Most British folk grow up knowing the word ‘Git’ as a derogatory and perhaps slightly offensive insult. However, in the world of computer science and programming, it happens to be one of the most useful tools available to make developers lives easier.
Put simply, Git is a ‘version control system’ and when several people are working together on the same document, it helps with managing a change log of small incremental modifications to the files in a directory.
“He added this line of text, she removed that line, and then added this comment .. etc”
Under normal circumstances, when you look at a folder of files on your computer, it’s a snap shot of those files as they are today. However if Git was managing that folder, the files would have their history stored as a time line and you can determine what’s changed at certain points in time. Git is also a time machine for your files and you can travel forwards and backwards reverting to prior states.
If you think of Git history as a train line then a Git “Commit” is a station. At any station you may decide to “Branch” off and create a new line (with a different name) that diverges away from the original. This is akin to “save as” and, for a period of time, we may work on a separate branch to avoid polluting the original “Master” branch. We may experiment or develop new features here whilst the Master branch remains intact. However, with Git, it’s also possible to “Merge” the changes back into the Master branch at a later stage if we decide they should become part of the main line.
Two Open Source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems to consider in 2020
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with (and customizing) numerous CRM systems for a variety of businesses. Since a client had recently asked me which I would currently recommend, I thought it was high time I checked up on the various pros and cons from two of my favorites and lay them out for my clients and affiliates.
Both packages are ‘Open Source’ meaning the ‘community versions’ of their source code is freely available to use and modify by anyone. However both companies also provide the software as a service (SaaS) that encompasses hosting and support on their own servers for a monthly or yearly subscription. Another revenue generation tool for both systems is via additional paid modules that add functionality to the base systems.
Both packages are therefore running remotely on a server (in the cloud) and your data/files are stored within remote databases and distributed storage clusters. Users access the software via their browser or mobile devices.
Realistically the target audience for both systems is Small to Medium sized Businesses (SME/SMB) with between 5 to 50 users. Although Odoo is especially capable of scaling well.
At it stands, at the end of 2019, Odoo and VTiger are rated somewhat similarly on various rating websites. Comparing specifications of an iPad 2018 model with its 2019 counterpart is one thing but, in my opinion, comparison websites that attempt to place complex software side by side end up comparing apples with pears and it can often be misleading.
Personally I prefer the User Interface of Odoo, it feels more modern and certain aspects like the Kanban Pipeline work really well, blending simplicity with a perfect level of functionality for most users.
extending the system for client needs
As a software developer, I was originally swayed by VTiger due to the programming language (PHP) rather than Odoo (Python). This was a simple business decision based on the availability of PHP developers and based on my own skill sets and additional experience in PHP. Although in recent years I would say that is less of a concern within the market.
The nature of the product being sold will drive how the system is used. Certain clients may have a real interest in the reporting functionality and expect to generate a great deal of management information from sales figures. Both Odoo and VTiger boast excellent reporting tools and allow filters to be applied to the sales data within a large range of dimensions. Other clients are interested in linking their website to the CRM and creating a pipeline of leads from external inbound marketing platforms.
Sharing of data and collaboration with colleagues is important in business that have larger sales teams or more hierarchical internal staffing structures.
The end result will vary for each client. There really is no such thing as a standard CRM system – every company will have a different set of priorities and the final implementation will function very differently.