OpenX Ad Solutions – Limitations and Workarounds

OpenX is an open source advertising solution that has been widely recognized as the best open source tool for developing ad networks. They also have a hosted solution which handles a large volume of advertisers and publishers. They are now heavily funded by venture capitalists and have elaborate road maps for handling many of the planned enhancements.

At Auro Infotech, we have been using OpenX for over three years during which it has evolved from phpAdsNew to OpenAds to OpenX. We also have an internal advertising platform called Auro Ads which aims to solve a long pending need in the online advertising platform in India ie. the lack of a reliable ad network that will do justice both to the publishers and advertisers. During this process, we learnt a lot about this open source product, its strengths, its limitations and workarounds.

Typically in an ad network you would expect the ability for advertisers and publishers to be able to register automatically and login. OpenX (as of today – 31-Jul-2009) does not have this functionality integrated into it. We came up with a way to build our own advertiser registration page and a publisher registration page, which will store information separately, validate it and then add it to the master ad network so that they can access the system easily.

For one of our clients, we added a new banner type (not available in OpenX) to be available for their publishers and advertisers.

Another requirement is the ability to manage the background color of the campaign and the banner. While we have been able to successfully integrate the feature to manage background colour of a campaign, we have not yet been able to give the same feature for managing background colour of the banner. We hope to be able to accomplish this within the next week or so.

We are looking forward to wrapping up this version and also work on the next features which be quite challenging (such as integrating video ads in OpenX, etc). Will keep you updated on these exciting changes happening in August 2009.

If you have any OpenX related requirement or any question about OpenX, please feel free to ask.