CiviCRM

darnoldy

Curmudgeon
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
1,731
Sure. I won't say I'm an expert, but I've gotten my hands dirty in it for my engineering society at university.
Matthew S I moved the discussion here, since it seemed a drift for the original, and we are talking about a WP plug-in.

So, the first thing I'm interested in doing is generating a phone list. I don't want to give everybody access to all of the contact info, but I would like to display names, phone extension, and maybe email address on a page that is publicly- or semi-publicly visible. Is there an api that can be used to create such lists? On a different site?

--don
 

Matthew S

Adherent
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
300
So, the first thing I'm interested in doing is generating a phone list. I don't want to give everybody access to all of the contact info, but I would like to display names, phone extension, and maybe email address on a page that is publicly- or semi-publicly visible. Is there an api that can be used to create such lists? On a different site?

--don
Contact management is what CiviCRM does best. Yes, you can create reports of contacts that include anything you have a field for, sorted, ordered and filtered by almost any combination. If you don't have a field or group for something you need, you just create them. For example, we use four basic contact types : Undergraduates, Postgraduates, Academics, and Industry. We often pull contact reports on each separately, but each individual contact is simply differentiated by entries in their record.

There are template reports to get you started, and new reports can be saved as a template so you don't have to create them each time. You can customise the layout, and also permissions of who can access the report. An option for access includes unauthenticated users.

I don't believe there is an external API as such (there may be but I haven't looked that far as I haven't needed it). However, reports can be output to CSV, and, I believe they can be individually run via a schedule. You may be able to script a pick up from the file system and import it into a page elsewhere.

Otherwise, CiviCRM itself includes some options for users to view the report. As you would expect, an authenticated user with sufficient permissions can simply run the report from the Reports menu. Alternatively, for users with lesser privileges, the report can be made available as a 'dashlet'. That is, when you log into CiviCRM you are presented with a configurable dashboard where the report can be accessed. I haven't tried the unauthenticated user access, but I presume it is just a URL that can be published to Wordpress or maybe elsewhere.

For contact management, obviously someone needs to keep things up to date. I also believe there are import tools if you have some kind of list already (but I haven't used them). There are tools for detecting and merging duplicates that I have found to be useful. Also, if you have people reaching out to contacts, they can log their communication inside CiviCRM, such as phone calls, notes, emails, and such. As an aside, you can also make and send email newsletters and so on.

If you are interested, give it a try. At first it can seem a little overwhelming. If you can get over the initial feature overload, it is actually reasonably straight forward. There's a mile of documentation, it is actively developed, and there's a large user base for support.
 
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