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Hosting for Niche Software and Apps

The wonderful thing about the internet is that it is so huge that anything you need, someone else needs too. In fact, not only do other people need it, but someone has probably thought to build it.

Of course, some categories have a lot of options — blogs are very popular so there are a lot of blogs, every website uses a content management system so there are a lot of content management systems. Not every category of application is so needed that there are dozens of competing projects, but even the most unusual requirements have attracted development teams creating niche software.

Asterisk - Asterisk is a telephone PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system that runs on a server, with connected telephones. It serves as a link between an organization’s phone system and a public phone service like like a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) or a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system.

Asterisk common phone system tasks such as phone-tree menus, conference calls, call queues, voice mail, and other typical needs.

Asterisk is also extensible, allowing developers to build new modules which an organization can use to programatically control a phone system, and connect that phone system to other systems. For example, a system might route an incoming phone call to a customer service agent while at the same time displaying the customer account data associated with that phone number to the agents computer screen.

There are a number of proprietary, and very costly, PBX systems available. Asterisk was one of the first Open Source solutions available.

DotNetInvoice - DotNet Invoice is a simple invoicing system that runs on the .NET platform. The interface is web-based and easy to use, especially for non-tech people. It integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks, and can be extended by any .NET developer.

Joget - Joget Workflow is an enterprise business process application that allows organization to create business apps which combine business processes with form entry, data submission, and records management.

Joget is web-based, featuring a drag-and-drop GUI that allows non-programmers to build and specify app processes. It is Open Source, and built on Java.

OpenDb - The Open Media Collectors Database is a web application that allows individuals or small organizations to inventory and catalog their media collection (CDs, DVDs, books). It keeps track of who you have lent materials out to. Essentially, it functions as a light weight library catalog system.

OpenDb is Open Source, written in PHP, and uses a MySQL database.

WWW Paint Board - WWW Paint Board is a defunct web application that allowed users to draw vector graphics in a browser-based GUI. It was written in Javascript and relied on Vector Markup Language (VML).

It is still available for download, but it has not been under active development since 2005, and is likely not fully compatible with modern browser technology.

anyInventory - anyInventory is a defunct web application that served as a basic online inventory tool. It provided a highly customizable system that allowed users to track products of all types, with user-specified data fields.

It is still available for download, but it has not been under active development since 2005, and is likely not fully compatible with modern browser or server technology.

Dolibarr - Dolibarr is a combination of ERB (Enterprise Resource PLanning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, providing a complete solution to Enterprise business management. Dolibarr tracks projects, customers, orders, inventory, and invoices. It also has an integrated mobile app.

Dolibarr is Open Source. It can be hosted on one’s own server, or users can purchase a hosted SaaS (software as a service) plan.

Noah’s Classifieds - Noah’s Classified was originally an Open Source PHP web application for creating a classified ad site similar to Craig’s List. It has recently been re-launched as a commercial product, with cloud-hosted and self-hosted options available. A free version is still available.

Open-Realty - Open Realty is an Open Source Content Management System and Customer Relationship Management system specialized for real estate. It helps manage listings, guided tour galleries, contacts, content pages, and blog posts.

Open Realty is written in PHP and Javascript, and uses a MySQL database.

OpenBiblio - OpenBiblio is an Open Source library catalog system written in PHP. Features include OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog), circulation, lending, cataloging, and staff administration.

OrangeHRM- OrangeHRMis a popular Human Resource management application. Features include onboarding, personal information management (PIM), employee self-service (ESS), leave management, time and attendance tracking (PTO), performance evaluation, and recruitment.

OrangeHRM is available as a self-host, Open Source application. There are also two paid versions — Orange HTML Professional and OrangeHRM Enterprise.

SHOUTcast - SHOUTcast is a complete tool for managing an online radio station. It provides a total solution for streaming live or pre-recorded audio. SHOUTcast also provides a platform for sharing and discovering internet radio stations, as well as a robust API for integrating their service with third-party delivery services like Roku.

Also see: Niche hosting categories - for other kinds of speciality website software you may be looking to use for your next project.

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