Like many other Web applications, e-commerce has a long history of open source developer interest.
Projects like osCommerce are well-known within the open source community and beyond, however, there is a range of free software e-commerce projects worth investigating for any online sales requirement.
In this edition of 5 open source things to watch, we take a look at e-commerce apps that will collect money online without risking any dough.
A recent entrant onto the open source e-commerce scene is Cartridge by Melbourne-based developer, Stephen McDonald.
Cartridge is developed with the Python-based Django framework and is designed to work with the Mezzanine open source CMS by the same developer.
It features multi-level categories, configurable product options, stock management, a built-in test suite and payment gateway integration.
The number of checkout steps can also be configured.
Like most Django-based apps, the presentation layer of Cartridge is separated from the underlying code logic.
TechWorld recently profiled Cartridge lead developer Stephen McDonald.
Virtuemart is an open source shopping cart and e-commerce application for the popular Joomla! content system.
General features include user account management, multiple currency support, downloadable product support and order status management.
There are several payment gateway options and shipping rates can be calculated live with the integrated shipping modules.
Virtuemart administrators have access to options for price display, shopper groups, shop statistics and basic reporting.
Magento is an open source e-commerce application with a number of commercial options, including a SaaS-only offering.
The Community edition of Magento has fewer features than its commercial counterparts, but it is still is fully-fledged e-commerce system developed in PHP.
Magento does a good job of marketing all the features that you don’t get with the open source version and even labels indemnification as a “feature” of the commercial versions. Nevertheless, it is still one to keep an eye on.
Earlier this year Magento announced that eBay has invested in its business.
Licence: Open Software Licence
PrestaShop is another full e-commerce system developed with the LAMP stack and Smarty template system. It does not require a separate CMS.
In addition to standard product category and shopping cart features, PrestaShop has customer loyalty management, internationalisation and integration with delivery and payment providers.
Shop statistics provide information about visitors, sales, products and it can integrate with Google Analytics.
A number of free and paid modules are available for PrestaShop. Version 1.4 final was released this month.
Licence: Open Software Licence
Satchmo, like Cartridge, is an e-commerce system developed with the Django framework.
It can be used as a stand alone e-commerce app or integrated into an existing Django site.
Numerous payment gateway and shipping options have been integrated with Satchmo. In addition to products, Satchmo can handle subscriptions as well.
Customers can update their details and discount codes are supported as well.
For security, administrators can choose whether or Django stores credit card details.
Which Open Source e-commerce system would you include on the list? Let us know in the comments.
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For more articles in this series, be sure to check out:
5 open source virtualisation technologies to watch
5 open source security projects to watch
5 open source network management projects to watch
5 open source CRM systems to watch
5 open source VoIP softphones to watch
5 open source billing systems to watch
5 open source office suites to watch
5 open source IP telephony projects to watch
5 open source help desk apps to watch
5 enterprise open source wiki apps to watch
5 open source project management apps to watch
5 free project management applications you must try
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