IBM i Options for Open Source E-Commerce
December 10, 2013 Alex Woodie
When it comes to powering e-commerce Web sites on the IBM i platform, there are a handful of options that will set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars. For those looking to take the open source route, there is Magento, a PHP-based ecommerce framework that’s owned by EBay.
Magento is an open source e-commerce Web application that launched in 2008. Like other open source products that have been successfully commercialized, Magento relies on a core group of developers to develop basic functionality, and taps into a larger network of developers for add-on capabilities.
Magento itself doesn’t run on IBM i. Both the free Community Edition of the software, as well as Magento Enterprise Edition, the commercial version that Magento (the company) sells support for, run on the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack.
But it appears there are plenty of IBM i shops who have integrated DB2/400 databases and ERP, warehouse management, and merchandise management applications with Magento. There is also a handful of companies that have experience providing IBM i integration work around Magento, including UK-based Williams Commerce and Switzerland-based UFirstGroup.
“The AS/400 or i Series is alive and well, and our experience with integrating it with Magento Community and Enterprise means its life can continue as your core ERP system whilst supporting your online Magento store,” Williams Commerce says on its website. “Williams Commerce can work with your existing RPG developers to build out an integrated solution, or like many customers build a Microsoft SQL-based staging database to handle the data transfer between AS/400 and Magento.”
UFirst, meanwhile, is a Magento business partner specializing in SAP, Microsoft, and IBM i-based ERP systems. There are plenty of other IBM i sites that are working on integrating Magento with their existing IBM i-based systems, if Magento’s community forums are any indication.