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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 cloning and starting the Open Commerce development platform, registering an account, and creating your first shop. 

Clone and start the platform

The simplest way to get an instance up and running on your local machine is by using the development platform, a set of make scripts that coordinates all of the different pieces of the Open Commerce software system. 

To set up the Open Commerce development platform, navigate to a Unix or WSL directory and run:

Development platform setup

git clone
cd reaction-development-platform

Note: On Windows, you may need to replace make with sudo make. Then run chown -R on the reaction-development-platform directory to set your user as the owner of all the files it contains.

Behind the scenes, the make process clones all of the relevant Open Commerce software repositories, sets up each environment, and pulls, builds, and starts each Docker container. 

When make completes, three services will be running on localhost:

  • Open Commerce API (port 3000), including the core plugins. This service also contains the GraphQL playground at localhost:3000/graphql.

  • Example Storefront (port 4000), which is built with Next.js.

  • Admin dashboard (port 4080), used to manage shop settings, accounts, products, and orders.

Note: You can manage individual pieces of the system by changing directories into a subproject and running Docker compose commands (e.g., cd reaction-admin && docker-compose logs -f).

Access the dashboard, playground, and storefront

After the make command finishes provisioning the system, 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.

When you’re done exploring Open Commerce, navigate to your reaction-development-platform directory and run make stop. This ensures that Docker properly saves all your data for the next time you want to run the system. To restart the system, simply run make again in the same directory.