For the past few months, we’ve been quietly working on something we think will be a big part of the future of WooCommerce: WooCommerce Connect.
Connect is a new architecture for integrating services with WooCommerce. We’re taking advantage of a SaaS-style Automattic-hosted server to do the heavy lifting and have created a new Calypso-style interface. On the users’s end, they’ll just see a streamlined experience:
No additional extensions to install
No API keys to remember
No subscription keys to copy and paste
We’ve built the foundation and added our first service. This first iteration supports real-time USPS shipping rates for stores based in the United States. Now, we’d like to welcome you to the testing phase.
This first Alpha release of WooCommerce Connect works with the WooCommerce 2.6 Beta and with Jetpack to bring hassle free USPS shipping to WooCommerce Shipping Zones.
Since this is an alpha version, there’s a lot we plan to add, change and enhance. Please take care – this early pre-release code should not be used on production sites.
At this time, WooCommerce Connect is delivered as a feature plugin, and the grand plan is to roll out Connect into a future WooCommerce core release.
For developers, this is an great opportunity to:
see the future of WooCommerce development
see examples of incorporating React into WooCommerce administration
see how we’re using JSON schemas provided by the WooCommerce Connect servers to drive the layout and composition of the forms for shipping services – making adding features much less likely to require plugin updates
During the development of WooCommerce 2.1 (Back in Feb 2014) we knew that one day WordPress would have it’s own REST API, but the demand was so great for such a thing in WooCommerce we had to roll our own.
We’ve learned a lot from this process and our API is now widely used, but given recent developments surrounding the actual WordPress REST API, and since it is now part of WordPress core (since version 4.4) we started work to replace ours with what is available in WordPress.
2.6 will contain this new API, and will require WordPress 4.4 or higher.