osCommerce announced that their osCommerce Online Merchant v3.0 Alpha 5 will be made available on March 11th. They've also retooled the schedule for additional releases of this well known shopping cart.
osCommerce Online Merchant v3.0 Alpha 5 was scheduled for release by the end of February and has been postponed to ensure the quality of the release. It will now be released on Wednesday the 11th of March. This release also brings in a new roadmap and release strategy for the v3.x series.
Our focus has changed with this release from implementing additional features into the core to concentrating on the framework and to add the features to future releases. This allows v3.0 to be released sooner with a stable framework, and allows a much faster release cycle for new features compared to the previous “release every 6 months” release strategy.
New features that can be expected in the new release of osCommerce since Alpha 4 was made available include:
Not long ago, I expressed doubts whether osCommerce has a future. While osCommerce is widely used by thousands of sites, and incidentally the only shopping cart I've ever put into production, its development cycle has been painfully slow for many of its open source contributors and users. As I've said before, when the 3.0 version of osCommerce is released I find it unlikely that the new osCommerce will have many of the Web 2.0 features that the new breed of
shopping carts currently have now. I have personal doubts that osCommerce's future is as bright as its past has been.
Harald Ponce de Leon recently wrote at osCommerce.com an article that would counter my opinion and the opinions of naysayers such as me.
The osCommerce community were extremely busy throughout 2008 with over 700 new add-ons and features being made available for osCommerce Online Merchant v2.2. That includes over 2,500 updates made by over 1,200 community members in 2008 alone!
There it was in front of my eyes. The headline in osCommerce's forum read, "Is OsC Dead?, Discussion of the Progress of OsC" [link removed by osCommerce folks?]. Despite how some may read the title, the thread isn't about bashing osCommerce. Instead, it is about users and community members concerned and even fearful of the slow pace of new development for osCommerce. Despite all the talk about osCommerce 3.0, it has been a year and a half since OsC 3 Alpha 4 was released with the roadmap showing that Alpha 5 and 6 are still under development. How can one not ask if the future of osCommerce is in jeopardy?
As mentioned at the osCommerce forum, Kerry Watson also has an article out about the new breed of open source shopping carts. The article starts off with a that was then, this is now statement regarding shopping carts.
While the Big Three of the old guard — osCommerce, Zen Cart, and CRE Loaded — continue to duke it out among themselves, new-generation open source commerce projects have begun to spring up with new ideas and new ways of thinking. Most noteworthy of the new crop are France-based Prestashop and US-based programs Ubercart and Magento.
These fresh Web 2.0-style carts are mature and production-ready contenders, and all are at or beyond version 1.0 in their production cycle. These carts are equal or superior to many commercial e-commerce programs, and are available for free under the GNU or OSL 3.0 Public License. We've previously reviewed Magento, so this column will focus on the other two next-generation carts: PrestaShop and Ubercart.
Personally, I've been working on recommending a friend to upgrade his osCommerce site to either Magento or Drupal's Ubercart. Even when the 3.0 version of osCommerce is released, it will likely still not have many of the Web 2.0 features that the new breed of shopping carts currently have now. It's not that I think osCommerce is dead, but I do think that osCommerce has stopped evolving. Good open source projects never die, they just fade away.
With e-commerce webdesign really starting to take off, its never been more important to choose a platform which suits you as a developer (i.e. one that you can support) and one that will provide your clients with the features that they need to run a successful online shop.
There are a number of ways of getting a shop online, and we’ve focused primarily on open source e-commerce platforms here.
Those nine e-commerce platforms under review include: osCommerce, ZenCart, VirtueMart (Joomla!/Mambo), Magento, DashCommerce, CubeCart, X-Cart, LiteCommerce, and Shopify. If you're looking for a brief and consolidated review of open source shopping carts, then the Webdistortion reivew is a nice place for you to visit.
One of the things I like about browsing the Web for posts on various CMS topics is that they always seem to show up on the Web when when I need them the most. For example, I'm starting to consider whether I'll continue to use osCommerce for some sites that I manage. While the yet to be released osCommerce 3.0 will likely be an option next year, I'm open to other possibilities. What I would like to see is a shopping cart that integrates well with a full CMS. In the past, I've found Joomla's Virtuemart extension and Drupal's e-Commerce module to fall just short of the client's needs so I've stuck with pure shopping carts such as osCommerce. Yet, I still keep on hoping for better open source options.
Good news for osCommerce fans, osCommerce Online Merchant v2.2 Release Candidate 1 was released early this month. If you're not an osCommerce user you're probably wondering what all the fuss is about a release candidate for the open source shopping cart. Consider this, osCommerce 2.2 first went public with Milestone 1 in early 2003 which means that the version 2.2 will be around for almost five years before it is considered "completed". In other words, an update of any kind to osCommerce is significant to it's developers and users alike.
This osCommerce release candidate also introduces a new name for the software titled "osCommerce Online Merchant". According to osCommerce, the new name helps strengthen their presence and marketing efforts for upcoming releases.
osCommerce, an open source shopping cart, is one more step closer to reaching a 3.0 release. Although the journey to completing the osCommerce 3.0 software continues to take users and developers on a very long road, Alpha 4 was released to the public on March 30th. As a reminder, alpha releases of osCommerce are for "testing to help fix and improve subsequent alpha releases for a final, stable, secure, and production ready 3.0 release". In other words, you shouldn't use the software for a "live" store.
We've already talked about the new features added in earlier alpha versions of osCommerce 3.0 so there is no need to mention them in this article. New features in Alpha 4 that have been added to the shopping cart since Alpha 3 include:
For the first time, an alpha version of osCommerce 3.0, an e-commerce application written in PHP, was released to the public for testing. While this third alpha was made available to the general public, the first two alpha releases were made only available to osCommerce's community sponsors.
According to osCommerce, the "alpha releases are made to showcase the new features being worked on and to generalize a version specific for testing to help fix and improve subsequent alpha releases for a final, stable, secure, and production ready 3.0 release".
Some of the new features that are made available in this release include:
osCommerce recommended a few months ago that osCommerce users update to the latest version, osCommerce 2.2 Milestone 2 051112 Update. The update "addresses security related issues and bug reports that exist in the released version". The changes are minimal and are not expected to break compatibility with contributions (third-party plugins). Additional information:
This update release focuses solely on security related issues and bug reports, and does not introduce any new features that have been made for the next development milestone release.
This release is a full release package containing updated source files, documentation, and information on what changes have been made to easily apply to existing installations.
This update release includes the following changes:
* PHP 5 compatibility updates
* MySQL 5 compatibility updates
* Cross Site Scripting fixes
* HTTP/E-Mail header injection fixes
* Database data input updates
* File Manager file saving fixes
* Split Page Result class fixes