New leap for open source CMS vendor

Mpower Open, the vendor who took their high-end CRM/DMS product, MPX, open source last year, has adopted a new name, Orange Leap. They have also released two new products, called Orange Leap and the Guru. The combination of Orange Leap and The Guru are a web-based CRM/DMS and reporting system aimed squarely at Salesforce.com and Convio Common Ground. The pricing of the hosted version is definitely competitive. Orange Leap is possibly going for what is now often called the "Open Core" business model, although it's not entirely clear. Their new products (as well as MPX) have "community editions"  - mostly they lack services and support, which makes sense. But Orange Leap Community Edition also lacks "Domain specific fields and rules" and "Outbound Enhancements, Business Rules, and Processes". It's not actually clear what those are. There is mention of a "community portal" but it's not evident anywhere I can find. You need to request a demo of their open source tool, instead of the standard practice, which is creating an open, public demo for everyone to see and play with. On their brand new, quite lovely (and orange) website, as a developer, there is no place to find the software, interact with others, or find a way in. There is no community that is at all visible. I like very much what these folks are trying so hard to do - provide high-quality, high-end open source applications for the CRM/DMS space. But I'm afraid they are going to be squeezed to a pulp between the behemoths of salesforce.com and Convio, on one hand, and the strong, vibrant open source community of CiviCRM on the other. Their only way out is to build an equally strong, vibrant community of developers and implementors - and that will be an uphill battle.

Comments

Thanks for taking a peek, Michelle. We've been working hard on getting the beta out the door, and have not devoted the desired level of attention on the community portal. You'll see that start to change as we approach GA. We're very much committed to having an open dialog with our users and the tech community, and we'll have the tools in place to make it happen.

The "domain specific fields and rules" are a broad way of saying we make use of a full-feature rules engine (Drools) along with dynamic custom field definitions. Customs fields in our platform go beyond basic key/value pairs and can define relationships between different fields, including other custom fields, along with validation rules. Couple this with the rules engine, and we can support some very sophisticated customizations without having to go in and modify code.

I'm one of the core developers on the platform. I've only been at Orange Leap for three months now, but I came here because of the passion and vision of the management team. They "get it" and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Feel free to email me directly if you have any questions.
-Tim

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