Talk:Contact and database management systems

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See the original thread of this E-Discussion on D-Groups

Marilyn Markman, 2009/12/02

Dear colleagues,

Does anybody know of any good programs/software to use for contact and database management?

We are currently working with two networks of practitioners and are searching for:

  1. a system to store and update network partner's contact information that can be accessed and edited by multiple users;
  2. a system to manage a wide array of documents and resources that can be accessed and updated by multiple users. This would include categorizing and tagging articles, websites, organizations, initiatives, projects, programs, case studies, and video links in a way that our team could easily access/search these resources and include written descriptions/notes on them.

I appreciate your feedback and experiences!

Capacity Development & Partnerships, WBI Washington, DC

Jaap Pels, 2009/12/09


Ad 1: a wiki but perhaps better a social network (like Ning) or just use Facebook Ad 2: a wiki Ad 1/2: Socialtext; a combination of wiki / facebook / twitter I have experience with SocialText (for all IRC activites), Ning (I admin the KM4Dev site) and will publish in the next KM4Dev journal on it. For details just call:-)

Christian Kreutz, 2009/12/09

Hi Marylin,

a nice web based solution is Highrise from 37signals ( It is basically a Customer Relationsship Management tool, which allow access to different colleagues. It basically combines contacts and the emails send or received by these persons. You can forward emails to Highrise and have a nice chronology of communication with clients, stakeholder etc. You can add notes to each contact. It also has tagging and some CRM features such as cases. Big pitfall: It is only available online and for a monthly fee. But the user interface is excellent.

Hope that helps!

Gabriele Sani, 2009/12/09

Hi Marylin,

CiviCRM is an excellent Customer Relationship Management tools. It is open source and entirely free. Besides, you can install it as a standalone, or integrate it with Drupal. This would give you access to very extensive Content Management System capabilities, and cover all your needs.

Marilyn Markman, 2009/12/11

Dear Jaap,

Many thanks for your reply and suggestions.

We actually have both a wiki and Ning platform (south-south opportunity <> ). While the Ning platform has been great for getting people involved and sharing resources, I've struggled to use it effectively to store, track, tag different types of content in a consolidated way. Perhaps you've had better luck?

The more I look into the content management issue, the more it seems that a wiki may be the best option for now. I've also heard that Salesforce offers content management solutions, but for a hefty price of course.. Has anyone used this feature?

Thanks for sharing about SocialText, I've begun exploring it.

Kim Tucker, 2010/01/26

Hi Marilyn et al,

The following open source options might be of interest to you:


DMS (etc.):,



Peter J. Bury, 2010/01/26

Don't you all feel that with a little bit of awareness raising, training and coaching, LinkedIn (or similar) would do the trick perfectly, based on genuine interest of the one that adds her/himself?