Adding a LinkedIn profile URL to SugarCRM Contacts

Posted by Robert Merrill on August 27, 2011 under Tech Tips | Be the First to Comment

I’ve done a lot of networking in the last two days, and as I was adding new Accounts and Contacts to SugarCRM, I thought, “There’s a field for the Account (company) web site, but wouldn’’t it be nice to have one for the Contact’s LinkedIn profile?”

I use SugarCRM because it’s open source and I knew that if I needed to I could modify it, but I don’t have time for even a little PHP programming project right now. But, as it turns out, adding a field is ridiculously easy. (I’m running SugarCRM Community 6.2).

Log into Sugar as Administrator.

In the upper right, click Admin.

Screen shot of where to access the Admin tools in Sugar.

Scroll down to the (possibly intimidating) Developer Tools and select Studio, then Contacts.

Screen shot of selecting the Contact module on the Studio panel

Then select Fields. (You have to create the new field first).

Screen shot of selecting the Field editor in Studio, Contacts module

Select Add Field. You should see a little form like this. Here’s mine, already filled out. I stuck a c_ on the beginning of my field name so that I could quickly spot it as custom.  Then save it. Notice on the Field selector page that you now have a new field above the horizontal line. I’m assuming that the horizontal line separates custom fields from built-in ones.

At this point, I thought I was done. So I logged out as admin and back in as just plain old robert and brought up a Contact. No LinkedIn Profile field. Huh.

So, back to Administrator mode, and this time to Admin, Studio, Contacts.

Then select Layouts (here’s where it really gets cool).

There are three Layouts–the List View (search results), the Detail View (of a single Contact), and the Edit View.

I figured, “I need to be able to add and edit, so I’ll start  with Edit View.” Clicking that brings up this editor. At first, I tried just dragging the LinkedIn Profile field over onto the form, between eMail and Description, but it didn’t “stick.” So then I tried dragging a “New Row” over to where I wanted it, and that worked. But it had two “filler” fields. I just want one field spanning the whole panel, but oh well.

Screen shot showing New Row (with two filler fields) added to the Contact between Email and Description.

I dragged LinkedIn Profile over to the left filler and it “took.”

By trial and error, I found that by clicking the little + (plus sign) to the left of LinkedIn profile, it expanded to replace both filler fields!

Save & Deploy, go to the Detail View and List View and repeat the process, and, as the Aussies say, Bob’s your uncle.

List View does require a bit of futzing around with percentage widths. I took user out (since I’m the only one running this instance of Sugar) and put LinkedIn Profile in.

Now, I can add a person’s LinkedIn profile as soon as I put them in Sugar, and when I search for that person later, their LI profile is clickable, right from the search results, and opens in a new tab.

Not bad for 15 minutes of “work.” I took far longer to write this post than it took to add the field.

I hope someone finds this and that it makes SugarCRM more useful for you.

It’s also a great example of how modern HCJ (HTML, CSS, and Javascript) are enabling web apps to take over the world!



Robert’s Six Laws of Holes

Posted by Robert Merrill on August 8, 2011 under 100 Words, Process Improvement | Read the First Comment

What do you do when you realize you’ve dug yourself a hole?

I’m talking about the kind of holes that we dig ourselves in business, or the kind of gigantic hole that we in the United States have dug ourselves.

  1. Stop digging (Will Rogers). Doing whatever you’ve been doing, only with more fervor, is probably going to result in more hole.
  2. Re-evaluate your thinking (Albert Einstein, Part I). We all have mental models of the world and the people who populate it. They’re essential approximations of reality because reality is too much for our little brains (or we’re just in denial). Read more of this article »