How would you like your sugar served? In grains, cubes, in a bowl or in a packet? Yes, this may be a cheesy play on the SugarCRM name but it is the perfect metaphor for the deployment options you have with SugarCRM.
Many of the CRM vendors today have one or maybe two deployment options. With SugarCRM, you can deploy in any of the multiple ways you will see outlined in this article.
First let’s recap on just a few places and platforms that we have seen SugarCRM installed. We have seen it on the Bitnami LAMP/WAMP stack, in the cloud with Amazon EC2, hosted by SugarCRM Inc with Sugar On-Demand, or installed on your local Window, Mac OSX or Linux server. Of course all of these different server installation options can be accessed with your web browser, mobile device or using the Sugar offline client.
To add to this list, we now have the SugarStick. I initially created the SugarStick a year ago to show the flexibility of SugarCRM at the first SugarCRM Atlanta Meetup. The SugarStick is a completely self-contained Apache, PHP, MySQL, SugarCRM installation running from a USB drive or “stick”. No, it’s not a VM image. No, it doesn’t install the stack software onto your machine. Read on…
A few issues arise when you start thinking about running a CRM application from a USB stick. The first is how to run Apache, MySQL, and PHP on a USB stick without having anything get installed to the host system. To overcome this, I found CH Software’s MoWeS Portable package. It is a lightweight and easy-to-configure software package that runs Apache, PHP and MySQL without installing those software packages on your machine.
The next problem is, what if the host system is already running a Web server or DB server? This can be corrected by changing the default ports that the server runs on. In my How to make a SugarStick tutorial you will see a step-by-step guide on how to get this up and running.
To make it even easier, the people at CH Software have added SugarCRM to their package list on their download site. This means that when you download MoWeS portable, you can simply choose to include SugarCRM and it will come preinstalled.
Now that you know what the SugarStick is, you may be wondering what the uses for this would be. The benefit of this would be that it can be used on any Windows system and will not clutter your host with extra services that you might not need all of the time. The best use that I have been able to come up with is for entrepreneurs that are very mobile. The SugarStick enables them to use SugarCRM anywhere, with or without an Internet connection. It also enables them to work from different systems, if needed, by simply plugging in the USB stick to any system they are working on. The last use is as a promotional item. USB sticks are cheap, so brand them, install SugarCRM and give them away for people to play with and use.