Si Chen

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Top Stories by Si Chen

I’ve known about the Magento e-commerce platform since 2008, and I was immediately impressed by its user friendliness and out-of-the-box features. Since then, Magento has really grown, and quite a few members of our community have asked for an integration with this e-commerce system. So, I’m really happy to say that with the help of IntegratingWeb, we have officially released an integration for opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM with the Magento e-commerce platform.  Now you will have a choice of either using the Apache OFBiz e-commerce store included in opentaps already or the Magento e-commerce store with opentaps. Here’s a video to show you how the opentaps - Magento integration works: What’s really cool about this integration is that it adds a web-based Data Access Layer module based on the Pentaho Data Integration (kettle) ETL system.  This module is used for impor... (more)

Quick Comparison of eCommerce Platforms

eCommerce Journal on Ulitzer We’ve been working on an integration of the Magento e-commerce platform for opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM, and some of our long-time users have also talked about integrating opentaps with Spree. I took a quick look at both and make some notes about them. Since we’re not developers of or service providers for either one,  and we plan to support integration with both in opentaps, I hope you’ll consider this an unbiased if somewhat “bird’s eye” comparison of Spree vs. Magento. Spree Spree is lightweight and easy to use, and the user interface for both t... (more)

Commercial Add Ons to Open Source Software: aheadWorks and Magento

Here’s an open source business model that’s creeping up on us:  Selling add-ons to open source  software.    For under $100, you can buy predesigned themes, reports, and feature enhancements for a number of open source projects, including WordPress, Joomla!, and Magento.   Is there a viable business here? To find out, I recently chatted with Eugene Popovsky, one of the owners of aheadWorks, which makes several of the most popular Magento add-ons. Here’s what he told me: What made you decide to create these add-on modules for Magento? We have a great experience in ecommerce as we’v... (more)

Is Google Wave the Future of Software?

I didn’t “get” Google Wave when I first tried it.  It wasn’t like any other forum, wiki, or project management software I’ve used before.  (And believe me, I’ve used a lot of them.)  What’s so great about it? Now I get it.  Google Wave is easier and more communicative than any other collaboration tool I’ve used before.  That’s what makes it better.  I’m not going to teach you how to use Google Wave here — if you haven’t used it, watch the Google Wave. Instead, let me summarize why I think Google Wave might be the future of software: It runs “in the cloud.” Obviously, since it’s ... (more)

A Brief History of CRM

This is actually pretty cool: a timeline history of CRM, from Software Advice.  From the early days of the PC: To our much heralded (hyped?) social web 2.0 future: It’s fun to trace the history of technology and Customer Relationship Management applications: Early 1980’s: Personal Computers -> ACT!, desktop single user sales automation software, 1986 Late 1980’s: Client/Server -> Siebel, multi-user CRM, 1993 1995: Netscape and the Internet -> Salesforce.com, web-based CRM, 1999 2010: Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing -> ? What, indeed, will the future bring?  Even bigger changes. If y... (more)