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Lars Richter
Lars Richter

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The Emperor's New Clothes

During the last months I had to work with a new e-commerce solution, which is not worthy of the name. And I really mean it. I have worked with a couple of e-commerce solutions during the last years. Some of them were really cool, some were less cool. The one, that I'm working with right now, is just bad.

Developers complain all the time...

... and I know they do. I do it as well. But most of the time this isn't really in a serious way. Sometimes it is just to be funny, sometimes it's just to talk.

But once more: this time, my complain is real. It's sincere. It's from the bottom of my heart.

But interestingly, this post is not about the before mentioned e-commerce solution. It's about something else.

But to understand my point, let me tell you why I dislike the product.

Why do I dislike the product?

I hope I can keep this section short, as there is so much stuff to complain about.

VAT calculation

Let's start with the VAT calculation. Out of the box, this "shop" only supports one global tax rate. Have you heard me? One single tax rate. Which shop gets along using a single tax rate? Depending on your products you couldn't even run a a shop just for Germany, as we have two different tax rates here. Not to mention an international shop. Why would anybody buy an e-commerce solution where you have to do the VAT calculation on your own?

Shipping costs

The administrators cannot log into the backend and change the shipping fees. To change the fees for your shipping methods, you have to

  • open a JSON file
  • find the lines where your shipping fees are specified
  • change the shipping fees
  • open Postman (yes, Postman is a must-have tool if you use this product)
  • Bootstrap the system by sending a request to a specific endpoint

Nice and easy process, isn't it?

And so much more...

But I will stop complaining now and get to my main point. Finally. ;-)

There will be bad software...

... and that's ok. To be fair, at some point I wrote bad software myself.

My problem is, that the emperor is naked but there are people praising his beautiful clothes. (Finally there is the reference to "The Emperor's New Clothes").
And here is what I mean: If you google (or bing) this e-commerce solution, you will find a lot of blog posts and other stuff about it, where people are telling you how great it is. And of course, some of them are awarded with an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award by the software vendor. I wasn't able to find a single blog post saying "Creating products is nice and easy, but the tax calculation is a nightmare".

My point is: If a software (or any other product) is not good, that's totally ok. Maybe, if it is open source, you can even help to improve it and it might be awesome someday. But as long as it is bad, please don't tell everybody that it is awesome.

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