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SugarCon 2008 SugarCRM, one of the open source community's darlings, is taking steps towards improve interoperability between its PHP architecture and Java.

The next version of SugarCRM's customer relationship management (CRM) suite, version 6.0 due in the fourth quarter of 2008 or first quarter of 2009, will feature a "Java layer" to enable PHP to talk to Java - hopefully without the tricky engineering work.

SugarCRM is not rewriting its PHP application in Java, but it says interoperability will help it add features in version 6.0 that make its CRM better suited to enterprise users running complex and different queries.

Improved text search is one goal for SugarCRM, but getting Java-based software, notably powerful search engines written in Java such as Apache Software Foundations (ASFs) Lucene high-performance text search engine, is difficult. Without this in the case of search, for example, the user is taken outside the security model and potentially gets to access search results they shouldn't see.

SugarCRM's Java layer will, the company says, plug into "compatible" software such as Tomcat, helping to ensure that security is maintained as users' sign-in and permission levels are communicated between PHP and Java.

In other changes, SugarCRM 6.0 is going all Web 2.0. That'll mean support for Google's OpenSocial API to integrate its CRM modules with social networks, and a brand-new calendar written using AJAX with plug ins for Google and Yahoo! calendars.®

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