Sugar Data Center Edition and automating a hosting environment

sugarcrmdevelopers —  September 3, 2008 — Leave a comment

The first release of Sugar Data Center Edition is nearing completion in the next couple of weeks.  As the engineering team is going through the final rounds of testing I thought I would shed some light on what we are trying to accomplish with this new product line.

SugarCRM as a company is now over four years old.  We have been running our Sugar On-Demand business since the beginning and have learned a lot along the way as our customer base and hosting environment has grown.  We began by creating some automation in our environment for deploying Sugar On-Demand instances, then adding some reporting and admin automation for our sales and support teams.  After our IT team built a UI on top of their work, we decided that it was time to productize our internal efforts and release it as Sugar Data Center Edition (DCE).

There are two audiences in the Sugar community that we are targeting with this new product line.  The first one is our Sugar partners who are reselling and hosting Sugar products in their own data centers around the world.  The second audience is our larger multi-national enterprise customers who are rolling out larger company-wide Sugar deployments across several distinct divisions and geographical locations.

DCE is built on top of the same Sugar Platform that our Community, Professional and Enterprise editions run on.  The product serves as an administration console for managing many Sugar instances in a hosting environment.  The levels of automation that we are initially targeting are:

  • deployments
  • upgrades
  • support user management
  • licensing
  • monitoring/data collection

To further extend the automation aspects that DCE provide, we have also extended our Web Services API for some DCE-specific function calls.  This is primarily targeted to our partner base who would like to have their already existing systems such as their own corporate Web sites and billing systems perform automated calls without having to log into the system manually to perform certain actions.., a couple use cases could include:

  • A prospect signing up on a partner’s corporate site could fire off an automated call to DCE which will provision and license the evaluation copy and then notify the prospect when it is live and ready to be used.., typically within a couple minutes
  • A customer who is updating their details via an existing billing system can then have the billing system call out to the DCE instance and update the customer information in there to keep updated licensing/billing information

There are a hefty amount of features we are digging through and organizing for some future releases targeted for later this year and early next.  If you have some ideas for some DCE functionality that would help you in your Sugar hosting needs, drop them in the comments.

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