Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pros and cons of AspDotNetStoreFront

I have been using AspDotNetStoreFront for quite some time and I thought it would be worthwhile for consumers that are currently researching AspDotNetStoreFront (ASPDNSF) as their potential e-commerce platform to be able to review some advantages and disadvantages to using the platform.


  1. AspDotNetStoreFront is one of the few commercial (non open-source) ASP.NET E-Commerce Engines that provides an on-premise solution.
  2. AspDotNetStoreFront provides numerous features still missing in many ASP.NET open-source platforms such as support for Recurring Billing with multiple payment providers (Authorize.Net and PayPal), Recurring Billing checkout with multiple recurring items in a single order and a wide variety of payment providers such as Amazon Checkout.  For example, a competitor such as Volusion does not have
  3. AspDotNetStoreFront is reasonably affordable compared to other ASP.NET platforms especially for the Express edition and they include 1 year of support as part of the purchase price.

  1. ASPDNSF does not provide a pluggable or modular platform, thus requiring access to source code to make modifications to enhance the platform (source code is available for an additional cost).
  2. Many features in ASPDNSF are provided through 3rd party solution providers which generally require Professional Edition or above as well as substantial costs in acquiring their solutions such as Real Time Shipping with Cut Off times (such as that provided by a 3rd party solution provider called SimRun (  It also seems that ASPDNSF heavily relies on its 3rd party solution providers to include many of the features that the base platform is lacking, therefore, do not expect to see currently lacking features introduced into the platform in a later release version. 
  3. The ASPDNSF platform is still using ASP.NET Web Forms and .NET 3.5.  At the current time, there is no published roadmap for support for ASP.NET 4.0 or 4.5.
  4. The ASPDNSF platform still does not have published support for SQL Server 2012 (and the soon-to-be released SQL Server 2014).
  5. The ASPDNSF platform still uses deprecated data types such as ntext (which have been deprecated since SQL Server 2005) as part of their database schema and has no published roadmap to update the schema to support the new nvarchar(MAX) datatype.
  6. The ASPDNSF platform does not regularly maintain and update their documentation for newer platforms.  For example, the installation documentation still refers to Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 ( and makes no mention of newer platforms such as Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012/Windows Server 2012 R2.
  7. ASPDNSF has very little customizability and extensibility out-of-the-box.  For example, some E-Commerce platforms support adding additional customer attributes to be able to capture additional customer information, however, ASPDNSF does not offer this feature nor is there any roadmap for making the platform more customizable and extensible.
  8. ASPDNSF has very limited CMS (Content Management System) capabilities.  The ability to generate content is extremely limited and does not provide many of the features provided by more robust content management systems such as Telerik Sitefinity or Kentico CMS/EMS.
  9. ASPDNSF ships with a default set of templates that are very basic and not very appealing visually.  If you want some more appealing templates, you can either purchase them through a 3rd party solution provider or customize the existing templates yourself.
  10. The administrative user interface is especially complex (if not overly complex) compared to various other E-Commerce engines such as VevoCart or nopCommerce.  You have to dig around the administrative interface and read through the documentation to figure out how to do anything but the most simple of tasks.
  11. There are a very limited number of reports that are provided out-of-the-box with ASPDNSF.  If you want to create custom reports, it requires you to have a detailed knowledge of the underlying ASPDNSF database schema and a working knowledge of SQL.  You can then create custom reports by following this documentation:  There is no "Report Builder" capability or feature within the system to allow you to easily build your own custom reports out of the system.
  12. The installation package is extremely primitive and basically only serves the function of extracting the installation file to a specified directory (a glorified version of WinZip or WinRaR).  Whereas most other installation packages from software vendors provide all of the necessary setup operations for you such as creating necessary file system permissions, creating the necessary databases etc. ASPDNSF installation package does none of that.  
Therefore, if you are currently evaluating your feature needs for an ASP.NET-based E-Commerce system, I would definitely carefully consider whether or not your feature requirements will be met by AspDotNetStoreFront.  If not, you should prepare for purchasing source code and making your own set of customizations and enhancements or working with a 3rd party solution provider and end up paying considerably more than the base purchase price.

Overall,  if you simply need an ASP.NET-based E-Commerce engine and have a minimal budget, ASPDNSF is an acceptable choice, however, you are probably better off choosing a more well-maintained commercial solution such as Kentico EMS or Telerik Sitefinity CMS with the E-Commerce add-on which have regular updates to the platform and provide better overall and well-rounded capabilities and features.

No comments:

Post a Comment