Alternative for OpenX OnRamp

Over the weekend, we were surprised to receive a large number of request for information about our OpenX Source hosting service. At first, it wasn’t clear what was happening, but we soon realized that people were unable to log in on OpenX OnRamp, the free hosting service offered by the OpenX company, based on the OpenX Source software. And to make matters worse, the ads were not being delivered from OpenX OnRamp either.

On Sunday night, a message was posted on the OpenX Community forum mentioning that OpenX OnRamp had been taken offline, and that more news would follow. That update took a little while, but eventually very late on Monday a second annoucement appeared on the forum, with the news: OpenX OnRamp will be canceled for good.

For many users of OpenX OnRamp, already troubled by bad performance and frequent down time issues, this is bad news. The OpenX Source software, used as the basis for OpenX OnRamp, is very user friendly and easy to learn. Free hosting was a nice bonus, even though one could ask wat to expect in terms of support and long term commitment from a service where the provider would be losing money on it all the time.

The OpenX company would rather see their customers migrate to OpenX Enterprise, of course, but for most users that is not a feasible alternative. This service is rather expensive and is almost exclusively used by very large organizations (more than 100 million impressions per month).

We feel that the OpenX Source software, free to download by anyone, is a very suitable alternative to OpenX OnRamp. The main advantage is that the user interface is the same, so ad operations staff will know exactly how to use it. We also realize that many organizataions do not have the expertise, the time, or the desire to take care of the hosting of OpenX Source internally.

We started a hosting service for OpenX Source in the spring of 2008, which is being used by an ever growing number of customers. In close cooperation with a specialized technical hosting company, we designed a server platform, which we’ve grown significantly over the past 5 years. Companies big and small in all parts of the world have entrusted the hosting of the ad server to us.

This Monday, we’ve been busy answering the requests for information that came in over the weekend, preparing new contracts and even taking a set of new users on board. While we were doing all that, new request for informaton kept flooding in on Monday.

We realize that everyone is looking for an alternative to OpenX OnRamp, and we are doing our best to be of service for everyone as quickly as we possibly can. But just like in the past few years, our emphasis will be on the quality and reliablity of the service we provide to our customers, the way they expect from us and what they’ve grown accustomed to.

Are you interested in continuing to work with the OpenX Source software, now that OpenX OnRamp is no longer available? Then please read about our hosting service and submit the form to request information about our OpenX Source hosting service.

OpenX Ad Server v2.8.4 announced

OpenX Ad Server version 2.8.4 announced

OpenX Ad Server version 2.8.4 announced

On Friday, January 22, as one of the last things before the start of the weekend, announced the upcoming release of version 2.8.4 of the OpenX Ad Server. According to the blog post, the free service OpenX Community Hosted has already been upgraded, and the new version will be available for download ‘later in the week’ (which is a bit odd, because at the time of posting the week was effectively over).

More focus on OpenX Market

The announcement on the blog focuses primarily on the many changes and new features for using the OpenX Market. That’s not surprising, because OpenX Market is the main source of revenue for the company. Making it easier for more OpenX publishers to participate in this market was a move that was to be expected.

Bug fixes and improvements

The blog post doesn’t mention it, but this new release also fixes dozens of bugs and long standing issues. The Issue Tracker on the OpenX Developer site lists a total of 144 issues. A little bit surprising, perhaps, is that only 115 of these have been labeled as ‘fixed’.

Version 2.8.4 includes the security fix that was rushed out just before Christmas with the emergency release of version 2.8.3, and it also contains the fix for the serious under delivery problem for contract campaigns. Both of these fixes were contributed by independent consultant and developer Matteo Beccati.

Reviews to follow

Since the downloadable version of OpenX Ad Server v2.8.4 is not yet available, I haven’t been able to test drive it yet. I do have the OpenX Community Hosted account, and I can see the new features for working with OpenX Market in there.

I’m planning on writing some follow up blog posts as soon as possible, for instances about the new upgrade procedure (which is said to have a mandatory registration step), the new OpenX Market features and other noteworthy issues.

Your feedback, please!

What would you like to know about this new release? What should I be researching and writing about? Drop a comment below or contact me with your views!

You can submit my OpenX support request form if you’d like to discuss working with me on your OpenX project.