I am one of the developers who wrote the initial version of the VtigerCRM when it was forked from SugarCRM. I have been closely tracking the activities happening in the Open source community and based on the discussion, most of the contributors are not quite happy with the proceedings. It is very much disappointing to see a not fully cooked 7.0.0 version of the product after 10 months from the 6.5 release. They should have already fixed all the blockers before they announced the release. Some of the blockers are:
There are a lot more such blockers which makes this release version unusable. Now the team is talking about an 7.0.1 patch for the fixes. We too have the same questions raised in the community by the contributors. There is a lot of difference between the Online and the Open source version. Does VtigerCRM want all its community users to start looking at the Paid Version? One of the modules has a vulnerability for a specific kind of user. Complete information not given out because of Security.
It is very evident that VtigerCRM team is more inclined towards its online version much like SugarCRM did during 2013 which gave birth to SuiteCRM. As one of the initial developers of VtigerCRM and still writing modules for VtigerCRM, we at Smackcoders, believe that it is time to fork and create another open source version for the interest of the community.
Open source VtigerCRM with closed community is slowly getting killed
We have been working with the Vtiger CRM and the related products from the initial days of Vtiger CRM. The Vtiger CRM development and community process were very slow from the initial days. But it is a very serious issue. The Open Source CRM in recent days has become more closed for even contribution. It gives a feeling that it is being run today by a very few greedy pirates who want to ensure no one else should be allowed to contribute or make business out of Vtiger CRM. We are worried very much as we have to support our existing 1000s of customers who are over Vtiger CRM. Even though we have been early contributors to the Open Source version, we have never been able to get our products listed out in the marketplace. I believe there are a lot of similar businesses like us.
The Stinking Problems with the Vtiger CRM Community:
Lack of maintenance
We have been submitting our extensions to the marketplace since its inception. None of our modules got listed. Without proper guidelines, we waited for a whole year with back-and-forth email for getting approval for our Google Calendar Integration.
Never letting the discussion grow
For no reason Vtiger Community moderators have always been favorable to a few. Without stating any reason, Our Vtiger discussion forum account has been blocked. Even a new account created using our domain will be blocked the following day. The comments on blogs will not go through and it made me write an open letter to Sreenivas. We got a lame-duck excuse from the company after a couple of months.
Lack of Openness
We have been the topic of discussion by a foul mouthed person in the mailing list as we did not contribute to the community. This forced us to send a note detailing our indirect contribution and the restriction we faced in the direct contribution. The mail has been sent a week earlier and has never been approved. If a mail is taking a month to get approved, the community can be closed for ever. Our mail to the thread.
An Open Letter to Sreenivas @ VtigerCRM
I have been closely following the happenings of the VtigerCRM as we do work on VtigerCRM for a lot of our customers. I would really like to let you know that the Vtiger CRM Open Source version deserves better management.
Quality is going down
The release comes as a surprise to many of us who are actively following the development process and the quality of the released version is much lower than the previous versions. You guys should have tried the Release Candidate version before going out with the release. However, it is good to see the release of 7.0.1 which I believe has bugs fixed. Let us wait and watch.
I see still zero comments on the release blog. I believe there will be a lot of people who would have left some appreciation or their thoughts on the release blog. I even left a comment which is still not visible in the post. Are you guys sending all comments directly to Trash? We see one of your developers coming and saying that you have fixed 100s of bugs which are not available in the list of issues in the repository. You guys should call it as a FREE version than the open source version.
Too much tied to Vtiger Company
When we compare the new User Interface release on the On Demand hosted Vtiger and the Open source version, I believe the community should have been given the new User interface much earlier. It makes me feel that there must be an intentional delay in the Open source version. Given the community's activeness, I believe the Open Source version need a separate community manager and works independent of the VtigerCRM company. I would love to see these concerns addressed going forward. We (Smackcoders Technologies) build a lot of extensions integrating Vtiger with other products. We do hosting of the CRM and also customize it for their own installations. Our customers did raise concerns over the current release.
Who is the Looser ?
CRM is no more just managing data for the customer. It is a centerpiece of the group of all the business applications used today. But I don’t see any vision for the open source managers in taking the Vtiger CRM to the next level. Ultimately, the customers who are going to use the Vtiger CRM are going to live in the 20th Century as the 21st Century gallops at a much faster rate. We have thousands of customers to serve for the Open Source version and we will not be able to do it without a proper cooperation from the community.
As the Vtiger CRM is getting more closed, We have been forced to fork the Vtiger – Joforce. We could have happily written something over Vtiger CRM, if our roads were not bumpy and rough. As one of the initial developers of Vtiger, I wish to continue my indirect contribution to the community as like the past with Joforce.