OXID Commons Shows Strength of Commercial Open Source in eCommerce

Let me share my impressions and the highlights of two days OXID Commons 2010 with you:

Keynotes: Innovating on top of an Open Source eCommerce Platform

In his keynote on the first day, Björn Schotte, CEO of Mayflower GmbH, said that “OXID is an amazing example of how commercial open source drives processes and innovation at a stunning speed, while at the same has positive effects on the enterprise market at large.” He emphasized that an open source eCommerce platform like OXID, “will unleash innovation that boosts development and benefits vendors as well as software developers”.

OXID’s CEO Roland Fesenmayr seconded this opinion, while he looked back on two years of commercial open source. He presented our company’s achievements and introduced our vision for the future, concluding that our decision to go open source has been proven right: “Modular and open e-commerce platforms are the future.”, he said. “They are the fundamentals on which individual vendors will build their business strategies on. We at OXID are convinced that technology needs to follow business models, not vice-versa. Platform-independent crosslinking and seamless integration of cloud computing services will gain more and more importance.”

New Features: Facebook, PayPal Clearance Management, DHL Shipment Managemnet

Many new features and services have been announced during OXID Commons 2010. OXID eFire, our eCommerce intelligence platform, will soon see support for third-party applications through web services, notably clearance management via PayPal or interaction with DHL logistics for shipment managing.

Also noteworthy is the new and exciting Facebook integration for the upcoming eShop release 4.4.0 that Erik and I presented. By enabling potential customers to order, recommend and discuss on products directly via their preferred social network platform, shop vendors will soon be able to deliver shopping experience not only to their website’s visitors, but to millions of social network users worldwide!

Plenty of Presentations on a Myriad of Topics

Many other sessions at OXID Commons – amongst them lectures, workshops and open discussion panels –  took place in two tracks, covering a wide variety of eCommerce related topics. While I, of course, expected presentations on topics like software development, extensions, system integration, business models or cloud computing, I was especially fascinated by the talks on usability thoughts and new design aspects for online shops, which will lead to improved default templates in OXID eShop 4.5.0. Or, as Johannes Altmann of Shoplupe.de put it: “Usability is about passion!”

Business Networking and Socializing with 300 Participants

In total, about 300 guests participated in the Freiburg sessions, and about 1,000 joined us remotely via our live video stream and Twitter feed. I not only met shop owners, but also integration partners, agencies, lawyers, developers, and of course lots of my fellow OXID colleagues – jointly talking about the future of eCommerce and shopping in its legal and economical aspects, sharing minds and thoughts, with everybody bringing in their experience and own views on things.

At the end of the first day, OXID invited everyone to its famous “Get Together“ at Freiburg Bar, where discussions and networking continued into the night.

First OXID Unconference Ever with In-depth Tech Talks

One innovation of this year’s event took place on the second day: The free OXID Unconference. In contrast to the scheduled talks of the day before, participants spontaneously organized sessions themselves and were free to propose any topic they were interested in, while OXID took care of rooms, wi-fi, coffee and all the other little things you need to survive. Each of the approximately 30 participants was also a presenter, and coordination took place via our wiki. Topics ranged from code quality and the agile development process to update mechanisms and technology trends. To put it in a nutshell: The Unconference was new to each one of us, and it was lots of fun!

Download Slides or Watch Video Recordings

Those of you who didn’t attend are invited to download the slides and watch the video archives.

I enjoyed this year’s OXID Commons very much, and hope to see you all in Freiburg next year! I’m keen on seeing what we have achieved in a year from now, and what new trends and developments we’ll talk about in 2011…

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