I’m about to start developing a Drupal 8 CRM/Case Manager, for small altruistic organisations. It will be very low-key with a just a a few entity types and some basic notification, calendar, dashboard etc functionality. People desperately need this, charities are managing their contacts and cases in spreadsheets and Access 2000 DBs and I have not found a free solution that isn’t over-complex, buggy, or impossible to install or to use. If you disagree feel free to tell me which ones don’t have these properties, you might save me a job but I suspect probably not … surprise me!
I like Drupal for this because it is so current and well supported and ubiquitous, and you get all the GUI stuff, plus users, ACL etc OOB. Security-wise there are obviously issues occasionally but they are jumped on straight away and fixed. There are CRM Core and Redhen for building CRMs in Drupal which are in the process of being updated for Drupal 8 but I would rather use the core functionality in Drupal 8 to build this because the entity system is so much better now I don’t see the need for an intermediary, especially one that was built for 7. I want to make something very simple and very clean so I don’t want to bring in more code than necessary.
This will be first and foremost a free (as in everything) software project with a lot of effort put into documentation, an install profile, and drupal.org integration for easy updating. I have just had my fingers burnt by one of those companies who waves a github repo around saying it’s free software but leaves it in an unusable state with the install process a mystery, saying “if you find it too hard just pay us £££”. This will be the opposite of that. However most small charities will still prefer a hosted option and some will want customisations, and that is where the hope lies of getting some money for my labour. I will set up a server with multisite Drupal and charge people by the month (as low as I can) plus some per-hour time setting it up how they want it.
I have the Drupal and PHP skillz but I could use some help in these departments:
- Communicating with charities to let them know about it (on social media or by word of mouth or whatever)
- Someone to cast an expert eye over the security of it
- Some financial arrangement with a co-op so that I can eat while I get on with it
This is not a money-spinner, I’m doing it so that altruistic organisations can do their stuff more efficiently, but obviously everyone who works on it will get some share of whatever does come in.
Let me know if you would like to collaborate or if you have any thoughts on this.