The use of open source software and tools have been a huge contributor to the success of ecommerce especially for online retail websites.
It has allowed small & medium sized business to be able to get a website up and running quite quickly and at a low cost, whilst offering all of the features that are required to run a ecommerce business.
The most popular is the LAMP stack of products
Linux – is a Unix-like computer operating system used on computer servers
Apache – has been the most popular web server software in the world
MySQL – the most widely used database server in the world offering SQL databases
PHP – is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development It is estimated to be used on around 80% of all websites that use a scripting language.
The LAMP stack of products work together to create dynamic and comprehensive web sites that are as good or better than its rivals and usually at a much cheaper cost.
Developers have used these components to build software that is used for ecommerce/shopping cart/online retail websites.
The most popular have been oscommerce, zencart, magento and opencart. There are more than 300,000 known installs of these products in current use on the internet and they are successfully used to sell products and services online around the world. Each day around the world open source software is used to make millions of dollars of online sales.
The main advantages of this software has been:
1. Released under General Public License (GNU) which is provided with a free software license and full source code is provided.
2. Uses the LAMP stack and cloud computing environments – from simple to more complex server environments.
3. Its fairly simple to install.
4. The software has all of the essential features that you need to run a ecommerce/shopping cart/online retail website.
5. You can modify the website and enhance its functionality using the pre-existing add-ons or using a software developer.
6. As they are so widely used you are not locked in to one hosting provider or software developer.
7. There is a large number of skilled professionals that can support the website and they can be located anywhere in the world.
8. You are not locked in to any provider and the website is portable and can be easily moved to another provider.
9. There are a lot of web hosting companies that offer the LAMP stack and it can be quite cheap to get started.
10. It has allowed small & medium sized business to sell online with easy access to great software at a reasonable cost.
The combination of open source software that uses the LAMP stack and software has been a huge success especially for online retailers. Open source also gets great support from the IT community which continues to enhance and improve open source software.