SugarCRM and vTiger: Comparative Review

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

vtiger-vs-sugar-crmIn our top 10 CRM software we had mentioned two widely used open source CRM software - SugarCRM and vTiger. There has been much altercation over the fact that vTiger will become the SugarCRM alternative in the CRM space. vtiger CRM was actually forked from Sugar CRM designed to create a fully open source CRM that would offer functionality comparable to vtiger has undergone significant improvements over the years and is one of the leading CRM software now. Although vTiger shares several common features with Sugar, it includes a few propriety extensions. We decided to bring the two major open source CRM solutions face-to-face.

When comparing between Sugar CRM and vtiger CRM it needs to be taken into account that the later is designed to fit the small and medium organizations. Let’s have an comparative overview before moving onto core competencies.

Sugar CRM offers wide ranging feature-set for business processes, focusing on marketing effectiveness, enhancement of sales performance, and providing executive insight into business performance. The CRM solution is a preferred choice for organizations of all sizes across a broad range of industries for its collaboration and administration capabilities to adapt how their company operates.  Sugar’s mobile solutions translates to less downtime and greater productivity. With the Flexible Delivery Model, there are no constraints around deployment.   SugarCRM is based on the open source LAMPS platform: Linux or Windows, Apache or IIS, MySQL, PHP, and SugarCRM. Moreover, Sugar CRM integrates e-mail and calendar information with Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and several additional email clients. This ensures that the company’s  communications are centralized and always coordinated.

vtiger has been designed to manage Inventory Management activities effectively, including sales force,  marketing automation, customer support and service, and procurement. In vtiger the software such as Apache, MySQL, and PHP are integrated. The executables in vtiger are available for both Linux and WIndows operating systems. vtiger provides open source add-ons for Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla/Thunderbird, Microsoft Word, and Customer Portal. These make it more user-friendly for the end-users. The CRM software allows pre-sales and post-sales activities to be integrated in a single application.

Coming down to the comparative features


For the non-techies Sugar CRM installation could be a hassle, but the installation is simpler than vtiger. One of the major problems with vtiger installation is that it cannot populate its database during installation.

Loading time

Sugar Suite loads slower than the vtiger. Sugar CRM also has a resource consuming upgrade process.

User Interface

Sugar CRM’s offers a customizable UI. However, vtiger comes with a much more simple and intuitive AJAX based user interface.

Ease of use

vTiger is the extremely easy to use and the most flexible solution for small businesses. Although Sugar CRM gives an impression of flexibility with several downloadable modules in their community, . Majority of the modules only work on older versions. It gives loads of errors when you try to use the ones that should work to streamline the CRM functionality. Especially some of the standard features like quoting and invoicing are not included.

Adding Modules

Sugar CRM offers easy installation of modules with an installer to add new modules.
vTiger scores over Sugar CRM in diversity of modules.

Administration area

Sugar CRM has great capabilities when it comes to administration area. It offers a wide variety of options and tools in the admin area.
vtiger misses out some basic features that were build-in Sugar such as the custom fields.


When comparing the code base Sugar surpasses vtiger. Sugar’s has a clean and tidy code base. The open source architecture provides 100% visible source code for easy customization. This allows you to do things faster on Sugar than on vtiger.


Sugar CRM is a great concept that leads to several issues which are harder to track as the # changes.

PHP modifications

Vtiger is a better option for those working with PHP. Every CRM has a learning curve, but those with strong command in PHP.

Emailing Campaign

Sugar CRM offers wider ambit for creating different types of email marketing campaign. Moreover, when you create an email campaign, you can execute it through Sugar and view statistics to measure its success. Sugar allows the marketing managers design. vtiger has some serious shortcomings regarding email campaign module. It isn’t user-friendly at all.

Importing data

SugarCRM’s has an edge over vtiger with an update feature that allows for messaging post-upload.


Sugar CRM offers more online support with several third party add-ons and additional tools. Unlike vTiger, all the add-ons for Sugar CRM is not free and has to be ordered additionally. vtiger offers free open source add-ons for Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla/Thunderbird, Microsoft Word, and Customer Portal that makes it more user-friendly.


Overall Sugar CRM shows better stability and scalability as compared to vTiger. For the coders Sugar could always be a better CRM option. It also offers more features, more support, larger community and larger user base, these might be some of the reasons to go for Sugar CRM.  vTiger includes most of the features in SugarCRM, however, it is more focused on small business management solutions rather than being a CRM centric solution.

November 7, 2009: 12:06 am

PubGuy & Deep,
Thanks for the clarification! I’m looking to offer vTiger to clients here in East Africa. Please send me a list of competent developers who can do customization if it’s warranted, and who are NOT going to charge SAP/PeopleSoft/Oracle fees. :-)


Max (aka MaxTheITpro)

October 29, 2009: 1:14 pm

SugarCRM does NOT include reporting whereas vTiger has built-in reports — this is a big difference. If you want reporting with SugarCRM, you’ve got to go to a commercial distribution.

October 28, 2009: 9:01 am


I think the reviewer doesn’t have good idea about vtiger. It has lot more stuff than Sugar.

Many things that written in this article, not in vtiger, are actually there like:

“One of the major problems with vtiger installation is that it cannot populate its database during installation.” - vtiger installation is better than Sugar and it does database population.

Fully Dynamic fields [including Custom Fields] was first introduced by vtiger and then it came into Sugar.

and the best thing about vtiger is fully open source and tons of free modules, including Project Management.

Readers, please do your own analysis and don’t just depend upon this review.


Kinshuk Sunil
October 26, 2009: 8:03 am

Hello Limko
To integrate well with Project management solution, Open source is the best way as various products from open source family like SugarCRM, Drupal are flexible and easy to use. You can also get it customized from OSSCube- Leading open source software development company.

VK Limko
October 9, 2009: 3:13 pm

does sugar crm integrates well with project management solutions?

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