eCommerce – January 30th, 2014

At some point, most websites become about ‘selling something’ – whether its selling products or services. There is a big chance that you need to deal with taking a customer’s money.  From providing a useful interface for potential customers to use to see what you offer, to the actual act of accepting a credit card payment, there are more and more services appearing to make it easier to accomplish this.  Come listen to four experts in the field talk about eCommerce and eCommerce solutions for PHP developers from wildly different points of view!

When: January 30th, 2014 – 12:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern Time


12:00 – 12:50pm eCommerce Content Management – Patrick Schwisow
1:00 – 1:50pm Using, and Learning From, Stripe – Larry Ullman
2:00 – 2:50pm PHP eCommerce Evolution: Then, Now, the Future – Ben Marks
3:00 – 3:50pm A Service Architecture Approach to Ecommerce – Luke Stokes

*Schedule subject to change.


Patrick Schwisow

Talk: eCommerce Content Management

Speaker: Patrick Schwisow

BIO: Patrick has been into web technologies since the “bad old days” when animated GIFs were required on all sites and the BLINK tag still had some supporters. He suffered through several years of procedural programming in PHP4 before discovering the glories of OOP in PHP5. Patrick is a Team Leader and Senior Software Engineer at OpticsPlanet, Inc. in Northbrook, IL, and regularly works with Zend Framework, Doctrine 2, Symfony 2, and several less fun technologies. After hours, he’s the founder and organizer of the Lake / Kenosha County PHP Users Group.

ABSTRACT: For a small-scale eCommerce operation you can edit pages manually, but as your company grows, you will quickly reach the limits of this approach. OpticsPlanet, Inc. has created its own eCommerce Content Management System (CMS) that handles data for nearly a million products, publishes to a dozen online stores, and lists products through Amazon, eBay, and I’ll discuss the challenges of managing a large catalog of product data and share lessons learned in building, improving, and extending the application at the core of a growing online retailer.

Larry Ullman

Talk: Using, and Learning From, Stripe

Speaker: Larry Ullman

BIO: Larry Ullman has been developing websites, primarily using PHP, since 1999. During that time, his clients have ranged from small independents, to non-profits, to government organizations, even to the occasional Fortune 500 company. Larry is also the author of over 20 books on programming and development, which have been translated into more than 20 languages and sold around the world. Larry has written numerous articles, spoken at conferences, and performed both online and live training. Larry currently works as a Support Engineer at Stripe.

ABSTRACT: Developing large scale websites is not for the faint of heart, and any e-commerce site is remarkably hard to do well, regardless of size. It’s unfortunate that these hurdles exist, as these two project types are among the most demanded. In 14 years as a PHP developer, Larry Ullman learned a fair amount about these subjects, but he picked up more, and arguably better, solutions for these problems by using, and learning from, Stripe. In this presentation, Larry uses his time as a PHP developer, plus his role as a Support Engineer at Stripe, to provide not just expert tips on integrating Stripe into your site (for crazy-easy processing of payments), but also several valuable lessons about building good, reliable, and scalable sites.

Ben Marks

Talk: PHP eCommerce Evolution: Then, Now, the Future

Speaker: Ben Marks

BIO: Ben started learning PHP and eCommerce in 2003 and has been working with PHP daily ever since, with brief experience in CakePHP and Zend Framework. For the past five years he has been working almost exclusively with Magento, first as a developer, and now primarily as an educator and SME. He has yet to encounter a day, student, or situation when there wasn’t something for him to learn, and he likes it that way.

ABSTRACT: From the early days of The Exchange Project/osCommerce to the advent of Magento and commodification of WordPress and Drupal, many PHP developers either got their start in programming or grew their careers by providing eCommerce services. Both the language of and development practices with PHP have matured, giving rise to PHP in enterprise eCommerce. This session provides a brief retrospective of a decade of PHP eCommerce projects, where we are now, and a look to the future of eCommerce with PHP.

Luke Stokes

Talk: A Service Architecture Approach to eCommerce

Speaker: Luke Stokes

BIO: Co-founder and core developer of which is an ecommerce shopping cart system built in PHP by developers for developers. Founded in 2007, we serve users around the world and process millions of dollars in transactions each month. With a remote team and a passion to serve customers, I have a real-world perspective on boot strapping a versioned software as a service startup company.

ABSTRACT: eCommerce done right is rarely a turnkey solution. There are many pieces specific to the client’s business model which have to be adjusted for a successful ecommerce project. Those include the website components, catalog, inventory, user system, CRM, analytics, affiliate and email marketing, payment gateways, merchant accounts, alternative payment systems, order management, accounting, dunning, reporting, and fulfilment. There’s also the cart experience, downloadables, recurring payments, taxes, shipping, anti-fraud tools, discounts, and PCI compliance. This presentation will provide an overview for how these pieces fit together based on FoxyCart’s experience empowering thousands of online stores since 2007. Using best of breed tools gives you the most power and flexibility.