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Shopware Community Day 2020 – The Great Recap

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Highlights, interviews and a glimpse behind the scenes

For the past nine years Shopware enthusiasts have met up each year at a location in Germany to listen to the latest updates and product rollouts of Shopware. And this year, on June 18 and 19, we celebrated the 10th edition of Shopware Community Day, and 20 years of Shopware. But this year with an online twist to the event.

For two days the Shopware Community Days livestream broadcasted 34 talks, watched by over 3000 participants from all over the world including Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Poland, all the way up to Ecuador, Mauritius, and the Philippines.

How did some of the speakers, crew members and visitors experienced the day?

Björn Meß

First Björn Meß (Event Manager at Shopware) tells us about this year's organizational challenges:

"We basically planned a very normal community day for 2020 in Duisburg, in the Landschaftspark park, as we did in 2018 and 2019. Around mid-March the local government finally announced events up to that size were prohibited until further notice. The week of the cancellation was quite hard because we didn't know what to do from that point. Do we just cancel the Shopware Community Day completely for 2020? That wasn't an option for us. We are celebrating 10 years of Shopware Community Day, and 20 years of Shopware. We had to do something!"

"I personally, very much enjoyed both days, especially the fact that I could just sit back and watch the live stream. We didn't have to run around to get to a certain room as you normally have to at the conference. I think it was the first time I attended the conference where my legs didn't hurt."

"And Slack worked out well for the networking. It's always a good experience to see that people lose shyness. There were so many people, logging in and chatting about all kinds of stuff and also in the live chat. And the feedback that we got was actually that the QA sessions were too short and that's good. We were unsure of whether this tool would be used to fill a five or maybe even 10 minute Q&A or not, but obviously yes."

The event was streamed live from the Shopware Campus in Schöppingen. Do you want to know more about the production of Shopware Community Day? Read the full interview with Björn down below.

Joshua Behrens

We talk to Joshua Behrens, partner and developer at Heptacom and Shopware Ambassador on how he experienced attending Shopware Community Day 2020.

"This year, it was very easy for me to watch all the talks and there were no technical problems. For an online event that used to be in-person previously it went really well. I was sorry to see the tracks reduced to one main stage because they had one video stream. That means they had to remove lots of the content they wanted to show."

What were some of the highlights for you of the Shopware Community Day lineup?

"One that really stood out was the ‘Matter of trust’ by Ramona and Phillip. I guess it was one of the first talks Shopware Community Day had about testing. It gives an inside view into how they handle testing. We didn't know much about the testing philosophy behind Shopware. So it showed us another perspective of looking at it."

"I also took the information that Dominic had in his Store API talk and compared it to some of the use cases I already had worked on with the Storefront API. So the ancestor of this API that they showed there. I looked to see if it is now easier to get my own end points into that API compared to the old way. It is certainly easier, there are also some new restrictions, but it's a good exchange all in all."

Read the full interview with Joshua about his view on Shopware, his background and more down below.

Fabian Blechschmidt

Fabian Blechschmidt, both speaker and conference attendee, enjoyed his Shopware Community Day:

Grafik_Fabian-Blechschmidt_Zitat-860x250_EN_zugeschnitten

Keynotes, product presentations and voices from the community

Stefan Hamann

The event kick-off on day one is a keynote by Stefan Hamann, CEO and cofounder of Shopware. Not just talking about the product, we also get a glimpse behind the scenes of the early days of Shopware, and how the company expanded to over 200 colleagues.

Can you remember the first customer on Shopware about who you were amazed such a company would choose Shopware as their platform?

"It was Arktis.de, they were one of our first customers, and it was interesting to have such a big project early on. We learned a lot about scalability for instance. Most shops had 5 or 10 orders per day, ACTIS was doing 100. This improved Shopware as a product early on."

"So that was the birth of Shopware in 2004 and roughly two years later, we released Shopware 2. And in Shopware 2 there were already some mechanics that you can see today. The Shopping Experiences for example, the drag and drop behaviour, was already part of the product in 2006."

Looking at Shopware 6 today, can you identify the decisive moments over the last 20 years that led the company to build Shopware 6, into what it is today?

"The most important development was in 2015, I would say that was the year when Shopware 5 was released. It had the same code base since Shopware 3. We had to make a really hard decision, to write everything from scratch for Shopware 6."

"I believe it was the right decision to start with an established framework, like Symfony from the PHP side, because that speeds everything up. We don't have to invest time in things that have already been developed a thousand times out there and we can focus more on the eCommerce functionality and the core competencies of Shopware."

Read the full interview with Stefan about the evolution of Shopware as a company, the product, and his role down below.

Shopware in the Cloud

Another big product rollout is the new Shopware Cloud. A SaaS version of Shopware 6. Both Jörn Paulsen, Director Product for Cloud Services, and Christian Rades, Core Developer, spoke about the latest addition to the Shopware product family.

Jörn Paulsen

"While Shopware 6 was being built we already had something called "playgrounds", which offered a Shopware 6 sandbox to developers. These were hosted on AWS as cloud solutions much like Shopware Cloud is today. This means we already had experience with AWS, as well as a solution that could run in the cloud. The next step was to launch the demo shops used to show Shopware 6 to the world, which were like a further development of the AWS infrastructure. We launched in September of 2019. This year was the third evolution of the SaaS infrastructure. There were a lot of things done to perfect the infrastructure for this multi-tenant solution of Shopware 6 on AWS. I would say that is not just the software that runs on AWS servers, it's a real cloud-native product now."

Christian Rades

"I do think there will be some impactful changes for developers. When it comes to creating Apps for Shopware cloud, developers can do this in any language they want, and host it where they want. Most developers who are working with Shopware 6 right now would be able to write a Shopware App system application just like any other web application."

"The actual files you write for Shopware, those are just an interface definition. It describes what events you want to be subscribed to, and what changes you want to do to the UI of the shop. The app is basically two parts. The aforementioned interface description, what we call manifesting XML. And the rest of it is the back end. This is just an application that provides HTTP endpoints which listen to observed events. It communicates with Shopware itself via APIs over HTTPS."

More can be read about the features and functionality of Shopware cloud in the interview with Jörn, and more in depth information on developing apps in the interview with Christian.

Going headless

And of course there was plenty of content around Headless APIs and PWA.

Dominik Klein

Dominic Klein, Technical Specialist at Shopware, talks about the new Store API:

"The Key takeaway I wanted to convey in my talk "Introducing Store API" at the Shopware Community Day is the understanding that the shop system, Shopware 6, and the frontend interface are not one stack."

"When you see a platform as one monolithic stack it will restrict the freedom in development. While it might seem convenient to have the opportunity to call your MySQL database even from the template files, for the sake of creating a robust application it is something that you certainly do not want to allow. You want to introduce a level of abstraction in order to craft good software, which allows for better extension for example, which gives developers a broader set of tools to work with and build on."

"I wanted to convey the understanding of having a functional space in the software, and these functions and processes are encapsulated in API endpoints which should be the way external systems, such as a decoupled PWA frontend, interact with your software. And only when you cover a hundred percent of the functionalities in the software with API endpoints do you allow for other software to fully integrate with your core system, which would be Shopware 6 in this case."

Dominic talks more in-depth details on the Store API, and his role at Shopware, in his full interview down below.

Patryk Tomczyk

Patryk Tomczyk, Lead developer on the Shopware PWA project at Vue Storefront, gives us the latest updates on the Shopware PWA launch.

"Shopware PWA itself is a dedicated PWA, or progressive web application, for Shopware. It's built from the ground up, on top of NuxtJS, based on the learnings we took from Vue Storefront."

"The PWA acts as the frontend for Shopware, which is treated as a backend in this approach. Basically it allows you also to have multiple sales channels, with PWA frontends, on a single Shopware instance."

"Part of Shopware PWA is a generic solution. Things like user logic; is the user logged in, how to login user, how to keep track of him, or the session management of the cart. But next to that, there are dedicated things for Shopware and it's also prepared with Shopware in mind. Keeping everything generic can create poor performance. Since we built this specifically for Shopware we can focus on good performance with the dedicated API."

If someone is interested in working with Shopware PWA, what technologies should they have a grasp of to be well prepared?

"Basically what you need is JavaScript knowledge. It’s mostly a Vue JS application. NuxtJS knowledge would be helpful here as well. But it's not mandatory, you can catch up with this at a later stage. And it would be nice to read something about NodeS itself, to know where you can later deploy and host your PWA applications as well."

If you are interested in reading more about Shopware PWA we recommend the full interview with Patryk down below.

Delivering quality and reliable software

One of the more popular talks is a subject we do not here often about at Shopware Community Days: testing. Ramona Schwering and Jan Philipp Pietrzyk showed us what is involved with testing a product like Shopware 6.

Ramona Schwering

Ramona tells us about this fascinating subject:

"We use some different types of test-automation. Some tests which you can compare to a unit test, although they have a bit more context than a normal unit test will have. We call them service tests.

Then we have integration tests, which test the components in a more systematic way. And the end-to-end tests, which are more workflow-based.

We run Unit tests and Service tests on every pull request created so that we can ensure that we don't introduce regressions. Next to that, we run integration- and end-to-end tests in a basic test case set."

"The reason I wanted to talk about testing at the Shopware Community Days is because testing is a subject that many people ask me about, how I tackle it. ‘Which test should I write, when should I write tests, when is overkill and when is too little?' My main goal is to take away the fear of tests.

So that you are not worried about the effort and the challenges you might face when doing testing, especially end-to-end tests. Read the full interview with Ramona, about her role in Quality Assurance, and how Shopware improves testing every day down below.

Growing our community

As Shopware gains more traction outside of Germany and attracts high profile clients, we see our community grow. Something we are very grateful for. And now with the new Slack channel it will be easier to meet these new faces in our group.

One of those new people in the community is Fabian Blechschmidt.

Fabian Blechschmidt

Fabian is Co-founder of MageOne, and Co-owner and developer at winkelwagen.de and talks at the Shopware Community Day about "Shopware 6 for Magento developers"

How did you get started with Shopware?

"After deciding not to go into Magento 2 as a Magento developer, the question was, what then? Since I already knew Shopware as a company, the German community is pretty well established, and the software works well for the German market it seemed the right fit. Especially since most of my clients operate in Germany."

"I have no clue if Shopware fixes all my problems, and if I complain, whether they will react to that or not, but it feels like Shopware is a company that listens to me, and tries to help me solve the challenges I face. In the Magento community, we wouldn't even consider a problem being addressed by Magento. I really need to get used to that, to not do unnecessary work because Shopware is already taking care of something. I'm really looking forward to that."

What were the best resources for you, when you started to learn about Shopware 6?

"It was definitely the documentation being done properly, which was totally unexpected for me. Unfortunately, I haven’t found much other information online so far. Most discussions seem to happen on Slack (formerly Gitter). That' s something I hope we can change!"

Fabian talks more extensively about his journey into Shopware 6 in his full interview.

Check out all of the interviews!

Next year we hope to welcome you all again in person at the Shopware Community Day 2021. Until then make sure to read the interviews and watch the talk recordings back on YouTube or our SCD recap page. And whenever you are looking for a community to talk to, you can find us on Slack!

Click on the title to read the full interview:

Björn Meß (Event Manager at Shopware) on this year's organizational challenges 
Joshua Behrens (Partner and Developer at Heptacom) on his view on Shopware, and more
Stefan Hamann (CEO and cofounder of Shopware) gives personal insights into the history of Shopware
Jörn Paulsen (Director Product for Cloud Services) about the new Shopware Cloud
Christian Rades (Core Developer at Shopware): The app system and the Community Day
Dominic Klein (Technical Specialist at Shopware) gives insights into the Store API
Patryk Tomczyk (Lead developer at Vue Storefront) about the Shopware PWA
Ramona Schwering (Quality Assurance at Shopware) tells us about testing
Fabian Blechschmidt (Co-founder of MageOne and SCD speaker) about the SCD and Shopware 6

This might also interest you:

The Shopware Community Day Website

Update: The SCD 2020 does not take place as usual

Recap: Shopware Boost Day