OpenACS is a framework for building web sites. Its emphasis is building community-oriented web sites, and it comes with many pre-built packages such as: bulletin boards (forums), news, classifieds, ecommerce, etc. It has a strong templating system and database api.

It runs on the AOLserver and NaviServer web servers, and requires either a PostgreSQL or Oracle database.

Home page:

Books and Articles:

See SysAdmin magazine, Feb 2003, pages 41-45 for the article "The OpenACS E-Commerce Solution", by Rafael Calvo and Mark Aufflick.

See a series of articles on OpenACS (and also Zope), by Reuven Lerner in Linux Journal, starting in issue 101.

  • At the Forge: Introducing AOLserver[L1 ]
  • At the Forge: OpenACS[L2 ]
  • At the Forge: OpenACS Packages[L3 ]
  • At the Forge: Creating OpenACS Packages[L4 ]
  • At the Forge: OpenACS Templates[L5 ]

'Some notable users:


The precursor to OpenACS is ACS, the arsDigita Community System. There we have the connection to Philip Greenspun, the operator of , and author of two books about database backed websites in which he uses the beginnings of ACS as his examples.

Packages and Extras:

OpenACS includes many useful packages by default, with even more available at the web site. Here are some maintained at other locations on the web:

I've written a binding that allows you to run OpenACS code using Tom Poindexter's FastCGI library.

It doesn't yet support the full OpenACS toolkit, but by avoiding unsupported API calls you should be able to write high performance web applications in TCL that run under either AOLServer or Apache.

(7oct2003 JJS)

Is an extremely ambitious-looking project-management/CRM/ERP open source package built on top of OpenACS.

SEH -- 1/12/05

XOwiki [L6 ] is a wiki based on OpenACS and implemented in XOtcl.