SugarCRM and Open Source blog – Larry Augustin .. turning SugarCRM

SugarCRM felt like a proprietary software company that leveraged the banner of Open Source for marketing purposes. There was little attempt to engage with the community and upgrades frequently broke community contributed offerings with no
code previews available to prepare developers for But if the engagement with the community and release of code continues, Larry Augustin is building the foundations of a SugarCRM that can truly be the most dynamic CRM in the market.

Some more evidence is beginning to emerge of the new hand on the tiller at SugarCRM.

Under the previous CEO, John Roberts, there was a scant regard for the community. SugarCRM felt like a proprietary software company that leveraged the banner of Open Source for marketing purposes. There was little attempt to engage with the community and upgrades frequently broke community contributed offerings with no code previews available to prepare developers for the impending changes. So, although he did a brilliant job of building the application rapidly, Roberts was digging a hole for SugarCRM as it continued to ignore its greatest asset, the community.

Now under Larry Augustin, we’re seeing some subtle changes.

Firstly, an acknowledgement from SugarCRM that quality has been a victim in the rush for functionality. Simply, there are too many bugs. None of them are deal breakers, but there are irritants aplenty. The Sugar response under John Roberts would have been haughty. Under Mr. Augustin it has been surprising and direct. SugarCRM has engaged with the community to ask for volunteers for a “Test Fest”.

The primary purpose of Test Fest is to “help make Sugar 5.5 the highest quality release ever!” A laudable and achievable aim.

Test Fest will involve “A collection of end-users, developers, and SugarCRM employees who work closely together to validate new features and bug fixes in Sugar components that are important to their business.” Or, put another way, it will involve the community. Fantastic.

We have signed up as volunteers and I would urge anyone whose businesses is predicated on SugarCRM whether as a SugarCRM service company or as a business that uses SugarCRM, that you sign up to this effort. You can volunteer here.

When Test Fest is taken in conjunction with the release of Advanced Projects to the community in Release 5.5.1 (see following post), evidence is beginning to emerge of a very different SugarCRM. It may be early days and we may be reading too much into this. But if the engagement with the community and release of code continues, Larry Augustin is building the foundations of a SugarCRM that can truly be the most dynamic CRM in the market. Bar none!!