Developing NectarCommerce Extensions

In the past few posts we have learned how to write code that extends existing models, routers, added methods to override view rendering and run multiple phoenix application together in the same umbrella project. Let’s Continue to build upon that and write our first extension for NectarCommerce favorite products and ultimately our store based on NectarCommerce.

For our curious readers, we tried another extension approach which had linear dependency (nectar => extensions_manager => extensions) helpful in development but turned out to had the serious limitation of Nectar being unavailable for testing.

To overcome the barrier of testing and pleasant developer workflow, what we need is that Nectar is available and compiled while developing extensions and if an extension is added it should recompile itself to include the new extensions.
We have modified Nectar for this approach to seek for extensions and used a custom compiler step(A story for another time) to mark files for recompilation. Let’s get started and see if we can scale the testing barrier.

Extension Approach Explained

This post aims at documenting how the approach we took to make NectarCommerce extensible is structured, the order of dependencies amongst the various nuts and bolts of NectarCommerce and its extensions as implemented.

NectarCommerce can be divided in two components, both of which reside in the same umbrella application.

Running Multiple Elixir Apps in Umbrella Project

As NectarCommerce extensions are envisioned to be used with Nectar and would be dependent on Nectar directly or indirectly, we chose umbrella project to have Nectar, extensions_manager, user_app, and extensions apps as part of it.

We plan to use phoenix app for extensions where web-component is needed and which would be part of the umbrella project.