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Magento is the new improved e-commerce platform that gives a superior force to web traders to get rid of obstacles in the way of business process implementations. With downloads surpassing the magical figure of 600,000, Magento is easily the fastest growing commercially available tool for online business solutions.

We at Maven Infosoft have solid expertise in working with all leading e-commerce and portal-building platforms and have managed and implemented heavy-duty enterprise-level content management systems. We can safely assert that Magento has outshone all of them.

There remain a few uncertainties, as with any growing and emergent platform, in the design and development capabilities that Magento has to offer. The high competence level required means that it is not for all and sundry. Having said that, Magento is by far the most adaptable and compliant e-commerce program to hit the online trading market.

In many ways, Magento is not a typical open source solution. It is free to download and use. It does give you the ability to create customize themes and module extensions. It has all the potential for swell in usage and gain in popularity. However, it has a dedicated company supporting its growth. Magento is the product of Varien, an e-commerce design house that seems to benefit from Magento by offering traditional web agency services.

Magento is based on a theme based framework with individual layouts, templates and skins, which in turn has greater look and feel customize capability. Once you get the hang of it, creating stores in Magento turns into a piece of cake. Unlike shopping carts and content management systems devoid of themes, this framework elevates Magento to a different level.

The comprehensive features available reflect long years of e-commerce experience. Features such as advanced pricing rules, product image zoom, side-by-side comparison and inventory management indicate the strong relevance to marketing functions and requirements. Other features that we approve of are:

Ready to go iPhone theme
Single page checkout
Availability of real time rates from UPS, FedEx and the US Postal Service
Great analytics and reporting
One administration panel and product catalog to manage multiple websites/stores
Customer reviews
Flexible coupon rules for flexibility of campaigns
Layered and faceted navigation for filtering
Google Website Optimizer integration
URL rewrites
Newsletter management
Easy integration of third party tools using Web API
Choice of more than 50 payment gateways
Option to up sell during checkout
Self-generating site maps
Full support for digital and downloadable products
RSS feeds for customers and administrators alike

Though Magento does have simple usage rules including easy handling of the administration interface, it does require developers to have fundamental skills in PHP, MySQL, SOAP, XML, XHTML, Apache and CSS. This is indeed the case for most shopping carts or platforms, but Magento is much more application oriented. Even a standard implementation will have you accessing files and programming code that other simpler platforms do not ask for.

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