why vTiger sucks

Inspired by Peter Goodman‘s 12 Things You Should Dislike About PHP and15 Cool Things About PHP That Most People Overlook I’ve created a list of reason that make me dislike vTiger .

  1. Total lack of coding documentation. External and in-line! vTiger is a very complicated system and finding out how a simple module works can be quite a challenge.
  2. The coding standard comes close to “Just throw it in and pray noone will ever need to edit it”.
  3. User privileges are stored in a file. Can anyone tell me why?
  4. The main and sub tabs are defined in the database as well as in 2 files… and also the language files. which makes it tricky to add a tab.
  5. Too many duplicate SQL queries.
  6. Mixing of PHP & HTML. The vTiger team did their best separating PHP & HTML by using Smarty but they didn’t always feel like it. Examples given: The login page & the footer containing version information & copyright.
  7. Something goes wrong and the system will still smile at you and tell you everything has worked a-OK. For example, you try to import invoices and it crashes somewhere because of an SQL error, it will still tell you everything has been imported. Same story when using the CRMentity class to insert data.
  8. When I wrote my import invoices script, I checked the database for the correct date format… YYYY-MM-DD . It would be logical to pass the same date format to the CRMentity class? Right? WRONG! vTiger flips the date around and makes it DD-MM-YYYY . Resulting in having to provide the date in DD-MM-YYYY format so it’ll convert to YYYY-MM-DD. I’m guessing this is an old quick-and-dirty fix?
  9. (not really a vTiger issue) Lack of (good) themes. I can only hope someone will start creating vTiger themes in the near future. Should you be looking for a nice theme, I’d recommend “Softed theme“.
  10. All of the list views’ (eg: account list) data is fetched using AJAX. This results in not being able to use your back button, impossible to bookmark your current view and takes a long time to load.
  11. Overall, it doesn’t perform when handling a lot of data. E.g.: It takes a hell-a long time to load the calendar if you’re an admin and everyone has synced their calendar.
  12. vTiger has several quickfixes and most of them break other functionality, I quote: “modified by Richie as raju’s implementation broke the feature for addition of webmail to vtiger_crmentity.need to be more careful in future while integrating code“. Well Richie, thanks for fixing that but you broke something else!

79 thoughts on “why vTiger sucks

  1. Sreenivas Kanumuru

    Thomas, thanks for the valuable feedback. We agree that the documentation and coding are not upto the standard and are making efforts to improve on it. We’ll be attending to some of the other issues as well in the upcoming releases.

    thanks,
    Sreenivas Kanumuru
    vtiger Team

  2. Oscar

    I agree. vtiger kind of sucks. It took us forever to figure out some issues. Like the AD authentication, all the documentation (really just forum posts) keep talking about a patch. It is not until you find out for yourself, that the AD authentication functionality is actually built-into the latest version. But the vtiger team failed to make this easily available as a feature, or spec.
    you are 120% right, their documentation sucks.

    With that said, the system is a powerful system, I’m just concerned with its enterprise-ready status…

  3. Jonathan Enns

    Just want to thank the vtiger team for all their work in maintaining a 100% open-source project.

    Does it have rough edges? Yes. But it is by far the best open source CRM tool available. Perhaps if we contributed to documentation as a community it would get better, no?

  4. Scott

    Thanks for the article, I am checking out vTiger as a solution for my web development customers. The article points out a few good issues. I’m also working on a few new themes for vTiger so will keep you posted.

  5. Cornelius

    I’m attempting to hack version 5.0.4, and the coding standards are very poor.

    There’s a separate language file PER MODULE. Simply searching and adding new phrases is a pain in the arse.

    The database design is nasty. 312 tables? With mixed naming conventions? And cascading deletes? Seriously? I’ve gone cross eyed.

    The app does its job – but is very slow even with a minimal amount of records.

    I love open source and do appreciate the work that went into this app. I’m just saying it ain’t easy to work with this app.

  6. Cornelius

    Thanks for the tip regarding speeding things up.

    Using some bash scripting and the search/replace power of vim, I was able to get all the separate english language files concatenated into 1 “more manageable” language file.

    But now that I have dug deeply into their PHP code, I am absolutely astounded. I am absolutely astounded human beings maintain this code. The cascading if/else statements go deeper than a hole to China. Single lines of code word wrap in my vim editor 7 TIMES. These developers should never be allowed to touch a keyboard again.

    Had to vent. There’s a good chance I’m gonna scrap this thing.

  7. Invoice

    Hi, is anyone able to import Invoice successfully to vtiger?

    I’d imported the invoice in csv into the database. But it does not get displayed in the Invoice module.

    Help is appreciated.

    Thank you.

  8. Garry

    I’ve imported invoices, you need to make records for all of the invoice tables. You need to make entries for them in vtiger_crmentity, then make sure to put something in all of the invoice tables.

    The tables used (in 5.0.4) are:
    vtiger_invoice
    vtiger_invoicebillads
    vtiger_invoiceshipads
    vtiger_invoicecf
    vtiger_inventoryproductrel

    (I think that’s all of them) The one that threw me was the customfields table, you’d think it was arbitrary, and that if you’ve no custom field data you wouldn’t need them, but that’s not the case :P

  9. Your mom

    Either the author of this article works for vTiger (negative publicity turns into good publicity) or plain stupid. How can you criticize something that is open source? Do you open Christmas gifts and say “this sucks”? Open source my friend…. the software grows with collaboration from others. An open-source tool is as good as the people who use it. Instead of writing negative entries about it, spend sometime giving constructive criticism or maybe solutions. vTiger is almost perfect for its use. I installed it, configured it, loaded it, imported data into it, and it works like a charm. 6 months of use and not a single major problem.

  10. Joe Public

    I use vTiger and I have to admit that its very slow. I’m not interested in hacking its underlying PHP code but I’m guessing that its lack of speed is down to sloppy work. Every component it uses runs perfectly well in other applications. And yeah, some decent themes wouldn’t go amiss.

  11. Thomas Hambach Post author

    @Your mum Admit, open source is great! It is maintained! But sadly i have found vtiger to be a not so well managed open source project that was still starting out and not suitable to use yet for a company that has to rely on their CRM. As for the the time I spent working with the software, I did make some contributions… whether they made it into the core… no idea…

  12. me

    VTiger is a programming train-wreck, I would not have coded that poorly straight out of college, let alone after some experience. It seems almost every design/architecture/coding decision made was the wrong one. VTiger is OK if you’re a customer, but it’s absolutely horrible if you ever have to delve into it to fix/improve upon it. Common logic is riddled throughout the php/html/javascript/smarty templates, changing one thing usually requires hacking seemingly un-related files all over the shop. The whole project needs to be re-thought from the ground up.

  13. guido

    @me and everyone else — I’d really like to hear people differentiate between SugarCRM (which I personally hate), and the additions that the vTiger team have added or done to the original code. If I am not mistaken, vTiger is actually based on SugarCRM Version 4.0. So when you say X and Y sucks, are you saying that this is a hold over from the original code base, or is something that the vTiger team has implemented and you feel needs to improve. Overall I really like vTiger, after spending a few months of trying to implement (unsuccessfuly) SugarCRM.

    -=g

  14. Thomas Hambach Post author

    Guido,

    I think that the vTiger team has put a lot of effort in trying to add more features to their fork of SugarCRM. But the way that this has been done is nowhere near optimal.

    Cheers.

  15. DeveloperChris

    It must be remembered Vtiger is built upon SugarCRM. if you want to see bad code just take a look at sugar.

    Sadly the vtiger team decided to buid up from sugar, (they actually lag a fair way behind on features, but I digress) If they had started from scratch I am sure they would have done far better.

    I love the argument “it’s Open source so don’t complain” Sorry that just doesnt cut it! Open source should be the leader in showing good design and forward thinking.

    Bad open source and there is a lot of it, does not do justice to the wider open source community.

    Having said that a CRM is an enormously complicated piece of software. It tries to be everything to everyone.

    But a few simple requirements would assist a lot. like how about a simple explanation of what each files main purpose is directly below the copyright notice?

    Also smarty is the dumbest piece of software I know!

    It’s another language unto itself so code and presentation seperation automatically becomes redundant/impossible.

    You might as well include php code in the templates. At least it will outperform smarty 10:1 in the speed stakes.

    Also smarty makes things like detailview.tpl possible… Why have one tpl that does everything for everyone. seperate them out into different modules FGS! so that if you want to edit the tpl for say accounts you don’t break the one for say Quotes. I mean FFS they are totally seperate modules!

    And dont start me on security? Where do you start to audit something like vtiger/sugarCRM. best to keep it inside a safe intranet.

    DC

  16. Ian D. Rossi

    I wanted to comment on point number 9 in this list. Our product, employs a custom theme that we have created. It is Web 2.0 friendly having larger fonts and less images for performance. It also utilizes screen real estate more effectively reducing whitespace.

    You can see it here: demo.aimtheorycrm.com

  17. AngryVtigerModifier

    2 years on, this conversation continues with frustrated developers stuck with vtiger (not their fault). Even for an open source application, vtiger is unacceptable in every aspect. I can outnumber all the issues gathered by all the developers working with this with mine…seriously! There are loads of other open source applications that are exceptionally good. The only thing I don’t understand is how people are still considering it, cause I am sure none uses it in the end (they buy something better, a million times better)! CRMs really don’t work as standalone, and especially not these kind of CRMs, like vtiger and sugar crm. Almost 30 years of OO programming, and none of the developers building these crap (I am including sugarcrm) have heard it… I am quite young but I already have white hair cause I have gone through the vtiger source code!
    I can go on and throw at vtiger for days….I am really disappointed such software even exists in the 21st century…I have improved vtiger 5.0.4 and made in a month modifications that leave version 5.1.0 miles behind…but I would never store my company data in it….I would never let people manipulate my company data with it…I will slap in the face and poke his eyes anyone that even considers it…I will shoot in the eyeball anyone considering modifying it…

    I don’t thing that anyone can find a good reason for using vtiger, or even modifying it.

    It is so sad having to do with such applications!

  18. drgab

    ok, i must be one of the few people that finds really respects vtiger, sure every now and then something does not work.. but nothing that cant be fixed in a few hrs. as for the documentation, omg if you rely on documentation you shouldn’t be programming, code is far more literal than any comment will ever be.

    Most of the things that Thomas is sooking about are features. i think this post should be in most part ignored.

  19. Thomas Hambach Post author

    @DeveloperChris Smarty can be used in a proper way too ;)

    @Ian D. Rossi That looks nice, good work!

    @AngryVtigerModifier Has it been 2 years? Woah! I didn’t notice it’s been that long that I’ve looked at vTiger…

    @drgab The code is a mess. True that you can fix a bug in a few hours… but there’s tons of bugs. In my opinion, if you work on software that many people will be editing (it’s opensource), documentation and code commenting is necessary, simple as that. No one can afford not commenting their code unless it’s trivial.
    //fix by mini is not a code comment ;)

  20. AngryVtigerModifier

    @drgrab Did you read the post? Have you read all the other posts? You must understand that because of the lack of features most of the developers need to extend it, and the freaking code is not extensible at all. The problem is that non-developers mostly use PHP and have built this crap. And the annoying thing is that non-developers respect it…at least until they hit a dead end and their developer says “This new feature suggested can be done by rewriting the whole thing”. Also, naming a variable “result” IS NOT LITERAL ENOUGH!!!

    @Thomas Hambach I am reminiscing the days I was working on my own crap, at least I comment and document the crap I make! In a lot less than 2 years, others have developed far better web based applications like the opengoo (Ok its not a crm, it is project oriented, but it shares most of stuff with current open-source crms, and it IS miles ahead!!! This is a respectful open-source project, object oriented and commented on almost every line of code!)

  21. MaxTheITpro

    Dudes, thanks for the heads up on vTiger. I’m still thinking of implementing it down here for my clients in East Africa…well, I was thinking of doing that.

    @Thomas, AngryVtigerModifier:
    Can you recommend some other alternative open source CRMs that are either PHP or Python based?? I’m looking for solutions that would fit in well with call centres and other customer focused industries.

    Cheers!

    – Max (aka MaxTheITpro)

  22. AngryVtigerModifier

    @MaxThelTpro You ended posting in this blog by searching…this means that none of the present open source “CRM”s stands out. The point of a crm is to fit ALL the needs of any company, but they don’t…hence the large fight of which one is best…resulting that they are all crap. A crm must be a framework not an out of the box product. You should be able to built your own to fit your client’s needs. As a code-base of a crm I would recommend NONE of the current open source crm’s, because…just have a look at my previous post. Even if you don’t agree with my, I am 100% sure that you will realise that I was infact right after a couple of months of trying to built something on vtiger or sugarcrm because a client NEEDS it.
    Save yourself a lot of time and frustrution by implementing something tailor made for your clients. Also making a crap out of a crap wont improve any of your skills or your professional qualities.
    Just, STAY AWAY FROM OPEN SOURCE CRMS THEY DONT GUARANTEE ANYTHING.

  23. AngryVtigerModifier

    @Thomas Hambach Of course I keep checking, every time I use the word vtiger in Google…so your blog comes pretty close to the top results. To answer your question, and give a reason why I am checking in today, is that I am still working with it….cause I dont have another choice, the @%$#%* guys in my comp gave it to customers….before I had an honest opinion. So I am stuck on my stupid vtiger with all the crap modifications I made because of our @(#$$# sales men and for the @$#($% argument “Come on…who hard can it be…!” that they use to customers. I am talking little beaks from it cause untill now I was living on the edge…of having a stroke…so the new stroke will come when someone will say “Ahaa, lets give him our vtiger, it fits and if it doesn’t we’ll make it fit, it’s open source, HOW HARD CAN IT BE!”

  24. HateComplainers

    @AngryVtigerModifier If vtiger is so bad why are you keeping working on it? A powerful developer as you claim to be should notice the poor quality from the beginig and avoid the pain. Making a real CRM from scratch by yourself… mmmm let’s talk some decades from now.

  25. Thomas Hambach Post author

    So, reading between the lines, HateComplainer… if someone offers me a crappy car that surely cause I die if I drive over 60km/h… I still have to pretend it’s good, cause it’s free?

    The point of complaining is to challenge the programmers of vTiger to push their skills to the limit and keep improving their codebase in future releases.

  26. AngryVtigerModifier

    @HateComplainers It does not take decades to build a CRM for a company, but it will if you try to build one for ALL the companies in the world…none of them operates the same way. And that another reason vtiger fails, too young and too crapy from the start. I am not claiming anything, my only choice to skip vtiger is to change job…which I am thinking of. If you work in a company, you don’t get easily to choose on what you will be working on.

    @Thomas Hambach They won’t listen to any complaints. Cause if they do, they should start everything from scratch! And for your information this blog came 5th while searching for any kind of help from Google.

  27. SalesMan

    @Thomas Hambach, Your post was written 2 years ago? Any updates on what your complaints?

    @ AngryVtigerModifier, vtiger is a superb system, in terms of what its for, and yes it is complicated, but any decent programmer (Like my team) are able to easily modify it accordingly. Opensource will only take you 70-80% of the way, unfortuantely you have to work to achieve the remaining 20%, something that you clearly don’t enjoy doing.

  28. vtiger?

    Hello,

    Im thinkingof implementing vtiger in the company.
    @Salesman: how long and how easy would it be to create a new module for example which is exactly the same as module”contacts” and rename it partners ?

  29. vFrustrated

    I have been implemented vTiger for a client, and what a mess. I haven’t seen code this bad since 1996. I’ve already fixed a few, critical, show-stopping, “system won’t f-ing work” bugs that the vTiger team has had on their docket and left unresolved. Now I’m trying to figure out how to modify the workflow module so that, logically, you can pre-assign tasks to specific users and groups rather than have to resign to having all the tasks in a workflow being assigned to whomever owns the related module (useless). Impossible getting through the code to figure out what is going on. Documentation is sparse, inconsistent, and nonexistent in most cases. The nesting and extensive cross referencing of files and variables have left me dizzy. These guys should launder money for the drug cartels. Excellent at obfuscation.

  30. BitConstructor

    vTiger might not be perfect.. but it works fine.

    The new vlib classes help actually a lot to create new modules.

    its interesting that not only vtiger but also used external code has no documentation and code style etc. thats a common issue with open source.

    it would be best if someone can help

  31. ghurty

    For all those who dont recommend vtiger. What open source free web based crm software would you recommend?

    Thanks

  32. me

    I’m gonna post my second comment here because I *still* work with vtiger unfortunately and this blog comes up frequently in searches. My previous comment is one of the very angry ones up the top.

    I have a few things to say:

    In regards to anyone looking for a better open source and free CRM, there is none, vtiger is the only thing that comes anywhere close to a full CRM’s functionality, there’s a lot of them out there but they use the title ‘CRM’ very wildly. There are many better coded examples but they only do a tiny fraction of what a CRM should, they aren’t even CRM’s basically, I’ve been searching for years, it’s either pay, or go with vtiger, or go custom if you have enough funding.

    In regards to anyone hoping the vtiger team is even conducive to building a better project, think again. I’m my last two years I have done several things for them:

    I *completely* re-wrote the worst, most complained about, and requested module for them (the webmail one). The version my clients have is infinitely more usable (it was a joke before), fast, clean-coded and has a much wider array of features. But they would not include this into their core release because they could not figure out the massive number of changes I had to make, so it was to hard for them to verify it. Of course this massive improvement resulted in LESS LINES OF CODE THAN THE ORIGINAL, which you will notice is common of any changes you make.

    I have made many changes and re-writes to the campaign module (also an unusable joke), but they would not accept these for release because my version didn’t fit neatly into their SVN and DB schema without any effort on their part (it changed slightly from the time I started to the time I finished, creating minor incompatibilities, naturally). They offered to code the exact same functionality into the release cheaply for about $2000. Which would have been incorrectly done.

    Sames as above to the service contracts module.

    I’ve fixed many very basic bugs in the latest release (field access screw ups, field type screw ups, a couple of new much needed ui types) that won’t get included into the core because I’m not a member of the team.

    I try to get any of the baseline improvements I make included into the release but it’ll never happen.

    I do not believe anyone on the official vtiger team has any real programming talent. Thinking it will get better is a total lost cause. It will only get bigger. Every time ‘improvements’ are made to vtiger, it’s because yet more libraries and code have been tacked on to allow more features, it never gets better, only harder to maintain. Every time you make changes and fixes they will die the next time it’s released and things are arbitrarily changed (not for the better, not for the worse, just different).

    Getting involved in vtiger for a substantial number of hours per week will IMPEDE YOUR CAREER as a web developer, there, I said it.

  33. Erich Riesenberg

    As an end user, with no interest in modifying programs, thank you for this article and thread.

    I have used vTiger briefly for a few months, with primarily contact and calendar information. No problems.

    Recently have been testing Sugar, and it seems to work similarly for an end user, for simple contact and calendar work.

    Had always read vTiger is poorly written and documented, but no idea what that meant. Now it seems clear.

    Also, Amazon lists several SugarCRM texts, while vTiger has one or two. Safari has two Sugar texts (neither great for me) and none for vTiger.

    Good luck to everyone, and it is painful to read the problems people have experienced.

  34. Gaston

    You’re 100% Right
    I was looking for good designed PHP applications to take ideas from.
    After 5 minutes reading the code….. WTFFFFFF!!!!!

    No naming standards, plain queries in actions, queries with more than 10 joins, hardcoded critical conditions y querier ( ‘and deleted = 0′ )

    It’s more like a home made product than a serious designed enterprise software

  35. Juanjo

    Thanks to the vtiger Team, for the hard work developing vtiger crm 5.1.
    I think it´s an very good software and very usefull, i used to code in visual lenguges and sql server, and i´m learning to code in PHP, and i have customized the crm with not much trouble. It could not be perfect, but it works fine. For thouse who say that it sucks, i think it´s easy to talk about the problem withot giving a solution.
    Thanks again to the Vtiger Teem.

  36. vtiger

    vtiger sucks. i spent 8 hrs trying to install to web shared hosting. many files missing. just freakin sucks. many errors about files not loading, and to confirm, the zip file does not contain them. vtiger just sucks balls.

  37. Vtiger Sufferer

    From First day, when I used Vtiger…I found to be slow…But now I realise why it is so slow..

    Can some one suggest any good & fast CRM..even if it is paid then also its fine..

    Thanks

  38. LuvMyth

    VTiger is awesome!!! Even creating a custom module is simple because of the manuals they have provided. I didn’t have to make much changes in it since it already had the things I wanted.

    Congrats to VTiger team!!! You guys rock!!! :D

  39. LikelyLad

    From a user’s perspective, vTiger has far more functionality than SugarCRM and is much easier to customise. Agreed, coding is not all that well commented and obliging attitude does give rise to ‘not a problem’ and ‘that will do’ but I have found vtiger team much more willing to help at all times and forum may not be as busy as SugarCRM but people are very helpful. All in all, an ace of a product but it does have rough edges. There is a lot of functionality, although at places it appears dated. Speed? yes it is slower than SugarCRM. And MySQL is limiting as well. I await MSSQL version.

    I used to use SugarCRM – tutorials and Sugar University are brilliant concepts but CE version is rather limiting and frustrating. vTiger on the other hand has brilliant team and bucket load of functionality. All in all, a bloody good Open Source product and much better than some of the paid ones. Keep it up guys and gals. I am not a techie but very demanding and enthusiastic user. My moral support is with you.

  40. Thomas Hambach Post author

    You are not a techie, but MSSQL will be a lot better. I’ll just jot that down somewhere for future reference /sarcasm

    Anyways, so much for being a dick. It does surprise me that vTiger is still alive and kicking. I have not had the chance to use it in a long while… Can anyone update me on performance?

  41. Vangelis

    vTiger sucks big time because it is written in India. NEVER use any product that comes out of India. It is rubbish. Basically, they can’t produce quality software.

  42. Vtiger Sufferer

    Vtiger could be not good product..but that doesn’t potray the image of india. There are many companies who are considered to be big IT companies across the globe, Infosys, TCS, Wipro to name few.

    I request you not to connect one product with entire country..I am sure ,,wherever you belong from will have good sides & bad sides of country…but that doesnt relate with one company.

  43. lad

    User views are always help a product vendor to upgrade its product in a positive way. I’m a software developer and have been in the industry for last 10 years. I have developed vide range of products during the time. I also got chance to play with vTiger and it is almost good. No software is perfect and never can be. Every software you see in market rather its MS word or Google products, they all have bugs, some are not visible though. vtiger is a open source, thats why you found some lack of coding, but is not a drawback of the logic, mixing html and php is logically not false.

    So keep people motivating who are working for community free of cost.

    vTiger Guys: learn form what is said by Thomas and thanks for what your are doing.

    Lad

  44. Jason Boxman

    As someone looking at using vTiger, I must say, this has been quite hilarious to read. Thank you. And yes, the two minutes I spent looking at the source code scared the shit out of me too. Needs some github loving.

  45. me

    Someone said something about complaining about “open source”. As open source code can’t be horrible… “Open source” says something about the licensing of that certain software, not the way it’s being made.

    Remember: somehow it works (it’s a miracle, I know), but everything about it (except the “echo” statements) is wrong!

    I have to work in this piece of sh*t. It’s revolting and insulting to the common-sense developer. And, as someone said before me, it WILL “impede your career as a web developer”.

    It’s the best CRM there is? Well, f**k me! That doesn’t mean it’s good design; it’s just better than another crap: sugarcrm.

    They work hard to implement new functionality? Hey, that’s good, but they should stop there. They don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doin’. Just because they know how to use cron, that doesn’t make them developers capable of creating a scalable and complex piece of software.

    I’m thinking of making an open source CRM based on Zend Framework, designing the shit out of it for weeks, just to stop people from using this god-awful “software”. Maybe it won’t be me, but wait for it: the second a CRM with some backbone appears, this emetic php mambojambo will drop like a nun in a pron store.

    I think it’ll save a lot of brainpower and grey matter.

    PS: For those who said “it’s good, it could be better, don’t insult free software”… Go learn PHP! Better yet: go learn software engineering and design patterns! Free or non-free, that doesn’t protect them from ignorance.

  46. Jason Judge

    I have just installed vtiger for the first time to give it a test drive, because the demos looked good on the face of it.

    The first thing that was a little disconcerting was the installation step that states all files must be writeable by the web process user. That really is not good.

    Having looked at the code base, it scares the living daylights out of me. It reminds me of code put together by PHP newbies using turn-of-the-century coding techniques.

    Half me loves the front end, and the other half is screaming at me to stay well clear. The approach taken to coding in vtiger looks to me like one of “throw in some code, it seems to work, fine move on”.

    And yet when you look closer, there are so many things wrong with the front end that is a consequence of a lack of coding standards. For example, no checkboxes or radio lists – or any form items for that matter – have proper labels. That means you have to click on tiny checkboxes and not the labels. Some may say that this is not a problem, but really, the web development community worked out that this kind of thing should be taken seriously ten years ago.

    URLs with non-encoded ampersands – again absolutely everywhere, and hard-coded all over the place so that it can never be fixed without a complete refactoring.

    That is before we even look at the overlapping and illegally-nested HTML tags.

    These things all point to lack of understanding, lack of care, and lack of standards. Those always lead to security issues, so that is why it rings alarm bells with me.

    So why am I bothering to write all this? Well, it has something going for it – it is being used and serves some people well. The development community seems to be hidden behind some kind of wall though. I don’t want to become a developer or require access to their config control system to be able to raise these issues (for the sole purpose that *someone on the development team really ought to know*). I looked at the forum to see if there was somewhere to discuss these things, but the forum is just full of spam – no-one is taking it seriously enough.

    What a dilemma! I love the functionality of vtiger, but the code-base just looks like a big accident waiting to happen.

  47. Jason Judge

    OMFG – over 430 tables. That is just insane. There are logical data structures, and there are physical database table structures, and they really do not have to map 1:1

    With a one-line change to the adodb MySQL driver, all the *_seq tables can be dropped immediately. They are simply not needed, and only implemented for compatibility with databases that did not support either sequences or auto-increment datatypes, of where there really are none any more.

  48. ciccio666

    I love vTiger!!! As my clients do. In my case I have no problem with coding in vt and no problem of performance on the application and database.

    Many Thanks to the vTiger Team!!!
    Cheers Guys.

  49. Mike

    Here is the truth about vTiger. (1) It’s an absolutely great project and the best CRM solution out there. (2) Make sure you use a WEB-SCRIPT-FRIENDLY webhosting! You can break your balls several times trying to install it on a crappy webhosting with crappy settings. (3) Customize vTiger, for God’s sake! It’s not so difficult, unless you are retarded.

    Most complainers are trying to install it on a cheap or old server, it doesn’t work, they spend hours and days trying to change settings, checking forums, posting questions, etc. If they manage to install it, then they are just f***ing lazy to customize it for their needs.

    I’ve installed and customized it for a number of companies and everyone’s happy. Geez, people, you sound like those who make posts why MS Windows is bad!

  50. Yup

    Dear Thomas ,
    for any future use please check out civiCRM.

    OO design, quality code by a quick code review, highly customizable, integrated to either Joomla or Drupal (means you can get add-ons).

    It is made for non-commercial organizations, but like stated early, it is customizable.

    If you a developer dealing with vTiger and SugarCRM – well, good luck.

  51. Jack

    @Yup. CiviCRM sounds good. As a developer coming from Drupal background (orderly environment), CiviCRM sounds inviting – only that I dont like the non-profit notion of it. I have a bit used Vtiger, and I must admit there are no good standards as MVC is not clearly implemented. I would like to see an Enterprise targeted DrupalCRM.
    Vtiger works well, till u start customizing anything and the first baseline for customizations start with theme. While its easy to copy existing theme rename it and change the css styles to override, its not easy to track the templates where the elements are defined leave alone finding the elements of the home page(before login). Clients like to see visual changes before functionality comes in.
    Vtiger is poor in documentation – it reminds me of XOOPS, a CMS I used to use before going to Drupal. GOOD IN PERFORMANCE BUT POOR IN CUSTOMIZING. I have come to realise that proper documentation lacks in all opensource projects which are not based on good patterns because its just another hell of #$*&&* to document from unorderly crap.
    Nevertheless, kudos Vtiger team – it works BUT I DONT KNOW WHY I FEEL LIKE YOU DELIBERATELY make sure that the project is not easily customizable despite the contributions sent by the community.
    Vtiger = XOOPS
    CiviCRM = DRUPAL
    DruCRM (Enterprise) = WHAT AM WAITING FOR

  52. David Esrati

    I’ve been trying to work with the vTigerCRM team for about a year- with UX/UI improvements. They seem receptive- but, they aren’t going to be able to implement anything major till this time next year (2012).
    The simplest thing a crm should do is display the history of “contacts” or “touches” with a client- be they phone calls, emails, quotes- etc.
    The current version of vTiger can’t- they are suggesting it may happen by 5.4 due in a few months.
    The reality is- it’s a long way from what it needs to be.
    In the mean time Sugar 6 is out- and has many of the features that I’ve been discussing with the vTiger people- with a much cleaner interface.
    I’m ready to chuck vTiger at this point.
    As to other opensource CRM systems- right now- it’s called fat free crm- it’s a rails app, which unfortunately runs on rails 3.0 which cpanel doesn’t support.
    Looks promising- if you know Rails- and if you like HighriseCRM from 37 signals.
    We’ve looked at a ton of CRM offerings- both closed and open source- and found almost everyone of them overly complex- and not very user friendly.
    We did find a gem of a project management tool: http://www.teambox.com which is open source (although they hide that on the site) and it works beautifully.
    It’s also a Ruby on Rails solution.
    Rumor has it that the next version may include some CRM functionality- since large projects require some CRM functionality. Look into it.
    In the mean time, I’d be interested to hear what the people on this forum think of the new version of Sugar- and if anyone knows a way to port data from vTiger 5.2.x to Sugar 6?

  53. marius

    I feel the vtiger team is deliberately making it extremely difficult and unpleasant to develop on vtiger (the code is barbaric to say the least). I can only assume that they make money by selling it to local clients and care little for the rest of the world. A quick search of the forums shows the same issues from 2005 cropping up in the latest version and (from my pod) they probably have the most number of unanswered questions of any open source project by far.

    No documentation = no developer implication
    bad coding = your better off paying for a commercial version than paying a programmer to fix it

    good luck with that

  54. Manu

    Hi Thomas!

    In Puerto Rico we have a saying that goes “a caballo regalado no se le mira el diente” which basicaly means “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”.

    Vtiger, and many other ready-made open-source web systems are powered by the community. You’re not paying for them, so don’t expect a “good service”. So, be bold, download, tweak and code, study if you have to, but don’t criticize. Thanks.

  55. Edwin

    Thanks for point out these issues, but one thing bugs me. Is commercially written software any better? I was involved in a blue chip bespoke system a few years ago and horrified that the conultants (on £600 a day) were following no naming conventions and not commenting their code at all. They weren’t even giving functions and variables intuitive names. Their excuse? They were under severe pressure to deliver quickly because of previous problems on the programme. The prgramme was finally delivered, it was flaky and cost three times it’s originally budget of £20m. Eventually yet another team of experts arrived and declared that the whole system had not been built properly (by their consultants) and we would have to pay them to rebuild the system. Welcome to the wonderful world of professional programming.

  56. intro

    Thanks for sharing your point of view on this CRM. Right now im trying to modify a bit Calendar module. The vTigers code is like a nightmare:-/ I thing I’ll move back to the SugarCRM..

  57. nevvermind

    @manu – “Vtiger, and many other ready-made open-source web systems are powered by the community. You’re not paying for them, so don’t expect a “good service”. So, be bold, download, tweak and code, study if you have to, but don’t criticize. Thanks.”

    What about ZF? Symfony? Doctrine? Git? Svn? Uhm.. Linux?
    You know there ARE top-notch open-source projects out there, right? I mean, I don’t pay when I’m using ZF neither, but I don’t cry and kill 3 little kittens when I have to modify something or enhance, as I would with vtiger.

    Also, I loved the “don’t criticize” thinghy. Framework or man, if it doesn’t stand up to criticism, it made the first step to crappiness.

  58. GetOverIt

    Folks, do get over the snobbery!

    I’m a somewhere between user and techie and have no real clue as to whether the code is crap, great or the best in the world ever. What I can say is that I run three companies making money using Vtiger and it works bloody well and is easily customised.

    If you want to provide your customers with a tool to grow their business then get over the geek crap and show them how to use it rather than moan about how it’s written. Alternatively you could move to a better FREE product (oh, I’m sorry all you great moaning free loaders can’t suggest one) or move to consulting on paid for products (oh of course you can’t because your customers want a fully functional platform without spending a fortune and you need to make consultancy fee’s). Someone could always write their own (I believe I even read a comment to that effect); I’m sure it would be great, well written to gold standards and shine like a new pin; but would YOU make any money ?

    Perhaps you are trying to make a fortune in consultancy getting around all the slight UI hickups and your customers aren’t really interested in this?

    I for one really don’t care if it uses 2 tables or 2000 tables; I have 1000’s of customers. I run free software, on a free operating system, using cheap 3 year old servers and I can make money with it.

    And going back to ‘Indians don’t write good code’ A) Racist generalisation, B) maybe, maybe not, but they know how to make money using platforms written in crap code!

    And for the record, I’m a white UK national not an Indian programmer.

    Just my thoughts for the day!

  59. getalife-vtiger

    For end users it’s heaven but for coders vTiger is hell . I agree, 1st) vtiger has no proper documentation and then 2nd) no proper coding standard – it’s worst! I love opensource and I love linux (slackware, debian and centos) but vtiger ruins the good name and reputation of opensource softwares.

    @GetOverIt, the issue is not about race and are you trying to convince yourself being white? Dude, better sentence construction and get a life!

  60. Michael Ksiezopolski

    vTiger is great tool as for a customer and total crap for programmers.
    Even thou it looks way better than SugarCRM and it does better job, vTiger still need some improvements such as: Total value of invoices with and without date range, same with quotes, and sales/purchase orders, import/export still needs improvements. I am using it without any problems except for my server load while retrieving data.
    Database structure is the worst I have ever seen.
    It would be nice to use some sort of the structure in programming, some sort of consistency in it. Also Object Oriented Programming in vTiger is a foreign concept. Simply speaking MESS.
    I am truly amazed that it is still working and how well it is working seeing the code.
    I do strongly suggest to do some brainstorming and create simple and well thought structure of the application (Look at Zimbra mail server)
    Create a database with minimum amount of tables and improve security.
    For me Open Source doesn’t mean worse that commercial, in the contrary having so many coders available free at your fingertips vTiger should beat up any commercial product on the market. Same as Zimbra, ZenCart, WordPress, Libre Office and many more…

  61. Kieran Kay

    Thank you, everyone, for your invaluable feedback. We have come a very long way since this post was created (a few revisions into Vtiger 5) and I’d like to take a brief moment to chime in discuss how Vtiger 6, which is slated to be released around February of 2013, addresses many of the concerns raised above regarding Vtiger 5.

    For starters, Vtiger 6 launches with a completely revamped UI, employing JQuery, Bootstrap, and other newer libraries that simplify and modernize the user experience. From a code perspective, we have rebuilt Vtiger’s directory structure, separating PHP and HTML elements and now adhere to an MVC model. This new code structure, which is still improving as we work through the beta development phase, has allowed us to optimize for speed and quality, far exceeding that which was possible with Vtiger 5. Developers can see a beta preview of the Vtiger 6 source code, which is still under development, at http://trac.vtiger.com/svn/vtiger/vtigercrm/branches/6.0.0/

    We encourage you to evaluate our new source code and to reach out to us with any suggestions, questions or concerns that you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Warmest regards,

    Kieran Kay
    Vtiger

  62. Walter-Vietnam

    Dear All! Thanks for the Comments. I m looking for vTiger since v5.1./5.2/5.2.1. I never put it productive for my small Company. But, it is a good Application in Terms of FUNCTIONALITY. Easy to adopt and configure, even its a lot to do.
    I m now on v5.3 and plan to go for 5.4.
    My last ISSUE is the latin1 / uf8 problem.
    Some parts of vTiger work under utf8, others are not. Example: UI can be translated in utf8 Languages and work. PICKLIST VALUES for PRODUCT became unchangeable, undeleteable if you have used some Character like this: ‘nên sử dụng loại’. You can enter them in Picklist values. It will beshown correct. But Database shows something codd. Maybe because of the ‘latin1′ defaults in mysql for the Server? Even if DB+Client+Conn. is set to utf8.

    Is vTiger6 addressing this problems?

    And many thanks for the great application.

  63. Romulus

    Hi Kieran, so you’re saying the codebase has been revamped — for the BETTER? I hope so! :-)
    How MANY tables is version 6 using?? Just curious. I’ve been peeking this thread off & on.
    Any light at the end of the tunnel?
    Any other ALTERNATIVES to vTiger in Feb 2013??

  64. Mr. Budo

    I’m using vtiger 5.4.0 and still missing a maintenance-mode. Think of that:
    12.Users Wirkung at the CRM. And me, the Admin have to fix some Bad issues, corrupt Database entries, etc.
    This needs just half n hour. But how to Log Out the workung Users???

  65. Dave G

    OpenERP with a base system and adding the required modules will do the same to be fair.

    Problem I have are a few basic problems. Like dropdown lists not being able to be tied to other data. Their subscriber online paid version, having features the open source version does not.

    I worry this is going the way of calemeam.com did years ago. All open source, community was good. But then their branch for enterprise became more important, the open source version died. They just used open source community to build a nice product and then sell it. I see this sometimes and I fear this is where vtiger is heading.

    Though as a product I still like it.

  66. Vincent

    I agree on the possible enterprise preference. As an example, this bug has just been fixed in the vTiger cloud environment:
    http://trac.vtiger.com/cgi-bin/trac.cgi/ticket/7130
    because I reported it from a trial version.
    The new forum is also not a great choice for building a community, because I cannot find auto mail functions and stuff that phpbb has.

    My biggest concern is security. The messy code is hard to maintain and thus less secure. I would not want to be responsible for it.
    I also had a lot of issues changing stuff, like simple company info on a bill and getting layout and numbering properly. That said, I really like the tool, in terms of usability and understanding of use, it is great!
    Also customizing on a lower level is not too hard, your just on your own :).

    I do believe vTiger 6 has great potential, I would just like to give the devs some tips:
    – get your forums straight! make sure the community keeps alive!
    – blog more about the v6 release and make sure once it there, the base is solid – great job on the interface!
    – release more frequently and have security audits to make sure your’re safe :)
    – choose a good collaboration tool to involve developers to contribute and improve like other succesfull open source projects (I did not find how to access the vTiger trac)
    At the end, thanks for a wonderfull product, keep op the good work

  67. Bruce

    I am testing vTiger CRM 6. Beta. I liked alot the new UI. I am using my own server and it loads fast. there some functionality issues I have feedback to developers.
    I think vTiger came along way from this article written.I am sure developers listen some of our feedbacks and making right corrections.
    I am working on some code make some improvements and customize.
    I would like to thank to developers and community for this nice CRM.

  68. Rainyman

    I use Vtiger since 2011, every day.
    I used for sales and production and work like a charm. No problem with instalation, maybe a little bit hard to configure but in 2 years I didn’t have any problem. For me is the best CRM.

  69. Norm

    Vtiger.. magento.. everything released these days has bugs, we have to learn to live with it and be thankful we have jobs because other people suck.

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