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Warehouse, stock control & order fulfilment software

Posted on 2011-05-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I am looking for .Net based software to replace a large, home grown Classic ASP web site.
The current application, which has grown organically over about 10 years, is becoming too complex and fragile to be properly maintainable, and cannot do many of the things we want it to - multiple sites, localisation and so on.
The application provides all the functionality for running the business, from the customer facing front end through to all the order processing and fulfilment, stock control, purchasing and warehouse, and customer server functionality

Because in-house development skills are all MS based, we want to replace it with a .Net based system.
While we don't want to develop it from scratch, we do want to be able to develop whatever system we have further - we have a company culture of continually improving our business application, to improve efficiency and conversion.

There are plenty of options for the front-end/ecommerce side of the application - some open source, some paid for - with source code available.

However, I'm struggling to find decent a decent .Net based (ideally web based, not native Windows apps) warehousing/stock control/purchasing/order fulfilment, that we can make work with a front end.

The app needs to be .Net based (ideally C#) and either open source, or be available with a source code licence - we really don't want to be dependant on another companies business/development priorities!

Any suggestions welcome!
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Question by:Adam
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Expert Comment

by:MikeMCSD
ID: 35751210
Check out NOP Commerce :  http://www.nopcommerce.com/default.aspx

I have been using it for the last month and it's pretty easy to customize. It's free too.
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Author Comment

by:Adam
ID: 35752798
MikeMCSD,

Thanks for the suggestion. I have had a quicklook at NOP Commerce in the past, and it is still a contender for the front end of our site.

Having used it, what functionality does it have regarding Warehousing, Stock Control, Purchasing and Order Fulfilment?
I was under the impression that these were not its strongest areas, but perhaps I have missed something.

Also, have you had any experience with merging changes from nopcommerce in with changes you have made? Is there an easy way of keeping any additional functionality you create separate from the main code so it is easy to merge in later versions without dealing with loads of merge conflicts?

Thanks

Adam
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MikeMCSD earned 1500 total points
ID: 35753043
>> what functionality does it have regarding Warehousing, Stock Control, Purchasing and Order Fulfilment?

I has options for all those things.

>> Is there an easy way of keeping any additional functionality you create separate from the main code so it is easy to merge in later versions without dealing with loads of merge conflicts?

Yes. That is possible. They are about to release the next version, 2.0 soon, based on MVC I believe.

You get the complete source code so you can really do any modifications you want, with a little work.
I like having all the source code. Some shopping cart software doesn't give you all the code.

There is a product "Znode" which really looks good but it very expensive.
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LVL 12

Author Comment

by:Adam
ID: 35755406
Had a look through the specs.

For open source software, it's very good but has a couple of gaps in its features list that make it a no go.
primarily, it doesn't yet support clusters (we have two load balanced web servers) nor multiple sites (one of the reason why we want to upgrade our site)
Both of these are in the road map - http://nopcommerce.codeplex.com/workitem/7720 & http://nopcommerce.codeplex.com/workitem/7716 but, from the comments, they seem to be in the discussion mode rather than actively being developed, which is a shame.

It has great potential but, for now, it's not suitable.

I've emailed Znode for some prices - I'll have to wait until Monday to see what they are going to say...
It does look good though, and you get all the source code!

Regards

Adam
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Expert Comment

by:MikeMCSD
ID: 35755486
>> I've emailed Znode for some prices  . . .  you might get something like this :

Option 1 - Standard Multifront (Single Store version, one URL/storefront) starts at a one-time license fee of $15,000.

Option 2 - Enterprise Multifront (unlimited URL’s/storefronts) starts at a one-time license fee of $30,000.

Give them an offer of $2000. I'm willing to bet they will take it.

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Author Comment

by:Adam
ID: 35761413
Mike,

That is expensive, though not the most expensive I've seen - SAP & MS Dynamics can get much more expensive!

I'm interested in your comment about offering them a lower price - have you heard of them accepting lower prices before?
If they do this, it would make a really good solution, especially as you get all the source code too.
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Expert Comment

by:MikeMCSD
ID: 35761509
About 3 years ago I was looking for a cart.
Znode had a different cart with different pricing back then, around $2000 I think.
I emailed back saying I'll give them a thousand or something.
They said sure, no problem. I didn't actually buy their cart and went with something else.
Try and talk them down. Who knows.
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Author Comment

by:Adam
ID: 35761652
Looks promising. If we pick this system (and it certainly looks pretty comprehensive) then I certainly try knocking them down.

What system did you go for in the end?
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Expert Comment

by:MikeMCSD
ID: 35761689
I used Ablecommerce. It's good if you have people who don't want to code much
and just make all the changes from the Admin. They did a great job on that.
But if you plan on modifying the code, it gets a little complicated and hard to find things sometimes.
Plus the full source code is available for another $500.
I'm liking the NOP cart because the code is so easy to work on.
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Author Comment

by:Adam
ID: 35761899
I had a look at AbleCommerce and, like NOP, it doesn't seem very good at multiple sites, nor does it support multiple languages.

We are quite happy to do the coding (our current site is entirely built in house), but the thought of localising the entire system, or coaxing it into supporting multiple sites really doesn't appeal.

I may be sounding picky now, but don't get me wrong. These are all good systems, but we have some big ambitions and don't want to be changing again in the next few years ;-)
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Author Closing Comment

by:Adam
ID: 35809198
I was really after an open source warehousing system, but Znode looks a good option as a front end to an ecommerce system, especially as all the source code is available.
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