Non Functioning Add-Ons

I have been extremely happy with our investment in CS-Cart over the last 7 years it has worked well for us, however our experience with third party add-ons has been a bit variable some work well out of the box, others don't live up to promises, and some can end up breaking the cart.

Case in point is our purchase of the WebGraphic Product Availability Manager a few years ago, the first add-on supplied was faulty meaning that time was wasted installing a mod and altering code in our cart for an add-on that just did not work.

When I brought this to their attention we were then supplied a new version with a 'bug fix', after reverting the previous faulty version and installing the new version we found that was also faulty to the extent that it broke our cart (listing pages completely disappeared).

At that point we were too busy to waste any further time on the add on and gave up on the script and focussed our attention on running our business thinking that we would revisit the issue later on after they had some time to come up with an add-on that worked for us. A few years passed and after some more back and forth with the supplier we still don't have a working add-on and a request for refund was completely ignored.

I would like to make an important point here to all Add-On vendors that Cart Owners are busy running their businesses and with this in mind we do not have unlimited time to spend going back and forth attempting to get a third party script to work because our business must take priority.

Like most areas of commerce we expect products to work out of the box without becoming involved in Q&A, product development, fault finding etc. When a vendor is unable to supply a working product (fit for the purchasers intended purpose of use) then the obvious solution is to refund the purchase price.

These are pretty standard expectations in all areas of commerce, I point this out because sometimes within the area of pc/software/web commerce there is the tendency to push too much obligation onto the purchaser rather than viewing these products and services in the same way as other products and services, i.e. purchasers have an expectation that products and services are fit for purpose.

Food for thought.

This is so familiar to me..

Developers simply do not carry any respondsibility for the damage addon may cause..

Just yesterday I removed one of the webkul payment addon that made pure mess on my site, they install files where ever they want not where should be..

I had a very bad experience with WebGraphic, do not recommend to deal with him. Addons are encoded and do not work.. I totally agree if addon does not work out of the box I do not want every single developer allow with ftp access to make my shop environment dev space for him. Just give me refund and go away.. I was never able to claim my money back, by then paypal did not want to give refund for digital goods, now they do.

I had some unpleasant situations with cart power also, like they auctions addon updated every single product in shop with available from date, was said will get working addon later, later they changed their minds...

cs-cart is environment where for past few years they only fix bugs and basically not add something new but remove one after another.. If you can work with default installation + minimum amount addons, this cart if for you, if you need many changes you will constantly be spending lots of money..

Also some of the developers became to corporate, hard to get support..

I think that part of the problem is that some service providers and software vendors do not realise/accept that consumer protection legislation applies to them. In many locations specific consumer legislation clauses apply to the sale of products and services that they must be "fit for the intended purpose of use" and if not the consumer is entitled to a refund and in some circumstances claims for consequential loss might also apply.

Vendors also need to be aware that extra territorial jurisdiction can apply to the transaction, this means that even though the vendor might operate in one geographical region if the purchaser is located in another geographical location and the supply of products or services is intended to be used in that location then the purchasers local consumer legislation is likely to apply to the transaction even though the vendor is not operating a business there. Some vendors might incorrectly assume that their T&C can protect them from complying with extra territorial application of offshore consumer laws but often there are specific clauses preventing vendors from 'contracting out' of consumer protection legislation.

Of course the vendors of low value products and services might rely on the fact that it is more effort than it is worth to pursue them for small amounts.

As a developer in cs-cart for the past 8 years, I've found that if a developer follows cs-cart standard practices (use of lang variables, php and template hooks, pre/post controller methods, etc.) then deploying our addons in other locales/regions does not have any problems issues related to locale/region.

The biggest risk of addon products is conflicts with other addon products. These simply have to be addressed between the developers and some are more cooperative than others. And there will always be defects in software. Every merchant uses our products differently. Sometimes in ways we didn't envision. But we always listen and try to respond quickly to any issues uncovered. If we can't (or what a merchant wants simply isn't in the scope of the addon's functionality) we always offer a 100% money back guarantee..

The introduction of multiple storefronts and MVE all within the same basic code base has made development of some things more complicated where others (such as addon payment modules) has become simpler.

The other area that varies with addon products is one of documentation. We try to product accurate docs for our productized addons. But sometimes over time the docs do get out of date.

My statements above apply only to addon "products", not custom development which is a whole different approach to site modification. But again, use of best-practices reaps long term rewards but is more time consuming (and hence more costly) than not doing so. So be sure to specify your needs to your development partners.

If you are not using the stock cs-cart install, you should not expect everything to "work out of the box" if you already have at least 1 addon installed. They make changes to core files etc. If there was only a single person making the addons, then I could get your point, but that is not the case.

If you are not using the stock cs-cart install, you should not expect everything to "work out of the box" if you already have at least 1 addon installed. They make changes to core files etc. If there was only a single person making the addons, then I could get your point, but that is not the case.

Not following what you're trying to say.

My point is that there are "best practices" or "cs-cart standards", that if followed, usually provide one a pretty portable and useful addon.

By definition, if software modifies core files then it's not an addon, it is a modification.

There is no way to know whether any 3rd party addon will work with any particular cs-cart release until that release happens. Then, if there's a problem, it's usually too late. Beta versions are provided for some releases, but being beta, they may not reflect the final and therefore an addon can still be broken when a new release hits the market. Note too that cs-cart addons have problems too transitioning between releases.

Cs-cart has provided an "upgrade method" for addon developers to use. I find it way too convoluted and it doesn't fit into my development distribution process very well at all so since V2, we have rolled our own upgrade process for our addons.

I am just saying, not all of the addon makers work together. If one changes one thing to get their addon to work, the next person has no idea what they changed, and their addon may try to make a change to the same file, causing something to break. Maker A does not know what Maker B does, therefore, things get broken.

If it's truly an addon this can never happen. Obviously if someone uses an override (should be rare) rather than a pre or post hook and doesn't maintain the existing hooks, then one addon can break another by overriding their template (should only use override as a last resort). Also current use of various 'type' fields in the DB (being case-insensitive and not having a central assignment of these 'types') can also cause conflicts with both 3rd party addons and cs-cart addons.

But generally, if best practices and adopted standards are used, there will be very little conflict between addons. I've been building addons for cs-cart for 8 years and have rarely found any of my addons to be in conflict with another. Very low risk.