LAMP-based eCommerce + social networking

siliconrockstar used Ask the Experts™
Hi experts

I'm working on a proposal for a (possible) client.  They need a scalable website running open-source software on Nix with eCommerce capabilities as well as a social networking / social marketing component.  Specifically, they want users to be able to post and share reviews of products they purchased, both in written and video formats, and be able to leave feedback/comments on products as well as on other people's reviews.  They also need some way to keep the content clean, as the product offering will include products for all ages.

They had wanted to use ZenCart but I'm pretty sure ZC, though it can handle the eComm portion, will not be able to handle the social networking functionality they require.  I have done a fair amount of work in PHP and with Drupal (the open source CMS), so I'm leaning towards Drupal with an eCommerce plugin, but that's just my first thoughts.  What I want to know is: what platform would YOU use to handle this project, and how?
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I would use, currently, Drupal 6 with Ubercart.

D7 with Commerce is not quite ready for all of those bells and whistles, in my opinion. Many of the modules that support the e-commerce (and the modules that support the social aspect) are not available in a stable form for D7, if at all.

In fact, I just attended an Acquia webinar about e-com and Drupal, and it seems that they agree with me. Go to Acquia's site and look up their webinars -- the one I'm talking about was at some point in the past month, and you should be able to view them. Very informative.

I'm in the process of creating two separate sites for two different clients, one is e-com and the other is social. Although they are not the same site it's really just a plug-and-play if I (theoretically) wanted to join the functionality of both sites together. It's very streamlined in D6.

I would write more right now about *why* I'd use what I'd use, but unfortunately I'm in a time crunch and I have to leave the computer :(  ... perhaps I'll be able to elaborate more when I get back.

So, there's a start for you. :)

I would have to disagree. I've built a few sites with Ubercart / D6 and its always been a nightmare once you stray from the default setup.
  Ubercart's system of handling product, attributes and checkout has always created a huge amount of manual data inputting and general troubleshooting, sifting through masses of poorly commented code which does not behave in the Drupal way at all.  (Just before i get accused of flaming, this opinoin is backed up by Ryan Szrama, the former lead project developer of Ubercart)

I've just taken live my first D7 Commerce site and the experience was night and day. Everything about it feels more user friendly and intuitive, taking advantage of core drupal functions like Rules, Views, fields, in a way Ubercart never did.

Although junipllc's point about modules which aren't ready for a production site is a key point, we found that over the past month or so, pretty much everything has come together into a usable form, from shipping modules, to payment modules, to the bulk creation of products.

Anywho, before you make your decision, I invite you to watch the presentation by Ryan (Commerce project manager) at DrupalCon

which shows you how easy it is to use :)

(no I am in no way associated with either project).


Excellent feedback guys.  What I'm getting out of this is that I'm not too far off base in my thinking that Drupal and an eComm module (regardless of what version) is a good option.  I'll check out the links.

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