VTiger 6.4 Renaming Modules

Words Matter

For some reason, VTiger hasn't seen fit to make renaming Modules (and their elements) a basic part of the system. This lack inhibits the potential application of VTiger across a lot of industries that use very specfic jargon. Especially below of a certain level of techniness, people just can't get their minds around the idea that a module by any other name smells as sweet. (Sorry, Shakespeare!) An area I've been working in is non-profit and this is triply true in their case.

To sell a VTiger CRM within the non-profit sector I needed to be able to change the names of core elements. Leads needed to be Applications, Contacts neeeded to become Clients, and Tickets needed to morph into Case Records. The solution turned out to be crazy simple, if not totally intuitive.

A Simple Solution

I didn't want to start messing around with the Module files themselves. Ditto with the database. It turns out that the best option resides in the language files. You'll find thes files in: root/languages/<your_language>. Once you open that folder you'll find a file for each Module as well as VTiger.php which handles global verbage. I strongly recommend saving the original files in case of a disaster.

Just open the appropriate file and start replacing the names. (e.g. " 'Leads' => 'Happy Little Trees', " Now all your leads will be called "Happy Little Trees" (which kind of appeals to me.) Make sure to leave the first half of the line strictly alone. And you will need to go through these files line by line, but only once. It's not too onerous.

Tips for Renaming Modules

  • Organizations are actually Accounts in VTiger. You'll need to edit "Accounts.php" to change Organizations to something else.
  • Tickets are actually HelpDesk. You'll need to edit "HelpDesk.php"
  • Opportunities are Potentials.
  • Make sure to go through VTiger.php as well. As I said, this handles global naming.
  • Don't use any default VTiger terminology. As an example, don't change any of the other Modules or elements to "Contacts". You'll need to use something else because it starts playing screwy with the database.
  • This is also an awesome way to change States into Provinces, Zip Codes into Postal Codes, Last Names into Surnames and all sorts of other handy little tweaks.

Two Drawbacks to this Solution

One issue will come up when upgrading to the next version of VTiger. It hasn't happened yet but I can only assume that I'll need to go into the new language files and redo the work. A small price to pay for this level of flexibility.

The other is just remembering what things used to be. Because we are just changing the output, not the core names of things, when browsing through the database looking for a field, sometimes I struggle a bit. "Oh yeah, those are called 'Happy Little Trees' now, but they are really Leads." Again, not that big a hassle and I've gotten used to it pretty quickly.

Would building this kind of flexibility into VTiger be a better solution? Obviously. But until that happens I really like that I can still customize VTiger at a very basic level for my clients.

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