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Re: Request for comments: towards CRM functionality

Hi Chris,

> 1)  Nested tasks/support tickets/etc
> 2)  Appointments
> 3)  Time/labor/materials tracking
> 4)  Task queuing (i.e. so you can do some work on a task and queue it
> for another team to pick up)
> 5)  Collaborative task tracking.

>Basically my roadmap (not sure how much will make it into each release)
> 1)  Project classifications, priority, and nested projects
> 2)  Project ownership, assignment, subscription and queuing.
> 3)  Appointments
> 4)  A CRM dashboard screen listing assigned and subscribed projects,
> appointments, etc.
> Any comments on the broad outlines?  After 1.3 branches off, I will
> create a discussion on the nested projects, priority, and
> classification side.

My last job before I became self-employed was a company that put some
resources into mixing sql-ledger and request-tracker.  They eventually
got it to work, but the accounting code was flaky after that, the system
was too unreliable, so they abandoned the project.  As far as I know,
they never released the code, I somehow doubt it even exists any more.
They had it set up so that you could click a button in tracker to list
all customers in ledger's database and select one to fill a custom field
in tracker, and another button that could be used to add inventory items
to a ticket in other custom fields.  Finally, when the ticket was
resolved within certain queues in tracker, it sent all the time
worked/inventory items/customer info to ledger and ledger created an
invoice and emailed it to the customer.  Ultimately a user of the system
could complete the entire billing process without ever logging into
ledger.  Had it worked, it would also have made it so bookkeepers only
had to collect money and enter payments, and not have to manually
generate invoices.
While I wasn't there any longer when the project was finally completed,
I remain friendly with the staff there, and I heard nothing but what a
beautiful thing it was for the staff (except accounting staff, who spent
all their time tracking and fixing the stuff that went buggy).  
If ever I get to stop working again for long enough to learn
programming, this is one of my dream goals.  both tracker and ledger are
a huge piece of my business operations, a marriage of the two would make
administrative overhead in my business a lighter load.
Anyway, I just mention it because Request Tracker does all the things
you mention, and I think what my former employer did very closely
resembles what you are talking about doing yourself.  Perhaps you might
find value in hearing about this approach...  

Bob Miller
Network, Internet, Server,
and Open Source Solutions