SugarCRM Builds a Firm Foundation
SugarCRM has become the latest open source vendor to simplify the installation and support of a full software stack comprising its own CRM application and other third party offerings. Thursday, the company unveiled Sugar FastStack, a service to set up and support a stack of its Sugar Professional or Enterprise product.
With FastStack, customers will also be able to set up and support an open source software stack, which includes the Apache Web Server, the PHP Web scripting language, and the MySQL database. FastStack can also be installed on the three operating systems SugarCRM supports--Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. The installation process uses a wizard approach to walk users through installing each piece of the stack.
Creating stacks of open source software and middleware components, like Apache and MySQL, for open source applications to sit on top of is a growing trend among open source software companies. The aim is to accelerate the adoption of open source technologies with the vendors by taking on more of the complexity involved in getting different components and software to work together. The SugarCRM announcement, however, represents simply a service, and doesn't reflect any product altering on the part of the company. "We're not getting into the stacks business," says John Roberts, CEO and cofounder. "We're a business applications company. We're making the underlying technologies below our applications as simple as possible for folks."
The FastStack and related technologies should appeal particularly to small (15 to 20 SugarCRM seat) companies that lack a deep level of technology expertise, says Laurie McCabe, vice president of SMB insights and solutions at AMI-Partners. "While it's not difficult for nontechnical people to go to the various Web sites and install the individual open source components, it can be difficult to integrate all the components and optimize their combined performance," she says.
FastStack also supports SugarCRM's other major Web server, Microsoft's Internet Information Server, and two other databases the CRM applications run on, Microsoft's SQL Server and Oracle's databases, according to Roberts.
FastStack is available for download form SugarCRM's Web site for a fee of $499 for customers who are also purchasing either Sugar Professional On-Site or Sugar Enterprise On-Site. Professional costs $275 per user per year, while Enterprise is priced at $449 per user per year.
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