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What's new in nopCommerce 4.10 - .NET Core 2.1
Posted by Thang Le Toan on 11 March 2019 08:39 AM


NopCommerce 4.10 is out the door and looking awesome with great new features among which is the support for .NET Core 2.1. The release note of this new version is no different from any previous ones, it is quite long including more than 100 items. Just looking at it could be overwhelming. But no worries. We have got you covered with this article in which we are going to digest this information and give you a detailed overview of the most important new features in nopCommerce 4.10.

NopCommerce moves to .NET Core 2.1

Let’s start with the flagship feature of nopCommerce 4.10, namely the support for .NET Core 2.1. The previous version 4.0 was built on top of ASP.NET Core but at the same time was targeting .NET 4.6.1. For more information on why this is please read our blog post on What’s new in nopCommerce 4.0. In NopCommerce 4.10 this has changed and the platform now runs on .NET Core 2.10 and Entity Framework Core, which supports lazy loading. The move to .NET Core means that nopCommerce is now leaner, more modular, more versatile when it comes to deployment options (you do not have to have IIS to run your store) more performant and developers can make use of new .NET Core features like partial Tag Helpers, SignalR, Span<T>, Memory<T>, improved support for Docker container, etc.

It is important to note that nopCommerce 4.10, although now targeting .NET Core 2.10, still lacks cross-platform support. This important development was postponed for version 4.10 as it requires a substantial effort and would have delayed this release significantly. The next feature is the reason why nopCommerce 4.10 had to be released as soon as possible.

GDPR Support

The General Data Protection Regulation has been in effect since the 25th of May. The regulation simply requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. In its essence, the GDPR shifts the ownership of customer data from the organizations that use it to the individual customer. Customer data refers to any information such as name, address, and ID numbers; web data such as location, IP address, cookie data; or any genetic, psychological, cultural, religious and/or socioeconomic data that can be used to identify an individual.

GDPR is certainly complicated. The law is 90 pages and to become compliant may seem like a daunting task. Well, it could be. But fear not. NopCommerce 4.10 abstracts the complexities for you (the store owner) and gives you the tools to meet the following three major GDPR requirements:

  • If you need to use the personal data of a customer for a specific purpose (for example send them promotional emails) you are required to have their consent. You need to make sure that you ask for their permission and have their consent.
  • The customer can request to see what personal data related to them you are keeping in your store. You need to provide them with the means to see this data every time they require it.
  • The customer should be able to delete their personal data from your store at any time. So you need to give them the tools to do so.

As you can see running a store and being GDPR compliant is not so difficult. It is also a great opportunity to gain the trust of EU customers. Fortunately, nopCommerce 4.10 provides GDPR support and you can meet these three major requirements.

Where to start? Let me point you to the right settings in the nopCommerce administration to get things going.

First, you need to enable the GDPR support for your store. Please keep in mind that it is only available for nopCommerce 4.10. Go to Settings -> GDPR Settings and mark the checkbox to get the GDPR support enabled. Once you do this, you can immediately log the “accept privacy policy” and the “newsletter subscription” default messages. Logging them means that you will be able to track the consent requests in the GDPR log which is located in Customers -> GDPR Request Log

GDPR Enable

You can create any type of consent messages depending on the nature of your business or the products and services you offer. For example, you have an online grocery store and you run a No Food Waste campaign. Each day you make a special selection of items which are about to expire soon. As part of the campaign, you wish to send a promo email to your customers of the daily promotions. You will need to get your customers' consent to send them promotional emails.

No Food Waste Consent

In the store administration, you can select which consents are required for your store. You can also map a consent to a specific store if you are running a multi-store installation of nopCommerce.

Map Consent to a Store

A record is kept for all consents a customer has granted or denied. The store owner can keep track of all consent activities in the GDPR request log.

GDPR Request Log

The customers can view all GDPR-related activities on their My Account page. They can also keep track of the consents they have given or denied. They can see what kind of personal information the store keeps. A customer can delete their account at any time along with all their personal information. Once a consent is granted, a customer may choose to revoke their consent at any time. If this happens, a store owner needs to act accordingly and make sure that they don’t violate the customer’s consent.

GDPR Customer Page

The support for .NET Core 2.1 and GDPR are without a doubt the highlights in the 4.10 release. The shortlist of the features to follow are not to be overlooked either. They will also give a good reason to store owners to upgrade to nopCommerce 4.10.

A preview is available for news, topics, and blogs

As store owners, managing, we find the next feature extremely valuable. In nopCommerce 4.10, there is a preview in the administration for the news, topics and blog posts. In previous versions, we had to publish an article to view it. This was inconvenient especially with articles which required extensive formatting. Making changes to a blog post, for example, when it is live is not a good practice. Fortunately, in nopCommerce 4.10 this problem is solved and store owners can edit and polish their content as much as they need before publishing it.

Blog Preview

Polls per store option available

In previous nopCommerce versions, if you are running a multi-store and needed to have a poll on only one of your stores, the poll would appear on every store in your installation. Needless to say, this could be a showstopper in most cases because a poll relevant to one store is rarely applicable to other stores. Now in nopCommerce 4.10 polls can be created per store solving this problem.

Polls per store

Product review notification for customers

In nopCommerce 4.10 a customer gets a notification when they receive a reply to a product review. The option to send a notification can be useful when a store owner wants to be sure that a customer reads their reply. For example, let's say that a customer has left a bad review. As a store owner, it would be important to me to reply to them and ask follow-up questions. Their feedback can help me improve the product or the service. This will not be possible if there is no way for the customer to know that I have replied to their review.

Order details page (administration) - "Billing info" and "Shipping info" is displayed in a single tab

A simple change can make a big difference when it saves time. Now, a store owner can view the order billing and shipping information in a single tab. This makes it easy for the store owner to compare the billing and shipping addresses for each order. No switching of tabs is required anymore.

Shipping and Billing Information

Product attribute price adjustment in percentage terms

Before nopCommerce 4.10, product prices could be adjusted based on specific attributes with a fixed amount only. In the new version, these price adjustments can be done in percentage points. This gives much more flexibility when running a sale for example. A store owner does not have to edit their price adjustments every time the price of a product changes.


“Required products” are automatically removed when the “main product” is removed from the shopping cart

You are probably aware that in nopCommerce, a product can have required products. These are products that are required to be purchased along with the main product and are automatically added to the shopping cart when the main product is added to the cart. In previous nopCommerce versions, buyers had to manually remove the required products from the shopping cart when the main product was removed. Not anymore. In nopCommerce 4.10 this is done automatically. A logical change which buyers and store owners will appreciate alike.

Required Products

Reward points enhancement - minimum order total setting added

In nopCommerce 4.10, the store owner can specify the minimum order total required for a customer to receive reward points. For example, I would like to give 1 reward point for every 10 dollars spent but only if the order placed is for at least $100. I can set this in Settings -> Reward point ->Minimum order total. Anyone who has placed an order for less than that amount will not receive the reward points.

Minimum Order Total

Delete products from the shopping cart or wish list in the admin area

Now, a store owner can delete products from the customer’s shopping cart or wish list in the administration. In previous versions, they had to be in “impersonated mode” to perform this action which was much more time-consuming.

Delete shopping cart and wish list in admin

Disable checkout

In nopCommerce 4.10 store owners can disable the checkout in the administration of their store. This comes in handy when a store owner wishes to have a product catalog website, where shoppers can browse products but cannot purchase them. To enable this option go to Settings -> Order Settings -> Checkout disabled.

Disable Checkout

Import product pictures from a remote server

A store owner needs to enable the "allow download images" setting to make use of this feature. This setting can be found in Catalog Settings -> Import/Export and will allow importing product images from a remote server when importing products from XML/XLS. The store owner can now include an URL from an external source in the picture fields of the XML/XLS file. In previous nopCommerce versions, a store owner could import product images only from a local machine.

Gift card balance displayed on the checkout page

If a customer applies a gift card to their order, the gift card balance will appear in the order summary. He will know exactly how much money is left in the gift card for future purchases. This was not possible in previous versions of nopCommerce. In fact, there was no way for the customer to know their gift card balance.

Gift Card Balance on Shopping Card

Discount coupon codes can be added to links to the store

We are crazy about this new feature and we are sure that other store owners will fall in love with it as well. In nopCommerce 4.10, the store owner can provide external links with a discount coupon code so that a shopper doesn’t have to apply the coupon code at the checkout. Why is this useful? I will illustrate the importance of this feature with a practical example.

Let’s say you have a 50% sale on all products and you run a Google ad to advertise this offer. For this purpose, you create a 50% discount in the store’s administration of type “assign to order total”. You will see that a link is automatically generated.

Discount URL

You point your Google ad to this link. Next, a shopper clicks on your ad, lands on your store and adds a product to their shopping cart. The 50% discount will be applied automatically and the price of the product will be discounted.

Discount URL - price discounted

If your discount is assigned to a specific product or category the discounted prices will be immediately visible when your shoppers go to the product or category page, provided that they have the coupon code in the query string. Here’s an example.

Let’s say you want to have a sale on a specific product. What you have to do is assign your discount to the specific product and add the coupon code as a query parameter to the product link. Please click on the following link to see a real example:

As you can see the price of the HP Laptop is automatically discounted.

Discount code in external links

Google Analytics plugin now uses the new global site tag from Google

In nopCommerce 4.10 the Google Analytics plugin now uses the new global site tag (gtag.js) from Google. Why should you care? The global site tag is developed by the same team that created the Google Tag Manager at Google and replaces the analytics.js tag for Google Analytics and the conversion tracking tag for Google Ads. This means that the new gtag.js is designed to streamline tagging on your website for all Google Products. The global site tag sets new cookies for your website, which measure which clicks from your Google Ads bring traffic to your website. In this way, Google Ads can measure conversions much more accurately. You can also configure which interactions with your store should be considered Google Ads conversion. Most importantly by having the new global site tag on your website, you will be able to access new features as they are released on the new Google Marketing Platform.

CSS/style link tags in richTexbox Editor

If you are keen on having stunning looking-landing pages, like we are, then you will definitely appreciate this new feature. In nopCommerce 4.10 you can link CSS style sheets in the richTextbox editor. In this way, you can style every landing page or content generated with the richTextbox editor individually.

Let's next look at a few very useful new dvelopments that are more specific to nopCommerce plugin and theme developers.

Versioning of CSS and JS files

This is an important little addition, especially to theme developers. Before nopCommerce 4.10 if we were to modify the theme of a nopCommerce store by changing the CSS or JS files, the changes would not have been reflected in the browser of a customer who has visited the store before, unless they clear the browser cache. Let’s say we change the background color of the homepage of a store by modifying the main CSS file of the theme. All customers who visit the store for the first time will see the new background color. But customers who have previously visited the store will see the old background color because the browser is serving them the CSS file from its local cache.

NopCommerce 4.10 appends a version number to CSS and JS file links and bundles. Every modification changes the version in the links which means that every time a CSS or JS file is changed the browser sees a new file and loads it from the store server instead of loading it from its browser cache.

Move business logic from extension methods to services.

Extension methods could be useful for framework developer to expose functionality in a fluent syntax. But when you have classes that you can control which is the case with nopCommerce service classes, then extension methods could be harming the design of your code. Static classes that contain extension methods like anything static in OOP cannot benefit from polymorphism because they cannot implement interfaces or be inherited. Naturally, they are more difficult to test too.

Therefore, we welcome the fact that in version 4.10 the nopCommerce team has decided to move the code from various extensions methods like GetSeName, GetProductPicture, etc. to service classes.

In this way, the code in these methods can be overridden and also swapped through the DI Container.

Some developers might miss the fluentness of the extension methods syntax. Yet, being nopCommerce developers ourselves, we view this change as trading a highly sweetened fructose-syrup beverage with a freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Dropped support for SQL Server Compact

I am sure not many nopCommerce developers will miss SQL Server Compact especially that it has been in deprecation mode with no new releases planned for years now. So no surprises here, the nopCommerce team has decided to abandon this SQL Server edition.

Reindexing of database tables

In nopCommerce 4.10 if you open the administration and go to System -> Maintenance you will see a new panel named “Re-index database tables” with a “Re-index” button. Why would you want to press this button? Over time and especially with a busy nopCommerce website the indexes in the database can become fragmented. This can lead to a database that performs more slowly. In such situations, the new database reindexing feature can come in handy.

Reindexing of database tables

This concludes our description of the new nopCommerce 4.10 version. Now that you have a deeper understanding of why moving to .NET Core is important and what you might expect in terms of new features you can make an educated choice of whether to upgrade to the new version or not. If you need help with a nopCommerce upgrade or any type of nopCommerce development,

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Top 7 open source project management tools for agile teams
Posted by Thang Le Toan on 03 January 2019 07:37 AM

In this roundup of open source project management tools, we look at software that helps support Scrum, Kanban, and other agile methods. has surveyed the landscape of popular open source project management tools. We've done this before—but this year we've added a twist. This time, we're looking specifically at tools that support agile methodology, including related practices such as Scrum, Lean, and Kanban.

The growth of interest in and use of agile is why we've decided to focus on these types of tools this year. A majority of organizations—71%—say they are using agile approaches at least sometimes. In addition, agile projects are 28% more successful than projects managed with traditional approaches.

For this roundup, we looked at the project management tools we covered in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and plucked the ones that support agile, then did research to uncover any additions or changes. Whether your organization is already using agile or is one of the many planning to adopt agile approaches in 2018, one of these seven open source project management tools, in no particular order, may be exactly what you're looking for.


MyCollab is a suite of three collaboration modules for small and midsize businesses: project management, customer relationship management (CRM), and document creation and editing software. There are two licensing options: a commercial "ultimate" edition, which is faster and can be run on-premises or in the cloud, and the open source "community edition," which is the version we're interested in here.

The community edition doesn't have a cloud option and is slower, due to not using query cache, but provides essential project management features, including tasks, issues management, activity stream, roadmap view, and a Kanban board for agile teams. While it doesn't have a separate mobile app, it works on mobile devices as well as Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Unix computers.

The latest version of MyCollab is 5.4.10 and the source code is available on GitHub. It is licensed under AGPLv3 and requires a Java runtime and MySQL stack to operate. It's available for download for Windows, Linux, Unix, and MacOS.


Odoo is more than project management software; it's a full, integrated business application suite that includes accounting, human resources, website & e-commerce, inventory, manufacturing, sales management (CRM), and other tools.

The free and open source community edition has limited features compared to the paid enterprise suite. Its project management application includes a Kanban-style task-tracking view for agile teams, which was updated in its latest release, Odoo 11.0, to include a progress bar and animation for tracking project status. The project management tool also includes Gantt charts, tasks, issues, graphs, and more. Odoo has a thriving community and provides user guides and other training resources.

It is licensed under GPLv3 and requires Python and PostgreSQL. It is available for download for Windows, Linux, and Red Hat Package Manager, as a Docker image, and as source on GitHub.


OpenProject is a powerful open source project management tool that is notable for its ease of use and rich project management and team collaboration features.

Its modules support project planning, scheduling, roadmap and release planning, time tracking, cost reporting, budgeting, bug tracking, and agile and Scrum. Its agile features, including creating stories, prioritizing sprints, and tracking tasks, are integrated with OpenProject's other modules.

OpenProject is licensed under GPLv3 and its source code is available on GitHub. Its latest version, 7.3.2. is available for download for Linux; you can learn more about installing and configuring it in Birthe Lindenthal's article "Getting started with OpenProject."


As you would expect from its name, OrangeScrum supports agile methodologies, specifically with a Scrum task board and Kanban-style workflow view. It's geared for smaller organizations—freelancers, agencies, and small and midsize businesses.

The open source version offers many of the features in OrangeScrum's paid editions, including a mobile app, resource utilization, and progress tracking. Other features, including Gantt charts, time logs, invoicing, and client management, are available as paid add-ons, and the paid editions include a cloud option, which the community version does not.

OrangeScrum is licensed under GPLv3 and is based on the CakePHP framework. It requires Apache, PHP 5.3 or higher, and MySQL 4.1 or higher, and works on Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Its latest release, 1.6.1. is available for download, and its source code can be found on GitHub.


]project-open[ is a dual-licensed enterprise project management tool, meaning that its core is open source, and some additional features are available in commercially licensed modules. According to the project's comparison of the community and enterprise editions, the open source core offers plenty of features for small and midsize organizations.

]project-open[ supports agile projects with Scrum and Kanban support, as well as classic Gantt/waterfall projects and hybrid or mixed projects.

The application is licensed under GPL and the source code is accessible via CVS. ]project-open[ is available as installers for both Linux and Windows, but also in cloud images and as a virtual appliance.


Taiga is an open source project management platform that focuses on Scrum and agile development, with features including a Kanban board, tasks, sprints, issues, a backlog, and epics. Other features include ticket management, multi-project support, wiki pages, and third-party integrations.

It also offers a free mobile app for iOS, Android, and Windows devices, and provides import tools that make it easy to migrate from other popular project management applications.

Taiga is free for public projects, with no restrictions on either the number of projects or the number of users. For private projects, there is a wide range of paid plans available under a "freemium" model, but, notably, the software's features are the same, no matter which type of plan you have.

Taiga is licensed under GNU Affero GPLv3, and requires a stack that includes Nginx, Python, and PostgreSQL. The latest release, 3.1.0 Perovskia atriplicifolia, is available on GitHub.


Tuleap is an application lifecycle management (ALM) platform that aims to manage projects for every type of team—small, midsize, large, waterfall, agile, or hybrid—but its support for agile teams is prominent. Notably, it offers support for Scrum, Kanban, sprints, tasks, reports, continuous integration, backlogs, and more.

Other features include issue tracking, document tracking, collaboration tools, and integration with Git, SVN, and Jenkins, all of which make it an appealing choice for open source software development projects.

Tuleap is licensed under GPLv2. More information, including Docker and CentOS downloads, is available on their Get Started page. You can also get the source code for its latest version, 9.14, on Tuleap's Git.

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Top 4 open source ERP systems
Posted by Thang Le Toan on 15 May 2016 11:33 AM

Businesses with more than a handful of employees have a lot to balance including pricing, product planning, accounting and finance, managing payroll, dealing with inventory, and more. Stitching together a set of disparate tools to handle those jobs is a quick, cheap, and dirty way to get things done.

That approach isn’t scalable. It’s difficult to efficiently move data between the various pieces of such an ad-hoc system. As well, it can be difficult to maintain.

Instead, turn to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

The big guns in that space are Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft Dynamics. Their offerings are comprehensive, but also expensive. What happens if your business can’t afford one of those big implementations or if your needs are simple? You turn to the open source alternatives.

There are a number of flexible, feature-rich, and cost effective open source ERP systems out there. Here is a look at four of them.

What to look for in an ERP system

Obviously, you will want a system that suits your needs. Depending on those needs,more features doesn’t always mean better. However, you needs might change as your business grows so you’ll want to find an ERP system that can expand to meet your new needs. That could mean the system has additional modules, or just supports plugins and add-ons.

Most open source ERP systems are web applications. You can dowload and install them on your server. But if you don’t want to, or don’t have the skills or staff to, maintain a system yourself then make sure there’s a hosted version of the application available.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the application has good documentation and good support—either in the form of paid support or an active user community.


Odoo is an integrated suite of applications that includes modules for project management, billing, accounting, inventory management, manufacturing, and purchasing. Those modules can communicate with each other to efficiently and seamlessly exchange information.

While ERP can be complex, Odoo makes it friendlier with a simple, almost spartan interface. The interface is reminiscent of Google Drive, with just the functions you need visible.

Odoo is a web-based tool. Subscriptions to individual modules will set you back $20 (USD) a month for each one. You can also download it or grab the source code from GitHub.

You can give Odoo a try before you decide to sign up.


ERPNext was featured on last November, and it’s one of those classic open source projects. It was designed to scratch a particular itch, in this case replacing a creaky and expensive proprietary ERP implementation.

ERPNext was built for small and medium-sized businesses. It includes modules for accounting, managing inventory, sales, purchase, and project management. The applications that make up ERPNext are form-driven—you fill information in a set of fields and let the application do the rest. The whole suite is easy to use.

If you’re interested, you can test drive ERPNext before taking the plunge and downloading it or buying a subscription to the hosted service.


Like ERPNext, Dolibarr is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. It offers end-to-end management of your business from keeping track of invoices, contracts, inventory, orders, and payments to managing documents and supporting electronic point-of-sale system. It’s all wrapped in fairly clean interface.

If you’re wondering what Dolibarr can’t do, here’s some documentation about that.

In addition to an online demo, Dolibarr also has an add-ons store from which you can buy software that extends Dolibarr’s features.


Unlike the other ERP systems that this article discusses, Opentaps is designed for larger businesses. To that end, it packs a lot of power and flexibility.

You get the expected set of modules that help you manage inventory, manufacturing, financials, and purchasing. You also get an analytics feature that helps you analyze all aspects of your business. You can use that information to better plan into the future. Opentaps also packs a powerful reporting function.

On top of that, you can buy add-ons and additional modules to enhance Opentaps’ capabilities. There are only a handful available right now, but they include integration with Amazon Marketplace Services and FedEx.

Before you download Opentaps, give the online demo a try.

Thanks to moderator Scott Nesbitt for this article.


For more discussion on open source and the role of the CIO in the enterprise, join us at The

The opinions expressed on this website are those of each author, not of the author's employer or of Red Hat. aspires to publish all content under a Creative Commons license but may not be able to do so in all cases. You are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary permission to reuse any work on this site. Red Hat and the Shadowman logo are trademarks of Red Hat, Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.

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