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Open Commerce Quick Start

At a glance

There are two main routes to getting started with Mailchimp Open Commerce: installing the platform on your local computer or on a server. This guide will focus on the former, which will allow you to explore the main features of Open Commerce.

In this guide, we’ll set up a full local instance of the Open Commerce platform, including core plugins provided by Mailchimp. We’ll walk through installing the command line interface, creating the various projects, registering an account, and creating your first shop. 

What you’ll need

We recommend installing:

In addition you need to have your system setup for SSH authentication with GitHub.

Windows install

If you're using Windows 10/11, you'll need to take a few extra steps before you can continue with the Open Commerce installation process. (If you're not using Windows, you can skip to the next section.)

First, you'll need to Install WSL2. Note that the automatic Windows Insider install comes with the Ubuntu distro. If you manually install WSL2, you can choose any Linux distro but this guide is written for Ubuntu.

Next, install the Docker Desktop WSL2 backend. Once that's completed, open Docker and navigate to Settings>Resources>WSL Integration. Verify that everything on that page is activated.

Under Experimental Features, enable Use Docker Compose v2 candidate.

Finally, start Ubuntu. You're now ready to install the CLI and the OC projects.

Install the command line interface

To install the Open Commerce CLI, run npm install -g reaction-cli.

Install the API server

Your next task is to install the API server.

Create a directory for your entire project using mkdir myproject, and then cd into it.

Create an API server by running reaction create-project api <myapiserver>. You can substitute any directory name for <myapiserver>.

Change directory into your newly created server directory and run npm install.

Once this is complete, run reaction develop. This will start the Open Commerce server in development mode.

Congrats! You've installed the Mailchimp Open Commerce API server. Next, you can install the storefront and admin applications. You can view the graphQL playground locally at http://localhost:3000/graphql.

Install the storefront

Next on your list is to install the storefront app.

Open a new terminal window and change to the root of the project directory you created earlier.

Execute reaction create-project storefront <mystorefront>. As before, you can name this directory to suit your needs. We'll use <mystorefront> for this example.

Change directory into the newly created storefront with cd <mystorefront> and run yarn install to install the dependencies.

Run reaction develop to start the storefront in development mode.

Congratulations! You've installed the default storefront for Mailchimp Open Commerce. You can access the storefront from http://localhost:4000.

Install the admin app

Next, you'll install the admin app.

Open a new terminal window and change to the root of the project directory you created previously.

Execute reaction create-project admin <myadmin>. As before, you can name this directory however best fits your needs.

Change into your newly created directory and then run npm install.

Finally, run reaction develop which will start the admin app in development mode. Note that the admin app can take a little time to start up the first time because it's in Meteor.

Once the server has started, you can access it at http://localhost:4080.

Access the dashboard, playground, and storefront

Now that you have the entire Mailchimp Open Commerce project running locally, you can create a shop manager account for your local instance.

First, visit the Open Commerce login page at localhost:4080. Click Register and enter your email address and create a password, which will grant you admin privileges.

Next, log in with your new account to access the shop creation form. Enter a name for your shop and click the Create Shop button. You should now see the Open Commerce admin dashboard, from which you can create products, add tags, and manage your orders.

Once you've created a shop, you can visit the GraphQL playground at localhost:3000/graphql, where you can run test GraphQL queries and mutations. In the Docs tab of the playground, you can view the complete Open Commerce GraphQL API reference. 

You can also view your Open Commerce storefront at localhost:4000.

Next steps

Now that you’re up and running, you can start managing your store by creating products or building a custom storefront on top of the GraphQL API. The local instance also provides everything you need to code your own plugins for use with Open Commerce; for more information, see the Build an API Plugin guide.

Once you are done working with any of the servers you can stop them by either pressing Ctrl+C or by simply closing the terminal window.