Implicit FrontEnd for SugarCRM User Guide

Installation Guide

Supported Platforms

  • SugarCRM & Sugar CE
  • Exchange 2007 - 2016 & Zimbra
  • Outlook 2007 - 2016 & Office 365
  • Tablets: Surface / Windows 10

Preparing for the installation

Before running the Outlook Add-in installation please make sure of the following:

  • Your computer is connected to the network and you are able to browse the internet
  • If you are connected via a proxy, make sure that your Internet Explorer browser is properly configured to use the proxy as the installer will need to download and install several Microsoft components from the Microsoft site
  • Close any open Office applications.

Installing the Pre-Requisites Components

Before installing the Outlook add-in, the installer will check the desktop for components that are required for Outlook add-ins to work and install/upgrade any missing component:

  • .Net Framework 2.0 and above (Outlook 2007) and .Net Framework 4.x client profile (Outlook 2010 / 2013 / 2016)
  • Microsoft Sync Framework 2.0 Core Components and Provider Services
  • Microsoft Office 2007 Primary Interop Assemblies (Outlook 2007 only).
  • Microsoft SQL Compact Edition.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio for Office second Edition Runtime

You will first need to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) for each of the components.


Sync Framework License Agreement


SQL Server Compact Edition and VSTO License Agreements

Upon accepting all EULAs, the installer will download and install each of the components


Installing pre-requisites

Installing FrontEnd Outlook Add-In

Once the installation of the pre-requisites is completed, the installer will begin installing the Implicit FrontEnd Add-in.


Installing the Implicit FrontEnd Outlook Add-In

Click Next to continue. You will be prompted accept the Implicit FrontEnd EULA:


Implicit FrontEnd End User License Agreement

Next, you will be prompted to select the installation folder. By default the installation folder will be set to: \Program Files\Implicit\Implicit FrontEnd. Choose Browse to select a different folder. Then click 'Next'.


Installation Folder

Next, the installer will be prompt you to confirm the installation and start copying the files:


Confirm Installation


Installation Complete

Licensing and Login

Upon Launching Outlook for the first time after install, you'll be prompted to enter the Implicit FrontEnd license key:

Followed by FrontEnd login dialog:

Enter the SugarCRM server URL and the user name and password that you use to login to SugarCRM. Make sure to specify http or https otherwise http is assumed.

LDAP Authentication

If your SugarCRM instance is configured to use LDAP authentication, your SugarCRM administrator will provide you with an encryption key that was used to enable LDAP authentication on the server. In that case check the box and enter the key.

Single Sign On with SAML Authentication

If your SugarCRM instance is configured to use Single Sign On (SSO) with SAML authentication, click the checkbox. You'll notice that your user name and password are disabled. Click OK to proceed. At that point, FrontEnd will communicate with the SAML authentication server which is configured in your SugarCRM account and present a user login dialog to allow you to authenticate yourself to the SAML server. The login dialog is dependent on the specific SAML server. Once you are authenticated by the SAML provider, you'll be able to continue with the login process.

Upon clicking "OK" the Outlook add-in will communicate with SugarCRM to retrieve the configuration information and prepare the software for first configuration and the first synchronization cycle.

Team-based Configuration

If your SugarCRM administrator has published an Implicit FrontEnd configuration for your team (or security group in SuiteCRM), you will receive the notification below this team configuration has been detected and FrontEnd will apply this configuration to your system:


Single Team Configuration

If you are a member of multiple teams for which the SugarCRM administrator has published different configurations, you will be prompted to select the configuration to apply to your system:


Multiple Team Configurations

When the team is selected, FrontEnd will apply the configuration for that team, skip the settings and go directly to perform the initial sync with SugarCRM.

Note: If you are a SugarCRM administrator, you will have the option of skipping this step and going directly to settings:


Skip Configuration

If a configuration was detected for you team, FrontEnd will apply this configuration, skip these settings and go directly to perform the initial synchronization.Otherwise, you will be prompted to select the Sync configuration.

Sync Configuration

Tethered Vs. Non-Tethered Mode

The first decision you need to make when configuring synchronization is whether to use Tethered or Non-Tethered mode for contact synchronization. This mode determines how contacts are synced from SugarCRM to Outlook and how related records are accessed from within Outlook.

In Tethered Mode, contacts are not synced from SugarCRM to Outlook during the initial sync phase. When FrontEnd requires information about a contact or any of its related records, it will perform a real-time search on SugarCRM to retrieve the contact information and all of its relationships. The contact will then be synced to Outlook so next time, the information will be immediately available. This is what we refer to as 'Sync on Demand'.

In Non-Tethered Mode, contacts will be synced from SugarCRM to Outlook depending on which contacts were marked on SugarCRM for synchronization with Outlook. In this mode, when FrontEnd requires information about a contact, it will search in Outlook and present the information directly from Outlook. If the contact is not found in Outlook, FrontEnd will prompt you to search for the contact in SugarCRM and, if found, sync it to Outlook or otherwise create a new contact.

Each mode has pros and cons to consider but the decision is primarily driven by the amount of contacts that users may need to sync to their Outlook. It's important to understand that there are two independent synchronization processes running at the same time. Outlook synchronization with the Exchange server and Outlook synchronization with SugarCRM. Therefore, its highly recommended to keep the number of contacts to a reasonable amount and not exceed several thousands contacts in your Outlook contact folder.

  • If you have a large amount of contacts in SugarCRM that are not assigned to specific users and users may end up synchronizing thousands of contacts to their Outlook - choose Tethered Mode. You may sacrifice performance by having to search for contacts on the server in real-time but you will certainly gain performance by keeping the amount of contact to a reasonable number.
  • If you don't have a large amount of contacts to sync per user, choose Non-Tethered Mode. FrontEnd will sync theses contacts during the initial sync phase but once that's done, it will only sync new/modified contacts which will not have any significant impact on performance. Having synced these contacts to Outlook will eliminate the need to constantly search for them on SugarCRM and the email side panel will be able to display the information instantly.

Also, please be aware that the behavior of the side panel also depends on whether Tethered mode or Non-Tethered mode is selected:

  • In Tethered Mode the records related to the contact and the account are retrieved from SugarCRM in real-time and therefore the list of records that you are seeing the side panel is the actual list from SugarCRM. When you open a record for viewing/editing, if the record has been synced to Outlook, then the record would open in Outlook, otherwise it will open in SugarCRM.
  • In Non-Tethered Mode, the records related to the contact and the account are retrieved from Outlook and therefore may or may not correspond in real-time with the list of records that you are seeing in SugarCRM (depending if they have already been synced). When you open a record for viewing/editing, the record would open in Outlook. When you create a new record, it will be created in Outlook and then synced to SugarCRM.

After selecting the mode, click 'Next' to proceed with configuring the sync settings for each module.

Contacts Sync - Tethered Mode

If you've selected tethered mode, you can enable the following:

  • Sync on Demand - Upon finding a contact in SugarCRM (when performing to real-time search), sync it to Outlook
  • Sync contacts from Outlook to SugarCRM

Contacts Sync - Non-Tethered Mode

You can turn on/off contact sync as well as select the direction to sync contacts: SugarCRM to Outlook and Outlook to SugarCRM.

Upon the initial sync, the contacts that will be synced are those contacts that are marked on SugarCRM as 'Sync to Mail Client'. This is a selection that you make on the server side and it is a per user selection. Each user may select to sync a different set of contacts.

Click the link to view how many contacts are marked to be synced on your SugarCRM user account.

Note: If you are upgrading from version 3.x, FrontEnd will maintain backward compatibility and keep the same contact synchronization settings you have been using. It will not apply the new settings.

Accounts Sync


Accounts Sync Configuration

  • You can turn on/off Accounts sync as well as select the direction to sync Accounts: SugarCRM to Outlook and Outlook to SugarCRM
  • You can choose to sync accounts that are assigned to you individually or if you are a member of one or more teams, you may select the teams.
  • For the initial sync, you may limit the accounts to sync only those accounts that have been created or modified within the selected timeframe.

Click the link to view how many accounts meet the sync criteria that you specified.

Opportunities Sync


Opportunities Sync Configuration

  • You can turn on/off opportunities sync as well as select the direction to sync opportunities: SugarCRM to Outlook and Outlook to SugarCRM
  • You can choose to sync opportunities that are assigned to you individually or if you are a member of one or more teams, you may select the teams.
  • For the initial sync, only opportunities that were created, modified or expected to close within the selected timeframe will be synced

Click the link to view how many opportunities meet the sync criteria that you specified.

Cases Sync


Cases Sync Configuration

  • You can turn on/off cases sync as well as select the direction to sync cases: SugarCRM to Outlook and Outlook to SugarCRM
  • You can choose to sync cases that are assigned to you individually or if you are a member of one or more teams, you may select the teams.
  • For the initial sync, only open cases that were created, modified or expected to close within the selected timeframe will be synced

Click the link to view how many cases meet the sync criteria that you specified.

Leads Sync


Leads Sync Configuration

  • You can turn on/off leads sync as well as select the direction to sync leads: SugarCRM to Outlook and Outlook to SugarCRM
  • You can choose to sync leads that are assigned to you individually or if you are a member of one or more teams, you may select the teams.
  • You can choose to sync only Leads that have been created or modified within the selected timeframe.

Click the link to view how many opportunities meet the sync criteria that you specified.

You can also specify a cleanup option to automatically remove any inactive leads from Outlook.

Meetings and Calls Sync


Meetings / Calls Sync Configuration

  • You can turn on/off meetings or calls sync as well as select the direction to sync meetings / calls: SugarCRM to Outlook and Outlook to SugarCRM.
  • Any of your SugarCRM meetings or calls are scheduled today or in the future will be synced.

Click the link to view how many meetings / calls meet the sync criteria that you specified.

Tasks Sync

  • You can turn on or off Tasks sync as well as select the direction to sync Tasks: SugarCRM to Outlook and Outlook to SugarCRM.
  • Only Tasks assigned to you are synced
  • Only Tasks whose due dates are greater than the selected date are synced

Click the link to view how many tasks meet the sync criteria that you specified.

Notes Sync


Notes Sync Configuration

  • You can turn on or off notes sync as well as select the direction to sync notes: SugarCRM to Outlook and Outlook to SugarCRM.
  • You can choose to sync notes that are assigned to you individually or if you are a member of one or more teams, you may select the teams.
  • Only Notes that have been created or modified within the selected timeframe are synced

Click the link to view how many notes meet the sync criteria that you specified.

Other SugarCRM Modules

The modules described in the sections above are selected by default for synchronization. You may choose to also sync other standard modules such as projects, contracts, quotes etc. which are by default turned off. You may also choose to also sync custom modules.

Initial Sync Cycle

Once you've configured the filters for the various modules, the system will prompt you to start synchronization. The Sync Now dialog allows you to select the type of items that you wish to sync to Outlook.


Sync Now

Select the items you wish to sync and click 'Sync Now'.

Note: The initial sync cycle may take some time depending on the amount of records you have in your SugarCRM account. During this time, the synchronization process will run in the background and you will be able to continue working with Outlook. If you prefer not to run the initial sync process at this time, click Close. You will be able to initiate this process at any time by clicking the Sync Now button on the toolbar.

Upon Clicking 'Sync Now', the following dialog will come up to inform you that process will now continue on the background via the Implicit FrontEnd Taskbar application (as shown in the screenshot). The taskbar application will display bubble notifications at the end of each phase in the process and you can click on these bubbles to get additional status information.


Initial Sync Notification

The Implicit FrontEnd taskbar icon will continue spinning until the initial sync phase is completed. If you'd like to view detailed information about which items are being sync, right-click on the taskbar app and select 'Sync Status'


FrontEnd Taskbar App


Sync Status

Note: During the initial sync, all FrontEnd toolbar buttons and menus are disabled until the process completes, at which point all functionality is enabled.

FrontEnd Settings

You can view and edit the Implicit FrontEnd settings by clicking the "Options" menu under the drop-down button on the toolbar:

General Settings


General Options

User Account

This section displays your account information: SugarCRM instance you are connected to and your user name and password. You can click Verify to make sure you can log in to the server.

Web services protocol is set to REST for SugarCRM and SOAP for SuiteCRM and Sugar CE (version 6.5)

If there have been any changes to your LDAP or Single-Sign-On settings, you can modify these settings directly from the general options tab.

Synchronize

This section allows you to configure several settings related to synchronization:

  • Automatic background synchronization and how often
  • When creating new Outlook items such as contacts calendar and tasks - should those be marked for synchronization by default? Or, if you prefer, you may turn this setting off and manually select the items you wish to mark for synchronization.
  • When items are deleted from SugarCRM - should the corresponding items be deleted from Outlook?

Log File

For support purposes, you may be asked to enable logging, select the maximum size of the log file and view the log.

Tethered Mode and Sync Configuration

See Sync Configuration

Email Archiving Settings

Email archiving options allow you to define the settings and rules for archiving incoming and outgoing email:


Email Archiving Options

Auto-Archiving Settings

You can select one of the following options:

  • Archive all incoming/outgoing emails received from or sent to SugarCRM contact/leads - Implicit FrontEnd will examine each incoming/outgoing email. If it was received from or sent to a SugarCRM contact or lead that has been synced to Outlook, Implicit FrontEnd will automatically archive the email to both the contact's the account's records on SugarCRM.
  • Archive incoming/outgoing emails received from or sent to selected SugarCRM contacts or accounts - In this case Implicit FrontEnd will archive emails for those contacts and accounts for whom archive rules have been set.
  • Do not automatically archive emails

Email Archiving Rules Engine

You can also use the Email archiving rules engine to create rules to archive specific emails depending on different sets of parameters such as the email addresses of senders/recipients, the account it was sent from / received, words/phrases in the email subject and conversation topics. For more information see section X.X

Manual-Archiving Settings

You can select one of the following options:

  • "Prompt me to select relationship before archiving" - If selected, Implicit FrontEnd will prompt you upon clicking Archive Email to select the records (accounts, opportunities etc.) to associate the archived email with.
  • Do not prompt - The archive dialog will not be shown and the default setting will be used to archive the emails to their respective contacts and accounts
  • Automatically find and sync contacts/leads if not already synced to Outlook - When checked, and prior to archiving emails, Implicit FrontEnd will first search Outlook to find a matching contact/lead. If not found, it will search SugarCRM and if the contact/lead is found on the server, it will sync it to Outlook and then archive the email.
  • Default follow up time

Email Attachments

You can select one of the following options:

  • Archive attachments
  • Maximum attachments size
  • Limit the file type to the specified list of file extension (comma delimited)

Side Panel Settings


Side Panel Configuration Options

This Side Panel configuration tab allows you to select which modules (out of the ones that you enabled under the sync configuration tab) will appear on the Side Panel and their order of appearance. Simply enable the ones you would like to see and use the arrow buttons to re-order the list. You may also configure the maximum number of records to show under each module in the Side Panel.

CRM Action Items Settings

FrontEnd creates three lists by default:

  • CRM Action Item - Default list for action items
  • Completed - List of all completed items (items marked as done)
  • My Radar - A view of all action items that are marked as 'My Radar' in all the other lists

In addition, you can create your own custom lists via the CRM Action Items settings. Custom lists are very useful in many different scenarios: If you are sales, marketing or support person, you can use custom lists to:

  • Categorize customer emails into different product categories
  • Categorize emails into leads vs. clients
  • Categorize emails into priorities based on the size and timeframes of opportunities
  • Categorize emails into functional lists based on the required response such as: requests for quotes, requests for demos or trials etc.

When you snooze an email, the list that you configure as default will automatically be selected, but you can select the list that is most appropriate for the particular email.

Additional configurable settings include:

  • Purge completed action items after N weeks - When an action item is marked as complete it is moved to the completed list and will be automatically purged after the specified number of weeks
  • Which email to show under My Radar - See My Radar

For more information see CRM Action Items

Advanced Settings


Advanced Configuration Options

The Advanced Configuration tab allows you to:

  • Change License Key - This is typically used to switch from a trial license key to production
  • Reset Configuration - Use Reset Configuration only if you need to switch from one server to another or if you need to switch user accounts. In this case synchronization cannot be maintained across accounts and it is therefore necessary to reset Implicit FrontEnd to its initial state and re-synchronize the data from the new server/account.

Caution: Reset Configuration will retain all the native Outlook data: contacts, calendar, tasks and emails but will remove all the non-native Outlook items such as accounts, opportunities etc.

  • Update Modules - if there have been any changes in the SugarCRM modules such as creation or modifications of new custom modules or fields, use 'Update Modules' to refresh the modules information in FrontEnd.
  • Manage User Licenses - This functionality is available to SugarCRM administrator only. See Managing User Licenses.

FrontEnd Ribbon

The ribbon consists of the following:

  • Implicit FrontEnd drop-down menu:
    • Login - Launch a browser and go to SugarCRM login page
    • New: Contact. Lead, Meeting, Task, Account, Opportunity, Case, Note
    • Help - Launch a browser and go to user guide starting page
    • Options - Launch Options dialog
    • Side Panel - Turn side panel on/off
    • Email Rules Engine - Launch email rules engine
    • Check for Updates - Check if new version of Implicit FrontEnd is available
    • About
  • Side Panel - Turn side panel on/off
  • Search Contacts - Search for contacts on SugarCRM
  • CRM Action Items - Launch CRM Action Items lists' viewer
  • Accounts - Display accounts list
  • Opportunities - Display opportunities list
  • Cases - Display cases list
  • Leads - Display leads list
  • Notes - Display notes list
  • Sync Now - Manually trigger synchronization cycle
  • Archive Email - Manually archive select email(s)

Email Side Panel

FrontEnd Email side panel is an extremely useful and functional feature to view pertinent CRM information related to emails and take immediate actions.


Side panel

The side panel is divided into sections:

  • Contact / Lead information
  • Account Information
  • Modules information (based on the modules selected under the side panel option)

Contact and Account information

The side panel shows the contact information for the contact/lead and the account and supports the following actions:

  • View/Edit - Clicking on the name opens the records for viewing/editing.
  • Open Social networking profile based on the information entered in SugarCRM
  • Archive the email to the contact/lead and account records.
  • Schedule a meeting with contact (if meetings sync is enabled)
  • Log a call (if calls sync is enabled)
  • Activities and History - Open the activities screen for the contact or account:

  • Quick Note - Create a quick note and store in the contact's or account's CRM records. The quick note window opens in place and slows you to create a note and save it directly to SugarCRM. Once the note is saved, the icon changes to green to indicate that you have created a note for this email message and the particular CRM record. This indicator is 'persistent', which means that it stays as part of the email message and you can re-visit it any time, view and make changes.

  • Open in SugarCRM - Launch a browser and open the record in SugarCRM

Multiple Email Recipients

If there are multiple recipients in the email message, you'll notice that there is a small drop down arrow which shows you the email addresses of all recipients and allows you to switch the side panel to display the information for the select recipient:

Related CRM Records

Below the contact and account information, the side panel display the modules that you have selected to show under Side Panel Options including the number of records under each module type.

The behavior of the side panel depends on whether Tethered mode or Non-Tethered mode is selected and whether or not the specific module is being synchronized to Outlook.

Tethered Mode View

In Tethered Mode the records related to the contact and the account are retrieved from SugarCRM in real-time and therefore the list of records that you are seeing the side panel is the actual list from SugarCRM. When you open a record for viewing/editing, if the record has been synced to Outlook, then the record would open in Outlook, otherwise it will open in SugarCRM.

When you create a new record, if the module is selected for sync, the record will be created in Outlook and then synced to SugarCRM, otherwise FrontEnd will direct you to the appropriate SugarCRM page to create a record directly in SugarCRM.

Non-Tethered Mode View

In Non-Tethered Mode, the records related to the contact and the account are retrieved from Outlook and therefore may or may not correspond in real-time with the list of records that you are seeing in SugarCRM (depending if they have already been synced). When you open a record for viewing/editing, the record would open in Outlook. When you create a new record, it will be created in Outlook and then synced to SugarCRM.

User Actions

Similar to user actions for contact/account, FrontEnd allows you to:

  • View/Edit - Clicking on the name of the record opens the records for viewing/editing. If the record has been synced to Outlook, it will open in Outlook, otherwise (in Tethered mode) it will open in SugarCRM.
  • Archive the email to the related CRM record (e.g. opportunity or case)
  • Activities and History - Open the activities screen for the CRM record
  • Quick Note - Create a quick note and store in the CRM record.
  • Open in SugarCRM - Launch a browser and open the record in SugarCRM
  • Add a Record - Add an opportunity, case, meeting task or any other module type that you selected for the side panel.

Note: There is one exception in the side panel logic - When you add a new opportunity or a case directly from the side-panel (and both are synced to Outlook), the appropriate form opens up and allows you to enter the information. Upon saving, FrontEnd will also create the record on SugarCRM in real-time rather than wait until the next sync cycle. The reason for that is the need to archive the email to the new record at the same time of creating it.

Unknown Contact / Lead

If the email is received from an unknown contact or a lead it will display an 'Unknow contact' message

Tethered mode

In Tethered Mode - Since FrontEnd always prefroms real-time search for the contact on SugarCRM, unknown means 'not found' on SugarCRM and therefore 'Search in SugarCRM link' is not visible. You can then create a new contact or lead record directly in SugarCRM.

Non-Tethered mode

In Non-Tethered mode - Unknown means it wasn't found in Outlook and it can potentially exist in SugarCRM, therefore the system allows you to search for it and if found it will be automatically synced to Outlook at that time and the relevant information will then be displayed in the side panel.

You can then create a new contact or lead record in Outlook and sync it to SugarCRM. When creating a new contact, FrontEnd will prompt you to select the account for which the contact should be created:


Account Selection

If the account exists in Outlook, simply start typing the name and it will display the matching account. If the account does not exist in Outlook, the system will search SugarCRM for the account name you entered and if found (if for example the account is assigned to another user) it will sync it to Outlook. Otherwise, it will prompt you to confirm creation of a new account and display an Outlook contact form with the account already selected.

Create Lead

Implicit FrontEnd will extract the name an email address from the email, and display a lead form with these fields pre-populated so that you can enter the rest of the lead information. The lead will then be created on SugarCRM and synced to Outlook.

With all three options, upon completing the creation and sync of the account, contact or lead, the selected email will be automatically archived to that record.

Shortcuts Menu

The shortcuts menu allows you immediate access to various FrontEnd functionality:

  • CRM Action Items - Open Action Items browse window
  • Create Action Item Rule - Create a CRM Action Item rule based on the currently selected message: by contact, account
  • Archive Email - Archive the currently selected email
  • Archive Conversation - Archive the complete email conversation of the currently selected email
  • Create Archive Rule - Create an email archive rule based on the currently selected message: by contact, account or conversation
  • Email Rules Engine - Launch the email rules engine
  • Options - Open FrontEnd options

Snooze

Snooze email to create an Action Item. See CRM Action Items

Working with CRM Modules

CRM Module Browse Window

Clicking on any of the CRM modules buttons on the ribbon launches the CRM module Browse Window.

This allows you to view the various lists of SugarCRM modules: accounts, opportunities, cases, leads, notes and any additional module you have selected to sync to Outlook, including custom modules.

The list displays all records that have been synced to Outlook. From the browse window, you can:

  • View record information and its relationships in the side panel
  • Click on any record and open it for viewing/editing
  • Crate new records
  • Delete records from Outlook (records will not be deleted from SugarCRM).
  • Search for records that have been synced to Outlook
  • Search for records on SugarCRM that have not been synced to Outlook and select to sync them to Outlook

Search

You can search for accounts in Outlook or un-synced accounts on SugarCRM by any of the account fields:

When you search for records (leads in this example) in SugarCRM you'll notice that the items that have been already synced to Outlook are grayed out and their icon is a regular lead icon while the items that have not yet been synced, have normal font with a globe icon.

To sync records from SugarCRM to Outlook, simply select the records and click "Sync to Outlook".

Accounts

Opening an account record that has been synced to Outlook opens the account's form for viewing/editing:


Account Form

The account form has multiple tabs:

  • Overview
  • More information - additional data fields
  • Custom Fields - This tab should up only if you enable custom fields for Accounts in FrontEnd.
  • Related Data - A multi-tab control that shows all the related records to this account.

Related data includes list of any SugarCRM items that were synced with Outlook (or created in Outlook and synced to SugarCRM):

  • Opportunities
  • Cases
  • Activities (meetings and tasks)
  • History & Notes. History includes held meetings and completed tasks.
  • Contacts
  • Received / Sent Email (any emails associated with the account that were archived to SugarCRM)
  • Documents (any documents associated with the account that were archived to SugarCRM)

Clicking on any item in any of the lists will open the item in Outlook. Documents will be opened in their native application (Word, Excel, Acrobat, etc.)

Users may also add items directly into the account by clicking New. Note that the new item will automatically be related to the selected account.

Opportunities

Opening an opportunity record that has been synced to Outlook opens the opportunity's form for viewing/editing:

Cases

Opening a case record that has been synced to Outlook opens the case's form for viewing/editing:

Leads

Opening a lead record that has been synced to Outlook opens the lead's form for viewing/editing:

Notes

Opening a note record that has been synced to Outlook opens the note's form for viewing/editing:

Quotes

Opening a quote record that has been synced to Outlook opens the quote's form for viewing/editing:

Other CRM modules' forms include: Projects, contracts, bugs, processes etc.

Contacts

Outlook Contact Form

Implicit FrontEnd integration with Outlook allows you to take full advantage of the rich functionality that Outlook provides for managing contacts. As you can see in the screenshot below, an Implicit FrontEnd pane (called "Form Region") extends the standard contact form to offer SugarCRM-specific functionality.


Contact Form

Selecting to sync an Outlook contact with SugarCRM marks the item as a green Outlook category to provide you with a noticeable visual indicator that this contact is synced (as oppose to personal contacts that should not be synced with SugarCRM). Any SugarCRM contacts that are synced to Outlook will automatically be marked as green.

Through the extended contact form you can select to archive any email received from or sent to this contact and automatically associate it with the contact and its account.

Clicking the "Activities and History" link will launch the contact's list of all related records.

Contact List

Similar to emails, the Side panel extends the Outlook's contact list view and provides detailed information on the selected contact (see section 5.1). Through the side panel you can view/edit any SugarCRM items related to the contact or the account as well as create new items.

SugarCRM Contact Search

To search for contacts on the SugarCRM server (which may or may not have been synced to Outlook), select the contact folder and click the Contacts Search button on the Implicit FrontEnd ribbon (toolbar):

Note: Contacts which have not been synced to Outlook will show up with an icon of a green globe on top of the standard contact icon. To sync them to Outlook, select the set of contacts that you wish to sync and click "Sync to Outlook". Notice that after the synchronization, their icon changes to the standard contact icon.

Meetings and Calls

Calendars are also native to Outlook and the Implicit FrontEnd integration with Outlook allows you to take full advantage of the rich functionality that Outlook provides for managing calendar events and synchronizing your meetings with SugarCRM calendars.

Similar to the contact form, Implicit FrontEnd form region extends the standard calendar form to offer SugarCRM-specific functionality.

Selecting to sync an Outlook meeting with SugarCRM marks the item as a green Outlook category to provide you with a noticeable visual indicator that this meeting is synced (as oppose to personal appointments / meetings that should not be synced with SugarCRM). Any SugarCRM meetings that are synced to Outlook will automatically be marked as green.

Note: Outlook makes a distinction between appointments which are calendar events without attendees and meetings where an email invite is sent to other meeting attendees. Implicit FrontEnd allows you to sync both appointments and meetings with SugarCRM.

When sending a meeting invite to SugarCRM contacts, the meetings will be synced to your SugarCRM calendar as well as archived to the contact's record on both SugarCRM and Outlook. Similarly, when accepting a meeting invitation from a SugarCRM contact or a lead, the meeting will automatically be synced and archived accordingly.

Note: At the bottom of the calendar form you can optionally specify if the meeting is related to other SugarCRM items such as account, opportunity, case, contact etc. In this case, in addition to syncing the meeting with the contacts record, it will also be associated with the item you specified.

Related Data


Side panel - Calendar

You can view/edit and create new meetings directly from each of the views and automatically associate them with the related item.

Note: Active meetings show up under Activities. Past meetings which were held, show up under the History tab.

Tasks

Implicit FrontEnd form region extends the standard task form to offer SugarCRM-specific functionality.


Task Form

Selecting to sync an Outlook task with SugarCRM marks the item as a green Outlook category to provide you with a noticeable visual indicator that this task is synced. Any SugarCRM tasks that are synced to Outlook will automatically be marked as green.

At the bottom of the task form you can specify what the task is related to and separately the contact involved.

Email Archiving

FrontEnd provides multiple methods of archiving emails to CRM records:

  • Drag & Drop
  • Manual email archiving dialog
  • Auto email archiving
  • Email archiving rules engine

Notes:

  • You can only archive emails to CRM modules that have relationship with the email module on SugarCRM.
  • In addition to the specific record, the email will also be archived to all recipients' records and their respective accounts.

Drag & Drop

The easiest way to archive an email to a CRM record is to drag the email from its folder in Outlook and drop it on a CRM record in the side panel. You can drop it on a contact, lead, account, opportunity, case etc. If you drop it on a contact record, it will be automatically archived to the contact and its account and vice versa.

When an email is dropped on a CRM module, the email and attachments (if enabled) are uploaded to SugarCRM and are associated with the selected record.

Manual Email Archiving Dialog

To manually archive one or more email messages from an Outlook folder (e.g. Inbox), select the email(s) and click the Archive Email button on the toolbar or right-click and select Archive Email from the context menu. Depending on the settings of the email archiving that you configured under Email Archiving Options, the system will execute the following logic:

  • If you selected to automatically find and sync contacts/leads if not already synced to Outlook -the system will scan all selected emails and extract all email addresses of their senders. Next it will search Outlook to find matching contacts/leads. If not found, it will search SugarCRM and if finds matching contacts / leads on the server, it will sync them to Outlook.
  • If you selected to not to be prompted when archiving email, the system will automatically archive each email with its respective contact and account.
  • If you selected to be prompted when archiving an email, the system will bring up the Manual Email Archive dialog shown below:


    Email Archive

The archive dialog provides you with three options to associate the archived email:

  • Archive each message with its respective SugarCRM contact / lead and account records - this is default option and a common practice for most SugarCRM users. In the case of multiple emails this is the only option available.
  • The system displays a list of all records associated with the account. If you want to associate the email with a different record such as an opportunity or a case, select the second option and check the desired boxes.
  • If you want to associate the email with a different record which is not part of that account, select the third option and choose the type and actual record which the email should be related to.

You can also choose to create a follow up meeting, call or task on the specified date in order to follow up on the customer correspondence. This will automatically create an Outlook meeting or task and sync it with SugarCRM. You can also choose to automatically create a new opportunity or case record upon archiving the email.

When you select a single email to archive, the subject field displays the subject of the email and allows you to modify the subject of the archived email.

Manual archiving of outgoing Email

To archive an outgoing email, simply compose the email and instead of clicking Send, click "Archive and Send" as show below. The system will prompt you to archive the email by displaying the same archive dialog as for incoming messages.

Auto email archiving

Auto Email archiving can be configured under Email Archiving Settings:

You can set different rules for incoming email or Outgoing emails. You have the following options:

  • Auto email archiving of all CRM-related emails - you can configure FrontEnd to archive all incoming/outgoing emails received from or sent to SugarCRM contact/leads - Implicit FrontEnd will examine each incoming/outgoing email. If it was received from or sent to a SugarCRM contact or lead that has been synced to Outlook, Implicit FrontEnd will automatically archive the email to both the contact's the account's records on SugarCRM.

    Caution: Depending on the amount of emails you are receiving/sending and the size of their attachments, this option may consume significant storage space on the SugarCRM server

  • Auto Email Archiving of Selected Contacts/Accounts - You can also configure FrontEnd to Archive incoming/outgoing emails received from or sent to selected SugarCRM contacts or accounts - In this case Implicit FrontEnd will archive emails for those contacts and accounts for whom archive rules have been set. This option is driven by two rules which you can set, either at the contact or the account level. As shown below, you can choose to make for each individual contact to archive all email received form or sent to the contact


    Email Archive Rule per Contact

    You can also set a similar rule at the account level such that any email received from or sent to the account email domain name will be archived


    Email Archive Rule per Account

Archiving an Email Conversation Thread

To archive all inbound and outbound emails that are part of one conversation thread, select an email message and click "Archive Conversation" (right-click menu, ribbon button or blue-menu shortcut).

Outlook has the ability to group emails together into what Microsoft defines as a conversation which constitutes a number of parameters: subject, group of email recipients, devices, etc.

Implicit FrontEnd leverages this native Outlook functionality to allow you to archive all emails that are part of the same conversation to SugarCRM and associate it with specific CRM records. You may choose to archive each email to its respective contacts/accounts or a specific CRM record. Since a conversation typically revolves around a specific topic, you have the ability to be more granular than just archiving to contact/accounts records and select the specific record CRM record such as a specific opportunity or a case.

Upon selecting "Archive Conversation", you will be prompted with the above dialog allowing you to select the following:

  • Conversation topic - This is the subject of the email message you selected and cannot be modified.
  • Archive As - You can modify the subject of the archived emails to a more descriptive title.
  • List of emails - This is the list of all the emails that Outlook has identified as belonging to the same conversation. You may choose which emails from this list you'd like to archive.

    Note: Please be aware that the list of emails may sometimes not be accurate or complete, depending on a variety of circumstances. For example:

    • If a recipient responded to the email from his mobile device, Outlook will consider it as a separate conversation thread.
    • If one of the recipients replied or forwarded to an email but deleted the history of emails from the body, Outlook will consider it as a separate conversation thread.
  • Archive each email to its respective recipients and their accounts - Select this option if you want each email to be archived to the corresponding CRM contacts/accounts.
  • Archive to a specific CRM record - Select this option if you want to archive all emails in the conversation to a specific CRM record.

Upon clicking 'Archive', FrontEnd will start archiving all the emails you have selected. The archive process runs in the background so you can continue working with Outlook in parallel. If at any time, you'd like to see the status, you can do so by right-clicking on the FrontEnd taskbar app and selecting 'Upload queue'.

Email Archiving Rules

See Email Archiving Rules under Email Rules Engine

Email Templates & Mail Merge

When you are composing a new email, or replaying to an email from a client, there are many situations where you would want to use an email template in order to standardize the format. For example, if you are responding to a request for quote from a customer or an email related to a specific type of case, you may want to have an email template ready on the CRM server so that all users would respond with a template that has been especially created for enterprise-wide standardized use.

Using an email template also requires the ability to merge information from CRM records directly into the template such as first/last name, title, company name, address etc.

FrontEnd provides the ability to select email templates from SugarCRM directly from Outlook compose email window and merge it with CRM records' information.

To select the email template and initiate a mail merge, click on 'Email Template' FrontEnd ribbon. A pane will show up on the right-hand side of the email compose window. Select the template you'd like to use. You'll be prompted to confirm and the template will be loaded into the email window:

Depending on the type of merge fields in the template, the side panel will display a set of drop down controls to allow you to select the CRM records to merge with. If you are replying to a message that you received for a known CRM contact/lead and account, the side panel will automatically populate these fields from the email.

Upon clicking Merge, the CRM record information will be merged with the template:

Note:

  • You can continue to edit the message after merging the data.
  • You can configure the template to include attachments and those will be downloaded and attached to the Outlook message.
  • You can create your own merge fields. The format is $<module name>_Field name, e.g.: $contact_first_name

Attach Documents from SugarCRM

When you are composing a new email or replaying to an email from a client, you can attach documents directly from SugarCRM. Simply click the 'Attach from SugarCRM' button. A search window will open up and allow you to search for the document you are looking for:

Select the document. It will be downloaded and attached to the email.

Email Rules Engine

The Email Rules engine allows you to create different rules for processing incoming or outgoing emails and perform an action. There are currently two types of actions:

  • Archive Email to CRM
  • Create an action item based on Email

Email Archiving Rules

FrontEnd version 4 introduced a new method of archiving emails. Similar to Outlook's native rules engine, you can define different rules for email archiving:

You can create new rules, modify, enable/disable or delete them.

Under Rule Description you can see a summary of the rule: From/To, subject contains, and the CRM to which FrontEnd should archive the email.

A rule consists of the following:

  • Rule Name - Assign any name which is meaningful to you
  • The currently supported actions are 'Archive Email', 'Create CRM Action Items' and 'Create Cases
  • Apply To - Choose to apply to received emails, sent emails or both.
  • From - The email address from which the email was received from or sent from. The following options are available:
    • Any Contact - Select 'Any Contact' if you would like to create a rule that applies to emails from/to any CRM contact
    • Any Lead - Select 'Any Lead' if you would like to create a rule that applies to emails from/to any CRM lead
    • Select Account - Select a specific account. The domain name of the account will be used and apply to any individual with an email address with the selected domain name
    • Select Contact - Select a specific contact email address
    • Select Lead - Select a specific lead email address
    • Specify Email Address(es)
  • To/CC - The email address to which the email was sent to. Same options as described above
  • Subject Contains - Rules based on words or phrases in the email subject. The following options are available:
    • Opportunity Name - Select an opportunity and create a rule that archives all emails containing the opportunity name in the subject line
    • Case Number - Select a case and create a rule that archives all emails containing a string such as 'Case: 1234' in the subject line, where 1234 is the case number of the case record you select. You can then edit the text to match it to your own format.
    • Any Case - Select this option to automatically archive all emails to their corresponding case records if you are using a standard form of subject line in all your communication related to support cases. For Example, if all emails contain in their subject line a string such as 'Case: NNNN' where NNNN is a case number. In this case FrontEnd will check at run time if the email subject contains such a string and if NNNN is a valid case number and will archive the email to the case. You can edit the text to match it to your own format.
  • Select CRM Record - You have two options:
    • Archive the email to all recipients and their respective accounts - In this case the records will be determined at run-time based on the email addresses of the recipients (if they are found as CRM contacts/leads and their parent accounts.
    • Archive to a specific record that is determined at the time of creating/editing the rule.

Create Rule Based on Currently Selected Email

FrontEnd allows you to create rule directly from the side-panel for the contact, lead or account that is being displayed based on the currently selected email. The following example shows an email that was received from Jane Connely at JBC Bank. FrontEnd identifies the contact and the account and automatically allows you to define a rule for them.

Create Rule Based on an Email Conversation

The biggest drawback of auto-archiving is that it is too broad. You can set rules to archive all email correspondence with a particular contact or all emails to/from all individuals within an account.

FrontEnd 4 introduces a new method of archiving emails based on a specific conversation. Just as Outlook allows you to view emails by threads of conversations, you can now set rules based on these conversations. A conversation is identified by a Topic and a set of email senders and recipients and Outlook has the ability to associate all emails that are related to the same topic and are sent, replied to or forwarded by any of these senders/recipients into one conversation thread. Very often the topic is specific to an opportunity or a case or other CRM modules, therefore allowing you to be much more granular in archiving emails to specific CRM records.

The following examples shows a rule based on a conversation topic: "Quote for 192 new units" which is archived to the corresponding opportunity:

Create Rule to Archive Emails to Cases

You can use the rules engine to create rules to archive emails to case records. These rules are very useful when you use a support ticket system to manage all support emails. In this case the support ticket system has its own format of email subjects e.g.: email start or contain a sub-string 'Case: 9011257' where 9011257 is the ticket or case number. You can change this sub-string to match your own format. In this scenario, you have the following options:

  • Create a rule for a specific case by selecting the case and specifying the expected format of the subject.
  • Create one rule for all case records by specifying the format e.g. 'Case: [Case Number]' - This means any email with sub-string in the subject line that starts with 'Case :' followed by a numerical value that must match a valid case number in the CRM

Action Items Rules

FrontEnd allows you to create and manage rules for automatically converting inbound and outbound emails into action items:

You can create new rules, modify, enable/disable or delete them.

An action item rule consists of the following:

  • Rule Name - Assign any name which is meaningful to you
  • Action - Create CRM Action Item
  • Apply To - Choose to apply to received emails, sent emails or both.
  • From - The email address from which the email was received or sent. Typically, this indicates the email address of the person who sent you an email, but it can only be used for outgoing emails when you have multiple accounts in Outlook and you choose to only archive emails sent from a specific account.
  • To/CC - The email address to which the email was sent. Typically, this indicates the email address of the person you are sending the email, but it can only be used for received emails when you have multiple accounts in Outlook and you choose to only archive emails that were received into a specific account.
  • Subject Contains - Rules based on words or phrases in the email subject
  • CRM Action Item List - Select the list where the action item should be created
  • Module / Record - select the CRM module and record to associate with this action item

Create Action Item Rule Based on Currently Selected Email

FrontEnd allows you to create a rule directly from the side-panel for the contact, lead or account that is being displayed based on the currently selected email. The following example shows an email that was received from Jane Connely at JBC Bank. FrontEnd identifies the contact and the account and automatically allows you to define a rule for them.

Create Cases Rules

You can create rules to automatically create new CRM 'Case' records. It is very useful when support emails are either send from a specific email address (e.g. your web site support forms are sent from web@mydomain.com) or that are sent to a specific email address such as support@mydomain.com. In these scenarios, you can create a rule to intercept such emails and automatically create 'Case' records based on the information in the emails. FrontEnd will examine all inbound and outbound emails to find a match and if found will create a new 'case' record and archive the email to the record.

CRM Action Items

Overview

CRM Action items are designed to help you manage your daily activities as they relate to processing, prioritizing and responding to inbound email. Most sales, marketing and support people receive a large amount of emails from clients and leads on a daily basis. Processing and responding to these emails consume a significant amount of time every day. FrontEnd new CRM action items is a tool that makes you more productive by helping you manage your email correspondence with your customers in the context of your daily CRM work and your CRM data. It helps you manage the process of sorting, prioritizing and keeping track of the emails that you need to respond to. It also ensures that the most important emails that require your attention and follow up are always on top of your priority list.

Creating Action Items

You can create action items in one of two ways:

  • Snooze an Email
  • Create a new task as an action item

Snoozing Emails

When you review received emails, if you do not wish to respond to them immediately, click the snooze button on the email side-panel

The selected email will be added to your Action Items' list and the view will switch to a Snooze view:

In Snooze view, you have access to the following functionality:

  • Details - Click Details to switch back to Details view (toggle between the two views)
  • Mark as Done - When you are done with the email, click the button to remove the email from your CRM Action Items' list and into the 'Completed' list. You can mark emails as 'Done' or dismiss them either from the email side panel or from the CRM Action Items window.
  • Dismiss - Click Dismiss to remove the email from your CRM Action Items' list.
  • Snooze until - today, tomorrow, this week, next week, later. Clicking on any of these links will set the snooze timeframe accordingly.
  • Reminder - You can select to set a reminder to yourself when your response to the email is due.
  • Add to List - Select the list that you would like to add this email to
  • Add to My Radar - Adding an email to 'My Radar' will ensure that you will always be on top of high-priority issues such as opportunities or important cases. You can view and manage 'My Radar' action items in any of your action items list but also as a separate list.
  • Related To - Select the CRM record that you would like to associate with this action item. By default, the 'Related To' is set to the account, but you can also select the contact or any specific record related to the account & contact such as opportunity, case, meeting, etc. If the email has already been archived to a specific CRM record, that record will automatically be selected as the 'Related To' record.

To snooze an email:

  • Click the Snooze button on the side panel
  • Select the snooze timeframe
  • Set a reminder if required
  • Select a list if different than the default list
  • Select the CRM record that it is related to if different than the default record

Related To

The logic for selecting the 'Related To' record is as follows:

  • By default, the email by associated with the account or the contact (if no account is defined)
  • If the email has already been archived (either manually or automatically) to a particular record such as opportunity or a case - the record will be selected
  • You can change the 'Related To' to any record related to the contact or account

Action Items Settings

FrontEnd creates three lists by default:

  • CRM Action Item - Default list for action items
  • Completed - List of all completed items (items marked as done)
  • My Radar - A view of all action items that are marked as 'My Radar' in all the other lists

In addition, you can create your own custom lists via the CRM Action Items settings. Custom lists are very useful in many different scenarios: If you are sales, marketing or support person,

you can use custom lists to:

  • Categorize customer emails into different product categories
  • Categorize emails into leads vs. clients
  • Categorize emails into priorities based on the size and timeframes of opportunities
  • Categorize emails into functional lists based on the required response such as: requests for quotes, requests for demos or trials etc.

When you snooze an email, the list that you configure as default will automatically be selected, but you can select the list that is most appropriate for the particular email.

Additional configurable settings include:

  • Purge completed action items after N weeks - When an action item is marked as complete it is moved to the completed list and will be automatically purged after the specified number of weeks
  • Which email to show under My Radar - See My Radar

Managing Action Items

When you snooze an email, it will show up in the CRM Action Items browse window under the list the you selected. To browse the different list, simply select the list via the drop down on the right-hand side of the ribbon.

The Action Items browse window offers two viewing modes:

  • Action Items grouped by dates: today, tomorrow, this week etc. and sorted by priority
  • Action Items as a simple list with no grouping sorted by any of the columns

Re-prioritizing Action Items

You can re-prioritize action items only when you are in 'Group by Date' viewing mode:

  • Drag and drop the item within each date group or between date groups
  • Select an item and use the move up and down buttons

Mark as Done and Dismiss

When you're done with an action item, click 'Mark as Done.

If the item is not a 'My Radar' Item - It will be moved from the current list to the 'Completed' items list for a period that you specified under Action Items settings after which it will be purged.

'Dismiss' will simply remove the action item.

My Radar

Items marked as 'My Radar' are handled differently than regular action items. They are highlighted in the different lists but are also visible in the 'My Radar'list which shows all items marked as 'My Radar'.

If you selected to always show the latest email in each conversation, FrontEnd will monitor the incoming and outgoing email flow to identify emails that are part of the 'My Radar' conversation thread and will keep refreshing the action items so that you'll always have visibility to the latest correspondence.

When you are done responding to a 'My Radar' it will be moved to the 'Completed' list, however, it will continue to be listed under the 'My Radar' list and will continue to be refreshed until you dismiss it from the 'My Radar' list. This allows you to keep track of important matters even after you responded to the latest email in the corresponding conversation. For example: if you may receive an RFQ from a customer and sent the quote, you might want to keep the item on your radar list and set a reminder so that you can follow up if the customer does not respond within a certain amount of time.

Custom Modules and Fields

Adding Custom fields to a standard SugarCRM Module

To add custom fields to a standard SugarCRM module, go to Options > sync Configuration, select the module and click "Custom Fields".

Implicit FrontEnd will display a list of drop-down lists arranged in two columns. Each of the controls will contain a list of custom fields that are defined on the SugarCRM server for the module you have chosen. Select the fields you would like to display in Outlook. Once a field is selected it will be removed from the list of available custom fields. This allows you to select the fields you would like to sync to Outlook as well as define the layout of the form in Outlook.

The following example illustrates custom fields being added to the Contacts module:


Contact - Custom Fields

You may also select a blank entry to create a separator in the form.

Once the fields have been selected, click Save to go back to the Sync Configuration dialog, click "Sync All". "Sync Now" dialog will show up. You can now click the Sync Now link that corresponds to the module you have modified. This will synchronize all the custom fields you selected from SugarCRM to Outlook.

Once you have synchronized the custom fields, open a contact from in Outlook and click "Custom Fields".


Contact - Custom Fields Form in Outlook

As you can see the form layout corresponds to the layout you selected. Each field will be displayed depending on its type: text entry, list control, date, checkbox, etc.

Adding a Custom Module

To add a SugarCRM custom module, go to Options > sync Configuration, and select the module for the list of available modules.


Adding Custom Module

Click the checkboxes below it to enable this module and select the direction of sync.

Click "Custom Fields" and follow the directions in section 11.1 on how to add custom fields to your module. This step is exactly the same whether you're creating a custom module or adding custom fields to a standard module.


Adding Custom Module

Once you've selected the custom fields, click the "Columns" tab and define the columns. Those are the columns that will be used when displaying lists of the custom module you have chosen:


Custom Module - Columns

Once the fields /columns have been selected, click Save to go back to the Sync Configuration dialog, click "Sync All". "Sync Now" dialog will show up. At the bottom you'll see a new type of items called "Other". This represents all the additional modules not explicitly listed. Click the Sync Now link next to "Others". This will synchronize all the custom module items from SugarCRM to Outlook.

Once you've added one or more custom modules they would show up in the menu under "More":


View Custom Modules

Document Archive

Archiving Microsoft Office Documents

Implicit FrontEnd provide tight integration not just with Microsoft Outlook but with Microsoft Word and Excel. As part of Implicit FrontEnd installation on your PC, a Side panel will be added to Microsoft Word and Excel.


Word / Excel Side panel

This Side panel allows you to archive Office documents to SugarCRM directly from within Office apps. To archive a document follow these steps:

  • Save the document
  • Click the Side panel button on the Implicit FrontEnd ribbon
  • Check the "Archive this document on SugarCRM" checkbox
  • In the "Related to" drop-down, select the SugarCRM records type the document is related to: account, opportunity, case, contact, lead etc.
  • In the "Related to Item" start typing the name of the item. The system will auto-complete your entry based on the items that you have synced to Outlook.
  • You may continue editing the document and simply save it as you normally do on your PC and close it.

There is no need for any explicit upload. The document will be automatically archived to the SugarCRM record that you have specified upon the next synchronization cycle.

Archiving Non-Office Documents

To archive non-office documents such as Adobe PDF, browse to the folder, select the document, right-click and select Send To -> Implicit FrontEnd.

The following dialog will prompt you to select the SugarCRM record to archive the document to:


Archiving non-Office Documents

Web Browsers Integration

Implicit FrontEnd allow users not only to access most of SugarCRM functionality from within Outlook but also access Outlook from their Web browser as they are working with SugarCRM.

Currently support browsers include: Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Google Chrome.

The functionality and user interface of the Implicit FrontEnd plug-in is identical across the two browser but the initial behavior of each browsers after installation is slightly different. In the next two sections, we will describe the specific behavior of each browser and in section 13.3 we will describe the common functionality.

Internet Explorer

Upon launching IE for the first time after installation, IE will display the following message at the bottom of its window and prompting you to enable the plug-in:


IE message to enable Plug-in

Once enabled, you will notice that a new Implicit FrontEnd toolbar is added. Upon attempting to access Outlook from within the browser for the first time, you will be prompted to allow such access. To avoid being prompted again select "Do not show me the warning for this program again."


IE message to enable access

Google Chrome

Upon launching Chrome for the first time after installation, Chrome will display the following message at the bottom of its window and prompting you to enable the plug-in:


Chrome message to enable Plug-in

Using the Browser Integration

The Plug-in menus are context sensitive. They dynamically adjust to the URL displayed in the browser. When you are logged out of SugarCRM, all functions will be unavailable except for login and About.

Once you are logged in to SugarCRM, the menu will continue to adjust itself based on the item that is currently selected in the browser. The following example shows the available functionality when you select an email that was archived to SugarCRM. The following is a list of all available functions:

  • Login - Will redirect you to the login of the same SugarCRM instance you have configured for Outlook
  • Open in Outlook - Open the SugarCRM item in Outlook. If the item has already been synced, the function will open the Outlook item corresponding to the record being viewed in SugarCRM. If the item has not been synced yet, it will be synced first and then opened in Outlook. This function is available to all modules.
  • Email - This function is available to the following modules:
    • Contacts / Lead - Compose a new email to selected contact/lead
    • Document - Compose a new email with the selected document attached
  • Schedule a Meeting - This function is available when a contact/lead record is selected and allows you to schedule a meeting with a SugarCRM contact/lead via Outlook. A meeting invite will be opened in Outlook, pre-populated with the contact's info. You can then leverage all the rich calendaring functionality that Outlook/Exchange offers, such as, scheduling conference rooms or other shared resources, view available timeslots of colleagues if you would like to invite them to the meeting etc. The meeting invite will be sent via Outlook which will then allow you to receive back into your Outlook calendar accept/dent responses from meetings attendees etc.
  • Reply / Reply All / Forward - This function is available to emails which have been archived in SugarCRM:
    • Email - Reply / Reply All / Forward the selected archived email. If the email has been archived by the same user and the same Outlook profile or Exchange account, the original email will be open in Outlook based on the requested action: reply to sender, reply all to all recipients and forward to a blank recipient list.
  • Related Emails - This function is available to the following modules:
    • Account - Show all Outlook emails related to the selected account
    • Opportunity - Show all Outlook emails related to the selected opportunity
    • Case- Show all Outlook emails related to the selected case
    • Contact / Lead- Show all Outlook emails related to the selected contact / lead
  • Sync Now - This function is available to all modules and triggers the same "Sync Now" function as in Outlook.
  • About - About Implicit FrontEnd.

Implicit FrontEnd Taskbar Application

Upon installing Implicit FrontEnd on your desktop, you'll notice that an icon is added to your Windows taskbar


Taskbar Application

The taskbar application is responsible for the following:

  • Run the initial synchronization in the background, including providing notification and status messages during the synchronization.
  • Queuing up emails and documents in order to upload them to SugarCRM.
  • Checking for new software updates

Queuing up emails and documents for uploading to SugarCRM is necessary in order to support offline mode (see Offline Mode). At any time, you can view the upload queue to see the messages and files being uploaded, suspend and resume the upload process as well as re-order the queue if necessary.


Upload Queue

Offline Mode

Most of Implicit FrontEnd functionality is available in offline mode. You have full access to all items that have been synchronized to Outlook. You can create new items or modify existing items. You can also archive email messages and documents. All your changes will be queued by Implicit FrontEnd and automatically synced with SugarCRM when you re-connect to the Internet.

The only exceptions which do not work in offline mode are those functions that require real-time access to the server:

  • Find and sync contact / lead
  • Create records from side panel
  • Automatically sync contacts / leads upon archiving emails
  • Search for non-synced items on SugarCRM

Administration

Authentication

User Authentication

FrontEnd supports the three methods of user authentication that SugarCRM supports:

  • Basic user authentication (user name and password)
  • LDAP authentication
  • Single Sign On with SAML authentication (Not currently supported by SuiteCRM)

Depending on which method of authentication you enabled on the server side, you'll need to instruct your users to configure the same method upon their first login to SugarCRM

LDAP Authentication

If you have enabled LDAP authentication on your SugarCRM instance, make sure to set a value for the encryption key. SugarCRM does not enforce non-blank encryption key but login via web services requires a non-blank encryption key.

Single Sign On with SAML Authentication

If you enabled Single Sign On with SAML authentication, your users will not be required to enter their credentials in FrontEnd. Instead, they will be authenticated (prompted to login) by the SMAL provider that you have configured on your SugarCRM instance. The user experience is dependent on the specific SAML provider. For example, if your organization is based on Active Directory, then you would probably be using Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) as the SAML server. In this case users will be prompted to login through the following dialog:


ADFS Authentication

The same authentication methods and user credentials are configurable via the Options dialog in case users need to change the password or the login method:

Centralized Configuration

FrontEnd 4 enables CRM administrators to centrally manage the FrontEnd configuration on users' desktops. Administrators can create a configuration and publish it to one or more SugarCRM team (or SuiteCRM security Groups).

A FrontEnd configuration is a collection of all settings under options including:

  • Sync Configuration - Which modules are to be synced, in which direction, what filters to apply and which records to sync etc.
  • Tethered Mode - how to sync contacts
  • Email archiving policies
  • Side panel - Which modules to show on the side panel and how many records of each.

When users with CRM administration privileges are logged in to FrontEnd, the software will show an additional tab under options called 'Adminstration' which is otherwise hidden for regular users.

Once you have configured all the settings, you can publish them as one configuration to:

  • All SugarCRM users by selecting 'Global'
  • Specific teams - By selecting one or more teams (using the Ctrl button)
  • Individual users - By selecting users' private groups

You can repeat this process as many times as you want. If you need different configurations for different teams, simply create the configuration, publish to the team(s), then modify the configuration and publish to a different set of teams.

You can choose to allow users to modify their own settings by checking the box. Otherwise, the settings will be read-only. Users may view them but will not be able to modify them. The only exceptions are:

  • Number of items to show under the side panel
  • Email archiving engine rules- you can establish enterprise wide rules but still allows users to create their own rules.
  • CRM Action Items

Once you publish a configuration for a specific team, each user who is a member of this team will be forced to use this configuration.

Best Practices

It is highly recommended that prior to installing FrontEnd on users' desktops, you install it first on your desktop and experiment with the settings to understand how they work. Once you establish the desired settings for each team, publish these configurations to the teams. Then send users the link to install the software. Upon launching Outlook for the first time after installation, users will be prompted with the following notifications:

If the user is a member of a single team and FrontEnd detects a configuration for this team:


Single Team Configuration

If the user is a member of multiple teams, the user will be prompted to select the configuration (team) to apply:


Multiple Team Configurations

When the team is selected, FrontEnd will apply the configuration for that team, skip the settings and go directly to perform the initial sync with SugarCRM.

Dynamically Modifying Configurations

You can modify each team's configuration and re-publish dynamically. Simply select the team and click 'Load Configuration'. The configuration will be loaded back and applied to your system. You can then make changes and re-publish to the team(s). You can also use this mechanism to create a configuration for one team, load it back, modify it and publish to another team.

If you publish a new configuration to a certain team, users who are members of this team, will receive it upon the next time they launch Outlook.

It's important to understand which settings you can modify dynamically and which settings can take effect only upon the first time that user configure FrontEnd. Most of the settings can be modified dynamically except for the following:

  • 'Sync Configuration' settings under the 'Initial sync' section of each module.
  • Email Archiving Engine rules
  • CRM Action items' lists

Each module has a section that contains settings that apply to 'Initial Sync'. These settings are used to determine which records should be initially synced from SugarCRM to Outlook. Upon competition of the initial sync they become read-only (except for administrators which may change them at any time so they can be applied to configurations that they publish to teams).

For example, if you have configured to sync accounts that have been created or modified within the last 3 months timeframe, this setting will only be used once and even if you change it dynamically, it will not take effect again unless users reset their configuration and re-initiate an initial sync cycle.

Note: As an admin, the initial sync settings are always enabled on your desktop in order to allow you to configure them for the purpose of creating and publishing different configurations for teams, but if you have already went through the initial sync on your desktop, any changes that you make to the initial sync settings will not take effect on your own configuration.

Module Level Permissions

FrontEnd allows you to set modules-level permissions which modules can be created or modified by users from within Outlook. These permissions are enforced in addition to the native permissions you set per user on SugarCRM that define access and modification rights. In order for users to create or modify a record of a certain module type bit sets of permissions need to be enabled. If you disable permissions in FrontEnd only, users will still be able to create/modify them directly on the CRM.

Managing User Licenses

As a SugarCRM administrator, you have access to manage FrontEnd licenses for your users (this functionality is only available to administrators):

You will be redirected to the Implicit FrontEnd licensing portal where you can:

  • Your corporate license information, start date, renewal date tec.
  • How many licenses are being used and by whom
  • The FrontEnd version that each user is using and since when
  • Re-assign licenses when users leave the company and other users join
  • Add user licenses
  • Renew your corporate license