Coding Standards

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Coding Standards for SuiteCRM

Some parts of the SuiteCRM code structure for PHP markup are inconsistent in their style. SuiteCRM are working to gradually improve this by helping our internal team and contributors maintain a consistent style so the code can become clean and easy to read at a glance. This will be an ongoing transition but we encourage users to begin to think about their supplied bug fixes and enhancements to conform to the below standards. We thank you for your continued contributions!



At the beginning of each new core file include the following license as the standard header

 * SugarCRM Community Edition is a customer relationship management program developed by 
 * SugarCRM, Inc. Copyright (C) 2004-2013 SugarCRM Inc. 
 * SuiteCRM is an extension to SugarCRM Community Edition developed by SalesAgility Ltd. 
 * Copyright (C) 2011 - 2017 SalesAgility Ltd. 
 * This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under 
 * the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License version 3 as published by the 
 * Free Software Foundation with the addition of the following permission added 
 * to Section 15 as permitted in Section 7(a): FOR ANY PART OF THE COVERED WORK 
 * This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT 
 * ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS 
 * FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more 
 * details. 
 * You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with 
 * this program; if not, see or write to the Free 
 * Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 
 * 02110-1301 USA. 
 * You can contact SugarCRM, Inc. headquarters at 10050 North Wolfe Road, 
 * SW2-130, Cupertino, CA 95014, USA. or at email address 
 * The interactive user interfaces in modified source and object code versions 
 * of this program must display Appropriate Legal Notices, as required under 
 * Section 5 of the GNU Affero General Public License version 3. 
 * In accordance with Section 7(b) of the GNU Affero General Public License version 3, 
 * these Appropriate Legal Notices must retain the display of the "Powered by 
 * SugarCRM" logo and "Supercharged by SuiteCRM" logo. If the display of the logos is not 
 * reasonably feasible for technical reasons, the Appropriate Legal Notices must 
 * display the words "Powered by SugarCRM" and "Supercharged by SuiteCRM". 

Ensure that the if statement for the valid entry point has been moved to below the license.

if (!defined('sugarEntry') || !sugarEntry) {
    die('Not A Valid Entry Point');


Using PSR-2 Indentation.

Code MUST use an indent of 4 spaces, and MUST NOT use tabs for indenting.

JavaScript files should be indented using 2 spaces.

Class Names

Class names should use 'StudlyCaps' e.g ClassName, DoSomething.. Classes should be named relevant to their Entity.


class YoungInfant extends Person


Function Names

Function names should use lower camelCase e.g - functionName, doSomething. Functions should also be named descriptively with preferably a verb in them.


function printLoginStatus($user, $time)
    // do Something

In function arguments the variables should be descriptive of the variables use.


Static and Member variables should be lower camelCase and do not abbreviate variable names un-necessarily.


public static $jobStrings;

var $disableRowLevelSecurity = true ;

Also ensure that uninitialised variables are checked if set by using the built-in isset() function.


if (isset($forum)) 


Use single and double quotes when appropriate. If you’re not evaluating anything in the string, use single quotes. There should be no need to ever escape quotes within a string.


$sample = 'Hello';
$sample = "Hello, $name";
$sample = "Hello, {$name}";


When declaring indexed arrays with the Array function, a trailing space must be added after each comma delimiter to improve readability.


$sampleArray = array(1, 2, 3, 'Zend', 'Studio');

When declaring a multi-line indexed array the initial array item may begin on the following line. If so, it should be padded at one indentation level greater than the line contain the array declaration, and all successive lines should have the same indentation; the closing parenthesis should be on a line by itself at the same indentation level as the line contain the array declaration.


$sampleArray = array( 
    1, 2, 3, 'Zend', 'Studio', 
    $a, $b, $c, 
    56.44, $d, 500, 

When declaring associative arrays the initial array item may begin on the following line. If so, it should be padded at one indentation level greater than the line containing the array declaration, and all successive lines should have the same indentation; the closing parenthesis should be on a line by itself at the same indentation level as the line containing the array declaration. For readability, the various "=>" assignment operators should be padded such that they align.


$sampleArray = array( 
    'firstKey'  => 'firstValue', 
    'secondKey' => 'secondValue', 

Brace Style

Always include the braces: Even if not required still maintain the braces to provide code clarity.


if (condition) do_stuff(); 

if (condition)


if (condition) { 

if($a != 2) { 
    $a = 2; 
elseif($a == 3) { 
    $a = 4; 
else { 
    $a = 7; 

Opening bracket on class, function, method names should be on the next line as the declaration and the exiting bracket on a line of its own.


class ThisClass 
    public function newMethod()

function newFunction() 



Use phpdoc syntax before all classes/methods/members/functions definitions. A simple template can be set up in your IDE.

  • All class definitions should have at least @author and @package with the @author on the last line of the block-level comment
  • Always start block-level comments containing phpdoc with two asterisks (/** ... */)
  • Single commenting should have a space first, followed by a capital letter with no full stop needed // This is an example

Often comment on any tricky, obscure, or otherwise not-immediately-obvious code to include any assumptions your code makes, or preconditions for its proper operation. A developer should be able to look at any part of the application and understand well enough what's going on in a reasonable amount of time.


* The method's summary
* This method's short description which can span
* along multiple lines – also provide context
* to the method.
* @param string $variable with a description of this argument
* @return void
public function myMethod($variable)
    // Do something here

General Guidelines

Any new class (including classed in generated files) should use the constructor __construct, but only where a constructor is required.


function __construct()
    // do child class specific code here

Ensure your code is compatible with current supported Databases and PHP versions - MySQL, MSSQL, PHP 5.5, PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.

Ensure your code is compatible with supported browsers – see our wiki.

House Keeping

If including JavaScript files, a minified version should be used in the core, with an un-minified version added to the equivalent directory within 'jssource' folder. Any modifications to JavaScript files should be made in the 'jssource' folder and then minified into the core.

If developing a new core feature do not create files within the custom directory and ensure that the new module name is sensible and relevant with no prefixes.

If adding a new module clean up generated files so only the required files are used. The following are examples (but not limited to) of tidying up a module's directory/files.

  • Remove studio.php if it should not be in studio
  • Remove '_sugar' class file from main class file if it not assignable
  • or in security groups remove the option from the vardefs and remove // to ensure that modules created and deployed under CE will continue to function under team security if the instance is upgraded to PRO