Shopify has been a revolution in the online e-commerce industry. It has simplified the way merchants created their online stores. Therefore, it has over one million merchants now on their platform. It was founded in 2004 by a team of independent software developers when they were unsatisfied with all the existing e-commerce platforms.  It took two months only to develop the platform and the release was done in June 2006. It made a major expansion in June 2009 when it launched an API platform and an App store. This helped the independent developers to create their own application just like Google Play Store and sell them on Shopify App Store.

It is very clear that one single programming language is not enough to develop such a massive and robust platform. But if you have to choose one which has contributed the most, it has to be Ruby on Rails. The framework used was Rails while the programming language has been Ruby. In fact, it is one of the most successful products ever to be written in Ruby. Check out what other programming languages are used to develop the top e-commerce platform.

The Development Phase –

Shopify was developed by three developers and it took only two months which is very surprising. In 2010, Shopify launched its iOS app that helped the store owners to manage their stores from their iPhone and iPad. In August 2013, Shopify launched its Shopify Payments which helped the merchants to accept credit cards without integrating any third-party gateway. It also launched the point of sale system using iPad such that merchants can use an iPad to accept credit and debit card offline. In December 2016, they launched an app named Frenzy to improve flash sales and boosting product sales by creating demand. The next year, Shopify announced integration with Amazon such that merchants could sell on Amazon from Shopify stores. They have also partnered with Deliv for same day delivery.

The Programming Language Stack –

Ruby on Rails – The main developer of Shopify is Tobu Lutke. He used to sell snowboards online under Snowdevil brand. However, he could not find a platform as per his requirement to create an e-commerce platform to have his own online store. At that time, he was one of the core Ruby on Rails developers in the Ruby community. Therefore, he chose Ruby on Rails for developing the platform. But it is not the only programming language used.

The presence of Liquid templating language is the proof of that. The reason behind choosing Ruby on Rails is the ease of development for the e-commerce platform. It is almost tailor-made for creating such a platform as Shopify. Over that, Tobu know that there has to be a lot of scalability in the future as he was sure about his product’s successful and future scope. Ruby is one of the most popular scalable programming languages ever today.

JavaScript – It was revealed later that the Admin panel that store owners see was written in a proprietary JavaScript platform. It is revealed when they rebuilt the Shopify Admin panel completely in Ruby on Rails after deleting nearly 30,000 lines of JavaScript code. Besides, it is needless to mention that JavaScript is a must these days for almost every online development. Tobu had a special liking for JavaScript and it was announced during 2017 Developer Conference. In fact, there has been mention of ReactJS on multiple occasions.

MySQL – In order to know the programming languages any software company is using, you have to look at their careers page. It is obvious that they will be hiring developers in the technologies and programming languages they are using for their product. Shopify’s Careers Page states requirements for MySQL developers. That is why it is safe to assume that MySQL is the main database behind Shopify.

PHP – Since the front end language is Liquid which is pretty much PHP-based. The use of MySQL is also justified as PHP-MySQL combination is the best combination. In fact, it is easy for PHP developers to make a transition to Shopify due to similar syntaxes.

TechStack – The website is quite handy in finding out the techstack of any online platform. As for Shopify it is showing Go, Docker and Nginx. Go is the buzzing programming language currently and it is only fitting that Shopify is using it due to its robust features that are appropriate for Shopify. Docker is an open platform for running distributed applications. Nginx is the faster proxy server available and going by the speed of Shopify, it is an accurate tech stack.

Besides these, there are the usual suspects like Java for Android Programming, Objective-C, and Swift for iOS development. In fact, there have been more significant development for iOS users than Android especially the point of sale app for offline transactions. The mention of Cocoa which is Apple’ native OOP interface API could be found on the Careers Page.

Kitty Gupta