perhaps it makes sense to create a public Redmine project instance so we can all collaborate on research, discussion, and planning...
I'm willing to participate. Bare in mind that I'm not real coder -- I know IQ very well though and can script if necessary.
They go the route of "this is the way to do things for this industry", which as I said above could be a good thing, *but* they frankly appear to be too rigid in certain areas, basically requiring you buy into their solution end-to-end, or go with specific vendors, etc.
Exactly. And I find that it's good to have some flexibility and be able to adjust the product as needs arise.
Before we go too far, have you looked into existing software packages to see if there might already be something that does the job and is affordable for them?
I suggest that you take a look at an online solution. I serve on the board of a small nonprofit and did a search for them to address what sounds like similar problems. I was quite impressed with Zoho's CRM solution. They haven't yet chosen to put it into play so I cannot testify to how well it works in practice, but my test drive (free) impressed me. It's free for three users and $12/user/month above that: ZohoCRM Pricing.
These are important considerations... and this is what I'm about to do myself : see what the current solutions look like and then try to build a similar solution with IQ. The Zoho CRM seems like a good starting point as far as features are concerned.
Then there's the pricing. For Zoho At 12$/month, this is 144$ per user each year (Professional edition). I wonder how that would compare against something like IQ + taking into account the time to customize the interface, DB, etc.
From the website, it would be something like 200$ for 3 licenses (3-license pack for the price of a regular license) -- that's cheaper than zoho for sure... But doesn't take into account any customization time.
In any case... I'll wait for the next posts here.