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Magento or osCommerce easier to customize? 
 
ChrisLA
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  7
Joined:  2008-09-10
 

Hi;

We need to decide on an e-commerce platform in the next few days.  Whatever we choose will have to be significantly modified to meet the requirements.  I much prefer what I have seen and heard about Magento; it is clearly more elegant & flexible out of the box.

I’ve been a hard core C/C++/Java developer, and while I’m not a PHP expert, I have worked with it.  I can find my way around the osCommerce source and work with it.  However, when I look through the Magento code I have actually no idea what’s going on, or even what file the stuff is going on in.

I gather there is a lot of sophisticated stuff being done with templates, XML, zend, etc; but I can’t find any guide or documentation to the general design approach, etc. 

So while I would prefer to use Magento, I have to ask if it is reasonable to approach it as a “virgin”—can someone reasonably skilled at coding and familiar with general PHP get up to speed & productive modifying Magento code in a few weeks, or if we should stick to osCommerce? 

I was pointed to “php|architect’s Guide to Programming with Magento” (thanks, Vinai)—would that give us enough to at least understand what’s going on?

Thanks,

Chris

 
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Magentourist
Member
 
Total Posts:  48
Joined:  2008-08-11
Berlin
 

take a look at this page:
http://magento-blog.net/should-i-use-magento

it reflects my experience so far.

 
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kanetheninja
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  17
Joined:  2008-09-17
 

I’d take magento any day of the week over oscommerce.  oscommerce is a train wreck compared to magento, imho.  I’m not sure what you mean by not having enough design docs, i’ve found the ones existing pretty adequate to get going.  Have you checked the docs?

It’s a little hard to get used to the way the code is split up, but when you start looking at it in a MVC framework, which it is, it makes more sense.  If you are comfy with PHP I highly recommend learning to play with magento.

 
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radders
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  162
Joined:  2008-03-23
 

imho it is worth learning the Zend framework before tackling Magento. Zf itself is a steep learning curve (but manageable if you are used to using a framework) and it seems that most of the complication in Magento comes from there as well as the type of database tables used.

Personally after a week I am only just finding out what goes where in Zf and I have been stuck for 3 days on a simple database update which fails silently. Lots of documentation on Zf but very few practical examples and some of those I could find related to old versions of Zf and don’t work anymore. The current version of osCommerce is a doddle compared with Zf, easy to understand and modify but close to the end of its lifecycle.

 
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Azim
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  97
Joined:  2008-09-17
NY, USA
 

I have used osCommerce prevoiusly and i think that the Magento is best to use out of the box.
In osCoomerce you have to add so many add-ons/contributions and in magento you get all this preinstalled. and so many more features to be in the upcoming releases.
I have installed the 1.1.4 version and tried the 1.1.5 and 1.1.6, but these new ver are little messy.
So anyone can try the 1.1.4 for best e-commerce platform.
Gud luck

 
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J_T_
Mentor
 
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Total Posts:  1961
Joined:  2008-08-07
London-ish, UK
 

I use osCommerce but am porting everything to Magento. osCommerce belongs in a museum. It stems from the year 2000. That’s pre-historic in internet terms. I know osC file by file and have hacked up every last bit of it. It’s not hard, Magento is probably a bit harder. But on the long run you will be rewarded with easier upgrades and a massively superior platform which can last you at least till 2020.

 
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Priest
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  20
Joined:  2008-04-21
 

I’ve used osCommerce for years, modifying, editing, programming, designing.  At this point, I could close my eyes and design a complete osCommerce site without problem.  It’s definately much easier to customize, at least for me.  Despite all of this, I am switching to Magento.  The main reason: I feel like osCommerce is a great piece of software - for the year 2003! Even if the next milestone version of osCommerce comes out anytime soon, I imagine it will only be a slightly updated version of itself, maybe circa 2005. It feels outdated; and even though there are many great contributors building great add-ons for osCommerce, I still feel like I’m simply repainting the walls of an old house.

My decision to switch to Magento is based on this: I feel like Magento is the future.  Magento is young in development, but it has a great company behind it and it is consistantly, actively being developed and improved.  I don’t feel like I’ll have an outdated product 5 years from now; I feel like I’ll have the best version of the best product available for my ecommerce needs.

There is a steep learning curve with Magento, but I’m prepared and slowly learning.  Setup a demo site, if possible, and dissect every part of Magento until you understand it.  Read all of the documentation available from the User Guide, Designer Guide, and Knowledge Base.

The decision as to which software to use is ultimately up to you, but if you take ecommerce seriously and want to stay up-to-date with the development of the software you are using, pick Magento.

-Priest-

 
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nikefido
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Joined:  2008-07-11
New Haven, CT
 

osCommerce is much easier to handle while Magento is a more (potentially) powerful application.

From a code point of view, osCommerce can’t even touch magento. Magento is built on a php5 class structure utilizing many design patterns / best practices and based on the Zend Framework.

osCommerce is built without any class structure (not to say it’s in total disarray), is not as scalable or feature rich (especially concerning backend/server options) and is built almost 100% on table layouts.

 
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gershon
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  8
Joined:  2008-08-17
 
J.T. - 19 September 2008 12:48 AM

I use osCommerce but am porting everything to Magento. osCommerce belongs in a museum. It stems from the year 2000. That’s pre-historic in internet terms. I know osC file by file and have hacked up every last bit of it. It’s not hard, Magento is probably a bit harder. But on the long run you will be rewarded with easier upgrades and a massively superior platform which can last you at least till 2020.

I second that. I have hacked osCommerce in and out in every possible way and man was it good for its time, but time has passed and to me osC is history.
Magento out the box gives you so many features that i have not seen in any other shopping cart.
It is taking me a lot of time to adjust to it, but it is well worth it.

 
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Sweet Tooth
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Total Posts:  121
Joined:  2008-02-02
Canada
 

Everyone above is absolutely right.  Magento truly is E-Commerce evolved, inside and out.  It comes stock with many features that OSC simply can’t do, and the code itself is a software architect’s dream.  Just like store owners will have to adapt to the new methodologies, programmers will also need to learn Magento’s intricate design patterns and design in order to participate in it’s success. 

OSC was dominated by offshore developers for customization because it was primitive and easy to understand.  Until offshore developers have adjusted their expertise, you’ll have to pay a bit more to customize Magento.  That being said, if you have the money to customize, or you are not expecting too many customizations, go with Magento.  Otherwise, OSC might be right for you.

-From someone who really knows Magento and OSCommerce inside and out.

 
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