The New Product Catalog Dashlet

by Drew McDaniel on February 6, 2018

This article originally appeared on SugarCRM's Blog.

The Winter '18 release of Sugar features a new dashlet in the Quotes module that will help users navigate the product catalog, find items they're looking for and quickly add them to a quote. This new dashlet puts important data right at the user's fingertips and makes it easier for users to quickly create and edit quotes.

Where Can Users Find the New Dashlet?

The new Product Catalog Dashlet is in the intelligence pane on the Quotes Create page (this is the first time Sugar contained a dashlet on a Create page) and in the intelligence pane on Quotes Record View. For now the dashlet is only available in Quotes. We plan on adding it to the opportunities module in a future release so users can quickly add items from the product catalog to their opportunities as RLIs.

What Does the New Dashlet Do, and How Does It Work?

Product categories are represented as folders and are organized to reflect the structure of the customer's category hierarchy. Users can click on individual folders to reveal the products contained in each category. Clicking the product name will immediately add the product to the quote displayed on the page. Clicking on the icon next to a product will open the full product catalog record in a drawer. Users may add the product to their quote directly from the drawer or close the drawer without adding the product and return to their quote.

Here's a short video that shows the new dashlet in action:

Upgrade Considerations

The new dashlet will appear at the top of the default dashboard in Quotes Record View in new Sugar installs or in upgraded instances in which users have not previously used the Quotes module. Users of the Quotes module who are upgrading from an earlier version of Sugar will have to manually add it to their dashboards.  If they've used the Quotes module in the past, their default dashboard has already been configured, and it is not changed on upgrade. The dashlet will appear automatically on the Quotes Create page in all instances of Sugar, whether they're new installs or upgrades.

Performance and Technical Notes

SugarCRM did extensive performance testing throughout development. This resulted in several architecture and design changes so that they could optimize performance and deliver the best possible user experience to all customers. Here are a couple of things SugarCRM did to optimize performance particularly for customers with large product catalogs:

  1. The product/category hierarchy is rendered using PhaserIO, a new JS library that renders shapes, text, images, video or other content in an HTML canvas or using WebGL. Using this new library ensures that the dashlet is fast and responsive even when the UI is rendering tens of thousands of records.
  2. The new API that delivers data to the dashlet only retrieves what the user needs at any given time. Each time the user clicks on a folder in the dashlet, the API retrieves only the content of that folder. It also respects the "Listview items per page" parameter in Sugar's system settings. If that parameter is set to 20, the API will return 20 items. Additional items can be loaded by clicking a "Show more" link.

The Product Catalog Dashlet is the latest major enhancement to Sugar's core SFA modules. It puts important data right at the user's fingertips so that it's available exactly where they need it the most. With the new Product Catalog Dashlet it's never been easier to create and edit Quotes in Sugar.

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PRODUCT: SugarCRM

AUDIENCES: Administrators End Users