Six Big Differences Between Sugar 6 and Sugar 7

by Katie Liesmann on June 24, 2015

At UpCurve Cloud, we have several customers who have already made the upgrade to Sugar 7, and there are other customers who have chosen to wait a while before making the change. With the recent release of Sugar 7.6, we thought it would be a good time to highlight the biggest differences between version 6 and 7.


In Sugar 6, dashboards live in a tabular structure on your home screen.

In Sugar 7, dashboards are accessed from the Sugar cube in the top left corner of the navigation bar.

When creating or editing a dashboard in Sugar 7, you are no longer limited in how many columns you can have in each row. While in Sugar 6 you are limited to one, two, or three columns in the entire dashboard, Sugar 7 allows you to have one row with two columns and the next with three or more. This allows you to optimally display graphs so the data isn’t constricted by the size of the column. Sugar 6 Dashboard with two columns:

Sugar 7 Dashboard with two columns in first row and three columns in second row:

New Intelligence Panel

One of the most applauded features in Sugar 7 is the Intelligence Panel. This new side panel allows relevant information to be viewed alongside a list view or record view. For example, below is a breakdown of leads by status and lead source alongside the list view of all leads.

 Within a record view in Sugar 7, the Intelligence Panel can be used to display information from other modules that relate to that record only. In the photo below, notes and active tasks are displayed next to the record view of the Lead.

In Sugar 6, the user has to dig around in the subpanels to find information about upcoming calls or notes. In Sugar 7, the Intelligence Panel provides a place for sales reps to add relevant dashlets, so they can get context and understand the status of the record quickly. The Intelligence Panel is configurable per user (and can even be hidden if that’s what the rep wants). The new “preview” option in Sugar 7 allows you to pull up information from the subpanels on the record view without navigating away. By clicking on the button that looks like an eye next to a record you can pull up calls, meetings, opportunities, and more. In the example below I pulled up an Opportunity related to this Contact in the Intelligence Panel. Sugar 7 allows me to view this Opportunity without having to open the Opportunity and wait for the page to load just to see the details.

Search Functionality

Sugar 6 includes both Basic and Advanced search functions within list views. The Basic search exists at the top of the list view and allows you to search within the list. The Advanced search function allows you to filter your search with more options, which can be added by an admin in Studio. Both the Basic and Advanced search require the page to reload to display the results and the Advanced search takes up a lot of screen real estate when it’s open.

The list view search functionality in Sugar 7 has been streamlined to just one type. Filters can be added on the fly, so admins no longer need to spend time configuring search settings.


In Sugar 7, search bars have also been added to record views. When viewing a record, there is a search bar at the top of the subpanels that allows you to search for any related records in other modules.

The search function in Sugar 7 is also faster because results display in real time as you type, rather than needing the page to reload.


In Sugar 6, when you want to edit information within a record, you have to click through to the record, then click edit, and then save. Each click causes the page to reload. In Sugar 7, in-line editing is a convenient way to make changes to data. By clicking on the arrow to the right of a record, you can change information and save it without ever navigating away from the page. Keeping information accurate and up-to-date is now easier and quicker, because you no longer have to wait for the page to refresh or make several clicks to just update a record.

Activity Stream

Sugar 6 has an Activity Stream dashlet which compiles all activity into one dashlet. This dashlet is only available on the home screen and pulls in information from every record and every module.

In Sugar 7, the activity stream is available on both the home page and within a record view. When viewing a record, users can switch between Data View and Activity View. Activity View displays all activity related to that record (for example: the last changes made and any related calls or meetings created). Because these are record specific, the information within the activity stream is more relevant to the user.

The Sugar 7 Activity View can also be used as a communication tool. Certain symbols allow you to make references within the system. The @ symbol allows you to reference users, while the # sign lets you reference records. You are also able to drag and drop files into the activity stream that you want to share with other users.


When you are ready to upgrade, we offer several resources to help you through the process, including:

  • User training on Sugar 7 with our Sugar Certified Admin Trainers
  • Sugar Health Check, which tests your current instance and customizations against the new version and looks for areas that might break during the upgrade process
  • Videos you can use to educate yourself on Sugar 7

If you have any questions about Sugar 7 or the upgrade process, contact us here

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Katie Liesmann
Marketing Manager at UpCurve Cloud
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