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Forums Forums OroCRM OroCRM – How do I? Questions Documentation For The Business User

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  • #28294


    Hello… And, Happy Holidays.

    I’ve been lurking around OroCRM for a while now. And, I’m having some trouble penetrating the concepts around how this CRM is built. I’ve used Salesforce, Highrise, Act and few other CRMs over the years, so I ‘get’ the basic CRM concept. However, I haven’t conceptualized how OroCRM works – the nomenclature, etc. For example, how do ‘Channels’ and ‘Workflow’ and ‘Entities’ interact?

    Another example, take first section of the User Guide: Workflows.

    Workflow is a set of ordered actions that can be performed with the specific entity. Workflow allows the user to manage entities, update existing ones and create new. From the user’s POV workflow appears as a set of buttons which may open forms that allow to manipulate entity data.

    Some feedback on this section:

    • Where’s the general introduction for the user? It seems like diving into Workflows is a little premature.
    • This section on Workflow is screaming for a visual aid
    • What’s the definition of an ‘entity’?
    • Last, give an example.

    I realize OroCRM is in the early stages of development. And, I’d like to help the community (and myself). So, I propose some sort of working group to get better documentation together. I’m happy to devote time to learning and writing. Perhaps the OroCRM team can provide a little structure around how to get some better user documentation together.

    Anyone else have ideas?

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #28295
    Dima Soroka
    Dima Soroka

    hi @19prince

    Thanks for your feedback. We understand your concern and currently working on users guide documentation. If you or anyone else would like to help us with this, we have a public repository for collaboration. More details in our community guide.



    Thanks for the feedback. My comment is less about how to contribute (truth be told, i’ve never contributed to github)…it’s more about the what, the content.

    Here’s a great place to start: Let’s draw a visual representation of OroCRM. Let’s define all the terms and see how these things interact.

    Anyone care to lend hand… drop a line below.



    Hi all! Here is another Oro newbie with marketing/bussiness profile. I totally agree with 19prince that the documentation is hard to digest for someone that comes from business and that have used other CRM tools.

    Entities and workflow definitions seems written from the eyes of a developer, and this is great because it allow you to figure out that there is a world of possibilities in terms of customization out there…

    But I guess is absolutely needed to help the common user with some examples. I guess it will be great to create a couple of infographics / diagramas / articles to explain:

    B2B Company standar or suggested Configuration
    B2C Company standar or suggested Configuration

    Each one would contain an example of usage for channels, accounts, contacts, customers, leads and opportunities where you highlight the differences with traditional CRM and maybe a “day at the office” for someone that will work with the tool.

    Some concepts are not 100% clear for me but as Im trying to configure my company crm Im creating some diagrams and schemas… If it seems useful when ready I will share it with the community but it will be great if any “veteran” give some light on this.



    @yeast. here, here.

    Artem Liubeznyi
    Artem Liubeznyi

    Hi Sara,

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions! I definitely agree that our documentation could and should be better, and, as a matter of fact, we are currently rewriting it with exactly these goals in mind. The first section of the new guide is currently under review and should be out soon.

    We will definitely provide configuration examples and best practices in the Admin guide too.

    Please tell us what else you would like to see in the user guide of your dreams. The more input we have, the better guide we will produce.

    And if you have questions on how to use or configure OroCRM, we will be glad to help you on this forum.

    Thanks again!



    Hi Artem!! Nice to see you care!!

    My dreamed user guide will include:

      – Overal diagram or schema of the main parts of the system and the relations between them.
      – Description of default entities and usage suggestions
      – Common configuration examples (ideally 2 or 3 cases for business b2b, b2c and mixed, from this point I guess is a good idea that user can focus on content related to their business model so I suggest to define clear paths to go trough documentation)
      – Step by step guide for dummies setup configuration ideally including one or several “Check lists” (again this part should be divided by bussiness type)
      – How to first time… manage a campaign, create a marketing list, prepare a report… Brief tutorials on how to use default features.

    I guess the contents listed avobe are enough to get familiar with the tool and start working with the Oro, after an adaptation period the user may want to get the most from the tool and his potential (I’m keen to reach this point!!) and I guess this will require some high level tutorials with ideas and tips to:

      – Create a lead scoring strategies with custom workflows and entities
      – Improve the DB by customizing the fields and values for main entities
      – Automatize email managements with templates and rules
      – Analyze the sales proccess conversion cycle trough CRM reports and web analytics

    Hope this helps!!!

    @19prince here you can find my reference schema for Oro integration, not sure if is ok so any idea is welcome: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_gOZ1qqe83rMElMTnRwVmlfSTA/view?usp=sharing

    On the schema I have tried to represent the Oro entities and resources I’m planning to use for my digital agency, we offer services in 2 markets (Norway and Spain) so far and we have 2 lines of products with different prices and sales proccesess (both b2b but slighltly different) which are services to partners and services direct to final client… With this in mind and after go trough documentation and videos I have decided to create 4 channels (all b2b)

      1. Partners Spain
      2. Direct Spain
      3. Partners Norway
      4. Direct Norway

    (Upcoming b2c channel for services sold via web but as it’s not open I have not developed full schema)

    There are 2 keys to understand my schema:

      1. If an element is inside another element box means they will be related
      2. A dotted line between two elements means an optional relation.

    So what I have so far (absolutely not sure if is right so any correction is welcome) is:

      1. Accounts will be used to represent companies or groups of companies we work / communicate with. Something interesting is that you may mark an account as referral of another to represent on system clients recommendations
      2. Each account may have 1 or several contacts that are people within the companie with the contact data
      3. Each account may have Customers from 1 or several channels.
      4. We consider channel a sales area with common products or services, prices and sales strategies.
      5. Campaigns are marketing actions used to generate more leads on each channel.
      5. Customers are always related to an account.
      6. Opportunities are always related to a customer.
      7. Leads may be related to a customer or to a contact (or may be not related to anything)

    I guess the entities / workflow management allow to create a real inbound marketing system within ORO and I’m really tempted to start experimenting with this but… I guess is better to start with the basics s I plan to implement the plan described avobe with a sample of 10- 15 active accounts and after work for some time move into more creative configurations XD

    Open question:

    Let’s see an example of YEAST PARTNERS SP channel usage. On this channel we are grouping clients that are agencies like us but specialized on different services. Let’s say Agency X which is a design firm hires us on a project to make the wordpress development part for Client B. This means during this project our client is Agency X but when the project finish they usually recommend the client to keep on working with us on development so when the Client B request a wordpress upgrade he became in our client (on YEAST DIRECT SP channel)… So my options to manage this are:

    A) Agency X is and account on YEAST PARTNERS SP channel and Client B is a customer within that account.
    B) When client Client B first request a service he became an account on YEAST DIRECT SP channel (this account may be added as refered by Agency X)


    A) Agency X is and account on YEAST PARTNERS SP channel and Client B is and opportunity that turned into sale
    B) When client Client B first request a service he became an account on YEAST DIRECT SP channel (this account may be added as refered by Agency X)

    Please share your ideas on this!

    Artem Liubeznyi
    Artem Liubeznyi

    Hi Sara,

    Your schema and the description of basic entity meanings and relations is great! This is exactly in line with our own best practices for the multi-channel / multi-customer model so you have gotten it perfectly!

    Regarding your open question: Both options have their drawbacks, and the choice should be based on what is more important to you. I don’t know the exact details of your business, so I will simply list pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.

    Option 1
    Advantages: In case you do more than one service project (opportunity) for the Client B via Agency X, you will have them grouped under the single customer record—it might help with the accounting or partner reward calculations.
    Drawbacks: You will have duplicate customers for the Client B under different accounts and channels, so you will have to do some extra work to keep these records in sync. And you could have some extra headache with adding these records as contexts.

    Option 2
    Advantages: No duplicate customer records.
    Drawbacks: It will be even harder to see the complete picture for the Client B, as their project under Agency X won’t have any relation to the customer record whatsoever.

    (You could probably achieve better results with deeper customization that involves development of additional records or maybe a different channel type but I assume you’d like to avoid that.)

    To give you some relief: we are definitely going to introduce the proper out-of-the box support for recording sales via partners, as we need it for our own OroCRM :) These plans are not immediate though, and we don’t have a clear timeline for them yet.

    Artem Liubeznyi
    Artem Liubeznyi

    Also, thank you very much for your user guide suggestions! They definitely help a lot, and we will take them into account when we write the future sections of the guide.

    By the way, we’ve just released the first re-written section. It focuses on the most basic things, such as user management and general data management concepts, so you are probably familiar with that—but more will come soon.

    Thanks again for your amazing feedback!

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