In SugarCRM there is a lot that you can do with roles from both a security perspective and with the record view itself. Clarification of these two items most often comes up when an organization is trying to decide between SugarCRM Professional and SugarCRM Enterprise. Let’s start off by defining the value that each provides.

Role Based Security

Role-based security is in every edition of SugarCRM. Roles dictate what users can do with a record. For example, one user in accounting may be able to edit and change an accounts legal name but a person in a sales roles could only read it.  Items like this can be configured with roles. You can also completely hide fields using roles, this will however leave a blank in the place that the field would normally reside.

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Role-Based Views

Role-based views are not intentionally about security.  In the Studio area of SugarCRM an admin can completely change the layout of a record view using role-based views. Playing off the previous example: Someone in accounting would see a record with completely different fields than someone in sales. However, this capability is only available in SugarCRM Enterprise version.

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What about using Dependent Fields and Sugar Logic?

Prior to the introduction of role-based views, many admins and developers would create the same effect as role-based views using dependent fields, panels, and tabs or code level customizations.

The caveat with doing this as an admin is that hiding fields using dependent or other logic would leave blanks in the view where a field would normally reside.

The caveat with coding it is that it took a good bit of time to do it right. If you did it quickly then it was hard coded and you had to get a developer involved anytime you needed changes.

Which is right for you ( Pro or Ent )?

This decision can greatly affect usability across larger organizations but may or may not in smaller organizations.

Here are the two items that I would weight to make the decision.

  1. If all users are looking at a record ( Example: Account record ), are they going to be looking at 90% of the same fields each time?

If the answer is yes that all departments will be looking at 90% of the same fields every time they view Accounts, Contacts, Leads, etc. then Role Based views are not that important. You will be able to bridge the gap using dependent fields.

  1. Is it worth the cost of the upgrade license?

If you have 150 users, then the difference from SugarCRM Pro to Ent ( at current prices 11/7/16 ) is $300 per seat. With 150 users, that feature will be $45,000. Now, most people don’t upgrade for one feature but in relation to this article, this is the feature that you have to make a financial decision about.