Introducing WooCommerce Connect – Alpha Edition

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.

Join us in building the future of WooCommerce

Release Highlights

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
  • see examples of how to extend the WP REST API and Shipping Zones in WooCommerce 2.6

Alpha Testing

Alpha is out today. Subsequent alphas will be released if needed and we’ll post on this blog if this happens.

If all goes to plan, Beta will begin during June 2016.

If you’d like to help test, sign-up to be a tester – we’d love to hear from you!

9 responses to “Introducing WooCommerce Connect – Alpha Edition”

  1. So this is like a premium JetPack for WooCommerce but as a SaaS service, correct?

    You mentioned no additional extensions to install. Does that mean you will be adding a price tag in the future?

    What about extensions by 3rd Party developers, will they still work?

    1. Hi Seb! You’re right, it is like a Jetpack for WooCommerce – and yep – with the features provided by SaaS. The USPS shipping method is free and other services in the future may have a cost. WooCommerce Connect is an added option and where we see the future of the platform, but not something that will replace the existing model. WooCommerce has thrived as an open-source platform with premium extensions and we don’t plan to abandon that ship.

      1. Is WC Connect focusing on just the shipping side or payment gateways and product meta data also?

        1. Right now we are focusing on shipping, but in later releases we plan to add other features our users tend to battle with (for example, payments as you mention, as well as taxes and other features).

  2. […] And if you’re a developer or just curious about the code, we’ve open sourced the plugin, which will eventually be included in WooCommerce core, so you can read it, get inspired and maybe even contribute to it. It does set a bit of precedent from a technological stack point of view as it uses React, Redux, Webpack, and other Javascript projects and integrates with Calypso components. You can read more about it in our developer blog post. […]

  3. How about being able to print USPS Shipping Labels from WooCommerce? Is that on the horizon?

    1. It’s too soon to commit to label printing, but that sounds like an awesome idea, Amit. Thank you!

  4. So eventually WC Connect will support all shipment tracking that AfterShip does for over 340 couriers, correct?

    1. Hi Seb! Thank you for the suggestion – that’s an interesting idea 🙂

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