Today, we would like to present our modifications and updates concerning D2SBridge during the last weeks.
We implemented a plugin system for D2SBridge. Now, you may change or enhance the base functionality by writing own plugins for D2SBridge. For example, we wrote a Plugin in a few lines attaching data submitted by the webform as an email instead of a note. Currently, we are thinking about additional hooks for the plugins in order to simplify and to enhance the capabilities of D2SBridge.
We are also experimenting with a new plugin (consisting of two parts: D2SBridge and SugarCRM) which can be used to connect the drupal forms with a DimDim-Meeting. The workflow is very simple:
You create a webmeeting in SugarCRM (we wrote a new module for this purpose), enter the meeting details like start-time & date, and hit the save button. The entered data is used to schedule a meeting on DimDim. Every time you change the meeting details in SugarCRM, the changes will automatically be submitted to DimDim.
The meetings you entered in SugarCRM, may now be chosen via an autocomplete textfield in the drupal webform settings. If you relate a meeting to a webform, the lead/contact found or created by D2SBridge, will be related to the meeting in SugarCRM and will be invited to the meeting. You are able to open a new window and start the meeting in DimDim by just one click within SugarCRM.
This way you are able to see all leads/contacts in SugarCRM who have registered for a meeting.
There are also plans to integrate DimDim CSV meeting-reports in order to add a small note to each lead – if the person did actually participate in the meeting he registered for – but we will tell you more about that in the near future.
For several months, we are using Drupal for our web page (mayflower.de) and SugarCRM Professional Edition for managing our customer relations.
On mayflower.de, we provide various forms for our customers helping them to get in contact with us. Before using the D2SBridge, the forms were sent to an internal email address and added manually to our Leads and Contacts. We were thinking of how we could improve this workflow and consequently started to develop the D2SBridge.
“D2SBridge” stands for “Drupal to SugarCRM Bridge” and has the aim to connect these two products.
The D2SBridge enhances the webform module of Drupal to provide additional settings:
You can activate the D2SBridge for every form directly in the form’s settings menu. If activated, you are able to choose the corresponding SugarCRM fields for each form element. It is possible to define preselected values for form fields, as well as to create templates for the resulting SugarCRM entries. SugarCRM standard fields can be used but also Custom fields.
Every time an entry is made, the D2SBridge takes the submitted values and stores them in the Drupal database. First of all, we were thinking of adding the entries directly from the Drupal module to the SugarCRM via SOAP but we dropped that idea for an important reason:
We do not want the SugarCRM to be reachable via the internet and we do not want our webserver to be able to access our intern network – both for security reasons.
Keeping this in mind, we decided to invert the process:
An additional process on a machine in the internal network gathers the data from the webserver and submits it via SOAP to SugarCRM. With this approach, we reach a high level of security while maintaining the wanted functionality.
The submitted data is attached to an existing lead or contact as a note. If there is no corresponding lead or contact yet, the D2SBridge creates one and attaches the note to it.
Key Features already implemented
- Comfortable admin interface within the Drupal menu
- No loss of data if the SugarCRM server is offline for a while, the data entered meanwhile gets submitted when the SugarCRM is online again
- Secure transmission from and to SugarCRM
- Creation of leads and contacts
- Attachment of notes to leads/contacts
- Relating of leads/contacts to target lists and/or campaigns
- Periodic email notification about incoming entries and their status
- Autocomplete functionality for some of the preselection fields