Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

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’ve have been working ecommerce systems since 2003. One year ago, we decided to extend our business with one more ecommerce system and considered Magento mainly because of three advantages: modern, free and very promising.

What are the technical strengths and weaknesses in Magento for developers of add-on modules?
We consider Magento’s flexibility the main strength and weakness of this open source platform. Almost any feature of Magento can be customized. Moreover, all the changes are undertaken without transforming the Magento code, what allows to overcome any errors while Magento versions upgrading. At the same such changes can result in unexpected solutions hampering further development.

Are the open source users of Magento happy to pay for add-on modules?
Ecommerce is business first of all. It requires the same investments as any other business whether online or traditional. People understand it and are not afraid to invest money as they know that all the expenses will be covered.

Have you found other open source developers to be competitors of your add-on modules?
aheadWorks extensions and development group is the most active in Magento world and we are proud of this fact. We are working hard to fulfill the ecommerce needs of our clients and we are happy that Magento-based store owners do appreciate it. But it is business and competition is typical. There are many developers who are doing the same work and all of them are anyhow our competitors.

Is the commercial (enterprise) version of Magento a competitor to developers of add-on modules like yourself?
All aheadWorks extensions are compatible with Magento Enterprise and can be set up for online stores based on the commercial version of Magento as effectively as for free. That’s why Magento Enterprise is rather our partner than a competitor.

Do you synchronize your product development plans with Varien (the Magento company)?
It is obvious that our work greatly depends on the plans of Varien but all our developments are independent. We always rely on ourselves only.

What recommendations do you have for other developers who might want to create commercial add-ons to open source software? What kind of platforms and applications are good (not so good) for commercial add-ons?

We believe that every web developer should be able to research problems, adapt to new technologies rapidly and have experience in frameworks. As our work is based on Linux, Apache, PHP and MySQL, we consider the knowledge of these open-source technologies are of primary importance in developing add-ons – both commercial and free.

Thanks, Eugene!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Si Chen

Si Chen is the founder of Open Source Strategies, Inc. and Project Manager for opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM (www.opentaps.org).

Latest Stories
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"As we've gone out into the public cloud we've seen that over time we may have lost a few things - we've lost control, we've given up cost to a certain extent, and then security, flexibility," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics,in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.