What’s the difference between SugarCRM native Outlook add-in and Implicit FrontEnd?

SugarCRM native Outlook add-in is a basic sync solution between SugarCRM and Outlook. It allows users to sync Outlook contacts, calendars and tasks and manually archive emails.

Implicit FrontEnd offers a totally different level of integration, above and beyond synchronization. It provides all the functionality that SugarCRM users might need on a daily basis to perform all their CRM activities. Users would need to switch to working directly with SugarCRM only if they need access to more advanced functionality such as generating reports, marketing campaigns etc. but otherwise they have everything they need inside Outlook. After all, Outlook is where they spend most of their day anyway!

Implicit FrontEnd assists users in performing their CRM activities with minimal impact on how they use Outlook. For example: upon receiving an email from a client, it presents all the key information about the contact and its account and allows users to take immediate actions such as create a new opportunity, schedule a meeting etc. Like a Tiptronic transmission of a car, it allows you to select fully automatic mode or override the default behavior by switching to manual. But even when you’re in manual mode, it continues to assist you by providing the information you need, when you need it. We can go on and on but the best thing to do is Test Drive it yourself.

Does Implicit FrontEnd support Mac users?

Implicit FrontEnd supports Mac users through the Exchange Integration. It does not provide all the functionality that the Outlook integration does (since obviously there is not software installed on users’ desktops) but it provides the ability to intelligently sync contacts, leads, calendars, tasks and archive email. You can combine both products to provide a complete solution for all your users.


Which SugarCRM modules can I sync and access via Outlook?

You can sync and access:

  • Outlook native items: contacts, calendar, tasks
  • SugarCRM standard modules such as: accounts, opportunities, cases, notes, contracts etc.
  • SugarCRM custom modules
  • Custom fields for all modules

Similar to SugarCRM customization functionality, it allows you to dynamically create and define layouts of your custom modules and fields. Customization can be done by administrators and deployed corporate-wide to all users. Users can also create their own customization.

Do I have any control over which items get synced?

Absolutely! You can configure the following sync settings:

  • Which SugarCRM modules should be synced and in which direction (SugarCRM to Outlook, Outlook to SugarCRM or both)
  • Sync items assigned to me or to one or more teams.
  • Upon the initial sync of activities such as meetings, tasks, notes etc. you may configure a timeframe for past activities
  • For contacts - you have a variety of options to select which contacts get synced based on their business activities, their freshness and whether or not you have communicated with them via Outlook at any time in the past. You can also sync contacts on-the-fly upon receiving or sending emails.

Similar to SugarCRM customization functionality, it allows you to dynamically create and define layouts of your custom modules and fields. Customization can be done by administrators and deployed corporate-wide to all users. Users can also create their own customization.

Can I access items that are assigned to other users?

Yes, you have a Search function in Outlook that allows you to search the SugarCRM database using a similar set of filters as you have through the native SugarCRM search. If you have permissions to access them on SugarCRM, you can select to sync them to Outlook.

What happens when I am offline and make changes to the data in Outlook?

When you’re offline, you can continue to use most of the functionality including creating / modifying items such as accounts, opportunities, contacts, meetings etc. All your changes are cached on your machine and when you re-connect to the Internet, they will be synced to SugarCRM. You may also archive emails and documents. They will be queued in an offline queue and uploaded when you go online again.

A certain set of actions that require real-time connection to the server are disabled in offline mode. For example: creating an account, contact or lead directly from a received email is disabled in offline mode.

Email Integration

How can I control which emails get archived?

You have multiple ways to archive incoming or outgoing emails:

  • Automatically archive all emails received from or sent to any SugarCRM contact or lead
  • Automatically archive all emails received from only selected set of SugarCRM accounts, contacts and leads.
  • Manually archive selected emails to their corresponding accounts and contact records
  • Manually archive selected emails to specific records.

What if I don’t want to automatically archive every email from/to SugarCRM contacts? Do I need to manually archive them?

You can select to only automatically archive emails to/from specific accounts, contacts or leads.

How does Implicit FrontEnd help me keep up with the large amount of emails I receive every day from clients and prospects?

Implicit FrontEnd is designed to help you perform all your CRM daily activities from within Outlook by minimizing the amounts of clicks, navigation between different screens and switching between multiple applications. A good example of that is an email side-pane that gets activated upon receiving an email from a SugarCRM contact. It automatically identifies the contact and displays all the key information about the contact and its account. This includes displaying a list of active opportunities, cases, meetings, tasks etc. and allowing users to update existing records or create new records right from the email-pane.

Can I also have the attachments be archived?

You can configure whether or not attachments should be archived with the emails and limit them by size and file type.

Many emails have signatures and logos which I don’t want to archive. Can I prevent them from being sent to SugarCRM?

You can select not to archive attachments with image file types such as gif, jpeg, png etc.

Archiving Documents

What’s the difference between uploading documents through the browser and archiving them via Implicit FrontEnd?

Say you’re working on a proposal in Microsoft Word and you would like to archive it to an opportunity record in SugarCRM. Currently, in order to archive a document to SugarCRM, you need to save the file to your PC, launch a browser, log in to SugarCRM, search and navigate to the opportunity record, click add and select the document. With Implicit FrontEnd you can achieve the same without leaving Word. Simply open the FrontEnd Pane inside Word, select the account and opportunity from the drop-down lists and a checkbox to archive. It’s that simple. The document will be automatically uploaded and archived upon the next sync cycle.

What applications does Implicit FrontEnd integrate with?

Implicit FrontEnd integrates with Microsoft Word and Excel and with Adobe Acrobat.

What if I want to archive another type of documents?

You can select any type of document from your Windows explorer, right-click and select "Send To - Implicit FrontEnd".

Installation, upgrade & Administration

How is implicit FrontEnd installed?

There are two types of installations:

  • User Installation – An interactive wizard-based installation.
  • Admin Installation – An MSI/MST based installation that administrators can silently push over the network with Microsoft and third party software deployment tools such as Active Directory Group Policy, SCCM etc.

How do you deploy software upgrades?

The software automatically detects that a new version is available and prompts users to upgrade. IT Administrators may disable this behavior and control the upgrade process manually.

What functionality can administrators control?

Beyond centralized installations and upgrades, IT administrators can enforce corporate-wide configuration that would apply to all users, including:

  • Which modules to sync and in which direction
  • Which items to sync: assigned to, past activities
  • Email archive policies
  • Additional configurable settings

In addition, administrators can create and export customization files and distribute to all users. This includes custom modules / fields and their layouts.