Custom Priority Field - Calls, Meetings, Tasks Modules

I am a new user of suiteCRM and I am trying to replace my personal ACT! contact management application that I started using in the 1990s. As a test system, I installed the Bitnami suiteCRM (v7.3.2.0) on a laptop and I can link to the laptop server from another desktop.

I have several questions at this point in my learning curve.

  1. How should I make custom modifications using Studio (or Module Builder) so that the custom changes will not be impacted by future suiteCRM updates? Module builder seem too complex for me at this time.

  2. I want to have a 5 value priority Task field instead of the default 3 values (priority: High, Medium, Low). At the moment, I used Studio to create a new data field (j_priority_c) with 5 dropdown values (1- Critical, 2 - High, 3 - Med, 4 - Low, and 5 - Track), and I modified the Task layouts to add the new priority data field. The “Item” name and “Display” name are the same.
    I used the “j” prefix to help me keep track of my custom field(s).

By the way, ACT! only has 3 values (High, Med, and Low) which I find restrictive at times, hence the desire for 5 values, but the ACT! priorities also apply to calls and meetings entries.

° Should I modify the existing priority data field (priority) or create a new priority data field (j_priority_c) as I did?
° If I modify an existing data field or create a new data field, will the changes be protected on any future suiteCRM updates?

2b. How does suiteCRM use the dropdown list values (Item Name vs Display Name) in the layout views and reports (filters, sorts, etc)? I could use the item names “1”, “2”, “3”, “4”, and “5” and different display names eg: “1_Critical”, or just “Critical” etc. I want to be able to sort or filter on the priority in ascending or descending order. So, if suiteCRM uses the Item Name for sorting or filtering, then “1”, “2” etc might be a better implementation.

2c. In this case, should the dropdown data type “Item Name” be text or numbers or is it fixed as text by default?

  1. I want to be able to use the same priority values with the “Calls” and “Meetings” modules.

3a. Can I link the same Task (j_priority_c) field to all 3 modules (Task, Calls & Meetings), or should I create a new priority field in each module? Requesting a report of all priority “1” activites (calls, meetings & tasks) would seem to imply using only 1 priority data field and thus creating relationships of some sort between the Calls, Meetings and Task modules. Is this a valid assumption?

° Do I need to create a relationship between the Task module and the Call and Meeting modules?
° If so, what is the Primary Module, Relationship Type, and Related Module?

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Thank you in advance for your patience and assistance.

  1. As always that you’re using studio is all upgrade safe, module builder it is complex but is a great tool for new implementations
  2. Ok
    2a. * You can do it, is up to you
    • Answer #1
      2b. Item Name is the database value and display name is the value that uses to display, it always by default for en_US, that means that you can set different display names for different languages but the item name (value) will be the same. The sorting uses display name because is what we see in the system. But you can always drag and drop in a different order that you want.
      2c. Answer #2b
  3. You have to create different fields for different modules but you can always use one Dropd Down List, the one that has database values to store with language values to display
    3a. Answer #3
    3b. * No, you don’t have to, but you can if you want to
    • Primary Module is where you are (browing the entry of the system), Relationship Type is one to one or one to many, Related Module is a type of relation but uses a different type of setting in the system

SuiteCRM is a fork of SugarCRM but as of today very different, but the basic modules are still the same and you can see these documentations that can help you a lot to understand how everything works:

Application Guide (how users use the system)
Administration Guide (how admin use the system)

best regards

  1. Modifications you make in Studio should be upgrade safe.

  2. You could have edited the default list that is used by the priority dropdown by adding the extra fields you want. That would be better than creating your own field IMO. You choose the order of the dropdown selections. Go to admin panel and select Dropdown Editor.

  3. If Calls Meetings and Tasks have a priority dropdown that is using the list you added the extra options to, they would get any additions you make to the supporting list,

  4. Create a relationship between those modules for what?

Thank you rebelyes and mikebeck for you responses to my questions.

I have a lot to learn, and I will be looking at some of the resources that you suggested.

I will try your suggestions on modifying the existing priority data dropdown list to see if that meets my needs.

Again, thank you for your patience and assistance.