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GrandNode: A closer look at the open source e-commerce platform

Patryk Porabik
Oct 9, 2019 · 4 min read

GrandNode is something more than an average open source e-commerce platform. With the wide range of features, GrandNode is the most advanced e-commerce platform on the market.

Overview

In a nutshell, GrandNode is based on ASP.NET Core (few weeks ago it was moved from 2.2 to 3.0) and MongoDB. It’s based on the most popular open source tools like: .NET Core, MongoDB, Bootstrap, jQuery, Docker, Amazon S3 or Azure. Thanks to open source and tested, mature solutions, GrandNode is one of the most safiest solutions in the e-commerce industry.

GrandNode can be called as a perfect solution for C# developers. Its modern code base can be a great material to personal improvements. GrandNode source code has been rewritten and whole application use only asynchronous methods.

GrandNode e-commerce features

The variety of features, does not allow me to show them all, because it would take a lot of time, but I will point out only the most important for developers and store owners. Because this two groups can get the most from GrandNode.

Different types of produts

E-commerce platforms developers got us used to use two common types of product — simple and grouped. GrandNode made some improvements on this field. Out of the box, you are able to create few products. Instead of standard and common simple, grouped or downloadable products, you will be able to create auctions with time counter, bookings, product kits and in the newest version, fully working membership portal with paid access to additional material (so it’s free to create portal similar to Coursera or udemy).

Cheap & Easy to Host

GrandNode is a .NET Core application, so it can be installed on Linux, Windows and Mac OS systems. It also supports Docker. Currently it’s very easy to host it on many, different portals. For example, GrandNode can be installed as a predefined DigitalOcean app, from its installer. You can do it on 5$/mo droplet. So in the comparison to the majority of solutions, it’s a pretty nice score. Still it’s subjective, but I won’t provide any links, because it would be a selfish promo, so if somebody is interested in, just Google it.

Extendable with plugins

GrandNode is the most advanced e-commerce platform, but still it can be extended with plugins made by GrandNode developers or community. Almost each part of store can be improved by widget or plugin. If you want to get some free or paid plugins, it’s time to visit GrandNode marketplace.

Multi store, multi vendor and multi tenant

It’s probably one of the best features of GrandNode. Out of the box it is a multi store, multi vendor and multi tenant solutions. With multi store feature, you can create as many stores as you want. Each of store can be independent or somehow connected with another one. What’s important, each store is managed from single admin panel.

When I write Vendor, I meant about Sellers. You can easily create a marketplace portal with products coming from different sellers. Further more, you are able to allow them to apply for a seller account, so they will be able to register and sell in your store.

And the last, but not least — multi tenancy. It has been added to GrandNode in 4.50 version. With functionality called as “Staff” you are able to create independent store managers and allow them to manage only particular stores. There is a blog post about multi tenancy in GrandNode.

Why it’s the best for developers?

As it’s mentioned at the beginning of the article. GrandNode is based on open source solutions, so developers don’t have to do anything extra to start developing. Just download source code and code!

Implemented Web API

It’s one of the most important features for developers. With implemented OData REST API developers are able to easily integrate GrandNode with customers ecosystem — ERP, CRMs and sales channels. Documentation perfectly describes its work.

Simple templating

GrandNode default template is based on Bootstrap 4. C# allows to create store from independented, shared components, so you can create themes like puzzles. Take it out from one place and put it in totally different place. Trust me, each developer loves the templating which is simple and easy to learn.

The best skeleton for your app

With the variety of features, GrandNode can be a great skeleton for your customers app. You can remove or hide particular parts of it and create dedicated solutions for customers.

The whole source code is published on GitHub — everyone can check it, so here is the link: https://github.com/grandnode/grandnode

The official site of the project: https://grandnode.com

and developer documentation — http://docs.grandnode.com

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