SuiteCRM Implement Contact Groups

I am trying to migrate my personal ACT! database contact manager. I am using Bitnami Stack 7.3.2-0 as my test system on a laptop.

I use the ACT! Groups capability. This is a many-to-many relationship between contacts and groups. Any one contact can belong to multiple different groups, and any one group can have multiple different contacts.

Some examples of my groups: Education, Family, Friends, House, Restaurants, Travel, and Xmas. Some of my groups have subgroups: for example, the House Group has many subgroups, Electrical, AC, Plumbing, etc.

Another example, I filter on the Xmas group to create Address Labels for contacts that are on my holiday card mailing list.

After reading Fredricks’ book, “SugarCRM for Dummies” (somewhat old, 2009), I tried creating a MultiSelect data field in the “Contacts” module. I used Studio to create a new data field “j_contact_group” with the “MultiSelect” data type in the dropdown list. The MultiSelect dropdown list has a blank, Active, Xmas, and additional groups that I am using for testing. I also have Mackin’s book, but that seems to be at a much higher technical level.

I also used Studio to add the j_contact_group field to the Contact Edit layout. I can select one or more of the groups when I create or edit a contact.

But, I am having a problem filtering the contact on just one of the group names: eg, Xmas. The filter seems to want a match for all of the groups associated with a given contact: eg, Active and Xmas.

I am also having a similar problem creating a report for a group of contacts.

My questions:

Is the data type “MultiSelect” the right solution for this requirement?
Is there another way to have subgroups, or should I just create groups such as Home, and Home_Elec?
How do I filter on just one of the group names?
How do I create a contact report that lists the contacts in a given group?
Am I limited to a row-column report format?
Is there an alternate solution that might be better?

Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

We long ago abandoned the idea of trying to replicate what was in first generation CRM applications (of which I have extensive and fond memories).

Rather than replicating what you have … and if it worked you would not seek to change … look to the new

Suite is never going to do what ACT did.

Define your use cases … what do you need to do? Do not define them in terms of “this is how we do things”. Rather, define them in the terms “this is what we need to do”.

You’ll find that you can move on rather better.

Thank you for your response.

I am trying to keep an open mind about how to migrate from ACT! to SuiteCRM. What are the results that I want and what is the best way to implement that capability using SuiteCRM?

I want the ability to filter or search the Contacts and Accounts based on some type of grouping (also called tags or categories in other systems).

My classic “use case” is the holiday card mailing labels. In this case, I want to filter (Xmas) the contacts and create mailing labels.

Another “use case” is medical related. I want to filter (Medical) for contacts and print a list of my medical contacts along with their phone numbers and address. This is useful when traveling.

A 3rd “use case” is travel related. I want to print a list of my travel contacts (airlines, hotels, travel agents, etc).

I could try to use the Industry data field in the Accounts module, but this is a single entry dropdown list. I need the ability for a contact (or account) to be a member of multiple groups (eg., medical, travel, Xmas).

The Security Groups in the Contact Module might be re-purposed for this objective. But, I might be impacting some of the core functionality of SuiteCRM, and its original intents seems to be to create user groups with your employees (business owner).

The Campaigns Module might be another option. A separate Target List could be created for each of the groups that I want to create. Then contacts could added to each of the Target Lists (groups). I took a quick look at creating a Target List, and it seems that the contacts can not be linked to the list, but have to be manually reentered into each of the list. This seems to be a data entry and data integrity nightmare.

I will continue my research, and in the meantime will continue to work with the MultiSelect data field that I created.

Have I overlooked another option?

I know it has been a Long while, but did you ever find a way to do this?

We need to do the same, search for and list a group of contacts based on a particular association, or several associations.

Examples would be customers that have a particular services with us, like email, remote desktop, active contract etc.

Hi toddh, welcome.

There are several entities in SuiteCRM that you can use to group contacts. The most obvious one is Accounts.

Another way to look at it is this; if you don’t need an entire module to tell your contacts apart, maybe you can use a simple custom field that you add in Studio, like “Contact group”. You can then filter by this field or have special customizations to separate these further, to meet your needs.

Not sure you still need an answer. I fixed this by adding custom checkbox fields (yes/no) and add those to edit, view and advanced search layouts. Does the job.

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