Open Source eCommerce Software

By BXTra |

A month ago, I'm thinking about to open another online store to sell something online. My major requirement is pretty easy. Those are:

- Multilanguage support
- Use UTF-8
- Able to do Anonymous Checkout. (Guest Checkout / Check Out Without Account)

If it's possible, a few other features I needed are :

- Single page checkout
- Import/Export Product

I have a store using Zencart and it works ok for me. Even though it's not the way I really want. I also familiar with Drupal and have heard that Ubercart is great too. (Ubercart is an add-on for Drupal to provide shopping cart functionality.) But I decided not to try Ubercart because I feel that I want a software that can do what I want right after installation. To do that, the software should be Shopping cart software that is not add-on to other software. A couple months ago, I have tried Prestashop and I like it. Magento is another one that becoming popular but due to the fact that the software is pretty difficult to use and their support does seem to be exist, avoiding it should be better.

Prestashop 1.1 - The software is great. Easy to use. Their theme is beautiful. I’ve tested it for a while until I found that it doesn’t support Guest Checkout. Moreover, Single Page checkout is planned but not available yet. That’s really sad though.

OXID Community Edition build 15990 - I've read somewhere that this is a great software that used to be closed source and decided to make it open source a year ago. I started by trying to download it. It took me about 2 days to be able to get their software. Not that it's too slow but it's like... they set a specific time like 1 minutes. If the download doesn't finish, just close that connection. No resume download. So, I have download for about 50 times until I got a really good connection with the speed of more than 100 kb/sec. (50 kb/sec is not fast enough. The connection will be down before I finish download.) From this point, I feel like,.. they don’t really want to give it away.

Once I tried it, the software doesn't work great with multilanguage. German and English are two languages that they have right after installation. But many times, when I click on something ,the language falls back to German even I choose to work in English. To try to make it work in UTF8 did break the software. After 2-3 days of testing it. I decided to try something else.

osCMax 2.0.0-RC 3-0-3 - I just tried to install it and found that it required register_global=on which I don't like it. So, I just play with it a while and forget it.

Digistore ECommerce 3.2 - I got it at the same time I got osCMax. If I remember correctly, the software requires register_global=on which I don't like it. So, I just decided to play with only osCMax since it should have more features than Digistore. Both of Digistore and osCMax are forks of osCommerce.

Quick.Cart 3.3 - it's a small piece of software that can do many things. I almost decided to use it until I found that they pull out Contact Us feature from version 3. Link So, contact us is there but not with a form. Just a page that you can type anything in it.

OpenCart 1.1.8 - Seems to be good but I have no luck since it required something that I don't have on my server and I don't want to search to try to set it. So, I just didn't use it.

Freeway 1.4 / 1.5 alpha (OpenFreeway) - This software looks great. It's another fork of osCommerce. I almost decided to use it but because it lacks of Guest Checkout feature. I hope version 1.5 that will available shortly will have this feature but I couldn't wait without knowing when it will be available.

ZenCart 1.3.8a - A great software that is rated as number one shopping cart software. They will also release version 2.0 (Used to be 1.4) anytime soon. (I hope they will release it soon since they've delayed for quite a long time.) From my experience, I don't like the way they install Add-On. Their add-on has to spread into many folders which is hard to remember where it is especially when I have to install many modules. Compare to Drupal, Each module has one single folder.

Now, come to my requirement, I needed to have Anonymous Checkout and Zencart doesn't come with it. From what I know, there are 2 ways to do that. 1. Using COWA (My Checkout Without Account Mod) 2. Install ZenMagick and enable Guest Checkout feature.

I started by using ZenMagick The software also a bit confusing that I don't know which part I have to set in Zencart, which part I have to set in ZenMagick. I begin to install it and found that there is a bug in it. I couldn't see any plug-in once I've installed the software. Guest checkout doesn't need that plug-in but I need it to support ImageHandler2 so that I don't have to resize picture manually in Zencart. Later, I go back to use and that plug-in thing is working. Now, I need to work on theme which I really don't know much about it. From what I've checked in their forum. I feel that their community is very small. If I choose to go this way, that might took me forever to do it.

Then, I restarted again but this time with COWA. I installed a fresh copy of Zencart, then, install COWA. It looks ok again but then, when I clicked Next from Guest Checkout screen, I just go back to the same page with all fill-in text deleted. I'm too tired to test it anymore and think that I should try Ubercart on Drupal.

So, the last one I've tried with is Ubercart 2.0beta 5. Based on Drupal 6. The installation is pretty easy. Actually, Drupal is my most favorite CMS that I'm working on right now but I've never tried Ubercart before. Drupal is the only software that I don't need to deal much with permission thing for files and folders. Just upload files through FTP and install it. Compare to many other software that require me to set permission to these files, those folders which is annoying. After that, I installed Ubercart module together with Token, CCK, FileField, ImageAPI, Imagefield, ImageCache, PathAuto, Thickbox. One thing to warn you, try to install CCK, Imagefield, ImageCache first before install Ubercart. If not, a field to keep image doesn't created automatically and you will confuse why Image function doesn't work properly.

The software is great. I can do anonymous checkout plus Single page checkout. All small thing can be configure like... what field you need customer to fill in. (Ex. You need to know their firstname or not. Everything is just a simple click.) I also install i18n module to use multilanguage and found that Ubercart doesn't really work perfectly in multilanguage environment. Still it works pretty good. Well, from what I've tried right now, about 2-3 words that don't shows up correctly even though I already translated those words. (Ex. "Add to cart" button) Still, it's beta and it's by far the most powerful e-commerce software that is very easy to work with. All new functionality is done by uploading it, enabled it in Graphic User Interface and it works as it should be. No need to deal with code, permission and folder things.

Well, Once I found that Ubercart is what I really want. I feel like… what I was doing in the past couple weeks? Just to look around and found that the software that meet my requirements is right here with me since the beginning.

I actually tried a few more software like cpCommerce 1.2.7, Maranshop, phpShop 0.8.1 and many others but because testing process took me almost a month and I forgot many things already. Well, I don't think that I have to work on so many programs like this. That's why I didn't take any note about it. Even though I does not like some of those software but I really appreciate those people that release all those software for free. They just give us for free without asking anything back in return. Thanks all of you.

I'm glad you came full circle! I agree with you that there are just a couple rough spots with Ubercart's multilingual support, but we're taking steps to remove those barriers even now. Thanks for giving us a second chance after initially ruling Ubercart out. ; ) -Ryan (Ubercart project lead)

we recently published the roadmap for the next release. it will include UTF-8 support:

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