, some of which are confusing and powerful, and others which are merely confusing. As for CRMs, unfortunately, I couldn't find anything decent last time I looked.

My organisation is using CiviCRM internally, and I think it's probably the best bet for TPF as well. It would be nice to use something in Perl, but I thought "pragmatic" was one of our goals. :)

Oddly enough, I've been working on a CRM in Perl for a while now.

And as of yesterday, decided I would have something public by the end of January.

Unfortunately there's nothing up anywhere yet, but I'll be sure to touch back here when there's something to offer.

WebGUI is a CMS, not a CRM.

I dont really know about CRM but I find TWiki.org to be a solid and flexible application platform written in perl. You can make many different application/functions with it. Dont be put off by the wiki part in the name, there are many plugins and it is easy to customize and extend. A really good example of using Perl.

http://www.thinx.ch/customx.html looks interesting and it is open source and Perl. Unfortunately, I don't read German. Could you look it over and see if it has an English mode or the capability to run with other languages active? Multi-lingual like RT or Act would be excellent. (Could you take a quick look at http://wice.de/produkt.html too with the same questions?)

In response to the suggestion that it is an opportunity, I agree. Seems someone could whip one up with Catalyst or Jifty in no time, but it would probably be a while before it matched something like CiviCRM in maturity. Might be an opportunity for one of the Perl-based development shops out there.

As for soliciting one with a grant, at this point, I really need to leverage something to solve my problem. When there are already existing solutions, I don't think donors would like the idea of us spending TPF cash to re-solve the problem. Yes, I'd like to use a Perl one and that's why I'm asking, but given that there are other solutions, I don't think I'd even make a pitch to pay for a new one.

To follow on another comment, pragmatic _is_ one of our goals, which is why I'm leaning toward CiviCRM.

Geoff, http://www.internetrix.net/affinity looks interesting, but after a quick pass I didn't see where the source code was available. Do you know anything about the company, or did you just find it while searching?

John, please do keep us posted. Looks like you might be one of the first Perl CRMs out there!

With regard to comments about other packages, I agree that WebGUI and Twiki are indeed nice tools, but as has been noted, they aren't customer relationship management packages.

Just as an FYI, not a marketing attempt, we are a commercially available system for larger non-profits. We are in the process of rebranding from DonorWare to 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.

Anyhow, not sure if we are a fit for the Perl Foundation, but I just wanted you to know that there is a Perl system geared entirely to the non-profit world and fundraising.


Just as an FYI, not a marketing attempt, we are a commercially available system for larger non-profits. We are in the process of rebranding from DonorWare to 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.

Anyhow, not sure if we are a fit for the Perl Foundation, but I just wanted you to know that there is a Perl system geared entirely to the non-profit world and fundraising.

D'oh! I'm an acronym-parsing dolt. I do know the difference between a CRM and a CMS, but I didn't actually read the request. Mea culpa.

Sadly I find that same to be true for perl blog software. Short of MT I am not able to locate any perl "blogware" that could compete with WP or s9y. In fact most of the perl blogs I read or find in google are hosted on those two PHP platforms that albeit are very good blog solutions.

How about using a flexible, open source CMS with a flat file db which can easily can accommodate any other system? WebAPP, a multilingual CMS Perl Portal ( http://www.web-app.net/cgi-bin/index.cgi ) is on good example. Otherwise would recommend you to search for CMS and addons, you would be surprised how many relevant scripts you would fined.

Good luck!
Monty

As mentioned with some of the other posts, I was actually looking for a customer relationship management (CRM) system, not a content management system (CMS). But thanks for the comment and the pointer.

I have a simple CRM (for Customer Relations) 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.


[email protected]

Thanks for the offer. 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. That said, the responses here seemed to suggest a lack of a perl CRM, so getting one out there would be great.

As mentioned above, looks interesting - source is available, they say

(http://www.thinx.ch/topic7855.html)

"CustomX ist Open Source Software und kann bei uns als Download angefordert werden.
Gerne stellen wir Ihnen einen aktuellen Release von CustomX unter der Perl Artistic Licence zur Verfügung. Zu dem Release gehört ein Dump einer vorbereiteten Datenbank für PostgreSql, welche die wichtigsten Stammdaten enthält"

Perl AND Postgresql, whoa baby ! Them Germans don't mess around. Guess that's why OS/2 still exists there ...

We have a CRM (yes, Customer Relationship Management) here. Well - actually it's more like a ERP with invoices, Letter-writing and so on. Unfortunately it's quite old (started 1997) and big and crufty. Runs on top of MySQL, no mod_perl2 support. There are not enough ressources here to refactor it and it was originally tailored to the needs of a hardware company - although now being used by a sw-company. The CRM part is quite powerful however.

Jim, any update on the open sourcing of the donor.com code?

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Brandt published on January 13, 2008 2:43 AM.

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