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The principle of open source
Behind the term "open source" is the principle of published, freely available source code. Developers share their programs without royalties; everyone is allowed to expand and improve them.
In forums and newsgroups, adjustments are discussed and users receive help. Sometimes there is support or installation services for a fee. The open source has long since outgrown the amateur and hobbyist concept: professional shops such as Amoonìc consciously rely on open source.
Open Source is not always free
osCommerce (short for open-source commerce) and xtCommerce are the best-known representatives of their kind - but by no means the only ones. If you are looking for a solution with other focuses, if osCommerce seems too oversized or if you just want to compare, you should look at the systems in the overview table below.
And note: open source does not mean in any case and always completely free. Sometimes you only get the latest program package if you buy one year of commercial support, such as at http://www.xt-commerce.com
Overview: The most important open source providers in eCommerce
|Software URL||Features / Functions||License / features|
|oscommerce oscommerce.com||Comprehensive shop system with many extensions, international users, very active forums, commercial templates available||GPL / German Forum http://forums.oscommerce.de/|
|XtCommerce xt-commerce.com||Comprehensive system with many options, well adapted to German conditions, lively community, easy-to-use template system||GPL / download from the developer site only against one year support contract (98 €) possible|
|Magento http://www.magentocommerce.com||Configuration via XML files for adaptation in the back as well as in the front end, German language version available||Open Software License version 3.0. / german forum|
|ZenCart zen-cart.com||Comprehensive system with many additional features, German language version available||GPL / German forum at zen-cart.at|
|PHPShop code.google.com/p/phpshop/||Easy integration with HTML editor Dreamweaver, CSS templates||GPL / forum and documentation only in English|
|CpCommerce cpcommerce. cpradio.org||Very easy to customize due to template system optics, tailored to US conditions||GPL / forum and documentation only in English|
|Opencart opencart.com||Only a few templates and contributions tailored to British standards||GPL / forum and documentation only in English|
|FWP Shop fwpshop.org||Professional appearing shop system only in German language, well documented and supervised forum||Installation and additional services possible for a fee|
|PHPeppershop phpeppershop.com||extensive system, layout management, for more experienced users||current versions for purchase (from 165 €), older free under GPL|
|Laaser Shop http://www.laaser.net||graphically simple, easily adaptable by professionals, no customer administration or article import||GPL / small support forum|
|Gambio http://www.gambio.de||Based on xtCommerce developed, rental solution possible||Download only against one-year support contract (149 €) possible|
|edge Store http://www.randshop.com||Well equipped, easy to use base system, active forum, support paid||Visible copyright notice / many modules for an additional fee|
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