Announcing the Student CRM project

kevee's picture

Retaining students in higher education is a big challenge as colleges and universities struggle to maintain a high level of customer service in the face of tightening budgets and larger student populations. We at Cal State Monterey Bay are no different, and have been working on a Drupal install profile to help make our faculty, advisors, and support staff more efficient when working with students.

The Student CRM project is an install profile that leverages the CRM Core project, so students, activities, and cases are all Drupal entities and are available to things like Views, search, feeds, etc. The CRM core project introduces a few basic entities to build a simple CRM, and we have extended it to add information like courses, course enrollment, GPA records, and holds.

When we posted to g.d.o about this project a few months ago, many people claimed that CiviCRM could work for our needs. We spent a lot of time with CiviCRM already, and are in the process of arguing that our fundraising arm should move to Civi. However, the needs of this project, including building in a whole lot of custom entity types, as well as the challenges of rolling out a simple CRM to a large number of users with little or no training, meant that we would have had to dedicate a lot of time in altering Civi to pare down the UI and remove unneeded features. We also really wanted to be able to keep our development work within the Drupal API as well as leveraging things like Feeds to tightly integrate our student data with our campus SIS. We love Civi, but decided this project was easier to build using the existing tools in Drupal itself.

We have a demo site almost ready to share with the world as well, but from the Github page you can download the project in an archive or use the distro.make file with drush. The project is still in development, but we're deploying another version with a few customizations to integrate with our campus systems internally for a small beta test group in the Spring 2012 semester, and will use what we learn from this group on the upstream project.

Comments

Wow looks really interesting!

yautja_cetanu's picture

Wow looks really interesting!

Very nice.

lajjr's picture

With the Student CRM project on the front facing page (Home Page) have the most general information and when friends sign in the see more from there connected friends for security reasons.

I know you probably already thought about it just an idea.

Regards,
Leo Jackson

Great news! Thank you very

ygerasimov's picture

Great news! Thank you very much for sharing!

Great news and great job

pedrorocha's picture

Great news and great job Kevee! I've already installed here and you made good steps onto this project. Luckily, i'm in the exactly moment to create a CRM for students with Drupal, and i'm really interested in contribute to the project. How are you taking this project? Will it go on on Github? Is there any problem in put it as a Drupal project on Drupal.org?

How can i get involved with the project and get subscribed to the news about it?

Yay!

kevee's picture

The project right now is up on Github because d.o doesn't allow for packaging external libraries (even if those libraries are covered under a compatible license). As such, issues are tracked on Github so it tightly integrates with the repository.

We're right now focusing on rolling out our own sub-profile to our campus, and then will be doing a lot of upstream changes as well.

The project is only a few months old, so we haven't been able to sit down and really get a community site, but once our project is up and running for our users, we'll probably put up an Open Atrium site for community discussion/support. There are other sister campuses in the Cal State system that are interested in this project, and we're talking about getting some sort of consortium together to continue development across multiple campuses.

So the long and short is we're on Github (just like a lot of other larger distros like OA and Videola) for now because of the library issues, and we won't do a full version release until a few dependent modules (most notably Relation) settle down in development so we no longer have any moving targets in the contrib space.

--
Web Developer, Cal State Monterey Bay

yeah, this library issue is

pedrorocha's picture

yeah, this library issue is an old one... Well, i'll keep testing here and any feedback i'll post to Github. Hope to see this distro growing!

Actually you can add external

redndahead's picture

Actually you can add external libraries now. I'm not sure if it's packaging yet, but a whitelist is being developed.

http://drupal.org/project/drupalorg_whitelist

Thanks!

kevee's picture

I put the two libraries in the issue queue, although Fancybox seems to have changed it's liecense, so that might cause a problem.

--
Web Developer, Cal State Monterey Bay

Great to hear about this

jromine's picture

I've been looking forward to hearing what you've come up with. We're using a Drupal 6 code-based system, and I'm hoping your D7 code will work for us at UC Irvine.

John Romine

Installation

empowerbop's picture

This is really fantastic ... I installed on two machine and installation failed (AJAX related error...). Where do I get support?

Ektta (http://ektta.org) | Empowering Social Organizations
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Is Student CRM project still alive?

Dustin@PI's picture

Hello, Just wondering if the Student CRM project is still alive?

Thanks!

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