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Shopify App Development Made Simple with HTTP APIs and Guzzle

In this tutorial, you’re going to get started with developing Shopify apps. You’re going to create a simple app that lists out products from a Shopify store. The full source code of the app is available on Github.

Shopify logo

What are Shopify Apps?

Shopify apps are a way of extending the functionality of a Shopify store or to provide ecommerce capabilities to websites or mobile apps. Here’s a list of approaches to do this:

  • HTTP API – gives web apps the ability to perform different operations in a Shopify store. Things like adding a customer, getting a list of products, or listening for different events. This is done by means of webhooks.
  • JavaScript Buy SDK – allows you to fetch product information, add items to a cart and checkout either from a website or hybrid mobile apps such as those built with Cordova.
  • Embedded App SDK – allows you to embed your web app directly into the Shopify admin interface. This is useful for apps that have an admin settings page. Instead of the user having to access it on a separate website, the web app will be loaded as an iframe.
  • iOS and Android Buy – used for integrating Shopify checkout into your iOS or Android app.
  • Shopify POS App SDK – allows you to embed your web apps directly inside the Shopify POS.

In this tutorial, you’re going to learn about the HTTP API.

Sign up for a Shopify Partner Account

The first thing that you need to do is to sign up for a Shopify Partner Account. This allows you to create a development store for testing a Shopify app. You will be asked to fill out a form with things like your company name, business type, email address, website, password and other relevant information.

Shopify Partner Signup

If all the information you provided is valid, you should be greeted with the following page:

Shopify Partner Success Page

Create a Development Store

The next step is creating a development store which is like a Shopify store. You can add products, store HTML and CSS code for themes, and test purchases through a bogus payment gateway. The only limitation is that you can’t add a custom domain or charge customers in a development store.

Click the Create a development store button and you will be redirected to the following page:

Create Development Store

Add the store name, the password for logging in to the store (your Shopify partner email address is the login email), and the kind of store to create. Stick with an Online store for now. This gives you the ability to build custom themes, develop an app, or set up your client’s online store. Once you’re done with filling the form, click the Create Store button to create the development store.

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