Crust Releases version 2020.06 and Removes Paywall for All Products

Cork, Ireland, 30 June 2020

Crust Technology is excited to announce its latest major release, version 2020.06. Along with significant feature and functionality upgrades, Crust is also delighted to announce the removal of the paywall for all products in its portfolio. This means that the open-source Crust products are now free:

We’re thrilled with the latest features improvements and the expression of commercial confidence to remove the paywall on our product portfoliosays Niall McCarthy, CEO of Crust Technology.Crust is growing quickly and, with much innovation to come in 2020 and beyond, we’re proving we can adapt to fast-changing market realities effectively and aggressively”.

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Crust is Spreading its Wings

Since we launched in March 2019, Crust CRM Suite has established itself as the de facto open-source alternative to Salesforce. Self-funded, profitable in our first year of trading and equipped with an order book delivering over a year’s worth of cash runway, Crust Technology is already on target to grow between 200% and 300% in its second year. Corteza, the community project founded when Crust contributed its entire code base to the Commons Conservancy in June 2019, has gone from strength to strength, garnering many thousands of users in its first year. Its goal to become “The Digital Work Platform for Humanity” is gaining momentum.

These are big statements and we count ourselves lucky, given the economic mayhem and misfortune that has afflicted so many to date in 2020. Keeping our commercial focus and development on track and on budget has been a tough but welcome challenge to date and our next steps will set the bar higher again. Read more

Golang CRM

We mention it regularly in our blogs, but why is it important that Crust and Corteza use Golang? Well, first of all, if you’re to get a CRM for free, it may as well be written in a modern coding language. Google uses Golang to build and manage much of its application infrastructure. As the leading open source Salesforce alternative, Crust also shares the use of Golang in common with its primary competitor.

What is Golang?

Golang, also written as Go, is an open-source programming language. According to the website of the project Golang “makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software”. It is developed by a team at Google and many contributors from the open-source community.The first release was in 2009 and it has become a very popular programming language. Read more

How to set up an automated business

As the economic squeeze continues, many businesses will be asking how automation can help them and their staff become more productive, focus their efforts on relationship building and service existing customers more effectively. Read more

Is an Open-Source Low-Code Platform Really Right for You?

Some users and even software vendors seem to think that open-source and low-code platforms compete with one another. I’ll be honest, the title of this article even came from one such vendor. And, it is a crazy line of thought, in the same way as the Mattermost vs Slack argument in the field of open-source chat. It’s futile without putting the respective feature sets front and center. Whether an open-source low-code platform is the best choice for your organisation or not is dependent on the feature set and quality of the product – not that the software code is available in the public domain or not.

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It’s time to turn the page on open source forks of SugarCRM

It is a testament to SugarCRM that it spawned so many open source forks, before deciding to take itself down an exclusively closed-source, proprietary route. There seem to be dozens of them out there, each claiming to be unique while all working from the same core community edition engine, abandoned by Sugar CRM all those years ago. Read more

Why Crust is Ideal for Not-for-Profit Organisations

For many, either being part of something bigger than ourselves or standing up for closely held principles are important. In June 2019, Crust Technology contributed all of its software intellectual property to the Commons Conservancy, an independent open-source foundation. In doing so, we created Corteza, “The Digital Work Platform for Humanity”.

Corteza

The objective of Corteza is clear – to deliver a 100% free, open-source, self-hosted cloud platform for growing your organisation’s productivity. It enables relationships and protects the work and the privacy of all those concerned.

This effort began by producing a fully-featured alternative to Salesforce – the cloud leader in CRM – and an alternative to Slack Enterprise Messaging. All of this is presented via a unified interface on the frontend, joined up with automation on the backend. Very recently, we also released Service Cloud, a self-hosted enterprise-grade alternative to Salesforce and Oracle Service Clouds.

Everything is delivered with modern, hyper-efficient code. Organisations can benefit from the impressive low-code development facilities to build their own custom apps, reducing costs and lowering time to delivery.

The publicly stated values of the Corteza project are as follows:

Public Good:

Corteza’s software and other offerings are designed and provided as a public good for the public benefit.

Open and Transparent:

Corteza’s governance and operations are open and transparent. It uses the best practices from across the not-for-profit, private and public sectors.

Diverse and Inclusive:

Corteza’s members, policies and programmes are designed to actively foster diverse, inclusive and non-discriminatory participation.

Built for Humanity:

Corteza’s software and other offerings have a real impact on people’s lives. As such, they are designed, built and provided with a strong emphasis on quality, privacy, security and usability.

Crust for the Not-for-profit sector

All Crust software is built 100% on the Corteza code-base. Professional versions of Crust software are made freely available to the not-for-profit sector, including all professional software maintenance.

On top of this, Crust is beginning to push development of Corteza’s outreach Programmes, which range from Humanitarian through Ecological to Privacy Programmes.

Delivering a standards-based public good, then constantly striving to push those standards higher is a lot of work. Being part of something bigger than us is key to the Crust team’s identity and to our brand. Since the launch of Corteza, we discovered that the more we give and the better we give, the stronger our business gets.

The Not-for-Profit sector deserves an approach to building software that is inclusive of its requirements and which ensures organisations in the sector do not fall out-of-step with developments in the private and public sectors. Crust and Corteza successfully deliver this approach, feature-rich and with ever-reducing economic barriers to entry and participation. Our low-code philosophy is central to this ethos and we go out of our way to ensure that, where coding is required, it’s limited to well-supported and inexpensive JavaScript skills.

The cherry on the cake? Crust Essential Support subscriptions are completely free-of-charge for Not-for-Profit organisations and their customer bases – subject to the condition that the organisation is fulfilling its purpose by using our software. Digitally transforming and managing your relationships with your donors, advocates and volunteers have never been easier.

Try out Crust

Are you working in a Not-for-Profit organisation? Get your free online Crust demo here.

 

 

 

Is Salesforce Copying the Crust and Corteza Product Strategy?

Is Salesforce Copying the Crust and Corteza Product Strategy?

Last week brought us the news that two of the most significant players in the CRM market, Salesforce and Microsoft had struck a deal. Salesforce Marketing Cloud will soon be hosted by Microsoft Azure. At the same time Microsoft Teams, a Slack Messaging alternative, will be integrated with Salesforce Sales CRM and Service Clouds.

When we were first designing Crust and Corteza’s product strategy, our research showed that Salesforce Chatter, the internal messaging system on the cloud-only platform, was the most disappointing element of its portfolio. In its place, we decided to implement a core Messaging system inspired by Slack’s architecture and feature set. This feature set is already included in our Sales CRM and Service Cloud.

Why was Slack-like Messaging of such interest? At Crust, we believe that openness, consistency and standardisation of data architecture are critical to the healthy long-term functioning of a business. Cobbled-together data architectures are expensive to maintain, and it’s always the customer that pays. Crust and our community project, Corteza, avoid such complexity by default. Our Messaging can suck in data from thousands of different sources if we wish and standardise that data for use across our various applications. Try to do that with email…

At Crust, we believe that openness, consistency and standardisation of data architecture are critical to the healthy long-term functioning of a business.

It remains to be seen what Salesforce’s decision to hold hands with Microsoft means in terms of businesses’ data sovereignty. Recently, Google’s been accused of health data stockpiling, and one of the concerns is that data from one service will be used to promote others. Is it possible someday that Microsoft buys Salesforce outrightly, giving it unfettered access to all activity on the powerful trio of Salesforce, LinkedIn and Skype? That’s a lot of sensitive trading data and intellectual property, and it highlights the big question of a data grab where Microsoft may find itself wandering into antitrust territory once again.

However, let’s face it; this is all about money. The real costs of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics365 already border on extortionate. How much more customers can be “locked-in” by dependence on the vendors’ closed business logic implementations and hoisted with new charges remains to be seen. If history is any measure, then they usually find a way.

Crust and Corteza will always aim to include market-leading features, will always provide familiar UI’s and UX and will always be 100% free and open. Our strategy to offer a robust, self-hosted alternative to Salesforce looks more aligned than ever.

So is Salesforce copying Crust and Corteza’s strategies? Maybe just a little wink in our direction with their Microsoft Teams integration, but for the rest, we’re a whole lot safer and less expensive a bet 😉

Online demo

Want to check it out for yourself? Get your free online Crust demo here.

Crust or Corteza?

At Crust we often get asked the question as to whether an organisation should use Crust or Corteza? If your deployment is in a professional setting, then we always recommend Crust. If not, Corteza is a good option, as it usually has some extra features. We often use the analogy of Fedora’s relationship to Red Hat Enterprise Linux to explain the differences. However, that’s an over-simplified comparison, and we usually need to explain in more detail. The following are some useful questions and answers:

What’s the difference between Crust and Corteza?

Corteza is fundamentally a development and testing platform. We’re continually adding new features to it, and it often gets updated a few times a week. This “rolling-release” approach means you need to know your way around Corteza to support it reliably.

Best think of Crust of as an enterprise product based on Corteza source code. It is stable and thoroughly tested. The versions we sell are based on major releases which only come out every three months (the next major version release is 19.12 this December). Crust also doesn’t contain everything in Corteza, for apparent reasons.

Are There Other Differences?

Yes, and they’re essential differences too! They primarily concern intellectual property.

Corteza is released under an Apache 2.0 license. It is 100% the property of the Commons Conservancy Foundation. Crust, while based on Corteza code, has its proprietary binaries and a proprietary user subscription model.

One reason Crust takes this approach is to offer more flexibility to enterprise customers who may not want to work with an exclusively open source license. Customers may wish to add on their proprietary extensions or business logic.

The other main reason is that open-source software licenses are distributed “as is” without warranties or assurances of any kind. The “as is” condition is often unacceptable to enterprises, with good reason. Businesses need to know someone’s going to take responsibility when software throws up bugs and other surprises.

Will Long-Term Support Ever be made Available for Corteza?

Yes, we certainly hope so someday. The stronger the community gets, the more likely this will be. Corteza counts many great organisations amongst its users to date, and exciting new developments are happening almost by the week.

Long-term support is a big responsibility for a community to bear and maintain. However, with enough determination, we’ll reach that goal, for sure.

Any Plans for a SaaS Service?

For those who don’t want to self-host their deployments and wish to leave all support and management to the team here at Crust Technology, we will be delivering a Crust Cloud in 2020. Watch this space for more information!

Online demo

Want to check it Crust for yourself? Get your free online demo now.

Why choose Crust and Corteza? Because Customer and User Trust are Sacred.

I’ve been asked a good number of times over the last few days why Crust Technology decided to donate all its software intellectual property to the Commons Conservancy Foundation and created Corteza “The Digital Work Platform for Humanity”. Why give away what many tech businesses consider to be the crown jewel in their commercial portfolio?

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