Shopify App Build Status

Shopify Application Rails engine and generator


This gem includes some common code and generators for writing Rails applications using the Shopify API.

Note: It's recommended to use this on a new Rails project, so that the generator won't overwrite/delete some of your files.


Check out this screencast on how to create and deploy a new Shopify App to Heroku in 5 minutes:

Or if you prefer text instructions the steps in the video are written out here

Becoming a Shopify App Developer

If you don't have a Shopify Partner account yet head over to to create one, you'll need it before you can start developing apps.

Once you have a Partner account create a new application to get an Api key and other Api credentials. To create a development application set the Application Callback URL to


and the redirect_uri to


This way you'll be able to run the app on your local machine.

Also note, ShopifyApp creates embedded apps by default, so remember to check enabled for the embedded settings.


To get started add shopify_app to your Gemfile and bundle install

# Create a new rails app
$ rails new my_shopify_app
$ cd my_shopify_app

# Add the gem shopify_app to your Gemfile
$ echo "gem 'shopify_app'" >> Gemfile
$ bundle install

Now we are ready to run any of the shopify_app generators. The following section explains the generators and what they can do.


Install Generator

$ rails generate shopify_app:install

# or optionally with arguments:

$ rails generate shopify_app:install -api_key=<your_api_key> -secret=<your_app_secret>

Other options include:

  • scope - the Oauth access scope required for your app, eg 'read_products, write_orders'. For more information read the docs
  • embedded - the default is to generate an embedded app, if you want a legacy non-embedded app then set this to false, -embedded false
  • redirect_uri - the default is http://localhost:3000/auth/shopify/callback which will allow you to develop locally. You'll need to change it to match your domain for production.

You can update any of these settings later on easily, the arguments are simply for convenience.

The generator creates a basic SessionsController for authenticating with your shop and a HomeController which displays basic information about your products using the ShopifyAPI. The generated controllers include concerns provided by this gem - in this way code sharing is possible and if some of these core methods are updated everyone can benefit. It is completely safe to override any of the methods provided by this gem in your application.

After running the install generator, you can start your app with bundle exec rails server and install your app by visiting localhost.

Shop Model Generator

$ rails generate shopify_app:shop_model

The install generator doesn't create any database models for you and if you are starting a new app its quite likely that you will want one (most our internally developed apps do!). This generator creates a simple shop model and a migration. It also creates a model called SessionStorage which interacts with ShopifyApp::SessionRepository. Check out the later section to learn more about ShopifyApp::SessionRepository

Note that you will need to run rake db:migrate after this generator

Controllers, Routes and Views

The last group of generators are for your convenience when you want to start overriding code included as part of the Rails engine. For example by default the engine provides a simple SessionController, if you run the rails generate shopify_app:controllers generator then this code gets copied out into your app so you can start adding to it. Routes and views follow the exact same pattern.

Default Generator

If you just run rails generate shopify_app then all the generators will be run for you. This is how we do it internally!

Managing Api Keys

The install generator places your Api credentials directly into the shopify_app initializer which is convenient and fine for development but once your app goes into production your api credentials should not be in source control. When we develop apps we keep our keys in environment variables so a production shopify_app initializer would look like this:

ShopifyApp.configure do |config|
  config.api_key = ENV['SHOPIFY_CLIENT_API_KEY']
  config.secret = ENV['SHOPIFY_CLIENT_API_SECRET']
  config.redirect_uri = "http://localhost:3000/auth/shopify/callback"
  config.scope = 'read_customers, read_orders, write_products'
  config.embedded_app = true


ShopifyApp can manage your app's webhooks for you by setting which webhooks you require in the initializer:

ShopifyApp.configure do |config|
  config.webhooks = [
    {topic: 'carts/update', address: ''}

When the oauth callback is completed successfully ShopifyApp will queue a background job which will ensure all the specified webhooks exist for that shop. Because this runs on every oauth callback it means your app will always have the webhooks it needs even if the user uninstalls and re-installs the app.

There is also a WebhooksController module that you can include in a controller that receives Shopify webhooks. For example:

class WebhooksController < ApplicationController
  include ShopifyApp::WebhooksController

  def carts_update
    SomeJob.perform_later(shopify_domain: shop_domain)
    head :ok

The module skips the verify_authenticity_token before_action and adds an action to verify that the webhook came from Shopify.

The WebhooksManager uses ActiveJob, if ActiveJob is not configured then by default Rails will run the jobs inline. However it is highly recommended to configure a proper background processing queue like sidekiq or resque in production.


ShopifyApp::SessionRepository allows you as a developer to define how your sessions are retrieved and stored for a shop. The SessionRepository is configured using the config/initializers/shopify_session_repository.rb file and can be set to any object that implements which stores the session and returns a unique identifier and self.retrieve(id) which returns a ShopifyAPI::Session for the passed id. See either the InMemorySessionStore or the SessionStorage module for examples.

If you only run the install generator then by default you will have an in memory store but it won't work on multi-server environments including Heroku. If you ran all the generators including the shop_model generator then the Shop model itself will be the SessionRepository. If you look at the implementation of the generated shop model you'll see that this gem provides an activerecord mixin for the SessionRepository. You can use this mixin on any model that responds to shopify_domain and shopify_token.


The engine includes a controller called AuthenticatedController which inherits from ApplicationController. It adds some before_filters which ensure the user is authenticated and will redirect to the login page if not. It is best practice to have all controllers that belong to the Shopify part of your app inherit from this controller. The HomeController that is generated already inherits from AuthenticatedController.


Generator shopify_app:install hangs

Rails uses spring by default to speed up development. To run the generator, spring has to be stopped:

$ bundle exec spring stop

Run shopify_app generator again.

Testing an embedded app outside the Shopify admin

By default, loading your embedded app will redirect to the Shopify admin, with the app view loaded in an iframe. If you need to load your app outside of the Shopify admin (e.g., for performance testing), you can change forceRedirect: false to true in ShopifyApp.init block in the embedded_app view. To keep the redirect on in production but off in your development and test environments, you can use:

forceRedirect: <%= Rails.env.development? || Rails.env.test? ? 'false' : 'true' %>

Questions or problems? <= Read up on the possible API calls! <= Ask questions! <= Read the docs!