Professional open source software is becoming increasingly available for businesses and seen as marketing strategy for software vendors. Free Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is great for any business that needs a customised CRM or a foundation to build applications upon.

It is refreshing to see the growing number of alternatives to and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Over 50,000 companies use SugarCRM and the California based company currently has 150+ employees. SugarCRM is based on PHP scriting language and relatively easy to learn and amend. However to simplify software integration, using the same software language across the board is preferential.

For business working in a Microsoft focus environment, PHP is not the first choice. SplendidCRM offer such solution using the Microsoft oriented C#.NET programming language. SplendidCRM is based on earlier version of SugarCRM and uses the same database but the application has been ported into a.NET environment. It does make a good choice for some businesses, but with SugarCRM’s position as leading Open Source CRM system we are likely to find third party component not being compatible with SplendidCRM. SugarCRM popularity also means we are likely to see new versions and improvements in years to come.

Microsoft technologies and PHP can work together, but to provide seamless integration of a PHP application with an ASP.NET based software can be tricky. Integration requirements need to be studied on a case by case basis. Factors influencing estimates include the level of integration required, number of entry points and speed requirements. A PHP application may have one way to handle user authentication and a.NET application another.

However, two applications using the same database content with little other integration is less of a hassle. If you are you require cross framework integration we recommend a consultant to analyse requirements.

SugarCRM is free with basic functionality and comes with open source code that allows developers to extend to system, professional version cost about $360/User (minimum 5) and year.

SplendidCRM has a free extendable basic version, professional version cost $275/user (minimum 10) and year.

Source by Axel Sunnehall