[Vtigercrm-developers] List of potential contributions - feedback requested

Nolan Andres nolan at peaceworks.ca
Mon Apr 7 22:04:24 PDT 2008

Hey, everyone...

I've been lurking on this list for quite a while (could be 2 years!) For over 2 years, now, my company has been doing customization work on vTiger, most of it on a highly customized installation that is still running v4.2.

The customizations are so extensive, and the transition from 4.2 to 5.0 was so rocky that the client has never been willing to make the move. They still aren't. 

However, we just got permission from them to contribute any useful modifications and modules to the project. Hooray! My company is willing to provide at least some amount of work to make the transition from 4.2 to 5.0 for these components, but I wanted to post a short annotated list to find out whether any of these pieces might be of interest to the community, and if so, how they might be prioritized. 

Here's the list. Please let me know what you think. Any of these sound interesting?

1. Auto-Email Standardization 

Our client found the vTiger email notification stuff disconcerting. Reasons for emails going out were not clearly enumerated or codified, and control over these emails was limited at best. We wrote a framework that provides a series of Auto-Email categories:
  * entity-created: sends when an entity of the chosen type is created
  * entity-altered: sends when an entity of the chosen type is altered
  * entity-deleted: sends when an entity of the chosen type is deleted
  * value-triggered: sends when a set of value conditions on an entity of the chosen type is met (can be scheduled, or reactive--on save)
  * scheduled custom: executes a custom function on schedule
  * scheduled report: emails a report on schedule

A wide variety of options exist for sending the email notifications:
  * send to arbitrary email address(es)
  * send to user(s)
  * send to contact(s)
  * send to assigned user
  * send to team
  * do not send to triggering user
  * can send attachments

Schedules can be set yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, each minute

Subject and body are template-driven, allowing parameters from triggering entities of the chosen type.


2. Google Earth Report Integration

Provides a configuration tool (part of the report specification) that allows report attributes to be output within the context of a real-time KML feed as parts of a placemark. As an example, you can visualize the results of a report...say a report on your Accounts...in Google Earth...see the geographic distribution of your Accounts.


3. Improvements to Uploads/File Attachments to Entities

Implements per-entity-type file repositories that can have internal folder hierarchies and maintain per-entity folders (no more clobbering files of the same name that were uploaded/attached to a different entity). Utilizes a JavaScript file browser, and allows vTiger to maintain file permissions on files and folders (optional). 


4. Timesheets

I know TSolucio has one of these. We tried it out and it didn't match the needs we had very well. I suspect we'll just provide this one as an alternative to the TSolucio one from our website, just in case someone else's needs are more closely aligned with the ones our client had.


5. Report Folder Permissions / Personal Report Folders

We added Reports to the profile management functionality, and added a personal "My Reports" folder for each user. You can hide report folders from some users, allow certain users to create new reports or manage certain folders, etc. Each user has their own My Reports folder where they can create reports of their own. When users have access to view a Report (but not edit it) and they want to customize it, they can clone it to their My Reports folder and modify it there. 


6. Custom Field Improvements

We put the custom fields inside a tabbed (JS) block. Added Custom Field management functionality that allows admin users to create more tabs, blocks, and sub-blocks, arranging (and rearranging) custom fields within them. Really useful when you have a lot of custom fields. When multiple tabs have not been created, the Custom Fields block looks as it normally does. Also allows Custom Fields to be renamed.


As I said, we'd love to hear feedback on these. If there's anything that the vTiger project can use, we'd be happy to contribute them. We've done a lot of work with vTiger, and it's been a huge success both for us and for our client. It would be great to have the opportunity to contribute back. 

Nolan Andres
PeaceWorks Computer Consulting Inc.

More information about the vtigercrm-developers mailing list