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What to do when your Shopping Cart software provider disappears

dashCommerce just disappeared, what should I do?

5:40 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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We were almost ready to launch our product and our shopping cart software provider, dashCommerce, just up and disappeared. It's such an abrupt shut off that initially I assumed they were hacked or something.

But alas, apparently the person heading the development, Chris Cyvas, really did shut EVERYTHING down. There's no more community forum, download, support, nothing...

Putting aside the apparent juvenille-ness of this action from someone who purports themself to be a professional and trusted developer via their "company" website, what should I do?

Our product hasn't launched, but we wanted to launch in the next 30 days. hundreds of dollars were invested in customizing the dashcommerce cart software for our product, that will have to be completely re-done with a new shopping cart.

Should I have a new shopping cart developed before launch? Or since we have the current cart ready to go, just go with it?

Thanks for any insights.

5:47 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Unless you have very good developers, I'd look into something else. There are bound to be bugs & exploits discovered that would require patching and if it's no longer being developed..well you'd be pretty much stuck.

I agree it would seem to be pretty poor what the developer did and the loss of money & time invested surely hurts, but at least you are only in the hundreds of dollars invested and not thousands.

I'd look into one of the more mainstream shopping carts such as interspire (paid), oscommerce, magento, etc.

I just switched a CRE Loaded ecommerce site to magento and am pretty highly impressed so far with the robustness and features it has.

7:43 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My initial instinct is to say go with it. If you have everything ready to go, and delay is going to cost you time and money.. pressing the start button seems the sensible option. You can look for an alternative at your leisure once the money is coming in.

I do take Philosopher's point however. If something goes wrong with the cart that you can't fix, then, especially if you are investing in marketing for your launch, you are going to be in an even worse position.

I'd make a judgment based on the skills you have in house, the general state of dashCommerce (to be honest I'd not even heard about it), how big an event your launch is, ... and probably six or eight things I haven't thought of :)

8:59 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm a little confused, are you saying this solution is installed on your site, or is it a third party "off-site" cart? If it's on your site, you need a good programmer in your court, today.

I have several clients who are using third party, off-site solutions, and this is indeed one of the things that keeps me awake at night. What if, what if?

I implore them not to use a third party solution for something that does not have to be out of their control. A cart is one example, sites that are using third party hosts - all your images, all the hours and hours you've used to input cart data, tweak it so it works for you - what happens if they go POOF?

More often than not, there **is** no disaster recovery. You're at square one.

If you're serious about your venture, you have to bite the bullet, like it or not. I'm even queasy thinking about a leased dedicated server and wish I had that baby right here under my desk, but can't - so some compromises you just can't get around. But all the ones you can, you should . . . (If you're not) I'd get a cart on your site, right away, back it up often, control all you can.

Putting aside the apparent juvenille-ness of this action

You never know. Maybe they went bankrupt, maybe they got a real job, but yeah, it's unprofessional to say the least.

9:37 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It just doesn't make any sense to close up shop like that. With a customer base and a product that could have been easily sold to another similar company to integrate.

It's like flushing money down the drain.

I would at least be thankful you hadn't launched, and I'd very cautions about going forward with a product that someone would choose to completely abandon.

To me, if you are going to close up like this, at least give it up as open source or some other alternative. Perhaps a user group could form and petition the owner to do so?

5:41 am on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, it's completely baffling what he did.

At any rate, the ecommerce software was ASP based because it had to work with another company's database.mdb, open source, and I used a third-party developer via Odesk to make significant customizations to it for it to work the way we needed.

So it works, I think I'll be going forward with release and making a change if need be in the future.