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Reaction v2.0.0: Real-time Headless Commerce Is Here

That’s right. Reaction v2.0.0, our completely open source, headless commerce platform for brands and retailers, is now an official, production-ready release.

If you’re a retailer who wants to build one-of-a-kind shopping experiences on top of a high-performance commerce engine—while keeping control of your own data and your own strategic roadmap—you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the highlights of our latest release.

It’s truly headless & modular

The possibilities for your storefront UI and UX are now limitless. That’s because you can customize or create your own frontend interface independent of the backend Reaction application (the ‘core’) and easily connect via GraphQL API endpoints.

To demonstrate, we’ve created an Example Storefront (previously known as the ‘storefront starter kit’), built on Next.js. This Example Storefront works seamlessly with the Reaction backend to provide all the resources you need to create an amazing, customized storefront of your own.


Sample frontend experience created with the Example Storefront project on Next.js

 

You can use the Example Storefront as a reference or starting point for your own storefront implementation. Or you can create your own shop’s frontend from scratch. We recommend using Apollo Client and the commerce-focused React UI components we’ve provided in the Reaction Design System, but you’re free to use Vue, Gatsby, Express, or your own favorite tool or framework. As long as it can connect with GraphQL, it’s compatible with Reaction. That kind of flexibility has always been our vision for Reaction: an API-first, real-time commerce engine that allows you as a retailer to control your own commerce roadmap and deliver high-impact shopping experiences for your customers.

GraphQL API for customization & real-time data

And speaking of GraphQL…The newly expanded GraphQL API functionality in Reaction 2.0 now covers all core commerce features, including:

  • Catalogs
  • Checkout
  • Order creation
  • Customer profiles & addresses
  • Payments
  • Shipments
  • Shipment restrictions
  • Site navigation
  • Enhanced tag management
  • Pricing
  • Taxes
  • Shopping carts

The improved coverage allows you to easily customize each of these aspects of your storefront experience, without having to re-engineer the backend to match. It also expands your visibility into shopper event data, and thus your ability to better manage sales performance across channels in real time.

The GraphQL API-driven architecture easily integrates any new service or technology, making Reaction a highly adaptable and extensible platform for enterprise retailers to innovate without limits.

It’s ready for enterprise

We’ve been hard at work on some powerful new enterprise-ready features to improve the overall workflow for store operators, and to make shopping more seamless for end users. Our engineering teams have created new modules and systems to address:

  • Search - improved catalog search capabilities with Elasticsearch
  • Pricing - a dedicated price engine to manage complex pricing, including multiple price books based on regions, time periods, or other promotional needs
  • Routing - advanced routing for bulk URL rewrites or redirects
  • Integrations with enterprise Content Management Systems (CMS), payment processors, and more! (We’ll describe some of these improvements in future announcements.)

Some of the features above are currently only available for enterprise customers—please get in touch if you’d like more info.

We’ve also been overhauling the Reaction store operator admin interface for better usability and smoother workflows. We’ve shifted the admin panel UI for managing products from a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) product editor to one that is designed for greater flexibility, and moved to a full-screen panel that is now completely separate from the storefront interface. Like the new features above, this will especially benefit our enterprise customers. But it will also make the store operator experience easier and more efficient for everyone, including our open source developer community.


Reaction 2.0 store operator admin panel on three different screen sizes

 

Try it out

Back when we announced our first release candidate for v2.0.0, we had set some challenging goals for ourselves: To enable true headless commerce, to deliver an example headless commerce storefront, and to provide some helpful tools to our community in the form of the React-based Reaction Design System powering the storefront. With this latest production release, we’ve met those goals, and then some. See for yourself by downloading Reaction 2.0 and trying it out. If you’re new to Reaction, our documentation site is a good place to start.

This release is coordinated with Reaction Platform and is designed to work with the Example Storefront (optional) and reaction-hydra (required). Like our previous releases, Reaction 2.0 is GPL licensed, while our Example Storefront is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0; both are freely available to download, use, and modify.

Want to know more about Reaction’s enterprise solutions? Visit our new Enterprise page for more information and to reach out to the team.

Get involved & ask us anything

This is an exciting time for Reaction Commerce. This latest production release takes our platform to new places, and we’re so pleased to have you along for the ride. If you’re reading this, please consider getting involved in the Reaction community:

And lastly, we're excited to host an ‘Ask Us Anything’-themed Reaction Community Call on Wednesday, July 24 at 9:00 A.M. Pacific time. Join members of the Reaction Engineering and Design teams who are eager to answer all your questions about Reaction v2.0.0. Sign up to ‘Get updates from Reaction Commerce’ in our website footer and we'll send you a reminder. Or follow us on Twitter to stay informed on everything Reaction-related. Until next time!

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