360 TEAM has now been, for some time, one of the primary sponsors and developers of the open source XRMS CRM system.  We came upon it a couple of years back when researching a cost efficient Customer Relationship Management and Marketing Automating solution for a client and it has been our favourite system to date.

Sure, it has its drawbacks.  The system was launched as an open source project in 2004, had its latest stable release back in 2006 and, from a visual perspective, lacks the polish of many of its competitors; the interface is solely table- and text-based with no shiny graphical icons and buttons and there are still many interface components that could be organized better.  However, as far as drawbacks go, these are pretty minor compared to its advantages.

To begin with, XRMS is the best truly open source system available today.  Yes, even after almost four years from its latest stable release, that is still the case.  There are others which promote being “open source” but their licenses are incompatible with the open source model and even among those, XRMS can throw its weight around pretty well.  XRMS is the only open source CRM System that “gets” the relationships between contacts and companies and how they can change over time.  Its code base is robust, well thought out and inline documented and easy to work with.  And, as much as its interface may look plain, it is fast, highly functional and allows the user to perform multiple tasks at the same time.  And we are working to make it even better!

At first, we simply deployed XRMS “AS-IS”.  Shortly thereafter we contributed the 'blueengine' theme which was specifically designed to give XRMS a sniny new look for today's sophisticated browsers.  Next, we fixed a few bugs, then some more and today XRMS is the primary focus of our development work.

The present state of XRMS is one of flux.  Its stable release is somewhat outdated but works well when upgraded with the 'blueengine' theme.  The development branch (CVS) has been continually improved since.  The interface is being streamlined and there is much left to do in this regard.  There is new functionality added and bugs are being fixed.  Is the CVS development branch ready to use in production?  It depends...

If you know what you are doing and are not new to PHP, that is an affirmative!  We use the CVS development branch ourselves and have deployed it for clients with no significant issues.  In fact, it has helped us identify some hideously sneaky bugs that have gone unnoticed for years and we have been able to patch the client's installations very quickly.  Feel free to look at the XRMS Demo we are hosting here to explore the system's capabilities.

If you are developer who is looking to join a promising project that is gaining traction again, this may just be the place for you.  Visit the project website on SourceForge and join the team of developers who are excited about XRMS' future.

However, if you are the average user that expects that the system will install with a click of a button and can be relied on without knowing anything about server configuration or security, you may be in for a surprise.  XRMS is an enterprise system and has been built on the assumption that it will run on a secure network, behind a firewall, with all the adjunct safeguards in place.  Here is where the XRMS community can help and where we can be of service to you.

If you'd like to get a 'feel' of the system, you are welcome to explore our XRMS Demo.  If you are interested in having us deploy or customize an XRMS installation for you, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to provide you with a quotation.