Pipeliner CRM: Underlying Technology
As our customers will testify, Pipeliner CRM is a truly unique product—the most visual CRM solution on the market. Many say that it's the most user-friendly and practical CRM solution they've ever seen.
To build our unique application, we employ over 20 technologies. Here are some highlights, and our reasoning for using them.
A high number of our technologies are open-source. If you're not familiar with that term, open source is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. The trend dates back at least 35 years. As an example of its use, in 1985 Apple founder Steve Jobs developed his NeXT operating system, designed to run on high-end workstations, which was partially based in an open-source Unix operating system. Elements of the NeXT operating system were carried forward into other operating systems, notably Mac OS X.
Following in Jobs' footsteps, we develop Pipeliner CRM along the same lines, using as much open source code as possible. Not only are we big supporters of the open source movement and its infinite possibilities for innovation, we save substantial money in not licensing proprietary technologies—savings that are then passed along to our customers.
Some examples of open-source solutions that we use:
- Local SQLite database technology, a widely used open-source database management system found in browsers, operating systems, and embedded systems.
- TYPO3, an open-source web content management system. We're actually featured on TYPO3's home page case studies as an example of how the technology is used.
- Apache, which is the world’s most widely used web server software.
- Jenkins, an open-source continuous integration tool.
- Flex, a software kit for the development and deployment of cross-platform Internet applications.
Pipeliner CRM is programmed in a number of different computer languages. Much of Pipeliner’s code is written in ActionScript 3, used with Adobe AIR (see below) for the development of desktop and mobile applications. Other languages include Python, a high-level language used to connect components, and PHP, used as a general purpose programming language.
Pipeliner CRM is built on the Adobe AIR cross-platform runtime system (a runtime system is software designed to support the execution of a computer program). We're occasionally asked why Pipeliner uses Adobe AIR; it's a valid question, as ours is the only CRM application that does.
Many CRM applications are Cloud-based only because the future of all computing is believed to be in the Cloud. The problem that we’ve always seen with this approach, however, is that with a Cloud-only application, a user can only access the application when Internet access is available. No access, no application.
Salespeople need to be able to access, update, and work with CRM anytime, anyplace, anywhere. With Pipeliner CRM, they can do that—whether or not they have immediate Internet access in their location. Users can fully access Pipeliner CRM offline (their full system), and it will automatically sync with the Cloud when they are once again in a location with reliable Internet access. Adobe AIR is the only platform that makes this possible—on both PC and Mac.
Since Cloud services for a product such as Pipeliner CRM must be extremely robust and reliable, we use Amazon Web Services for the Cloud portion of our delivery.
Only the Best
Lastly, we always look for the very best technology available. But then, we believe we have the very best CRM solution available—and so do many of our users!
How Do We Program?
For the last 10 years, our programmers have utilized Scrum programming methodology. Scrum is a flexible, holistic software development framework, within which a development team works as a unit to reach a common goal. Scrum encourages team member physical co-location or, at the least, close online collaboration, as well as daily face-to-face communication.
Scrum evolved as a particular method of Agile development. Agile software development consists of principles in which requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. In itself, Agile has never been defined by any specific methods, but has spawned many methods today recognized as “Agile.” Scrum is one of these.
Part of the reason for our use of Agile-Scrum is our adoption of management principles set forth by educator, author and management consultant Peter Drucker. In particular Drucker said, “Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principle of effectiveness is violated as constantly today as the basic principle of concentration.”