We are half way through the SugarCRM Solution Architect Webinar Series and we have had a great turn-out so far with over 400 people coming to our first 4 webinars. Even if you miss the live webinars, you can still go back and watch the recordings on your own time.

For more information on what you can expect, you should read our recent blog post on the webinar series.

Accessing the Recordings

Visit Sugar University’s webinar library for all previous recordings. Recordings are posted usually one or two business days after the live event.

Webinars with recordings are as follows:

1. (Sep 6th) – Introduction to Solution Architecture for Sugar & CRM Project Fundamentals
2. (Sep 7th) – The Sugar Platform
3. (Sep 20th) – Design
4. (Sep 21st) – Integration

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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.

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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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You may have heard that SugarCRM will be presenting a series of webinars on solution architecture for the Sugar platform, throughout this September and October.

Beginning on September 6th, Sugar University’s Solution Architect Webinar Series will present the following topics:

  • Introduction to Solution Architecture for Sugar
  • CRM Project Fundamentals
  • The Sugar Platform
  • Design
  • Integration
  • Sugar Implementation
  • Performance and Quality Assurance
  • Deployment
  • Security

Each webinar will be guided by a panel of experts from across SugarCRM, including some familiar faces from the Architecting Successful Projects panel at this year’s UnCon

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Here is a guest post from Ivica Nedeljkovic from Intelestream which is one of our new SugarCRM Partners. In this post, Ivica explains how you can use Intelestream created Docker containers hosted on DockerHub to easily deploy Sugar.

If I was asked to list the top five technologies in the last 5 years, Docker would certainly be on the list.The real advantage that Docker containers have over other server virtualization software is that Docker uses shared operating systems instead of trying to virtualize hardware. This takes less resources, is easier to boot, and faster to spin up instances.

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Docker 1.12

Some performance issues were experienced with Docker containers on OS X and Windows and some security issues were also experienced because up until Docker version 1.12. Until Docker 1.12, the native OS X/Windows virtualization options were not used and 3rd party Linux virtual machines such as VirtualBox were used instead. For virtualization, Docker 1.12 for Windows uses Alpine Linux on top of a Hyper-V VM and Docker 1.12 for Mac OSX uses Alpine Linux on top of a xhyve Virtual Machine.

Docker 1.12  was released in July 2016. In addition to boosting performance it also simplifies the whole process of creating new containers, as you no longer need to use a docker-machine anymore to create virtual machines.

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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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Here is a guest post from Sugar Developer Francesca Shiekh who works for our customer Wolfram Research. She also happens to be one of the most active developers in the Sugar Developer Community! In this post, Francesca and Wolfram Research Systems Administrator Trey Mitchell share how you can customize Sugar to use an alternative PDF generator for the creation of PDF documents in Sugar.

Creating better PDFs with CSS

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We wanted a custom Contracts module that allowed specific styling to be applied to all Contract PDFs.  We determined that we could use CSS to apply a consistent style to any and all PDF documents associated with this new custom Contracts module. But we could not achieve this with SugarPDF due to the complexity of our CSS. Also overriding sugarpdf.pfdmanager.php was not an option as it is an extension of TCPDF and TCPDF has limited CSS support.

It was therefore necessary for use to look at alternatives that could better handle CSS.  We found a promising open source tool called wkhtmltopdf that uses WebKit.  WebKit should be familiar because it is the same layout engine used in Safari and Google Chrome, and is therefore very accurate in rendering CSS.

We still wanted to leverage the PDF Manager module to create and maintain our PDFs. We planned to develop our Contract templates in HTML with our own custom CSS and then copy them into the HTML editor that was already available in PDF Manager.

Read more below to find out how we made it work.

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