Oscommerce A Viable Ecommerce Solution !

By: ravi chamria

Ecommerce has become the buzz of the day !! The Internet success stories revolving around Ecommerce, Online selling or shopping has been increasing day by day and the late thinkers are losing a huge market.

The advent of online payment gateways, improvement in Supply chain management and paucity of time to go to the physical stores have been the root reasons for the growth in online business. But just thinking about one’s own Ecommerce site makes one shudder due to huge investments required. The branded or customized Ecommerce solutions start at exorbitant price and the maintenance charges also come out be pretty high.

So, when the opportunity is so attractive and investment potential low, open source solutions come into sight. The open source solutions have changed the way web based sites and softwares are running. The community development, open source nature, low cost of ownership (virtually free) and high ROI are basic ingredient of Open Source Solutions.
osCommerce (available as free download from http://www.oscommerce.com) is the most comprehensive and popular open source Shopping Cart system on Internet. It has a huge list of features and is probably the most versatile shopping cart solution and offers vast range of customization choices for the on-line storefront owners depending on their need at a very affordable price. The basic script can be downloaded totally free with complete source code. The costs of customization and hosting are the only implicated costs which when compared with other solutions, will be meager.

osCommerce is an online shop e-commerce solution that offers a wide range of out-of-the-box features that allows online stores to be setup fairly quickly with ease, and is released under the GNU General Public License. osCommerce is a complete online store solution that contains both a catalog frontend and an administration tool backend, which can be easily configured over web. osCommerce was started in March 2000 and has since matured to a solution that is currently powering 6,204 registered live shops around the world.

Requirements : osCommerce utilizes Open Source solutions to provide a free and open e-commerce platform, which includes the powerful PHP web scripting language, the stable Apache web server, and the fast MySQL database server. With no special requirements, osCommerce is able to run on any PHP 4.1+ enabled web server running on Linux, Solaris, BSD, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows environments.

Features : -
· Oscommerce is template based and offers complete scope of customization.
· The Backend to manage the site offers support for unlimited product categories and products; both virtual and physical. Multilingual, multi currency support, database backup and restore facility, stock availability, invoices and customer relation management are inbuilt modules.
· The Frontend offers customers to browse complete catalog with ease, wishlists, personal accounts with purchase history and multiple billing and shipping addresses, and many other user friendly features to make the overall shopping a nice experience.
· Payment module covers numerous offline payment processing (cheque, money orders, offline credit care processing, ..) and online payment processing (2CheckOut, PayPal, Authorize.net, iPayment, ..)
· The shipping and tax module fulfils almost all the major requirements.

Apart from these features, there are thousands of contributions developed by efficient developers and companies. The online forum support on at http://forums.oscommerce.com is very popular and no nonsense forum where any post regarding any query, error gets answered. The community development and maintenance has played a major role in developing such a huge success of Oscommerce.

So, the basic shopping cart enables one to start a readymade Ecommerce site in minimum time and minimal costs.

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Ravi chamria is a webmaster, for more computer related articles please visit at Computers-and-Technology

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