This blog article is all about your possibilities for custom extension development in Shopware cloud with private apps and custom entities.
The term “private” refers to the availability of your app. When you publish an app through the Shopware Store, anyone can buy, rent and install it.
Starting with Shopware 188.8.131.52 which was released in March 2022 it is possible to also upload your app directly in the Administration of a Shopware cloud shop, which was previously only available in self-managed environments. You develop an app, upload it directly to a shop, done.
This opens interesting opportunities. Even if until now you’re only selling on the Shopware Store, give this a read, it could be great news for you.
Why use private apps?
Whether you are a merchant or an agency, creating an extension specific for one shop or a small group of customers is daily business. And in general, the extension will be a plugin, because this is how things are done in the Shopware universe.
With the introduction of the app system, Plugins are not your only option though. And with private apps and the addition of app Scripting, this becomes a real alternative you should consider.
The cloud is getting more customers – not only in the Shopware world but in general. Think about it, how many cloud services that you didn’t install yourself are you using daily, and how many did you use five years ago?
Sure, there will always be a good part of Shops that are self-managed – but ask yourself why. Is anyone happy having to deal with hosting, upgrades and technical details of system-level problems? The answer from a business perspective is most probably no. It is a necessity that exists because it is the only way certain goals can be achieved, mainly customization of the store.
When someone builds a better cloud, people will start to use it, if it solves their problems.
Shopware cloud is quite fresh, and we are making it better every day. It is open source – the exact same code that you get when you download Shopware from GitHub is also used in the cloud. And with private apps, it is also more customizable than before.
So even if you don’t have cloud customers yet or you are not hosting your shop in the cloud yet, starting with apps now is a solid investment in the future. You don’t have to bet on the success of Shopware cloud, since apps work the same in self-managed environments. But you are prepared to switch to cloud as soon as it benefits you.
The game changer: app scripting
Private apps are only half the story. As of now, a lot of hesitation towards app development stems from the uncertainty that comes with having to host your own app__ backend infrastructure__. And if you want to change anything meaningful in Shopware, you need to execute logic.
You already know by now that customizing individual shops with private apps is easily doable in cloud and self-managed.
With__ apps scripting__ it is also possible in a lot of cases to do this without using a backend server. In a nutshell, it allows you to listen to events (called hooks) in your app and then either change data or add it.
This is all done in Twig. Mainly for technical reasons, but it has the benefit of being a language you already know.
The effect of this is: You can execute logic within your app without having to host your own app server. Combine that with private apps and you can customize shops like you are used to, but all the benefits that come with apps like running in cloud and having a stable, well-defined API.
The app scripting system is still evolving and becomes more powerful by the day. Start now and be an active part of it, helping to shape the system and how it works. That is good for Shopware because more activity means better feedback. And it is good for you because being early to the party means not falling behind the competition.
The rising star: Custom Entities
The last part of the puzzle is that private apps are something that was released with Shopware 184.108.40.206 in May 2022: custom entities.
With that, apps can define their own entities and then work with them. Those custom entities can not only be used to be displayed in the storefront but they can also be used in the checkout. You are no longer bound to the definition of a product that Shopware is giving you.
That opens a whole new world of possibilities in the context of apps and will also be developed further.
There was never a better time to start with app development than now – except for yesterday.
Head over to the documentation to start learning about app scripting, private apps, and custom entities to create apps on a whole new level!
Take your chance – at the Shopware App Contest!
If you are interested in joining Shopware's App Contest to harvest prizes and fame you should take a look at the following page to get all the information.