|The capabilities of osCommerce are not limited to those discussed on the Customer Perspective and Merchant Perspective review. osCommerce is an open source ecommerce solution, and is served by a thriving community of developers and users, not only working towards an ever improving ecommerce system, but also towards enhanced and expanded modules that empower and expand osCommerce even more.
This section will briefly examine the strengths osCommerce exhibits thanks to its open source, customizable and modular nature:
1. Open Source Shopping Cart - Online Store/Shop -
One of the important strengths of osCommerce is that it is an open source Shopping Cart - Online Store/Shop - or ecommerce solution. This has a number of important implications.
Firstly, open source software is free in terms of cost. Open source software is freely distributed by the authors to whoever wishes a copy of the product. osCommerce can be downloaded for free by anyone from the osCommerce website. There will be costs related to installation, support and customization, but the software itself is free.
The second major benefit of open source software is that the software code can be modified, that is anyone technically capable can examine the software code and improve, or modify it as they see fit. According to the Open Source Initiative, when people have access to programs like this it leads to a situation where,
people improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs [problems]. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing.
For osCommerce this leads to two great advantages.
There is a huge community of people devoted to improving and developing osCommerce, and anyone with the technical ability is welcome to provide improvements and expand osCommerce. This community has seen the resolution of hundreds of bugs, and the implementation of many exciting and useful enhancements.
The open nature of osCommerce's source code also allows for a great deal of customization, and also makes modular development more successful, both of these strengths will be expanded upon on other pages.
2. Customizable Shopping Cart - Online Store/Shop -
A major benefit of choosing osCommerce is that it can be customized to meet your specific needs.
Every shopping site is unique and has different requirements. Many businesses will find that the feature-set osCommerce provides surpasses their requirements. Others will want changes made to:
- improve the ease with which customers interact with the site
- add features that make the site sell effectively
- distinguish the site from competitors
- save time and money in administering the site
- integrate osCommerce with other software or a larger site
- Due to the open source nature of osCommerce, the software can be customized if required.
Since there is a large community of osCommerce users, it is often possible to save time and money by using or extending the work of other osCommerce users.