Alternative for OpenX OnRamp

A week ago, users of OpenX OnRamp were ‘just’ wondering what they should do about the OpenX Market being closed off for them starting February 16, 2013. But then, completely unexpected, and without any warning, a much more urgent problem emerged when OpenX decided to shut down the OpenX OnRamp service on Saturday February 9, leaving their websites with blank ad spots, advertisers with no service and publishers without revenue.

So now that OpenX OnRamp is gone for good, are there any alternatives? Of course there are!

Some publishers have migrated to other ad servers by now. Others have downloaded (zip file) and installed a copy of OpenX Source on their own server and replaced the invocation code on their site(s), perhaps with something smart like Single Page Call. If you did, don’t forget to disable the OpenX Market plugin, since it won’t work any way after today.

Hosting for OpenX Source ad serverHowever, if you want to continue using the ad server system you know and love, but don’t want to spend time and energy on installing and configuring the software, there is another option: OpenX Source hosting. Also read the blog post on this alternative for OpenX OnRamp. This OpenX Source hosting service is not free, like OnRamp was, but it is more affordable than you might think. Just fill out the form and you will receive all the information in your inbox.

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What happened to OpenX 3.0?

One year ago, on December 16, 2009, I met with OpenX CTO John Linden and OpenX Vice President of Enterprise Sales Mike Downey, during their stay in The Netherlands. They were visiting several countries and companies in Europe that week and I had the opportunity to sit down with them in a cafe in the center of Amsterdam for almost 2 hours.
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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, OpenX.org 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.

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Concerns about OpenX Hosted system performance

In recent months, a number of people contacted me about OpenX Hosted (which has recently been renamed to OpenX Community Hosted). They all seem to be experiencing the same problem: using the OpenX Hosted user interface, for instance to add campaigns or to view statistics, is impossible because of technical problems. The system is either extremely slow or it doesn’t work at all, displaying an error message instead. I haven’t had any direct reports from people about the actual delivery of ads. However, the absence of evidence is not the same as the evidence as absence.
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Hosting OpenX Ad Server: where and how?

OpenX Ad Server logo

There are three options for hosting the OpenX Ad Server: hosting it yourself, opening an account at OpenX Hosted, or outsourcing the hosting to a specialized company

Once you’ve decided that you want to start using the OpenX Ad Server, the next important decision is: where and how do I host my OpenX Ad Server?

There are basically three options:

  • hosting it yourself on your own site or server
  • opening an account at OpenX Hosted
  • outsourcing the hosting to a specialist company

Below, I will discuss all three options and the pros and cons of each. As is so often the case, every situation will have it’s own characteristics, so there is no single answer to the questions of where to host OpenX. I hope that you will be able to make your own decision based on the information presented here.

Factors to keep in mind: costs, flexibility, scalability and peace of mind

When making the decision about where and how to host your OpenX system, there are a number of factors to keep in mind: costs, flexibility, scalability and peace of mind.

Nowadays, costs seem to be the only aspect that people consider. That’s understandable, because it’s very easy to quantify and compare them. It can be appealing to look for the least expensive solution in the short term, but in the long term that could result in unexpected expenses and worries.

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