An open-source software battle
If you are looking to test the efficacy of a particular market sub-category
or even a total strategy shift for your business, why not look
toward an open-source software solution written in ASP? For one,
you might argue that the best and most popular software tends to
be scripted in PHP, leaving those restricted to using ASP out of the
mix entirely, right? Not so. Below are a few of the top open-source
ASP solutions (and a few of their PHP counterparts) to reveal the
depth of the software and the activity of communities that support
Weblogs: Everybody knows that WordPress is now “the” standard
of PHP-scripted weblogs and, in some instances, CMS systems
too. But what about those requiring an ASP format? Oxite is
an open-source, standards compliant and extensible content management
system that can run anything from personal blogs to websites
on a far larger scale. Another open-source blogging platform
for ASP.NET 2.0 is dasBlog (dasblog.info). In addition to being an
attractive solution from front-to-back, dasBlog requires no database;
using file-based content management instead. The winner
here is WordPress, thanks to an impressive standard feature set
that grows quickly and volumes of plugins to satisfy any functionality
CMS: There are hundreds of solutions to help manage content
assets scripted in PHP, but the open-source options in ASP are far
fewer and certainly less well known — but not by much. DotNetNuke is powering some 500,000 sites in production, according
to the company, and is one of the leading Web CMS and app
development platforms for Microsoft .NET. Another respected option
is Umbraco, a CMS written in c# on the Microsoft .NET platform.
The software is fast and flexible and has established its own
rather active community and following. Joomla and Drupal are
powerful content management platforms for those requiring PHP
with active communities, but despite their strong track records are
not extraordinary enough on their own to warrant an entire shift
in platform. The winner here is everyone — as there are hundreds
of solutions on the market (just check out CMSmatrix.org) written
in both PHP and ASP.
E-Commerce: The open-source options are even fewer for Internet
retailers but arguably no less robust when it comes to ASP.
NopCommerce is an open source e-commerce solution that is
ASP.NET 3.5-based with a MS SQL 2005 (or higher) backend database.
DashCommerce is another leading ASP.NET open source ecommerce
application that offers all the standard features such as
product catalogs, shopping carts and order fulfillment mechanisms.
OsCommerce and Zen Cart are but two of the most popular,
historically, but Magento is an up-and-comer that is certainly
making waves. As of March, 2010, the software maker currently
had over 60,000 merchants using its software.
E-Commerce Software in Action - Open-Source Style
If you have worked with different e-commerce systems, you understand
that the core functionality remains pretty much the same across platforms.
For this reason, keep in mind that the “right” software solution for
you is the one that is intuitive, efficient and extensible — that it’s easy to
manage for your needs, is coded properly with minimal bugs (and secure)
and that new functionality is continually adopted through the use of plugins
or add-on modules. Should the software system you select meet
those requirements, the rest is up to you. Check out the general similarities
in the front ends of two popular open source e-commerce solutions, in
Magento and nopCommerce.
There are limitations in every organization, so understanding
what they are (the programmer or designer never learned PHP, or
the business requires a Windows Server over Linux) is of paramount
importance to your success. There are no losers in this software
battle, only winners (that means you). Selecting the right
software that balances marketing objectives with business limitations
is the best way to take a measured response to testing out
software for your business.