Tools we use: Vtiger, the open-source CRM

Tools we use: Open source tools we use at BFC Computing. Let us know if you'd like help moving to open source tools!
Tools we use

When we needed to install a “customer portal” for a client, we looked for an open-source solution and found Vtiger. Vtiger is the open-source version of SugarCRM, which had also started as open-source, but decided to take another direction in 2014. Vtiger supports team collaboration: from developing marketing campaigns, to sending out quotes and purchase orders, to post-purchase support. It handles opportunity management, task management, and project management; email campaigns, FAQ sections, webforms, trouble tickets and more. There is no charge for the base software or many of the extensions if you host it yourself.

So, recently, we needed to send a quote for a potential client. We’d been using Zoho for our invoicing and billing, and Vtiger just for tracking leads, but we wanted to see if Vtiger could handle some of the things that we’d been using Zoho for.

I created entries in Vtiger for the services that we were making a quote for, and added them to a quote for this new company. I hit “generate PDF” … and was not thrilled with what I saw. All the data were there, but the PDF had misaligned boxes in the header, spaces in the addresses in the wrong places, and European-style currency formatting. I wasn’t finding an easy way to fix these format issues within the app (or even when looking through the PHP code). Fortunately, there is an active developer community creating Vtiger extensions and participating in a Vtiger support forum.

I found several app extensions related to PDF creation that cost a bit more than we wanted to spend, but then I found the free “PDF Maker” extension from a company in Slovakia that also has other, for-pay extensions for sale. A big thank you to them. Their free extension turned this:

into this:

I could spend more time to make it fancier, but what an improvement this is already!

BFC Computing can help you switch to Open Source source solutions for your organization's needs.