Archives For Engineering Team

To be honest, I do not get to sling code all that often anymore. But I do spend a lot of time thinking about software even when I have no real hand (or keyboard) in creating it. I also talk to people about software a lot – software design, solution architecture, teams, and development processes. This means my growth today as a software professional comes primarily from the wisdom of others. And this was probably always true.

I have started to read more books about software and most recently that meant reading The Pragmatic Programmer. For those who do not know it, it is a classic software engineering book that was released in 1999. In a fast moving industry, what could you possible learn from a 17+ year old technology book? Well if you read it (again) then you may be surprised. The Pragmatic Programmer is not about programming – it is about programming processes, practices, and code craftsmanship. While you may not agree with everything you find in it, some parts feel out of date, it remains overall a very worthy book. I recommend it.

Something that books do for me is to put names on some concepts that I acquired from first-hand experience. It has also fully explained others I have known from having heard them tossed over cubicle walls or conference room tables over the years. Terms like Reversibility, Orthogonality, and many others represent concepts that should guide any Sugar Developer who sits down to her daily work of customizing, integrating, and extending the Sugar platform.

So in the spirit of The Pragmatic Programmer, here is my take on what some of the lessons taught in the Pragmatic Programmer mean to a Sugar Developer.

For a “cliff notes” version of the Pragmatic Programmer, you can find a quick reference guides and other summaries online.

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You may have seen that that Sugar 7.8 has now been released! We have introduced some important platform updates in this release. Have you read the developer release notes yet? Here are three additional and essential resources for you to use before you embark on new Sugar 7.8 projects.

Sugar 7.8 Migration Guide

The Migration Guide for Sugar 7.8 is an essential resource for any Sugar Developer upgrading a customer from Sugar 7.7.x. The guide will help you identify code and platform changes that you need to make in order to ensure that you can upgrade your code and customers successfully.

Sugar 7.8 Unit Tests

The Sugar Unit Tests repository has been updated with our unit test suites for Sugar 7.8. This is an essential resource for ensuring that your Sugar 7.8 custom code is working correctly and hasn’t introduced regressions within Sugar core code. Remember that you need to sign up for access to the Sugar test repositories.

Sugar 7.8 Overview for Sugar Developers

We delivered a recorded webinar that is now available in the Developer space in the Sugar Community. This is a great way to get immediate understanding about the new platform features and changes that were introduced in Sugar 7.8. The presentation slides are also available in the community.

Important security changes in Sugar 7.8

As we near the release of Sugar 7.8, we wanted to update the Sugar Developer community on a couple of important security changes that are coming in this release.

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Sugar’s Single Page Architecture

Sugar relies on a single page architecture (SPA) for the Sidecar framework. But when a user navigates across the Sugar application (for example, when switching to another Sugar module), while the page is not refreshed, you will find that the majority of the HTML on the page is still re-rendered based upon the newly selected layout. This is done to not only change the style or configuration of the view (ex. List View → Record View) but also to update the context and configuration for the dashboard panel.

But not everything changes – the footer and header of the application remain fixed so they can serve as navigational anchors for Sugar users. This is an important use case but there are certainly others.

Telephony integration scenarios

A common set of integrations that are built for Sugar involve integrating a phone system for use by customer service organizations. This can vary from simple “click to dial” softphone functionality to full blown multi-channel call center capability where an agent handles phone, SMS, and e-mail inquiries at the same time.

A typical in-bound call process follows:

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Sugar Developers now have a new tool for building upgrade safe mobile customizations that address most branding, theming, and mobile security requirements.

Introducing Sugar MACS

Introducing the Sugar Mobile Application Configurator Service (Sugar MACS)! This tool allows Sugar Developers building solutions for Sugar Enterprise customers to create and distribute custom-branded versions of the SugarCRM Mobile app.

Many of you have seen earlier previews of Sugar MACS at SugarCon and UnCon.

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Sugar Performance Engineer Vadzim Ramanenka shares some tips for profiling Sugar code using our newly launched SugarCRM XHProf Viewer open source project.

Profiling Sugar softly

Whenever you encounter that something is not working as fast as you would like, you need a way to look “under the hood” and understand what exactly is slowing things down. Sugar 7.7.0 added a built-in capability to collect detailed performance profiling data and store it in files. Recently, we released an open source SugarCRM XHProf Viewer project which can be used to visualize performance bottlenecks.

XhprofCallGraph.png

Example of a XHProf call graph diagram

Read on to learn how to configure both Sugar and the Viewer in a few simple steps.

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At SugarCRM, we have been accelerating the rate at which we share technology with the Sugar Developer community. Back in June at UnCon, we shared more open source code examples and tools than ever before. In April, we announced Sucrose Charts and the Sugar REST Harness. I am pleased to announce that we have open sourced three more projects under the Apache-2 license!

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