Apache OFBiz is an ambitious open source ERP project at the Apache Software Foundation. Essentially a broadly-scoped ERP application development framework with a long list of functionality available out-of-the-box, OFBiz is maintained by a wonderfully talented community of global volunteers with big brains, world-class skills, and an abundance of creativity who donate their time and effort to maintain and continuously improve OFBiz. ERP is not a simple subject — on the contrary it is diverse as business itself — but the dedication and shared intelligence represented in the OFBiz open source community have made OFBiz one of the leading and most powerful open source cloud ERP offerings on the market.
Since we began focusing exclusively on OFBiz in 2006, HotWax Media has participated actively in the OFBiz community. We believe that what is good for OFBiz is good for HotWax Media. As a company, we have donated many thousands of hours to the OFBiz open source project, providing everything from general maintenance and bug fixes to new technology empowering e-commerce, accounting, manufacturing, general scalability, and much more. In fact, the head of the OFBiz Project Management Committee at Apache is also the head of technology for HotWax Media…and I am pleased to say that he has been at it again, leading the effort on our latest significant contribution to the project.
Designed and implemented by Jacopo Cappellato and Scott Gray, and supported by additional team members, HotWax Media recently completed and contributed an improved integration with Apache Lucene to the OFBiz project. This is important for a few reasons:
First, while OFBiz has had an older, more limited integration with Lucene for years (which worked with OFBiz CMS only), HotWax Media’s new integration delivers a component that any OFBiz application can utilize as a service and toolset to implement indexing and searching of any data in the system. This approach is well-designed and powerful. The potential applications are broad, and I expect to see many existing and future users leveraging this capability to bring enhanced enterprise search to any number of applications running on OFBiz, from e-commerce product search to CRM and beyond.
Next, the new integration includes an example application demonstrating how products can be indexed and searched within OFBiz. This relevant example will benefit the entire OFBiz community, giving all developers and users a big head start in adding sophistication to their product search capabilities. We have had multiple existing clients express strong interest in this new capability in just the last 10 days or so, and I am confident that others will experience similar interest.
Finally, this is a great example of open source, community-driven software delivering the best possible quality. Apache software is used by multi-national corporations, non-profit and educational institutions, and governments around the globe, not only because it represents the best value, but because it often represents the best route to the highest quality application available. In this example, HotWax Media had all the time and energy we needed to create a thoughtful design and a quality implementation, free of any external pressures or corporate politics, and contribute it freely to the community. Bingo!
We are happy about sharing our latest contribution to the OFBiz project, and we know our existing and future clients will benefit from our efforts along with the rest of the OFBiz open source community. A more detailed technical post from Jacopo Cappellato will follow in the coming days. Please contact me through the web site if you would like to discuss how the new-and-improved OFBiz – Lucene integration can help your business leverage sophisticated enterprise search capabilities to increase the effectiveness of your business systems. Now more than ever, HotWax Media and OFBiz can help you put the right information in front of the right user at the right time!
Mike Bates founded HotWax Systems in 1997 and is our chief executive. His career in web application sales, marketing, design and development spans two decades, and he is a long time open source software advocate. He has led high-profile web software projects for numerous national and global brands and has taught web development courses at the graduate level. Mike joins other HotWax employees and advisers in periodically posting thoughts here related to HotWax Commerce, OFBiz, digital commerce, and other topics.