Content Management System e-commerce Open-Source-Software Software

e-Commerce with Joomla!

The Merits Of E-CommerceTwo days ago Raouf Ibrahimi Nasab and Seyed Mohammad Safavi (students of information technology engineering), which I met at JDay Iran, asked me to do a 15 minutes video on e-commerce for their seminar at Islamic Azad University of Bushehr ( Both are responsible for the seminar which is part of the scientific association of that university.

Well … let’s go :)

What is e-Commerce?

Before we talk about e-commerce let’s have a look at the word commerce.


Commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any country. So we are talking about business, one of the most ancient activities of human beings :).

Thinking of your country, I will choose as an example hand made Iranian carpets.

  • Legal system: It is allowed to produce and sell carpets in Iran, foreigners are allowed to buy and export 6 sqm per person per visit.
  • Economic system: There is an existing infrastructure to produce ans sell carpets
  • Political system: Oh, I am not sure about that point but it seems to me that carpets are in general ok (not evil)
  • Social system: People like carpets, the different wools, patterns and colors
  • Cultural system: Iran has a very long tradition of carpets
  • Technological system: It exists a well established technology to produce carpets

Carpets are sold in bazars and carpet shops. People come to these shops, select their carpet, pay with cash, take their carpet and take them home.

The whole procedure is working since hundreds (thousands) of years without electronic devices involved. Are we really want to change that? :)

Electronic Commerce

The electronic version of commerce refers usually to the sales process. To stay in our carpet example and the systems around it would be possible to create a website with an on-line catalog of carpets (“virtual 24/7 storefront”) and a system to buy them on-line.

This brings another advantage with it. When people are buying online you will get some personal information which you can use further to promote and advertise your products and build a strong long lasting relationship with your customers independent of their place of living.

People from all over the world can access the website and buy carpets on-line.

Even it’s fun it is not necessary anymore to visit a carpet bazar in Iran with a lot of cash money in your pocket.

What do we need for on-line selling

In this example we are selling a physical product (the carpet). The product has to be stored, payed by and delivered to the customer.

We need

  • A storage system for the carpets
  • A payment system that works all over the world
  • A delivery system that delivers to any place in the world

What kind of products are possible?

In the carpet example we are selling the physical carpet. Beside of physical products it is possible to sell virtual products like:

  • the download of an ebook about carpets
  • the download of high res carpet pattern graphics

Even a right or a permission can be a product. We could create a carpet club and sell the membership to that club.

Payment methods

There must be a possiblility to pay on line. The client has to transfer the money and the shop owner has to receive that money.

Centralized Payment Systems

Often there is a layer in between. The layer can be a centralized card system that is tied to the customers bank account (Credit Card, Smart Card). It can be also a system like PayPal which exists as a kind of clearing account between client and merchant. These systems must be accepted by national states.

Decentralized Payment Systems

Alternative currencies like bitcoin are a possibility to pay independent of national states

Microdonation Payments System

Imagine that you are the guy who is drawing the wonderful patterns that appear in carpets. It is hard to sell patterns so it could be a way for you to offer a Microdonation Payment System like Flattr or Kashingle.


You think a price of a carpet is fixed? Please stop reading, visit a carpet bazar, try to buy a carpet and come back :)

The price is a very sensible thing. In general the price is calculated per square meter depending on parameters like the material, the amount of knots and more. Beside these “hard facts” there are several possibilities to change a price. Usually the highest price is written on the price tag. This price can be reduced depending on

  • the amounts of carpets you are buying (pay 3, get 1 for free)
  • the current state of the carpet (e.g. spots or inaccurracies)
  • whether you are a member of our “carpet club” (10% off for members)

The price can depend also on what the clients offer to pay if we use an auction to sell them

Delivery System

The delivery system depends on the type of the product.

Our physical carpet have to be send as a package with the help of a mail system. The price for the delivery service depends usually on the measures and the weight of the product and the distance between our carpet storage and the clients place.

For the download of virtual products you have to take into account the limitation and costs of data traffic. This point is very important when you offers your products on mobile devices.

Implementation of an e-commerce system

We need

  • a shop system for creating the website (Joomla!, Drupal, WordPress, Magento)
  • one or more payment system accounts
  • a strategy how and what we want to sell (carpets, ebooks, memberships)

It is not possible to show all the systems and because the idea of this article was born on a Joomla!Day I want to show a solution in Joomla!

Joomla! e-Commerce

Joomla! is an Open Source Web Content Management System. It is possible to enhance the features of Joomla by adding extensions. When you look at the Joomla Extensions directory in the category e-Commerce you’ll find more than 150 different extensions! For that reason it is very hard to show “The solution”. It is necessary to pick a few extensions.

One example of a Joomla! eCommerce solution

Joomla! CMS 2.5

The base of everything is the core of Joomla! I wrote a free Beginner’s Guide on Joomla! 2.5.


Selling Physical Products

VirtueMart is a one of 35 existing shopping cart solutions which offers the possibility to sell physical products (carpets). This is an example from the VirtueMart demo website (Figure 1)


Figure 1: Physical product

Downloadable Products Example

Here is again an example based on VirtueMart to get an idea about this feature. The example comes from a live t-shirt design shop (Figure 2) where you can download the designs.


Figure 2: Downloadable product

The t-shirt shop runs with an older version of VirtueMart. The new VirtueMart 2 extension needs an sperate extension for this feature, e.g. shipment for virtual products (commercial extension).

In the Joomla! extension directory you’ll find 21 other Paid Download extensions.

Selling Membership

For selling memberships (e.g. for our carpet club) we can choose between 27 Membership & Subscriptions extensions. As an example have a look at the demosite of the OSE Membership extension (Figure 3)


Figure 3: OSE Membership extension


Joomla! has 8 Auction extensions available that allow you to sell your products (carpets) using an auction (Figure 4)


Figure 4: Screenshot of BF Auction Plus (Commercial extension)


As you see, there are several possibilities to implement e-Commerce in Joomla! The implementation that best fits cannot be “the one solution”. It depends on so many different parameters. As you can imagine the two other CMS’s Drupal and WordPress have possibilities too.

It would be a pleasure for me to continue this seminar with a hands-on workshop in Bushehr, Iran :)

Events Iran JoomlaDay

The first Joomla!Day in Iran

366/100April 12th Christine and me attended the first Joomla!Day in Mashhad, Iran.

The JoomlaDay team around Saeed worked one year to make this event possible. Due to ongoing sanctions against Iran it was not possible for Open Source Matters to support the event with 500 US$ as they usually do for an official Joomla!Day. I announced the event personally in several chats, meetings and JoomlaDays (last time in New England) but people had concerns about the political situation and often fear to get involved in that. For our company cocoate which is based in France exists regulations too that make it impossible to support the event financially. At the end of the day we decided to have a look by ourselves, fly to Iran and attend the event.

First problem was to figure out how to get a visa. For getting a visa you need a confirmation of a hotel reservation with a price in. Especially in Mashhad the hotel staff speak Farsi and Arabic but very little English. Confirming a price longer than a few weeks/days is hard for them because of a rising inflation in the last months. At least we found the Bahram Hotel which is located near Iman Reza shrine and near the house where Ali Khamenei سید علی حسینی خامنهای  was born.

We had to add our names to a list of the German “Auswärtiges Amt” and they told us to be very careful, don’t take personal computers, cameras and other equipment with us and several more security advices. It is not possible to use our credit cards in Iran so we had to bring in cash for the hotel and our expenses. The money has to be changed somewhere (be careful when carrying high amounts of cash in your pocket …).

We got more and more unsure whether it was a good idea to go to Iran but the curiosity and the hope that people are nearly the same in the whole world was still bigger.

When we arrived at Mashhad Airport (2am) Hamid (JDay Organizer), Reza (International Airport Manager) and his friend Omid welcomed us, helped as to go through the visa procedures (140 Euro “entry fee” for us two Germans :( ) and brought us to our hotel. Christine had to cover herself.

The next day we bought a Tschador, which is obligatory to wear for women if you want to visit the shrine. Christine has chosen the fashionable white version. Have a look by yourself. We strolled through various bazars (the old carpet bazar too :) ) and experienced that Iranian people are incredibly friendly, curious, well educated and that most of them just want to live in peace like in every other country in the world. We tasted different delicious food over the day before and after the JoomlaDay (Shishlik, Disi, Zafferon ice cream, pistachios, …)

At the day of the JoomlaDay we were again accompanied by Reza (the guy from the airport) and his friend Omid. We were told, that it is not allowed to take photos. At the Joomla!Day we met immediately many Joomla people that took photos and soon we met journalists that interviewed us. We talked with so many people and it was so interesting. We attended most of the sessions and people tried to translate the most important parts for us.

The event started with a prayer, a video (has anyone the link?) about the Jomladay and the national anthem, followed by a recorded video speech of Ryan Ozimek and Paul Orwig (no photo … sorry Paul :) ). Christine and me presented sessions which were perfectly translated by Mohammad Musavi.

For lunch, the whole group (ca 100 people) was invited to a restaurant. We had to go by bus and by car. Everything was very well organized. In the afternoon we continued with sessions and networking and at 8 pm the first JoomlaDay in Iran ended with a group photo.

Joomla!day Iran Group

Photo on facebook (taken by Hamid Sharzid)

We talked to many people that use Joomla as site builders, developers, designers, web agencies and entrepreneurs. We talked also with interested newbies who wanted to know more about the possibilities of the Joomla! system. The discussions were sometimes very intense and we learned that Iran seems to be a kind of “Joomla addicted” country :) What we learned too is that open source software is not that common, because there is no copyright protection law in Iran and most of the propriety software is available for free. Open source is primarely understood as a source to earn money. The spirit of open source needs a bit more love :).

Iran is blocking websites, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Google Maps and many other sites. E.g. in the hotel it was not possible for me to establish a SSH connection to our server. At the same time, Iran has 17 million Facebook users and in the last days I saw more and more photos of JoomlaDay Iran from our new friends. People use a software called Anti Filter (tolerated by the government) to access the blocked sites. It even seems to work on mobile phones. The speed of the internet is in general slower and it reminds me to offer a good mobile version of cocoate as soon as possible.

The next evening, until 2 o’clock in the morning, we had a long discussion with Saeed and his friend about our thoughts and feelings concerning the first Joomla!Day Iran. We discussed what was good and not so good and how to change that and we born the idea of a Joomla! Roadshow in Iran in preparation for the next Joomla!Day (This is the base of our plan, please have a look and give feedback). So, we will come back and join you for the Roadshow. At the end of this discussion Saeed expressed his wish to translate the Joomla! 2.5 Beginner’s Guide into Farsi and add a few additional chapters to that book!

For us it was the most interesting stay since years in another country and we will come back for sure! Hopefully for the Joomla! Roadshow and Joomla Day next year! We even managed to buy a wonderful carpet in the old carpet bazar.

Concerning the political situation it is hard to say something substantial after being there for 5 days in just one city.

Beside the JoomlaDay we talked to many people like the guy in the bazar who earns his money as a whole seller for chinese jewelry that he imports himself, the guy that joined us for lunch, the staff from international airport Mashhad, the volunteers in the holy shrine, the covered ladies in the exchange office, a man with a lot of scars from the Iran/Irak war who was happy to talk to us in French, the guy who was concerned about an upcoming war against Iran, the cheese dealer who taught me how to use the old calculator that his father is still using, the shop owners where we bought the tschador and other stuff, the friendly women that helps Christine to wear the tschador in a proper way and uncountable more friendly people we talked too. Each of the stories we heard would be worth to write more about.

Just remember that all these people live the same normal life as you do when you hear about the evil Iranian empire in the news!

Joomla! brought us together and that is such a strength of this project!

Countries English Events JoomlaDay

JoomlaDay New England

Joomla!Day New EnglandThis weekend Christine and I attended Joomla!day New England in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA. The event took place in the local Marlboro College Graduate School and was organised by Jen Kramer, Andrea Tarr and many more people (btw, they should be mentioned somewhere on the site). It started Friday evening with a template workshop held by Matt Thomas and Barb Ackemann. We arrived just on time to attend this workshop, had pizza and learned a lot about the construct template framework.

We ended up in a bar near our hotel, the Latchis, which is a famous Art Deco building in Brattleboro.

Next day the Joomla!Day started with a good breakfast and Paul Orwigs first keynote as president of Open Source Matters. He was very honest and I enjoyed the way he was presenting. Watch his slides:

Afterwards, I attended the wonderful session from Jason Mark – Mobile Strategy. I like the way Jason is thinking about using mobile devices (follow him on twitter :) ).
Then I presented my thoughts on mobile solutions for Joomla!

I had many interesting conversations with the participants afterwards and I decided to write a book on that topic (Going Mobile with Joomla!). It will be available at the end of May 2012. And hopefully Dawn Russell will create a cover. :)

Christine presented her session after lunch and I was quite impressed. I didn’t see the slides before. But have a look by yourself …

We spent a nice evening in the Marina restaurant with some of the attendees and organizers and if things go well, we’ll see a Chinese translation of the Joomla! 2.5 – Beginner’s Guide :)

Next morning Dianne Henning recorded a JoomStew PodCast while at breakfast (listen to it at


Recording of JoomStew Podcast

Events Iran JoomlaDay

Raising money for a JoomlaDay

Happy Ramadhan, Eid Mubarak - عيد فطر مباركIn this post I ask for your help. It is about the support of a Joomla!Day.

A Joomla!Day is a local, regional or national gathering of the Joomla! community. The Joomla Project encourages a growing and vibrant Joomla! community and Joomla!Days are part of that effort. To ensure continued protection of the Joomla! name, usage of the event name “Joomla!Day” requires permission and agreement to this charter.

The annual Joomla!Day Iran, which will be held April 12th, 2012 and it is an official, registered Joomla! Day in the sense of the charter mentioned above.

When a Joomla!Day is registered, Open Source Matters (OSM), the organisation behind Joomla! supports it with 500 US$.

But in case of Iran it is not possible for OSM to support this Joomla!Day. The “official” Statement from OSM is:

Open Source Matters provides financial support to many registered JoomlaDay events. But as a US-registered organization, OSM is not able to financially contribute to JoomlaDay Iran this year due to current US and international sanctions against Iran.

The name of the project is derived from the Suahili/Arabic term Jumla which can be translated as “All Together”.

I think it is important to support the gobal Joomla! community and I decided to raise money for the event.

  • I checked the US law regarding sanctions against Iran (Executive Order 13590 of November 20, 2011, Authorizing the Imposition of Certain Sanctions with Respect to the Provision of Goods, Services, Technology, or Support for Iran’s Energy and Petrochemical Sectors) and could not find anything what is against this law if we collect 500 US$ and support the JoomlaDay Iran.
  • The European Union has also sanctions established which are aimed to boycot mayorly everything what can be helpful to produce energy of any kind and what supports technological development in that sector including financial transactions of more than 10 000€. (COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 961/2010)

I decided to use the ChipIn service which is related to my private PayPal account. If you want to transfer the money in a different way, please use our contact form. Together we will find a way :)


Cars Internet Newzealand Politics Website

megaupload, Kim Schmitz, Apple and SOPA

IMG_0064Ok, to understand my thoughts you have to spend a bit time, follow the links and watch the videos and sources I linked to (or may be not, if you know them all).

I know it’s complicate and it takes time, but the world isn’t that easy :)

Step by step


The blackout/strike against SOPA/PIPA seems to be successful

Apples education thingie

As you may know, I am author/writer and I offer my books for free here on that website in different languages (publications). I was curoius and downloaded the iBook Author app for playing around with it. It’s wonderful, perfect … I like it … and I will for sure use it to create a book. I already work with Pages. Pages is old, it is slow, but I like it. Unfortunately the files you produce with iBook Author are tied to the Apple platform. It is not allowed to offer them for free download on my website. I am only allowed to offer them in Apples iBookstore. In Cory Doctorows video I learned, that this idea of appliances is a bad idea. Hm … in general I agree with him … but if you are in a situation like me … why not trying it out?

May be later on an open source project will offer a similar authoring tool.

Nearly the same content that appears as in my printed books is already available in a much better shape here on the website in a free HTML version, with slideshare presentations and videos included and dowanloadable as PDF … ok, I have to think about that.

Kim Schmitz

In the middle of the nineties he was known quite well in Germany, he founded a company called Data Protect and sold it to a serious institution (TÜV Rheinland).

It was the time where the internet was “new” and people started to build “homepages”. There was a huge discussion between him and the CCC.

in German:

In 2001, he had problems with other companies he founded, with inside trading and got in legal trouble. The wikipedia article about him is growing and growing over the day … read it.

2011 Auckland New Year Fireworks

  • he seems to be a poser, a cheater and he likes luxury cars, parties and girls

… ok … sounds like someone who needs a therapy treatment … as many others …

He achieved early notoriety by being the subject of an advanced-for-its-time flash animation video called Kimble Special Agent (right mouse click on the blue box and click play)

Seems to me that the flash animations partly came true …

He’s a meme’s dream :)

The Best Worst Photos of Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom

The Indictment


  • 1. $175,000,000 in United States dollars;
  • … 64 more bank accounts …
  • … 15 more cars …
  • 68. 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM, VIN WDB2093422F165517, License Plate No. “GOOD”;
  • 69. 2004 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG 5.5L Kompressor, VIN WDB2093422F166073, License Plate No. “EVIL”;
  • 70. 2010 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG L, VIN WDD2211792A324354, License Plate No. “CEO”;
  • 71. 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop Head Coupe, VIN SCA2D68096UH07049; License Plate No. “GOD”;
  • 72. 2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, VIN WDD2120772A103834, License Plate No. “STONED”;
  • 75. 2007 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, VIN WDD2163792A025130, License Plate No. “KIMCOM”;
  • 76. 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, VIN WDC1641772A542449, License Plate No. “MAFIA”;
  • 81. 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG, VIN WDD2163742A026653, License Plate No. “HACKER”;
  • 82. 2005 Mercedes-Benz A170, VIN WDD1690322J184595, License Plate No. “FUR252”;

The A-Class (A170) was may be a typo or the neighbours car :)

I love the license plates :) (GOOD, EVIL, CEO, GOD, STONED, KIMCOM, POLICE, MAFIA, HACKER)

In the morning Elliot Kembers took photos at “dotcom mansion” (Kim Schmitz gets his cars seized!)


Megaupload, the file-sharing service of the company, allowed all users to upload files to the service. After a successful file upload, the user was given a unique URL which allowed others to download the file.

The service was available in two flavors: basic and premium. The basic service was available for free and allowed users to upload files of up to two gigabytes. Free users could not download files larger than one gigabyte, however. Registered free users were offered 200 gigabytes of total file storage. Premium users had unlimited file storage – more on Wikipedia ¨

There are more of these kind of companies.

Today in the morning, when I was out for buying croissants and the baker told me, that the site isn’t fully down. He tried and it was possible for him to reach his files.

The baker told me that – in Fitou!

Seems that the service was quite popular :)

According to the FBI:

180,000,000 users, 13th mostfrequently visited website on the entire Internet, an average of 50 million daily visits, and to account for approximately four percent of the total traffic onthe Internet

MegaUpload Accounted for a Quarter of All Corporate Traffic—More than Dropbox

According Alexas 100 topsites: No. 72 website of the world and No 22 in France.


Megaupload wasn’t just for pirates: angry users out of luck for now

The Video

First watch it!

The fat guy in the middle (1:50) is Kim Schmitz. The other people are more or less simply stars (, P Diddy, Kanye West, Chris Brown, Jamie Foxx, Kim Kardashian, Lil John, The Game, Floyd Mayweather, Serena Williams, Ciara) .

There are two insteresting stories around this video:

While I am writing this blog post, the video was watched 50,000 times!

The Data – Where is it now? stored nearly 25 PetaByte client data. Who has access to that data now?

Is is possible to do the same with Microsoft Azure Data, Amazon Cloud Data, Dropbox Data and other cloud stored data?


During the night and in the morning Anonymous supporters attacked the websites of the Department of Justice, the FBI and Universal Music Group, among others. The hacktivists used a technique called a Distributed Denial of Service to overload their targets with web traffic and effectively force them offline.

Grupo hacker afirma que tirou site do FBI do ar

Difference The Pirate Bay and Megaupload

Megaupload charges it’s users, The Pirate Bay asks for donations. Big difference.

Questions to me

  • What was good and what was wrong with the business model of megaupload?
  • What is good and what is wrong with the business model of Universal?
  • What is good and what is wrong with the business model of Apple concerning iBook Author and iBookstore?
  • What could be a better business model for all of them?
  • Is there a way for Authors, Writer, Journalists to get paid for their work beside the old model?


Internet Politics

SOPA Strike

Cybercrime expert Mikko Hypponen talks us through three types of online attack on our privacy and data — and only two are considered crimes.

What does a bill like PIPA/SOPA mean to our shareable world? At the TED offices, Clay Shirky delivers a proper manifesto — a call to defend our freedom to create, discuss, link and share, rather than passively consume.


Visit for more info!