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Is Drupal CiviCRM the Right CRM Interface for You? An Analysis.

Is Drupal CiviCRM the Right CRM Interface for You? An Analysis.

Are you looking for a CRM interface for your website? If yes, then it is possible to manage the CRM of your website with a simple open source relationship management system software like CiviCRM.

The best part is that CiviCRM is available for installation as a standalone software or as a component along with content management systems like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. It may also be installed as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Let’s take a detailed look at the benefits offered by CiviCRM, its features and how it can work seamlessly with a Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal.

Web-Based Synchronisation

CiviCRM is a web-based application which is a great advantage, as it can be easily installed and utilised by you with the help of an internet-enabled computer system.

It synchronises seamlessly with various CMSs for effective web-based relationship management, especially for school, church and other charitable or non-profit organisations.

As CiviCRM is developed by the community Hive Mind, you may not get instant direct support for any related issues. However, there are plenty of help forums that provide solutions for various CiviCRM based problems.

Key Features

Online Fundraising and Donor Management

It can manage and keep track of all the contributions or donations to your organisation from your constituents from a single screen within the application.

Fundraising

You are empowered to create customised web pages quickly in order to accept online donations. You also get access to updated details of every donation and relevant contact with no chance of data entry errors.

Online Membership Management

With CiviCRM, you can easily manage the online sign ups, renewals and membership summaries for your organisation.

Membership

It enables you to configure any number of membership types as well as customise membership rules and status.

It is also possible to create customised web pages for self-service membership sign up and renewal. You can break down the membership summaries by date (month), membership type, number of contributions, contact information and the total contribution.

Online Event Management

CiviCRM offers you the functionality of creating customised web pages to manage online events or meeting registration for your organisation and then track the number of people who registered as well as the number of active participants.

Online Mass Mailing Management

With this CiviCRM app, you can create or develop newsletters to be distributed to different members directly from your website instead of having to create the group mailing list manually.

It thereby saves a lot of time. You can keep your constituents engaged with timely newsletters for everyone or personalised emails targeted at only a certain group of members.

Thus, CiviCRM assists you with email marketing, social media marketing as well as personal email campaigns.

Integration with Drupal CMS

In comparison to other large CRM applications, CiviCRM may not offer a similar level of data analysis and reporting.

However, it does offer a free alternative to maintain data records of a wide variety of information related to the constituents of your organisation.

Drupal CiviCRM

It can easily be configured to work with your existing business processes as well as seamlessly customised according to your specific business requirements. Furthermore, it is a free CRM component that is designed to integrate and work with CMSs, such as Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.

However, it is more popularly known for its integration with Drupal. This is because Drupal provides most integration options for CiviCRM and because the Drupal community is more of a developer community, which can handle the technical challenges easily and add to the CiviCRM documentation.

Your website enables you to create roles for site users and grant them permission to execute different tasks, such as edit, view, delete, administer contacts or access specific information.

The Drupal permission settings determine which tasks a specific role will perform and what information it can access. They override any access control setup in CiviCRM, which means that if the CiviCRM settings restrict access to contacts, but the Drupal permission settings allow complete access, then the particular user role will have complete access to contacts.

The Drupal Views module enables you to display website content and CiviCRM integrates with it in order to allow CiviCRM data to be publicly displayed on your website.

When we tried to combine them together for a client’s website, we had to do some configuration, as our CiviCRM and Drupal belonged to different databases.

The Final Verdict

All in all, CiviCRM has several features working in its favour, especially if your business is a non-profit, advocacy or a charitable organisation that has a website CMS like Drupal. It does not involve any licensing fees and so you can add users without any incurring additional costs.

However, you do require certain technical skills to ensure a seamless setup and maintenance of this CRM tool.

So have you explored Drupal CiviCRM before? Do you have any point to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

 

Drupal 8: What’s Coming?

Drupal 8: What’s Coming?

 

Drupal_Classic_InformaticsOne of the most popular and widely used open source web content management systems, Drupal is under the process of releasing its newest version, Drupal 8. Backed by a strong community, Drupal 8 CMS is going to be a platform with over 200 features that will change the way content management has been perceived till date. The official release is being awaited by Drupal developers in UK and the by the developers world over. Here are a few features that makes Drupal 8 release, an exciting affair:

  • Mobile First

    The new Drupal 8 isn’t just mobile friendly. Instead, it has mobile at its core. All you need to do is deploy the content once and it will be displayed the way you want it, on any mobile device. All the built-in themes in Drupal 8 are responsive that will simplify designing and development of websites optimized for various devices and screen sizes.

  • Better Configuration Management

    Drupal 8 comes with better configuration management that will allow the developers to take a snapshot of the overall Drupal configuration at a specific time. This will also help the Drupal developers to streamline development, deployment or migration.

  • Built-in Web Services

    Drupal 8 comes with built-in web services that will allow a website to respond with data and not with an HTML page, to a request. It will make machine to machine communication possible. Also, there will be no need to define the context for data.

  • Multilingual

    Drupal 8’s built-in user interface will allow you to translate anything in the system. You can build pages with Views languages as well as filter and block visibility. Not only this, but you will get automatic updates about software translations from the Drupal community.

  • HTML 5

    Drupal 8 will allow HTML-based page markup. This means that Drupal websites will be fully functional and compatible with mobile screens of all sizes. Speaking of mobiles, Drupal 8 will also have proper native input tools on mobile for fields such as data, phone and email.

  • Easy Authoring

    Features like Inline editing and CKEditor will make authoring way easier that what it is right now. Inline editing will allow you to edit the content simply by clicking on edit on the body content. Also, CKEditor will replace Drupal’s default WYSIWYG, which will simplify HTML editing for web content.

  • Fast Theming

    Twig framework Theming engine will replace the PHPTemplate. Twig template engine is faster, more secure and highly flexible. The more mobile friendly Drupal 8 will have responsive themes including the default themes like Stark, Seven and Bartik themes.

  • More Fields

    Drupal 8 will have more field types in core and will allow you to attach fields to more types of content. For example, email, telephone, entity reference, date, link, etc.