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From "Chris Chesney" <>
Subject RE: CRM or Sales Force Automation using Cocoon?
Date Tue, 13 Apr 2004 22:44:41 GMT

Sorry for the delay -- I've been out of pocket for a couple days.  First
off, I should give you a better picture of how we've been using OFBiz.
We're a consulting company that typically provides custom web
applications with a focus on Open Source.  One of our projects required
workflow and at the same time, I was working on putting together a list
of open source components for enterprise class applications.  Our search
for workflow turned up the OFBiz project as they had implemented an XPDL
compliant workflow engine.  A closer look at the overall architecture
turned out to provide most of what I was looking for in terms of
components and design (Service Oriented Architecture, Separation of
Concerns, Security, Persistence, Reporting, etc.).

We have not really utilized any of the vertical applications.  However,
the underlying data model is quite extensive and we've utilized it along
with some of the components a few times.  From a data model perspective,
it would be plenty flexible to handle a CRM application probably out of
the box.  There is a party manager that is fairly mature and I know you
can do mailings, but beyond that I don't know what other CRM features
have been implemented.  If you're interested, I can certainly look into
it further -- it would probably be good for me to know.

On the cocoon side, I've always been interested in the project, but have
only played with it on occasion.  Based on your email, I can't really
see a benefit to using both cocoon and OFBiz.  My lack of experience
with cocoon prevents me from giving you a good comparison, so I will
tell you the benefits I see in using OFBiz.  You can decide whether they
are actually beneficial in your situation.

1.  Standard Integrated Data Model
2.  Service Oriented Architecture
3.  Workflow Engine
4.  Security Integrated with Users in Data Model
5.  Existing Vertical Applications

There is definitely value in keeping it simple.  OFBiz is an enterprise
platform and as such has the inherent complexity.  If you're looking to
meet your requirements in short order, OFBiz will not work.  If you're
looking to provide integrated functionality beyond CRM in the future and
your timeframes permit, it might be a good option.

Good luck,


-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Nichols [] 
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 4:31 PM
Subject: RE: CRM or Sales Force Automation using Cocoon?


A few people have replied off-list, so I'll reply to the list since
seems to be some interest. From a look around OFBiz it seemed that the
modules are not yet very well developed, is that correct? The
looks pretty good, and there's certainly some activity there. Compiere 
again, when I looked at it, seemed strong in other areas - particularly
- but not what I was after for a CRM and "groupware" tool. Since I've 
worked with a number of these CRM beasts, most recently SalesForce and 
SalesNet, I was considering writing a very basic one that just meets our

immediate needs using Cocoon.

Jeff Davis' post referred me to Thinlet - which is hugely attractive as
presentation layer. I'm just trying to work out whether Compiere / OFBiz

are worth the extra investment on the server side, Cocoon seems to
most of the architecture I need - auth, hibernate for persistence, flow 
etc. Given my simple requirements, and heeding Clay Shirky's advice on
what do you feel would be the major benefits of using OFBiz+Cocoon
of just Cocoon?

We do not need a retail front end - high-value software, every sale 
involves sales people - though if we did OFBiz would be much more

Thanks for your suggestions thus far.

Best Regards,

At 15:41 09/04/2004, Chris Chesney wrote:

>OFBiz is a java-based platform that implements a service-oriented
>architecture and does a pretty good job separating concerns.  To
>simplify, it has a persistence layer, a service layer and an MVC layer
>for web clients.  A Cocoon app could integrate/utilize OFBiz at various
>levels.  How (specifically) were you intending on using Cocoon in this
>context?  Feel free to take this offline if you feel it wouldn't be
>appropriate for this list.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Thomas Nichols []
>Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 5:17 PM
>Subject: CRM or Sales Force Automation using Cocoon?
>Is anyone aware of a Sales Force Automation or Customer Relationship
>Management system built using Cocoon? Something with the functionality
> or similar would be ideal. There are some intersting
>projects out there for doing CRM, including OFBIZ, Compiere and
>but Cocoon is just so good I want to keep as much as possible of what
>build using the Cocoon platform. Any suggestions?
>FWIW, other CRM tools can be found in a recent posting at
>Pointers, anyone?
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