As one of the biggest eCommerce platforms, Shopify is constantly working on attracting more customers to use its services and developers to contribute to the technical growth. The article on Shopify’s blog Shopify Editions: The Biggest Developer Updates for Summer ’22 explains the changes and new features they implemented for merchants and developers on the platform. In this regard, we will review the most important updates related to the functionality and development of applications for Shopify.
The introduction of Shopify functions means that merchants can extend the backend functionality and logic of certain parts of a store from the admin panel. Moreover, some of the manipulations do not even require the knowledge of a code. Basically, the principle of functions implies that one can write the inputs and determine function logic which would influence the particular outputs. For instance, a merchant can define the discount logic in the cart, which would determine the discounted price considering the types or amount of items in a cart. Adding functions to applications is a great way for developers to extend the functionality of their products, while merchants who use these apps benefit from the more convenient configuration of these functions to meet the needs of a store. Hence, Shopify provides the opportunity for the developers to enhance the experience and functionality of stores for the merchants. More importantly, Shopify promises to expand on the things that can be configured through the functions in the future.
Hydrogen + Oxygen
Hydrogen is an excellent addition to the platform, which provides the react-based framework to create custom storefronts which would work with Shopify’s backend and APIs. Generally, Hydrogen is a way to create a headless storefront which can be deployed on different platforms while using the Shopify database and its core features. However, it is mainly used to customize a Shopify store’s themes and frontend. One of the benefits of using Hydrogen is that it uses the data (products, categories) from the Shopify stores to populate the site in development and demonstrate how it works. The Hydrogen synchronizes with the Git account, and after cloning the repository, a developer can work on a project locally.
Meanwhile, Shopify also introduced Oxygen which is the hosting solution for the development and deployment of Hydrogen storefronts. Shopify takes care of the security, performance, and support of Oxygen, but it is available only for Shopify Plus members. With the combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen, a development process is not only more smooth but also more effective since the server infrastructure is run from one place.
Built for Shopify and Updated Liquid
Built for Shopify initiative implies that Shopify provides for the app developers guidelines, which should be implemented to make an application as much compatible with the platform as possible. App Design Guidelines make the development process more straightforward by providing tools and documentation and contributing to an excellent end product that meets Shopify’s standards. The applications that were developed according to these guidelines will be in Shopify App Store, which brings visibility to it and can be sold there. Therefore, the developers can profit from selling applications from the app store, while merchants will be getting the applications with the best possible optimization for the platform.
Another update in Shopify’s development is the redesigned Liquid references. Namely, Shopify’s template language Liquid is used for theme development and allows making changes to the frontend of a store. The updated reference documentation with the Liquid tags, objects, and filters not only provides all the required information for building themes but also makes the development easier by allowing prototyping right from the docs.
It is clear that Shopify continuously improves the tools for the developers and merchants who use the platforms to create more eCommerce products and use these capabilities to enhance the operations of online stores. The use of Hydrogen + Oxygen and Shopify functions can be a great addition to the functionality of Shopify’s applications. Meanwhile, the updated app guidelines and Liquid references can help the developers benefit from better application optimization and production, which eventually can bring profits to the development team.