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|Original author(s)||Zen Ventures, LLC|
|Developer(s)||The Zen Cart Development Team|
|Stable release||1.3.8 / December 11, 2007|
|Type||Online store management system|
|License||GNU General Public License|
Zen Cart is an online store management system. It is PHP-based, using a MySQL database and HTML components. Support is provided for several languages and currencies, and it is freely available under the GNU General Public License.
Zen Cart branched from osCommerce as a separate project. Beyond some aesthetic changes, the major differences between the two systems come from Zen Cart's architectural changes (e.g. a template system) and additional included features in the core. Among the modules already included are a Gift Certificate/Voucher module which allows to create, send and manage the digital coupons. A module to sell downloads (pdf or other media files) is included as well.
Zen Cart's default installation provides everything needed to maintain a shopping cart web site, however no warranty is given that the software fulfills its purpose. Products, pricing, shipping, newsletters, sales etc. are managed by the store owner through the administration area. The shopping cart is set up to receive payments from major credit cards and several payment gateway services are also provided.
The following is a list of some of the key features of Zen Cart as stated on their website: Template:Divbegin
- multiple language support
- multiple customer modes
- unlimited category depth
- multiple sales and discounts
- multiple display modes
- XHTML 1.0 compliant template system
- extra pages
- multiple ad banner controller
- multiple shipping options
- multiple payment options
- newsletter manager
- discount coupons
- gift certificates
- featured products
- quantity discounts
- phpBB integration through external module
Although Zencart improved the shop management and administration with the template system, still it suffers from the fact that editing core files for customizing is often required (no real modular structure). Therefore, in case of heavy customizing, the software is cumbersome to maintain and update. In a later branch of osCommerce, Batavi, this is solved by following an object oriented approach, and strict separation of the design, code and database layers.
- Watson, Kerry; Matthew Therrien (2005). Zen Cart: Building an Online Store the Zen Way. Trafford/On Demand Manuals. ISBN 978-1-4120-6645-7.
- Goh, Koon Hoek (2007). e-Start Your Web Store with Zen Cart. Singapore: Cucumber Media Pte Ltd. ISBN 978-981-05-6591-6.
- Sarkar, Suhreed (2008). Zen Cart E-commerce Application Development. United Kingdom: Packt Publishing. ISBN 978-1-847191-17-5.
- Official Zen Cart webpage
- Zen Cart France webpage
- Zen Cart Norwegian webpage
- Information on Zen-Cart 2.0
- SitePoint.com blog: 18 Great Shopping Carts to Power Your Online Store
- Collection of Free eCommerce Cartses:Zen Cart