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Developers' Digest

Building Custom Business Applications with OroPlatform

December 13, 2017 | Oro Team

OroPlatform is an open-source Business Application Platform (BAP) built on a Symfony2  – the high-performance PHP framework with a vast ecosystem.

In a recent Mixergy interview, Yoav Kutner, Oro’s co-founder, and CEO explained the reason for creating a scalable solution other companies could use to build their own custom applications.

“Back at the Magento days, we kind of figured out that a lot of users were using Magento for anything but what we designed it to be. I started talking to developers and tried to understand why are they doing that. They basically said, ‘Look. There’s a lot of features that we would have to go and develop from scratch, right?’ We have some stats that show about 50% of companies can’t find off-the-shelf products for their use. They end up custom-building their own products. So we wanted to give them a better starting point. Don’t start from scratch. We’re giving you a platform that you can build on and basically apply your business logic on top of it. This layer is what we call OroPlatform. It’s like a general business application platform.”

Kutner went on to explain the flexibility and durability of the platform “You can do whatever you want. You can be as destructive as you want with this platform. That’s the idea of it”.
Instead of starting from scratch, OroPlatform was created with out-of-the-box features enabling you to convert any software idea into a real solution at a fraction of the cost.

How Does OroPlatform Ensure Rapid Application Delivery?

OroPlatform offers adaptable architecture tailored for building any custom software projects. Going back to the Mixergy interview, Kutner encouraged developers to test drive OroPlatform and see the possibilities for themselves.

Don’t start from scratch … we’re giving you a platform that you can build on and apply your business logic on top of it… we’ve already implemented a lot of features you need, for example, user management, ACL (access control lists), reporting engine, entity engine, etc. You just go and build your business domain…and then launch it for yourself.

Using OroPlatform’s preset features, businesses can choose only those that are required for your specific solution. There’s no need to make changes to the code as many features can be implemented directly via the highly intuitive user interface (UI) shown below. This not only ensures streamlined product delivery with accelerated timelines but it also eliminates the need to hire and pay for external developers.

oroplatform business application development ui

Creating a new custom entity directly from the UI of OroPlatform

OroPlatform Editions and Pre-Configured Features

OroPlatform comes with a host of built-in components (elements required to implement features) that provide a solid base for developing a sustainable business application. The primary components are:

  • Extendable entities (e.g., orders, customers, addresses). It’s possible to create new custom entities directly through the UI in 4 simple steps as shown above.
  • Customizable workflows.
  • Extended Access Control Lists (ACL).
  • Security issues monitoring.
  • Reporting and segmentation tools.
  • Tools for data import and export.
  • Global search and indexing capabilities.
  • Activities support (with tasks, calls, cases).
  • Configurable administration.
  • Personalized menu structure.
  • REST APIs.

As with all of Oro’s open-sourced products, OroPlatform is available in a Community (CE) or Enterprise (EE) edition. OroPlatform CE provides all the features required to get started with building a powerful app, but the Enterprise Edition offers even more scalability. It offers all the enhancements available in OroCRM and OroCommerce Enterprise editions, such as advanced search capabilities (ElasticSearch), multiple organization support, improved security policy controls, and more. Use the CE and EE feature comparison chart for OroCRM and OroCommerce and see how we compare.   

Business Applications Built Using OroPlatform

With OroPlatform as a base, companies can build simple or more sophisticated enterprise-level products. Whether it’s a PIM, CRM, ERP, order management software, or helpdesk system, the sky’s the limit. Our native business applications are based on OroPlatform, and we’re proud to have other end-to-end applications delivered on our platform. Each application has been built to facilitate different business activities and operations, proving that OroPlatform can be used to cover countless scenarios.

Here are business solutions that have leveraged the rich functionality of OroPlatform:

  • Akeneo. Akeneo is a Product Information Management (PIM) tool that allows sellers to centralize all relevant technical and marketing information for their product catalogs and listings.
  • Diamante Desk. Diamante Desk is an open-source customer service software and ticketing system used for customer support.
  • TimeLap. TimeLap is a lightweight time tracking tool that logs time spent on completing tasks in OroCRM.

OroPlatform Benefits Developers and Businesses

As you can see, OroPlatform is an easy-to-use but powerful foundation for your new nextgen business app. But Oro’s BAP benefits developers and businesses too.

Developers: OroPlatform sets developers up for success as they get:

  • A flexible and robust core feature set that gets your business solution up and running in less time.
  • Ultimate scalability and agility through OroPlatform’s modern tech stack (open-source technology, Symfony framework, PHP programming language).  
  • Access to a vibrant ecosystem where our entire community gets involved and offers support.
  • Robust automated test suite (unit, integration and behat tests).

To learn more about OroPlatform, its architecture, its design, and other key capabilities, see this section of our online documentation.

Businesses: With OroPlatform, businesses can get a quality product that’s able to go-to-market.

According to Falco van der Maden, Founder of Marello,
“The customizability and out-of-the-box components found in OroPlatform helped save precious time and resources when developing our business application”.  

To summarize, OroPlatform enables businesses to:

  • Create added value for customers.
  • Rapidly deliver a robust application to meet unique business needs.
  • Reduce time to market.
  • Reduce development costs.
  • Integrate their OroPlatform-based application with any third-party software.
  • Reach new audiences by promoting their app at the Oro website.

Ready to learn more about using OroPlatform for custom application development? Get in touch with us and let’s talk about what Oro can do for you.

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