CNET Builder.com: Akopia Interchange 4.6 Review; Open Source E-Commerce
Nov 22, 2000, 18:49 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Todd Parsnick)
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"The good: Excellent Web administrative
interface; open source, thus free; powerful transaction management;
proven, flexible architecture.
The bad: Poor documentation; confusing Site
Layout editor; lack of CRM functionality.
The bottom line: Akopia Interchange is the
most mature and robust open source e-commerce application server
available for mid-size and large companies.
"The truly turnkey e-commerce application is still just a
developer's dream. Despite the millions of dollars spent on
development, no current application meets all the needs of
businesses conducting Internet commerce. But companies that want a
scalable custom e-commerce system without the big price tag have a
great option with Interchange from Akopia. Because it is open
source (offered through the General Public License), Interchange is
free and can be modified to work with legacy systems and special
needs. It combines the best features from two formerly successful
open source products, MiniVend and Tallyman, which have thousands
of active users."
"In just minutes, we had the latest RPM, or Red Hat Package, for
Interchange installed on our Linux server. It comes with a
"Construct Something" demo, provided as a foundation for developing
your own site. There is no setup wizard, which some of the ASP
(application service provider) storefronts, such as iCat Commerce
Online and Yahoo Store, include; these require nothing but a
browser to set up. Unlike these ASPs, however, Interchange has no
limits on products, categories, transactions, or templates. Only
your own hardware, programming resources, and creativity limit you.
The demos illustrate everything from promotions (best-sellers,
today's specials, and so on) and merchandising (coupons, custom
receipts, and so forth) to shipping. The graphics included in the
demos have a professional flair, which is a bonus for design