As you know, the Sugar Team has devoted a lot of time and effort in the last two and a half years to extending the CRM platform underneath Sugar. Starting with Sugar 5.0, we made enhancements that have culminated in the most modern and easy-to-extend CRM platform available.
The upcoming Sugar 5.5 release is the last in a series of four Sugar 5.x releases focused on enhancing the platform. In the upcoming release, we are completing our major efforts around strengthening the platform in the areas of security, Web services and the extensibility of the user interface. What does this mean for your users and fellow developers?
We built the new Advanced Passwords functionality to fulfill the many requests we received to increase the difficultly in accessing the system without authorization. These days, there is a high demand for application security, as external threats are increasingly more imminent and malicious. By implementing strong password requirements, automatic expiration of passwords and login lockout mechanisms, the application becomes a lot less vulnerable to attacks. IT administrators will be able to sleep more easily knowing the application is more secure. This feature is available in the Sugar Community, Professional and Enterprise editions.
We also enhanced record security within the application by creating the ability to assign a record to multiple teams instead of just one team as implemented today. Increased control of record visibility through the Dynamic Teams functionality allows users to conduct their business processes with fewer steps. The appropriate users and teams can be directly assigned to records for action without compromising information security. This feature is available in the Sugar Professional and Enterprise editions.
The purpose of enhancing our Web Services API’s is to improve the user experience of using Sugar plug-ins, extensions and 3rd party integrations. Improved performance and faster data access is directly tied to increased user productivity, which ultimately results in greater ROI. At this time, it is crucial for businesses to be as efficient as possible with their current and limited resources.
Improving our Web Services also makes it easier for developers to create upgrade-safe plugins, extensions and 3rd party integrations built upon the extensible frameworks we have in place. The more extensions that are available, the easier it is for Sugar users to access the data and services they need to conduct their businesses successfully. Find out more about what we’re doing to improve Web Services within the Sugar Forums. This feature is available in the Sugar Community, Professional and Enterprise editions.
In the same vein, we are enhancing the Themes framework to make it easier for developers and users to create new themes and customize the out-of-the-box themes to suit their unique needs and aesthetic preferences. Sugar already ships with twenty themes, and these themes will be more flexible and customizable by web designers in the new framework. We expect theme designers to let their imaginations soar and build themes that allow users to personalize their Sugar experience. I don’t know many people out there who haven’t customized their desktops, IM clients and other heavily-used applications with backgrounds and other elements that increase their productivity and reflect their personalities. This feature is available in the Sugar Community, Professional and Enterprise editions.
We enabled the customization of the Sugar Wireless mobile view in Studio as well. After the release of the new mobile view in Sugar 5.0, we received feedback from many users who are using it extensively. Users wanted to be able view and work with additional fields and modules on top of what we provided by default. Now, with the ability to add custom fields to the mobile views, as well as additional modules, including custom modules built in Module Builder, users have the power to access as much or as little information within the Sugar application as desired from their smart phones. This feature is available in the Sugar Professional and Enterprise editions.
With these major features, and several additional smaller features to be outlined in future blog posts, you will find Sugar 5.5 to be an application that your sales, marketing and support teams enjoy using, your administrators feel safe deploying, and your fellow developers enjoy building on top of.