"There's an app for everything" was the slogan used by none other than Steve Jobs to promote the first iPhone in the early 2000s. Shopify also knows how to convince with various applications and enjoys a steadily growing popularity, not least because of this. However, even this system does not provide a solution for all cases, which is why we at Latori program apps independently at the request of our customers. This article shows how we proceed and which tools are suitable for our own app development.
You need help with app development? We well be happy to help you!
Why is app programming for Shopify even necessary?
Especially for beginners and those who want to quickly go live with their own online store, Shopify is a great option because the basic functions can be extended very easily and without programming knowledge through apps.
The problem: As soon as a store requires individual solutions, standard apps quickly reach their limits because they can at best offer a compromise. However, those who want to stand out from the crowd and convince with unique features are rarely willing to cut corners. In addition, third-party programs are always a potential security risk or have a negative impact on performance. This is where in-house development serves to increase customer satisfaction.
What Shopify apps does Latori program?
Individual programming by Latori can look completely different. For example, we developed our own product configurator for our customer Fahnen Kössinger, with which products can be created completely on-the-fly. We have also developed a backend app for Asphaltgold, using Ruby on Rails, which serves as a supplement to the existing Raffle app.
We also develop other apps that relate to reporting. These include, for example, detailed order information and / or user data.
If a customer has more than one web presence in use, synchronisation of the different shops should often take place, which considerably reduces the work and maintenance effort. For communication between online shop and merchandise management, a suitable interface is usually also required, which necessitates in-house programming.
Develop Shopify apps yourself - best with Ruby on Rails
Shopify works on the basis of the Ruby on Rails programming language, a Ruby framework also known as RoR or Rails in technical jargon. For the best possible implementation of individual customer requirements, we at Latori also rely on the syntax. The API connection is made via a so-called RubyGem called shopify_app. Gems are ready-made information that can be integrated into the respective project.
Once the communication between Rails and Shopify is established, endpoints can be requested from the Shopify API. Shopify offers a wide range of endpoints on its own. This allows for extensive changes to the system and the creation of entirely new functionality.
You learn more about App Development of Shopify Apps here.
React & Polaris im Frontend
Rails is primarily used for backend development, where it is used to process & store data in PostgreSQL databases. In the frontend, we rely on the React and Polaris libraries.
In principle, Polaris could also be used in HTML, CSS or JS stack, but because of its targeted optimization for React, the library is predestined for use together with the framework. We use Polaris in app development because it allows us to give the customer a constant design - whether they are in our own app or the standard admin area of Shopify.
Shopify App Development - These are the Shopify Apps we have developed
The xentral app from Latori
Latori has developed an interface for Shopify and the ERP system xentral, with which, for example, products can be maintained within the ERP system and then synchronized in Shopify. This was implemented using Rails in conjunction with React.
React makes it possible to create a so-called single-page app. We took advantage of this when programming the xentral app. Instead of going through a loop of successive landing pages, users can stay on one and the same page. This allows for very quick input of information on the part of the customer.
This data is queried using GraphQL, a query language for APIs, which allows us to retrieve data sets in a targeted manner. For example, if the store owner needs information about the prices of different products, the query can be limited to this data instead of simply providing all available info. This makes data analysis much more convenient and takes much less time.
The backend app for Asphaltgold
Asphaltgold needed a backend app for the already existing Raffle mobile app. Using Ruby on Rails, we developed this backend app, which provides the Raffle app with data and handles the handling.
Furthermore, the Asphaltgold team can use the backend app to draw winners for the raffle of purchase rights.
Reading tip: How Asphaltgold is taking off thanks to Shopify and a new app.
usercentrics - Public App with Latori
usercentrics is one of the best-known cookie consent solutions and an indispensable part of the cookie banner world. Thanks to the excellent cooperation between usercentrics and Latori, the Public App was developed quickly and without any problems. It is continuously updated with new functions and is available in the Shopify App Store.
Backend app for Babbel
Babbel also needed a backend app, this was to help manage vouchers and learning path PDFs, send reporting emails on usage intensity and connect to the AWS S3 file server. This app was developed and implemented by Latori.
Reading tip: We have summarised the best Shopify apps for you in this article.
Gymondo - Custom Shopify App
Gymondo needed a custom app to manage their coupon codes. The app, developed by Latori, allows the Gymondo team to upload large amounts of codes and sends the team an email when codes are about to run out.
Mobile shopping app for GoTiger
Asian food supplier GoTiger needed a shopping app for iOS and Android in a very short time. Thanks to the good cooperation between GoTiger and Latori, this app was developed and published in only 4 weeks.
Reading tip: You can follow the whole GoTiger success story here.
Tax Exempt Manager
Of course, we can't forget our own Shopify apps in this list. One of these apps is the Tax Exempt Manager, which you can download from the Shopify App Store and connect to your Shopify shop. This helps you to comply with the applicable tax regulations when selling internationally. This way you can easily organise your B2B business.
You can download the Tax Exempt Manager here.
Latori Best Price Indicator
Another of our apps available in the Shopify App Store is the Latori Best Price Indicator. This supports you in complying with the applicable EU law and in making sales-promoting statements legally compliant and displaying them in the shop.
Click here to download the Latori Best Price Indicator.
Shopify offers many possibilities to implement your own online shop quickly and easily. However, this often does not cover special requirements, so app development is inevitable for certain demands.
We at Latori have specialised in app development for Shopify and speak the Shopify programming language fluently.
Frequently Asked Questions about Shopify App Development
Which Shopify apps can be developed?
With the Shopify programming language, you can meet almost any requirement and program different apps, such as a product configurator or a backend app.
How long does it take to develop a custom Shopify app?
This is difficult to answer, as it is always linked to the requirements that the app should fulfill. Feel free to talk to us about app development and the requirements you want your app to meet.
Why should I develop a custom Shopify app?
Shopify offers you with the app development the possibility to modify the functionality of your Shopify store and adapt it entirely to your needs and requirements.