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The e-commerce.

Will osCommerce work for me?


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Hey everybody. I just stumbled upon to osCommerce today and I'm pretty excited. I'm in the process of designing a website that will serve as a portal for audio learning products (e.g., audiobooks, courses on CD/tape, etc.). I was planning to have someone do a custom design on the back-end technology but after reading through the information here about osCommerce I wonder if this might be a better solution. Here are a few "non-standard" things that I'm uncertain about when it comes to using osCommerce. If anyone here could address any or all of these I would be greatly appreciative.


1. My site initially won't be a standard e-commerce site. Rather it will be a "super-affiliate" just linking off to a number of different third-party websites and collecting commissions off of the sales. I wouldn't think this would prevent me from using osCommerce but wanted to check. And I do want to enable eCommerce functionality in the future anyway...


2. In addition to having an affiliate store, I also plan to have message boards (for example, vBulletin or the forum software used here) for people to discuss products and e-mail newsletters that people can subscribe to. Ideally, I would like to integrate the accounts so that a user logging on to the site for the purposes of reviewing a product would not need to log on again to post to the message board. Would this functionailty be available (or could it be custom-coded for a reasonable price)?


3. Am I correct to assume that their are no licensing fees associated with osCommerce? I did not see any but wanted to double check.


4. Due to my relative lack of technical ability, I would likely be hiring someone to install and configure osCommerce (if I go that route). What would be the best way for me to locate someone with experience in this area? I've searched eLance and Guru and it appears that there are a number of people who possess osCommerce experience who are offering their services. However, I'm sure that there are many people here :) with incredible talent that might be willing to do this. Is there a protocol for soliticing individuals to work on osCommerce-related projects?


Thanks in advance for any help!

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One more note. I'm also looking at Actinic as a possible solution. Other than the obvious fact that Actinic costs money while osCommerce is free, can anyone offer and pros or cons for choosing one versus the other?



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(1) Yes, there is a mod already in existence for affiliates.


(2) You could use a portal with branches off into osC and the BB or you could simply add a link to the osC index (in one of the info boxes maybe) to the forums. Personally, I think vBB is worth the money over Invision or any other BB but that's unrelated and totally up to you. :)


(3) Correct.


(4) I have no idea. Plenty of people here with a good deal of knowledge about PHP/SQL and osC though.

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Thanks for the reply Acheron. It looks like osCommerce probably would do everything I'm looking for with the possible exception of #2 (I'm sure I could get it custom-coded, it might just be an issue of the cost). And it doesn't look like #4 is going to be a problem.


Can anyone speak to the osCommerce vs. Actinic issue? Has anyone been in the same boat (trying to choose one over the other) and can offer the reasons behind their choice?

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Well the #2 isn't a problem unless you wanted the forum to display directly within the osC store. In that case, you could still work it out pretty easily I think and have the forums framed by osC if you preferred that instead.


I did look at Actinic a while back, can't recall much about it. Looking at it now though I see that is uses Perl as opposed to osC which uses PHP. PHP is typically faster and is the modern-day standard for web applications, though typically Perl is considered more secure. PHP is also easier to work with IMHO. On the other hand, Perl is a more 'capable' language. Now aside from the Perl vs. PHP question, only you would know which would better serve your purposes.

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