Welcome to RailsCart!

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schof

unread,
Jul 22, 2007, 8:43:28 PM7/22/07
to RailsCart
We're kicking off a brand new open source effort to build a kick ass
Rails shopping cart application that will be 100% open source.
RailsCart is meant to be integrated with custom Rails apps using the
plugin mechanism. This project will be focused exclusively on the
general shopping cart problem and will not attempt to implement
blogging or any other CMS type features. Those needs are better
served by other projects. RailsCart will, however, be able to
integrate with applications using those technologies.

Since the project is open source it will require the participation and
dedication of several skilled programmers. I'm personally new to
Rails (although not new to web programming or open source) so I could
use all the help you can provide. Just ping the list if you want to
contribute.

Sean

snacktime

unread,
Jul 22, 2007, 9:56:16 PM7/22/07
to RailsCart
Hi guys,

Glad to see someone started a ruby open source cart. I also like that
it's a bsd license, would have been my first choice.

Have you thought about what features you plan on supporting? I'm
actually most interested in two areas, the payment processing/order
management and subscription/recurring billing. This weekend I've been
working on a recurring billing engine. I also have some thoughts
(and code) for a payment engine, curious as to what you guys think
about that part.

Putting a complete payment gateway into the cart is actually pretty
easy, I already have code that processes to all major banks and works
with most merchant accounts. The trick is the visa/mastercard
regulations. It would cost me around $3000 to have the security audit
done on the code. They enforce this by requiring the merchant banks
to require their customers to only use audited software. The audit
has to be done by an approved visa/mastercard auditor. You also have
to pay a few hundred each year to have the auditor verify that the
code hasn't changed (or pay another $3000 if it does).

That said, I still want to include it, probably as a separate daemon,
because I think an open source payment system would be cool and maybe
we could get someone to fund the thing eventually. Also, there is
another way around this. Firstdata now has a free payment gateway.
It's really basic you wouldn't want to use it as a regular merchant.
It's great for someone like us though because it doesn't cost the
merchant anything to use and we would just build our own virtual
terminal into the system. The nice thing is that since they are
considered a payment gateway, we wouldn't need to do any
certifications since our software wouldn't need to store card numbers
(except for recurring billing).

Ok so why put a payment system into a cart? Because it sucks to have
to deal with two different management interfaces. Merchants love an
all in one solution and there is absolutely nothing out there even
close to this that is open source. Actually there aren't any really
good open source ecommerce systems period. Oscommerce is one of the
better known ones, and it's a mess underneath. Interchange is the
most powerful open source solution I've seen, but it's complicated.

So anyways that's kind of where my interests lie for the most part.
If you want to include some or all of it great, if not that's fine
also.

Chris


schof

unread,
Jul 23, 2007, 7:45:57 AM7/23/07
to RailsCart
Chris,

The plan is to use ActiveMerchant[1] for the payment gateway stuff.
I've already used it in some tests with Authorize.net and it works
great. No sense in reinventing this part IMO.

Sean

[1] http://www.activemerchant.org/

snacktime

unread,
Jul 23, 2007, 1:49:04 PM7/23/07
to rail...@googlegroups.com
On 7/23/07, schof <sean.sc...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Chris,
>
> The plan is to use ActiveMerchant[1] for the payment gateway stuff.
> I've already used it in some tests with Authorize.net and it works
> great. No sense in reinventing this part IMO.
>

I think maybe there is a misunderstanding. What I'm working is a
payment gateway itself, not a connector to existing gateways. Payment
gateways connect to processing networks such as Firstdata and Vital.
What I have connects directly to the processing networks and
eliminates the need to use a payment gateway at all. You would still
use activemerchant, there would just be another adapter added to it
for what I am creating.

Why do this? Two main reasons. First, what people really want is a
complete solution, not a shopping cart + payment gateway where they
have to use two different interfaces to manage their business. It's
an unnatural separation. A lot of commercial solutions know this and
have implemented the payment gateway features into their core
applications so they can give people a unified UI. Mercantec,
MonsterCommerce, Netsuite, and several others have moved in this
direction.

Second, most payment gateways suck. Their UI's suck and their
features suck. And unless you pull the payment gateway into your
application, there is nothing you can do about this. Your application
and your users just have to deal with it.

Now all that said, I realize that this is most likely not something
you are interested in. There is still a need for a good stand alone
shopping cart system in rails. Being that what you are doing is bsd
licensed I'm still interested in working on this project also and
possibly incorporating some of it back into what I am doing. The main
difference would be that some functionality which you leave to a
payment gateway would be built into the system I am creating. Things
like recurring billing and detailed transaction reports for example.

Chris

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