OrderCloud, Four51’s cloud-native, API-first, headless eCommerce platform launched in 2016. OrderCloud was designed to give enterprise development teams access to a robust B2B eCommerce API with great documentation, community support, and quality development tools. Today, it supports over 15 million transactions annually.
Since its inception, enterprise development team’s interest in moving away from monolithic eCommerce systems in favor of the agility, flexibility, and scalability that API-first, headless platforms, like OrderCloud, provide, continues to increase. Forrester Research released their 2020 B2B eCommerce Predictions at the end of 2019, announcing their prediction that “headless eCommerce will become the default” in 2020.
“Enterprise development teams have realized that API-first, headless platforms allow them to keep pace with customer experiences,” explained Four51’s Chief Product Officer, Rich Landa. “These updates to our OrderCloud Developer Portal should continue to make it easier for developer teams to access and utilize our open APIs to design, develop, and deliver custom eCommerce, order management, and B2B marketplace solutions, integrated with their existing backend systems.”
To support the growing developer community, the OrderCloud Developer Portal was rearchitected and redesigned from the ground up.
“We chose to re-architect the Portal using modern tools and frameworks like ReactJS, GatsbyJS, Material UI, and Algolia,” explained Four51’s Senior Front End Developer, Crhistian Ramirez. “This foundation will support our vision and roadmap of continued enhancements to the Portal throughout this year, and beyond.”
The new architecture supports new features including:
1. UI Designed for Developers & Non-Developers Alike
A new user interface includes the addition of enhanced forms, making it easier for non-technical users to interact effectively with the API.
“Making requests in the old OrderCloud Developer Portal required updating a JSON object,” Ramirez explained. “While simple, we received feedback that it was not very approachable to less technical users. Moving to form inputs everywhere allows us to support developers no matter their level of experience.”
Experienced developers who are particularly keen on editing JSON need not worry. In the new OrderCloud Developer portal, the ability to toggle input formats is available.
2. Persistent Tabs Designed to Increase Developer Productivity
Similar to tabs in a browser, developers will now be able to open a new session in a new tab. “We know that our developers often need to toggle between contexts while they are developing,” Ramirez said. “Now, in one tab you may be operating under the context of a seller user, and in another, you could be a buyer user. If you have multiple organizations you can have them all at your fingertips and switch between them with ease.”
3. Searchability of Docs Improved to Speed Up Developer Onboarding
Developers can now search all of the OrderCloud documentation, including API reference, blogs and release notes, when in the OrderCloud Developer Portal. The new search experience is powered by Algolia.
4. Open Source Documentation Aimed at Ongoing Improvement
To support our effort to continue to make this a world-class experience for developers, the OrderCloud documentation is now Open Source. Built with Gatsby, the documentation is part of a public Github repository so anyone can contribute. Notice a typo or have a suggestion? Feel free to make a pull request!
A beta release announced to current OrderCloud developers last week brought positive feedback. “The new OrderCloud Developer Portal looks great!” reported Christie Ulrich, Senior eCommerce Web Analyst at Diversified Foodservice Supply, an active Four51 OrderCloud customer. “I manage the development of several buyer organizations. The ability to have multiple organizations open at one time instead of switching back and forth is going to make my work so much more productive.”
To experience the new OrderCloud Developer Portal yourself, visit OrderCloud.io.
Inspired by the temperature at which paper burns (451°), Four51 is a technology solutions company dedicated to shattering antiquated business processes and out-innovating the limitations of eCommerce. We design, develop, and deliver digital transformation through customizable and scalable eCommerce, order management and B2B marketplace solutions powered by our API-first, headless eCommerce platform, Four51 OrderCloud™, that dramatically change the economics of their businesses. Companies like Aveda, Winmark, Bachman’s, Archway, and Diversified Foodservice Supply have looked to Four51 as their go-to strategic partner for the past 20 years. Learn more at www.four51.io.