Magento and the opentaps Online Video Store

We’ve just launched our first e-commerce site with Magento, and it’s the new opentaps online video store.

shopopentapsorg

On this site we will be offering downloadable training materials for opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM. Some of these, like the training video for setting up products in the OFBiz catalog manager, would also apply to OFBiz as well.

We envision this site eventually to be a place where all the opentaps service providers and developers could sell their  training materials such as videos or e-books about opentaps or their add-on modules.

Some Thoughts about Magento

Here’s what I learned from this experience with magento:

  1. Compared to other open source shopping carts or e-commerce systems, Magento is much more polished and out of the box ready to use.   We made very small changes to the out-of-the-box CSS styles, but the catalog display pages and most importantly the customer checkout sequence worked for us without any made modifications.
  2. The way that Magento handles downloadable products like online videos is also well thought out. It allows you to have a sample download, so your customer can preview before buying.   You can set the number of times a customer can view the download. Last of all, it scrambles the download URL link for you, so somebody can’t just e-mail a download link to their friends  and have them get it for free.
  3. The configuration was fairly consistent. Most of the setup could be done in the administrative user interface, though a couple things like call out messages were hard coded and required modifying files.
  4. The administrative user interface is very professionally done and consistent.
  5. Nevertheless, setting up an online store is still work.   There were quite a few screens you had to go around to set up your store, categories, products with prices, links, etc.  It almost makes me wonder “aren’t there other online video stores out there?” Shouldn’t there be a standard template already?

3 Comments

  1. Fascinating to read your opinions on other software. Thank you for sharing.

    I\’ve been using Magento since before their 1.0 production release a few years ago. It\’s great for simple carts.

    Love the Magento Connect for installing 3rd party add-ons. I use the WYSIWYG one for all of my clients.

    Also like the way themes can be extended to easily offer different seasonal looks without copying over a ton of repetitive code.

    The OO framework is great, very similar to java. But as uncompiled php, it can run a bit slow.

  2. Great to hear from you again, Sterling! We’ve had a lot of interest from people who want to use magento for shopping cart and opentaps as the CRM/ERP system. Did you know there’s a magento-opentaps integration now? See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46CDSZ-rnVw

    Stay in touch and best of luck!

  3. Hi Si. Cool video demo. I had no idea this integration existed. Very excited about the possibility of ease of use and design of frontend through Magento with robust CRM/ERP backend of Opentaps.

    On another note, I found out on a new Magento install yesterday that the latest versions come w/ WYSIWYG editor and don’t need the plugin.

    Congratulations on the continued growth of Opentaps.