Open source CRM provider SugarCRM has launched an online application marketplace similar to Salesforce.com's AppExchange, offering applications and extensions to the SugarCRM application suite.
At the launch, SugarExchange had 100 applications certified by SugarCRM, including over 40 that were available for purchase. SugarCRM offers a free, open source CRM application, which includes access to the source code and a commercial professional edition alternative that includes more functionality and support.
SugarExchange evolved out of SugarForge.org, which currently has around 5000 developers and over 250 open source projects. Where SugarForge was a pure open-source development site for projects based on the SugarCRM platform with no commercial element, SugarExchange is aimed at non-developers and provides an environment for business users to search and buy plug-in applications.
It mirrors the SugarCRM business model whereby the company maintains clear water between its open-source and commercial products. Developers can offer open-source projects via SourceForge.org or sell more advanced commercial versions through the SugarExchange. The company stipulates that all applications must be available for both the open-source SugarCRM and the professional edition.
Applications offered through the exchange, which currently include lead management, e-commerce and Web self-service-type applications in the CRM area, are created on SugarForge.
Developers then submit a contract proposal and have it listed on SugarExchange, which enables customers to either click through to the developer's website, or order and pay through SugarCRM. Applications can be deployed on premise or on demand using the SugarCRM SaaS operation.
Meanwhile, Salesforce.com, which used aspects of the open-source development model for its AppExchange initiative, has started offering open-source applications on the AppExchange. JasperSoft is offering its open source-based BI tool Jasper4Salesforce.