Si Chen

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Top Stories by Si Chen

In this part of our series on An Open Source Business, let’s take a look at our friends in the online music space and see what we can learn from them. The Deal recently had an article about online music startups which should strike a chord with anybody who’s thinking about or trying to make a business out of open source.  Look at what they had to say: “huge numbers, lots of hype, a surfeit of hope and a major chance of failure… some of the business models are inherently economically unfeasible… It’s completely unsettled and more and more fragmented…The rules of the industry and the economics of the industry have completely changed…Technological advances offer more and more delivery mechanisms, user options and wizardly new features…However, just who can make money off all this is almost as uncertain now as it was five years back…Everyone is gambling there will be a ... (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)

Can NoSQL Databases Cure Us of Software Complexity?

If you’ve worked with Apache OFBiz or opentaps 1.x, you’ve probably had moments like this: Q: What’s the difference between internal name and product name? A: If your company wants to maintain an internal name for products that’s different than the standard product name, then you can put it in internalName. Otherwise you should keep them the same. Welcome to software complexity. When we design software, we’re making choices.  Do we add features for people who need them?  Or keep them out to make things simpler for people who don’t?  As much as we’d like to keep things simple, we ... (more)

Opening Up Enterprise Software: Key Trends and Opportunities for Open Source Applications

In this presentation, Si Chen will discuss the key trends in the enterprise software sector, including vendor consolidation, on-demand delivery, and the transition to a Service Oriented Architecture, and how they are creating opportunities for open source applications.  He will then showcase opentaps, the Open Source Enterprise Applications Suite (www.opentaps.org).  opentaps is a Java open source application suite with ERP, CRM, Manufacturing, eCommerce, and Supply Chain Management features which is built around SOA and can be deployed on any database or platform.  The presentat... (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)