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Actinic Catalog

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Actinic Catalog is specifically designed to enable small and medium-sized companies to set up an Internet sales channel. It can be integrated into an existing web design.

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      11.06.2003 17:50
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      Actinic Catalog is a shopping cart software package which enables businesses to sell on-line. Little or not technical knowledge is essential to use the catalog (I'll deliberately use the US spelling as Actinic themselves do, despite being a UK company) which means that straight from opening the software up, you are able to list various products across different sections. We use it to sell books, and have used the software across its different versions for a number of years. We have found the software very accessible, very flexible, and it is a superb example of software being easy enough to use at a low level, whilst also being packed with features for those with a little more technical knowledge who wish to do more powerful functions. The software claims it can handle around 10,000 products, although it can actually take more than this. Unfortunately at this number of products, the software on our computers (which are reasonably fast) can really grind to a halt, but as the software programmers themselves correctly suggest, this is more than enough products for most users. We have used versions 3 and 4 of the software, but a new version is now out, with new features and functions. New features include the ability to order software products through the catalog (ie, you pay on-line and the software download is made available). Older features include stock control, e-mail sending, order processing and the software produces a wide range of different reports. Most users will use this software to accept credit card payments for the products which they sell, but this isn't essential, you can either link the software up with third party payment providers (Paypal for example) or you can use it just to allow the purchaser to send a cheque. Letting them complete the Actinic catalog enables them to generate their own invoice, which makes cheque paying that bit easier. All in all, the software is good. It is nearly bug free, b ut it does sometimes perform a little too slowly. From time to time we had problems with a corrupted database, but a simple back-up procedure (and they do advise regular back-up) soon rectified that problem. The downside? Really, it's the cost. The software retails for around 349 pounds (you can get it a little cheaper if you shop around), which is quite a sum for many businesses who might just want to experiment with on-line selling, or have only a small amount of low-value products to sell. However, this is a one-off fee, and there are no annual charges or commissions to pay. The only other quibble maybe is that if you have two web-sites, such as dooyoo.co.uk and dooyoo.com say, you would have to pay an extra fee to have a shopping cart on each site as the software would require an additional licence. This isn't a major problem though, as you could point one web-site to the other for the purpose of completing the sale, but it might be a potential disadvantage to a small number of customers. All in all though, a great piece of software!

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