A new item in the 5.2 release is the Cloud Connector framework. The framework allows developers to integrate data from external Web Services and widgets into their SugarCRM installation. Data from existing modules such as accounts, contacts, and leads may act as inputs to retrieve external data.
For the Community Edition, the framework will allow the placement of what we call Cloud View Icons on fields in a record’s detail view. When you place your cursor over the icon, it activates the code in the Connector, typically a search of an external data provider. These icons may link to external web services or widgets to retrieve additional information. For Sugar 5.2 we included support for LinkedIn©’s Company Insider widget in the Community Edition release which can be used as an example connector to learn the framework and create your own.
In Sugar Professional and Enterprise the system will also contain additional connectors (e.g. Hoovers© and Jigsaw©) and have the ability to merge the data into existing records.
The main components for the framework are the factories, source and formatter classes.
The factories are responsible for returning the appropriate source or formatter instance for a connector. Sources are responsible for encapsulating the retrieval of the data as a single record or a list or records of the connectors. Formatters are responsible for rendering the display elements of the connectors.
For more details on the framework and getting started writing your own connectors check out the updated 5.2 developer guide.