I am a new member of Java Ranch. I have 3+ years of experience into application development specifically into development of ECommerce websites and have been working on the ATG Framework.
I have tried exploring the possibilities of other Open Source Java/J2EE based frameworks that can be used as an alternative for ECommerce Development. By Far I have come across a few of these open source framworks namely, OFbiz by Apache and BroadLeaf Commerce(based on Spring). I have also heard about IBM Websphere as one of the market leaders of commercial Ecommerce frameworks.
The purpose of this forum is to discuss the basic requirements or features that are required in any Ecommerce website (B2B and B2C). Also, it would be great if we would be able to do a comparison of the available Ecommerce frameworks.
I am looking forward to your expertise and guidance in helping me choose the best Ecommerce framework.
There are a lot of criteria to use when choosing an eCommerce framework. There are a lot of choices and each has its advantages. Hopefully your question will get responses from developers who have used all of these technologies.
My background includes years of development with ATG and I am one am one of the developers on Broadleaf Commerce so I can provide some perspective on these two options ...
ATG and Websphere Commerce are the clear market leaders in the enterprise commercial e-commerce offerings. Both are feature rich and provide very nice business users tools. I personally think the ATG business tools are better and the solution offering is more complete than WS Commerce. As a developer using these platforms, you are likely to experience some frustration due to the technology stack. ATG for example is highly extensible but uses a proprietary component model, persistence technology (repositories), and presentation layer (form handlers/droplets). I have not had as much experience with Websphere but in my opinion it suffers from its EJB2 based component model. As a general rule as business requirements differ from the OOB implementations the work can get exponentially harder with these frameworks versus similar open source stacks. This is in large part due to the fact that you don't have the source.
Broadleaf Commerce is an open source eCommerce framework that is built on top of leading open source technologies (ie. Spring, JPA (hibernate), ActiveMQ, Lucene ...). Like other open source alternatives, you likely will need to build some features that would be out of the box in a commercial offering. Integration tasks using this stack will generally be easier and you should never find yourself coding against a "black-box". Broadleaf Commerce (BLC) is currently running The Container Store but it is relatively early in its development cycle. The key technical advantage of BLC is that it is a well thought out, extensible solution built on technologies that most of the Java community are familiar with.
Thanks for the response. Your explanation was quite helpful. Since you have worked on BLC as well as ATG Commerce, it would be very helpful if you could list down the differences in the out-of-box features from both. I would like to know if BLC also provides something similar to scenarios/targeters , Shopping process & fullfillment, Search, Merchandising, content management and so on.
I have downloaded both BLC as well as OFBiz and am trying to figure out which one works the best. You may visit the demo site of OFBiz at http://demo.ofbiz.org/ecommerce/control/main . There also quite a few live sites as well as products that are based on OFBiz. You can find the complete details at http://ofbiz.apache.org/ One thing I would like to mention here is that I'm very much impressed with the Fundamental Dynamo Framework and the Repositories. This has been implemented by ATG (Component model and Nucleus for DI and Repositories for ORM) in a highly sophisticated although very simple and easy to use manner. Is there a similar implementation in the BLC too?
I would be glad if others could also share their experience on this topic.