OSCommerce

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  • olegoleg subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    First of all, the term  "easily added or modified" is a falsehood - since the need for "beta testing" is integral to any software - prior to implimentation. Canned programs have the fiduciary responsibily & obligation to be "beta tested" prior to release - vs - "open source" where the "retailer" could become the guinea pig.
    Having worked at both canned software companies as well as custom solution providers, I can tell you would be surprised at how little "beta testing" goes on in either place.  And software consultants providing a custom solution have just as much responsibility and obligation to test their work as a traditional software company.
    That said, you can easily modify an open-source solution. How well you test it is up to you and the developer you choose to work with.  With a packaged software solution you simply do not have that option.  If you are completely happy with all the features that it offers - perfect!  If you want to add a new feature tomorrow instead of hoping it will be included in the next service pack which is already 6 months behind schedule - well you`re just SOL.
  • RichardBuggyRichardBuggy subscriber Posts: 4
    For osCommerce -Pros:1. It`s well tested with at least 3 other shopping carts being forked from it (i.e. someone took the source code for osCommerce and used it to develop their own product)2. There is a large active community writing pluginsCons:1. They`ve really struggled with the 2.2 release. It`s been at the milestone stage for years and development now seems to have switched to the 3.0 release.2. It doesn`t support templates. You can customize the output but it`s not like WordPress which separates the templates from the code.3. It was written for early versions of PHP 4 (which will only be supported until the end of this year) and uses programming practices that are now considered bad (at the time they weren`t).I`ll make another post to address the open source issues that have been raised.
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    When looking at a shopping cart/data base there are 2 sides of the equation - front of the house & back office.
    Lets start with back office -
    I would want -

    The ability to manage the "entire" product catalog - without effecting the look of the store - till I want to change the "store". (off-line vs on-line)
    The ability to change prices across a wide latitude of criterea - catagories, sub-categories, departments, price ranges, vendors (all user defined) (ie. "Global Search & Replace)
    The abilty to have unlimited vendors, with able to select if that vendor is a drop-shipper or if the product is carried within inventory.
    The ability to keep a product in the data base - even when that product is "back-ordered" or not available - and then able to reactivate that product when available or "in-stock" with a simple click.
    Able to "Re-sort" the order of products within the store, depts, categories, sub-categories, or other user defined basis. (Analogy: the "end-cap" in a physical store is the "hot selling area".)
    Able to create a "catalog" of selected items - for printing, file making, emailing or burning onto a cd and have that catalog available in .pdf format - with direct click thru`s of products listings and images.
    So far, osCommerce can accomplish your wishlist.
    Oleg,
    Zen Cart is based upon the osCommerce code...but they have "progressed" a little more in terms of moving to more CSS based. Also, their "specials" and coupon functions are built in where you have to add a module/contribution to osCommerce.
    Re: the wish list... I have not found the need to change all the prices for all products or catagories of products for any of my clients. Typically the only price changes have to do with short term (date defined) "specials" or promotional "sales".
    An important feature for any ecommerce solution is the ability to coordinate the product list with Google Product Search (formally Froogle). This gets your products indexed by Google Product Search and can put your products in the top spot in a google search result. This appears between the sponsored links at the top of the page and the first organic search result.
    ~Rolandvwebworld2007-5-16 4:23:22
  • blondieblueblondieblue subscriber Posts: 9

    Having worked at both canned software companies as well as custom solution providers, I can tell you would be surprised at how little "beta testing" goes on in either place.  And software consultants providing a custom solution have just as much responsibility and obligation to test their work as a traditional software company.
    That said, you can easily modify an open-source solution. How well you test it is up to you and the developer you choose to work with.  With a packaged software solution you simply do not have that option.  If you are completely happy with all the features that it offers - perfect!  If you want to add a new feature tomorrow instead of hoping it will be included in the next service pack which is already 6 months behind schedule - well you`re just SOL.

    Well thank you for the additions to the funtionality wish list. (I can see that you are attempting to have an open mind about this discussion. (Gee, who appears to have the adgenda now?????)
    Oleg, it is apparent that you too just might be one of those "gurus" I was speaking about earlier. (Should we now call it the 4 Amigos???)
    Roland, its great to see that you are starting to catch on to the concept that I`ve been attempting to bring about. Thank you.blondieblue2007-5-16 4:55:9
  • blondieblueblondieblue subscriber Posts: 9
    And for the sake of the planet ... printing an entire catalog is NO WHERE NEAR my wish list. In fact, why would you ever want to send someone a PDF, paper file, etc? That just means that potentially incorrect product info could be circulating. Do you really want your old prices working their way around the internet? That is not the best idea.
    Well I can see that you failed to READ again. I posted that the design of the catalog would be of "selected" items (ie. a SALE catalog)
    This function may not be on YOUR wish list - but it is on many RETAILERS wish list, since it is a real life scenerio that happens every day.
    Case in point ---
    Real Life Scenario 1 : TruckStops run sales on a Monthly basis. Items are required to stay on sale for the entire month, since the cost of printing, distribution of those sale flyers and "store re-set" costs are prohibitive to do anything but keep it on a monthly basis.
    Grocery stores feature sales on a weekly basis - with their marketing distribution being acheived thru the local newspapers. This method allows grocery stores to stay "fresh", responsive to market conditions, and flexible to both consumer needs and wants.
    On-line stores have the abilty to be as, if not more, "responsive" to market conditions and customer needs than even grocery stores.
    With the catalog function, why not have a sale flyer (.pdf format) that can be created easily, with lets say your "Weekly Specials, "Father`s Day Sale", "4th of July Sale", "Dog Days of Summer Sale", "Show Specials" (trade show scenario) or whatever Sale you wish. If its in a .pdf format you can post it to your web site - your customer can view it, easily print it, download it (for viewing at a later time) or you can burn it onto a cd or mini cd for handing out at you trade show. (The CD idea is an inexpensive way to create a unique handout at a tradeshow - setting you apart from the rest of the crowd.) Or - why not include it in your weekly newsletter??
    With the "SALE FLYER" changing on a weekly basis - you start to create buzz around your web site - with customers returning everyweek just to see what you have on sale.(just as folks look forward to Wednesday`s newspapers to see the grocery store ads) With it being created in a .pdf file - you can also "attach" coupons that are availabe for your customers (ie. Discount Codes for that week only- since your "ideal shopping cart" also offers the abiltiy to create "discount codes" and turn them on / off as you desire.)
    These real life scenarios are how "the ideal shopping cart" should function - since these are "real life" retailing scenerios for bricks & mortars stores, as well as online stores.blondieblue2007-5-16 4:58:15
  • olegoleg subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    Blondie - I`m not even sure what you are arguing about anymore...
    Thanks for your input everyone.
  • blondieblueblondieblue subscriber Posts: 9

    Blondie - I`m not even sure what you are arguing about anymore...

    Oleg, then you seem to be the only one who hasn`t figured it out. And if I were Rich Sloan - I would most likely want the money I`ve paid you back - since you don`t seem to grasp the concept of "retailing" - by your own admission here.
    Today I`ve received numerous msgs from a number of folks here at SuN asking me to continue outlining the "wish list" for an ecommerce solution. It appears that there are a number of lurkers following this thread and are interested in learning more about how an ecommerce site should work - and if there is a solution that will act just like "real life", especially in the back office data management side.
    I`ll continue with more of the "Wish List" soon.
  • TwilightPicsTwilightPics subscriber Posts: 2
    [I`ll continue with more of the "Wish List" soon.Please don`t.  Oleg, was right - and as many of us have suspected -you do have a hidden agenda."That is why one of the projects that I`m involved in is providing a
    "turn-key solution" for new start-ups that are looking for a true
    solution ... not just a web site." - TJ http://www.startupnation.com/forums/1257/1/2Here`s a suggestion, stop trying to push your crummy, expensive products on SuN users, and accept the fact that an open source solution is better and cheaper.
  • blondieblueblondieblue subscriber Posts: 9
      The only good thing about AppleCart and similar programs is it allows complete idiots to build and run a website.  Which is a great thing for the idiots, but not such a great thing for developers ...It`s funny how you mentioned  we should "think outside the box" when it`s you who is clearly closed minded.
    Gee, I had missed this previous quote - silly me. Now I understand why the resistance to even an open discussion about a simple `Wish List". Thank you.
    I was starting to wonder why the "me wonder why doth protest too much", was becoming the phrase of the day. Now I understand.
    More coming soon ...
  • blondieblueblondieblue subscriber Posts: 9
    Well it appears that CookieMonster has reinforced my position re: AppleCart as a viable solution.
    http://www.startupnation.com/forums/5467/1/2</A>
    So proprietary software is, and will remain, a vastly superior model until the day that open source can claim to have created as much wealth and productivity as proprietary products.
    Thank you Cookiemonsterblondieblue2007-5-23 22:12:38
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    Oh please
    If you read his post, it has nothing to do with AppleCart... he was talking about the wealth building of Windows.
    The Windows ecosystem is a huge market that has created more wealth than ... well anything I can think of. In fact, open source really owes its existence to Windows, as much as people don`t want to admit. Windows is the reason cheap computers exist. Windows is the reason that people can buy a great compiler for a few hundred bucks. Windows is the reason that most of us can afford a computer.
    ~Roland
  • bcarrollbcarroll subscriber Posts: 0
    OsCommerce has been a great solution and extremely customizable.  As for the "skinning" of the app, with the STS contribution (Simple Template System) we`ve had great success creating stores that look completely customized or you can always buy a sweet looking template from templatemonster..
    The only challenge is support - ie there is none, but that`s open source for you.  So for a "newbie" online business owner, if something breaks, or they click the wrong button in the administration area - sites will break.  Also we`ve found that even hosting providers that make OSC available through their control panels won`t help you a bit if something goes wrong.
    So, in my opinion, I love the solution as a front end application to run an online store, but I`m not sure I would create a high volume store with it if you don`t go through a hosting company that will offer paid support it for you.
  • ekallenekallen subscriber Posts: 0
    I know I`m late to this discussion, but can anyone recommend a good shopping cart that can handle custom products? For example, if I were Dell Computers allowing visitors to customize their PC, the different options they choose would affect the price of that computer. The price should get passed on to the shopping cart. If they need to go back and change some features before checkout, they can.
    Any recommendations?
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    Zen Cart or osCommerce can do that. Using product "attributes" and you can price a product by the price of the attributes... or the attributes can ADD a certain amount to the base price of the product.
    ~Roland
  • ekallenekallen subscriber Posts: 0
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