Open source continues to move beyond its original confines of infrastructure software. Open-source application adoption is booming, while even the curmudgeonly router market is getting some open-source polish from Vyatta.
One area, in particular, that is getting an open-source makeover is e-commerce, with Magento apparently leading the pack with more than 750,000 downloads and a roster of great customers, albeit with strong competition from Oxid and Apache’s OFBiz project.
I’ve written about Magento before but wanted to dive in a bit deeper, so I contacted Roy Rubin, CEO and founder of Varien, the company behind Magento, for an update on the open-source e-commerce platform.
Roy Rubin and Yoav Kutner, CEO and CTO from Varien, the Magento Company, were special guests at Meet Magento, the first large event of the German Magento Community in Leipzig. Over 250 attendees came to the user congress organized by the German agency netresearch (http://www.netresearch.de/), one of the first German Magento Platinum Partners, and Rico Neitzel, Community Manager Germany. ‘Germany is one of the most important markets in open source eCommerce after the US’, said Roy Rubin on his Keynote. Rico Neitzel, Manager of the German Magento Community told of about 3,000 active German community members.
Jack Wolfskin, Yves Rocher, and TimeOut have all built their websites using Magento, an open source e-commerce solution first released in March 2008. Unlike other ecommerce software, Magento is innovative in its design and functionality. The platform has a well thought out architecture and allows for the creation of multiple stores managed from one website. Netresearch, Magento’s first Platinum Partner , says “Magento gives merchants control and flexibility to create their online stores”. It also has many features to enhance marketing and SEO, and includes integration with other specialized software solutions. Magento keeps focused on the customer’s experience making it a dynamic and exciting e-commerce solution.
The benefits are numerous. On the surface, Magento provides colleges and universities with the freedom to customize the solution, tailor it to their business model, and expand on it for years to come. The solution also allows schools to incorporate user-generated content such as ratings, reviews, and tags, as well as the opportunity to integrate more tightly with social networks and alumni networks, to stimulate further sales.
Magento, the leading open-source e-commerce platform, has just notched a new honor: Forrester Research has named it an “Emerging Player to Watch” in its Forrester Wave: B2C eCommerce Platforms, Q1 2009 report.
This is an exceptional testament to the growing momentum of Magento. Varien’s Magento is the only open-source e-commerce platform named in the report, alongside industry leaders IBM and ATG.
But it’s not what Varien has done with Magento that Forrester deems exciting. Rather, it is Magento’s momentum, and implicit room to grow, that Forrester calls this out in its report.
Mydeco.com, the leading housewares website in the UK has launched an online basket to streamline the shopping experience in the design boutique section of the site. Founded by the management team behind lastminute.com, one of Europe’s most successful online businesses, mydeco’s highly functional website, beta-launched in the UK in February 2008, has won huge public acclaim for its blend of search aggregation, interactive planning and visualization tools and social networking capability.
Based on Magento, the leading open-source e-commerce solution, the basket allows customers to buy products in the design boutique section of the web site, directly from the designers. Orders for multiple designers can be collected in the basket and are then relayed to the separate designers who send items directly to the customers. The basket is completely integrated into the main web site, so that visitors do not have the feeling of moving to a distinct shopping application.
Being amongst the most ambitious Magento deployments to date, Visions implemented a complete procurement solution into Magento that allows designers to manage the products they wish to offer for sale through mydeco’s design boutique platform. Together with tight integration into mydeco’s backend systems and Visions’ PayOne payment module, these enhancements allow the Magento Administration Panel to be used as the unique internal e-commerce application.
“mydeco’s innovative business model does not square well with closed source e-commerce solutions”, explains Alexander Ringsdorff, Visions’ CEO. mydeco empowers shoppers to design their home as they see fit – not to suit the collection of a specific supplier. Using Visions’ solution, independent designers can add items to mydeco’s site for possible inclusion and add their stock levels and delivery times – through Magento’s administration panel. Out of the box, the access control systems in Magento cannot accommodate this need. “Because Magento is completely open and has such an excellent software design, it was possible to create a supplier management module to suit mydeco’s needs – without breaking compatibility with future Magento versions”.
Magento, a leading open-source commerce platform, has cracked 500,000 downloads, not to mention its 44,000 community members that have translated the project into over 60 languages ... the real story behind Magento’s success is that it’s breeding copycats. Several proprietary competitors, like Oxid eShop, are throwing in the towel and open sourcing their code, too ... Earlier this year I talked up Varien/Magento as a company and project to watch. I was speculating at that time, but today its success seems relatively sure. It’s now a question of “how big?” for Magento, not “will it take off?”