March 11, 2010, 12:00 AM

Microscope.com focuses in on a new open source e-commerce platform

Microscope.com this May will unveil a retail site using open source technology from Magento. It chose the program so that it will have access to the source code and therefore free rein to customize the new site however it wishes.

Microscope.com this May will unveil a new e-commerce site using open source technology from Magento. The retailer chose Magento, which uses an open source programming language called PHP, so that it will have access to the source code and therefore free rein to customize the new site however it wishes.

Microscope.com hired web design and development firm Grand River to launch the new site. In addition to access to the source code, Microscope.com also chose Magento because it allows the retailer to draw on free updates and customizations shared within the Magento developer community, says Scott Robertson, vice president and founder of Grand River. This will help Microscope.com avoid fees for modifications that are typical with many e-commerce companies, Robertson says. Grand River is a certified Magento Enterprise Partner.

One new feature on the upcoming site will be configuration tools that enable shoppers to build their own microscopes.

Unlike Magento’s free Community Edition, Magento’s Enterprise Edition offers customer support and includes such features as data encryption, merchandising and content management. The Enterprise Edition starts at $11,125 a year.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Grand River team as both technical and creative teams have far exceeded our expectations,” says Charles Crookenden, CEO of The Microscope Store, LLC. “They have worked hard to understand our business in order to resolve some complex navigational and design issues. At the same time, they have firmly, but tactfully, guided us when we needed direction. More than that, the project is on time and they are a delight to work alongside on what is, nothing less than, the foundation for our future."

Crookenden adds that Grand River offers technical skills as well as professional client management, a combination that he says can be hard to find in an e-commerce consulting company. Grand River employs user experience, design, consulting and development staff.

Grand River specializes in working with mid-size e-commerce companies. Its clients include hunting and camping gear retailer Gander Mountain, eVitamins.com and DiscountOfficeItems.com.

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