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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    What are the best opensource/free ECommerce products ?

    Hi,

    I noticed a list on Sitepoint ECommerce forums (http://sitepointforums.com/showthread.php?t=49000 ) of ECommerce/Shopping Cart software/systems, and the "free" ones listed were:

    FREE Shopping Cart Solutions

    * PHPCart - http://www.phpcart.com
    * OS Commerce - http://www.oscommerce.com
    * PHP Shop - http://www.phpshop.org
    * RedHat Interchange - http://interchange.redhat.com/ic
    * Agora Cart - http://www.agoracart.com

    I had a look at these, and PHP Cart didn't seem to be free, it only came with web hsoting I think ? I couldn't find Redhat Interchange anywhere on their site, but the others I will d/load and trial.

    No doubt there are other free, and opensourced products available, I think at http://hotscripts.com , there are a few there, but I have no idea how good the product is ?

    Why I'm looking for free or opensourced is a client has paid a few thousand dollars for a product he is not happy with, and he wants to change web hosts, but doesn't want to spend any more money on the ECommerce product. Whilst he is "not happy" with the product, he wants something he can drive (end user, no PHP knowledge needed), and one that can be maintained "locally" on his computer, and then reviewed before uploading to his website.

    For some, .... background reading on this project', please see:

    http://sitepointforums.com/showthread.php?t=146949

    http://sitepointforums.com/showthread.php?t=147050

    I would appreciate it if you could advise please.

    Peter

  2. #2
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    Did you check out www.oscommerce.com - I have downloaded it before for free.

    If he was not happy with it - why did he submit final payment to his developer?

    When you says no PHP knowledge needed - are you referring to him? Most everyone uses www.oscommerce.com & seem to be very happy with that if they are a PHP developer.

  3. #3
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    Hi Corey,

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Bryant
    Did you check out www.oscommerce.com - I have downloaded it before for free.
    I'm actually just having a look at it now, and have only just downloaded it. I don't know how hard the install is, but even the 'CPanel' at the web hosts have an install for it (but I think it's an old one, so I'll do it manually).

    If he was not happy with it - why did he submit final payment to his developer?
    Long story, but a very brief summary ............

    A company by the name of "Sausage Software" had a product called "Business in a Box". My understanding is that Sausage wanted to concentrate on products that were more profitable, and (almost overnight I think) "dropped" the product. Conservative estimates are that in Australia alone, thousands of people were "left stranded".

    iNetStore came up with a "Rescue Package" , and that is what a number of people chose to use, my client being one of them. The current prices of the iNetStore product are:

    iNETstore 2003: AUD $1,990 (All prices are in Australian Dollars and are inclusive of GST) Approximate currency conversion is USD $1,350 or GBP 850
    Some references to this sad state of affairs:


    http://www.write101.com/24augadv.htm


    http://www.zdnet.com.au/newstech/ebu...0265434,00.htm


    http://www.thai.com.au/BizBox/


    http://www.envision-sbs.com/


    http://www.itnews.com.au/storyconten...=0&Art_ID=6262

    When you say no PHP knowledge needed - are you referring to him? Most everyone uses www.oscommerce.com & seem to be very happy with that if they are a PHP developer.
    Yes, I was referring to him (the client). He can do a few html tags, but definitely not PHP. It could be one option though, as I can do PHP (still learning a lot though). I wonder if there is any sort of tool or utility that can create PHP code ? I'm thinking aloud a bit here, but I have Delphi, and if there was some way of the user doing the (local) authoring, then the upload would convert what's needed , to PHP ??


    Thanks,


    Peter

  4. #4
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    I have no knowledge actually myself of PHP - only ASP & enough to get myself into trouble at that point. I have programmers that are skilled in PHP, ASP, .NET. Ashame that he had to pay that much when he could have had a customer cart built for him for less than USD$1000.

    I have heard horrow stories about those "in a box" solutions. Some might be good for starters but I really have no faith in those scripts that are massed produced.

  5. #5
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    You will be interested to know that some of the SitePoint team are ex-saussage software
    www.sitepoint.com.au

    Interchange is now developed independent of RedHat:
    http://www.icdevgroup.org/
    I've got a feeling it is developed in python though?

    Anyway, OSCommerce does seem to be a popular ecommerce system these days - with support for many payment gateways too.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by freakysid
    You will be interested to know that some of the SitePoint team are ex-sausage software
    www.sitepoint.com.au
    Very interesting, thanks.

    It seems a shame that Sausage dropped the "Business in a Box" product, it appears it left many people stranded. I guess I could say it was like dropping a hot potato, or more to the point, a hot sausage.

    Interchange is now developed independent of RedHat:
    http://www.icdevgroup.org/
    I've got a feeling it is developed in python though?
    Oh, I don't know any Python at all, but thanks for the link.

    Anyway, OSCommerce does seem to be a popular ecommerce system these days - with support for many payment gateways too.
    Yes, and I think we may trial AgoraCart also, but at this stage, more 'votes' seem to be going for OSCommerce.

    Thanks,

    Peter

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast Nerveman's Avatar
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    Have a look at Zen Cart (http://zencart.com/). It's a friendly version of osCommerce. And it is still free.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerveman
    Have a look at Zen Cart (http://zencart.com/). It's a friendly version of osCommerce. And it is still free.
    I notice it is still in Alpha, but I will d/load and check it out.

    Thanks,

    Peter

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict Farrukh's Avatar
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    Take a look at these forks of Oscommerce

    Loaded 6.0 http://www.phesis.co.uk

    123TKShop http://www.123tkshop.org

    cpCommerce http://www.cpcommerce.org

    Zen-Cart http://www.zen-cart.com

    Zen-cart's new stable release v1.1 is going to be released in a few days time.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Hi Farrukh,

    Thanks for supplying those links; I will have a look at them. Do you know if these "forks" will continue to use osCommerce as a 'base' product, that is, will new releases of osCommerce be reflected in the other forks ?

    Thanks,

    Peter

  11. #11
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    Have a look here: www.oscommercelinks.com/3 (site is still being developed so it looks a bit rough but the links are in place!) for a list of some variations of the basic osCommerce. Some are proper "forks" where the base code will change and they will continue to develop the software in their own way, others are "Loaded" editions which is the basic osC code with a lot of contributions already installed.

    The loaded editions are great for saving time but can make it a headache to upgrade down the road and to install other contributions unless you really know what you are doing PHP wise.

  12. #12
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    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by tobz
    Have a look here: www.oscommercelinks.com/3 (site is still being developed so it looks a bit rough but the links are in place!) for a list of some variations of the basic osCommerce.
    Thanks for those links, very useful; now there are more products than I dreamed of.

    Some are proper "forks" where the base code will change and they will continue to develop the software in their own way, others are "Loaded" editions which is the basic osC code with a lot of contributions already installed.

    The loaded editions are great for saving time but can make it a headache to upgrade down the road and to install other contributions unless you really know what you are doing PHP wise.
    I'm no PHP guru, but have had to make (minor) changes to the base osC already. Considering that I've had to "redo" customisation mods many times over with application software (Cobol, Delphi, clipper,etc,etc), when a new release came out, I've found that if you have good repositories, and can match and highlight new<-->old versions, then that is all that is required.

    Yes, most times a lot of hack work, and not a lot can be automatted, but it did work, ..... eventually.

    Peter


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