What is a Custom Application?
A Custom Application is a UI web application for the Merchant Center, designed to enable a project in the commercetools platform to tailor to the specific needs of a customer.
The Merchant Center is an administration tool to help customers manage the data of their projects in the commercetools platform.
At its core, the Merchant Center is composed of multiple single-page web applications running behind a proxy router. You can read more about the architecture here.
The Merchant Center provides a set of functionalities built-in and maintained by the commercetools platform team. For example managing a product catalog, orders, discounts etc. The built-in features are usually aligned with the functionalities of the commercetools platform HTTP API.
However, there are cases where a customer project requires extra functionalities that are specific to that customer's needs. To solve some of these problems, commercetools allows you to build Custom Applications for the Merchant Center.
A Custom Application is a web application that is developed and self-hosted by the customer. To make the application visible and accessible in the Merchant Center, it needs to be registered for each project in the commercetools platform through the Merchant Center.
To develop Custom Applications, we provide a set of tools and packages designed to help productivity over configuration and to focus on the business logic.
To summarize the necessary steps to build a Custom Application:
Develop the Custom Application
Deploy the Custom Application
When the Custom Application is ready to be used in production, deploy it to a production environment of your choice. You are responsible for maintaining the Custom Application and provide support for it. Read more about the Support Policy.
Register the Custom Application
Register the Custom Application for a project of the commercetools platform and activate it. Once a Custom Application is activated, it can be accessed from the Merchant Center's main menu.