SilverCart - An Overview

Posted by Adrian Duke on 24 June 2011

Last nights SilverStripe meet up was presented by Pixeltricks, a fun and innovate company from Kaiserslautern, Germany. Presented by Roman and Roland we were taken through their new eCommerce solution for SilverStripe, SilverCart.

From the off it was a very informative, well thought out and enjoyable presentation. Roman (the MD) took us through the companies history to date, while Roland (Lead Developer) bared the brunt of the UK SilverStripe community with the demo. With questions firing across the room from seasoned and budding eCommerce developers, Pixeltricks held their own with detailed and honest answers.

SilverCart looks to be the eCommerce module the SilverStripe community have been waiting for. While not as über flexible as Magento (not always such a great thing!), SilverCart is a fantastic and well thought out start on a minefield of a development area. They have already tackled some of the biggest problems with off the shelf eCommerce solutions, such as tax issues, payment processing, shipping couriers, huge product bases and stock management.

Heavily based off ModelAdmin and making use of the DataObjectManager, the backend of the system is not as pretty as others but Pixeltricks assures us that they intend to remedy this with the release of SilverStripe 3. The system seemed very smooth and self explanatory. With a solid code base (all standardised with CodeSniffer) and some German ingenuity SilverCart looks like it could of come straight from SilverStripe themselves. Browsing the site you can see they have strong API documentation and some very useful tutorials for both developing and administrating the system along with an active forum.

We at GPMD can't wait to see how this module progresses, while we don't think its quite ready as an all encompassing solution for the UK market, its not far off! Here is a list of features from the presentation and some of the caveats pointed out:

Features:

  • Free!
    Licensed under LGPL V3
  • Payment API to easily plugin new payment providers
    Currently supports PayPal, Prepayment and iPayment (German)
  • Built for large amounts of products
    Currently running an eCommerce site with over 300,000 products!
  • Easily plugin in your ERP system using the API
  • Custom definable order statuses, shipping couriers and zones
    All manageable from the backend
  • Support for item weights and calculated shipping costs based on weight (on checkout)
  • Easily update the system using version control
    SilverCart provide all necessary migration scripts with each release
  • YAML based templating
    Use the YAML framework to build up your templates (no more monolithic CSS)
  • All code is standardised with CodeSniffer

Current Caveats We'd Like To See:

  • Editable price profiles
    Currently they are hardcoded into the system
  • Volume discounts
    Currently no support but its in the pipeline (Feature request 3 I believe)
  • Multi-currency
    Currently has limited support (can only set one currency per product)
  • No native multi-lingual support

Thank you Pixeltricks for coming over, and we hope to see you at one of our meet ups again!

Click on the link to read Paul's review of the June SilverStripe meetup event.

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