Last year, in 2022, we made a commitment to support the eCommerce community by improving our APIs, partner resources, and developer support.
At first, it sounded like a pretty hard challenge, to begin with. But...
I'm proud to say we made significant headway on those goals and managed to successfully complete each task.
Let me explain all of them!
New Partner Program
One of the ways we fulfilled this promise was by launching a few new partner programs. This includes:
More Exposure for Partners
Also, we didn't feel we were giving enough exposure to our partners and valued integrations, so we worked hard on changing that.
New Partner Directory
With the help of the new partner directory, agencies, app developers, and theme developers will be able to easily showcase their work and connect with potential clients. Now, that's a win-win situation, if you ask me.
New App/Integration Directory
In addition, we also launched a public directory for apps and integrations that work well with Fera, which makes it easy for merchants to find the tools they need in order to enhance their customer reviews experience.
Additional Features for Partners
Ohh, you thought we were done? Well, not so fast!
We wanted to provide our partners with more control over the content they publish and the merchants they have. This way, they can work freely without any constraints.
Improved Partner Portal
On top of launching several other portals, we also took the time to update our existing partner portal as well.
In case you didn't know our partner portal allows users to manage their apps & integrations, referrals, and profiles all in one place.
Development/Test Mode Flag
We introduced a new "dev mode" flag for partners and developers, which allows them to avoid any billing-related issues while they work on customizing Fera accounts for their clients before a launch or on development/staging environments.
This feature can be activated from the store settings page in your account (visible only to partners and stores marked as "test stores" from the initial setup procedure).
More Standardization for Integrations
Shopify Standard Metafields Sync
For Shopify stores, we also added Shopify standard metafield support, which means that Fera syncs rating counts to the new Shopify standard metafields. This makes it easy for themes to display customer reviews without any additional integration work.
As long as the theme or app is getting info from Shopify's standard metafield attributes then rating counts/values will display properly since the attribute is the same regardless of the reviews app you're using with that theme.
Fera App/Integrations via OAuth
Instead of making other apps connect to stores using shared API keys which can be insecure, our partners can now create OAuth-based integrations for merchants to connect to other systems.
Fera Apps allow partner developers to create custom Fera features and add-ons that authenticate with OAuth to their account.
To create a Fera app you just need to sign up as an app development partner.
JWT (JSON Web Tokens)
We started using JWT session tokens in many places. Our tokens are almost the same as Shopify's existing ones.
Support for Developers
Developers are a crucial part of any application. So, that's why we wanted to make sure our fellow developers have all the resources they need in order to extend and customize Fera to the next level. Here's what we did.
New Developer Portal
A new developer portal! Yes, you've heard that right.
We released a new developer portal that documents all our various APIs, provides some code samples, and uses Open API standard documentation.
To make things easier, we also published an example Fera partner app to show how you can sign up as an app developer and build a custom feature for Fera in only several minutes.
Ruby Gem (SDK)
We released a new ruby gem that makes it easy to connect to our private API in a ruby-based application for a merchant.
We updated our existing APIs and released a few new ones, all of which support the global Open API standard (formerly known as 'Swagger').
We documented our official Private API v3, which allows you to read, write, and manage any reviews, photos, or video data from a store's account.
Public API (beta)
We also released the beta of our Public API v3 for building customer storefront review widgets and experiences. This API is incredibly fast, with reviews being retrieved in as little as 10ms.
For context, it takes 20ms for the fastest know thing (light) to cross the USA!
HTML Widgets API - With the assistance of the new HTML Widgets API, users can display widgets on the page even without going through Fera's widget interface.
URL API - Lastly, we also create a new URL API to help users request reviews from any system or any medium (like Klaviyo or Omnisend).
Fera Apps System
We also introduced Fera apps, which allow partners to create custom Fera features and add-ons that authenticate with OAuth to merchants' Fera accounts.
The benefit of this system is that developers can start using our API in minutes without requiring prior approval or sharing API keys.
Oh yeah! And, let's not forget about the webhooks system, which allows 2-way communication between external Systems and Fera's APIs. Webhooks can be created in 2 ways:
- From the Configuration - Apps & Integrations - Webhooks section of an account
- From the Webhooks API endpoint programmatically
More in 2023
This year we're going to spend more time perfecting these things. We're dedicated to making customer reviews functionality easy and accessible for the eCommerce merchant and developer community, so we will constantly look for ways to improve.
When we support each other effectively then we all win!