Open source e-commerce

Building a professional e-commerce platform is easy to implement with open source software . Similar to content management systems , an unmanageable number of e-commerce systems has developed in recent years . In addition to the large and cost-intensive commercial systems, some open source systems have established themselves that offer a comparable scope of services. Magento is one of these systems.

E-commerce with Magento

We rely on the well-known and proven e-commerce system Magento, which is used worldwide. Magento is available as a free open source version and as a paid enterprise version. The costs for the enterprise version start at around 15,000 euros per year. The open source variant is, however, entirely suitable for professional use and in most cases meets the requirements. We recommend the use of the license-free open source variant for most customers.

Magento works on a modular principle

Magento works on a modular principle: The default installation that already mitliefert all necessary functions, by a very wide range of extensions – called Extensions – be scaled. The platform can thus be adapted to individual requirements and wishes. The standard functions of the basic installation include: Search for articles, output of result lists, filter by attributes, shopping cart and order . There are standardized interfaces for connecting to ERP systems and payment functions .

Use of the Solr search technology

In order to optimize the search performance, we usually do not use the standard Magento search but the Solr search technology. Solr (pronounced “solar”) is an open source enterprise search platform . The most important features are: full text search, hit highlighting, faceted search, dynamic clustering, database integration, and rich document handling (e.g. Word or PDF). Solr is highly scalable by providing distributed index replication. Solr is one of the most popular search engines used on corporate websites worldwide.

Project sketch for a typical Magento project

In a simplified representation, we have outlined the infrastructure for a typical project in which the product data is taken from an ERP system . The relevant data is replicated in an Internet database that the Magento server accesses with the help of the Solr search. The data can be synchronized daily or more frequently between the ERP system and the Internet database. This project structure has the advantage that the handling of the data is easier, that the search is faster ( performance ) and that no direct access from the Internet to the ERP system is necessary ( security ).