Shopware, together with its great community, is currently (25th to 27th of March 2020) doing a Hackathon titled "COVID-19". As you may know, Shopware is by no means part of the industry who currently fights for a medical solution or improvement to the current pandemic. So what is this Hackathon about? Why are we doing it, and what effect do we hope to achieve?
Apart from that, we are creating smaller solutions; they will be presented in detail when the Hackathon is over. This post focuses on the Shopware portal project.
What exactly is created?
At the time this blog post is written, the project is called "portal". There might be a fancier name at some point, but getting started and getting things moving is more important right now.
We are creating a new online service. This online service will allow local governments, cities, or similar authorities to register with the portal. After registration, a sub-portal will be automatically created for the local authority. After this step, local retailers can register within their local authority's sub-portal. Next, customers can register and interact with retailers in their area.
There will be multiple iterations on this. First, it will be purely for information about services, but shortly after that, ecommerce functionality will be added. The goal is not to create a giant online store, but to recreate the feeling of local communities online.
Why is Shopware building it's own solution?
We are aware of other projects trying the same, and we are not trying to compete. Local authorities asked us to help, and we developed a plan with and for them. Nevertheless, the portal project itself will be open for everyone.
With the current situation the pandemic put us all in, a lot of local retailers are forced to shut down their stores. Many of them have close to no online experience, and even if they had, quickly building an ecommerce customer base when everyone is trying to do the same is close to impossible. A much better chance is to get the existing customers back together with their merchants.
How is this organized?
The Hackathon that is currently in progress serves as a kickoff and a booster for the project. After it is done, the project is further developed, and ecommerce functionality will be added.
The initial development is done by all our developers, and our truly amazing community joined us to help. We are organizing the event via Slack, Zoom, and GitHub.
Can I join?
If you want to participate, during the Hackathon, join the Slack workspace, and we'll figure out if and how you can support us. Don't be shy!
After the Hackathon, you can still participate by making pull requests on Github, creating issues, or whatever your idea is. Just get in touch with us, and we'll figure something out.
When will this be ready?
A first version with basic functionality will be online this week. We expect the portal to be fully functional within three weeks. Of course, as with every coding project, take this target time with a grain of salt.
A big thank you to everyone who supports this! It doesn't matter if you are on Shopware's payroll or not: A big thanks goes out to every supporter out there.