Spree Commerce

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New Spree Demo Launched

Posted on March 17, 2011 by Sean Schofield

Late yesterday we officially launched the new online Spree demo site. Thanks to all of my fellow team members at Rails Dog for putting this all together. We should also thank our friends at Sticker Mule (makers of fine custom stickers) for helping out with the site design. Finally, thanks to TSS Radio for donating their real world Spree catalog for us to use in the demo site. Please support them if you’re interested in any of the products for salein our "fake store."

We have a few reasons for upgrading the demo. The first reason is to just show off some of the cool stuff you can do with Spree with a real set of products. Spree is intentionally plain when you install it so you don’t waste time ripping out what you don’t need. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make for the most exciting demonstration of a typical Spree site.

We also wanted to provide users with a real working example of how to
pull together a series of useful extensions for a more full featured
store. So we’ve also made the entire store open source and its
available now in Github. We also expect that this might be a good starting point for some of you if you want to build a new store with most of the features used in the demo (as opposed to creating a barebones Rails app and building up from there.)

Finally, we wanted to create a "reference implementation" to assist with the upgrade process. The idea is to add more extensions to the site over time and to preserve all order data that people generate over the months of sample checkouts. This way when we release new versions of Spree we can test out the upgrade process on our own sample site before we push the actual release. Ultimately this should lead to smoother upgrade experiences and provide assurances that the extensions used in the demo site are comptatible with each release.

We have decided to disallow access to the admin portion of the demo. We had two problems that resulted in this decision. The first problem was that we were worried about people using real personal information during the checkout without realizing that others could see it on the backend. Yes, we could have obfuscated just those bits (and we tried) but after a while the admin started looking really lame and gave the wrong impression that you couldn’t do much of anything.

The other problem was with people adding products and doing things to break the experience for everyone else. Locking down the admin is how other projects do this and ultimately that made sense to us as well. Don’t worry, we have a pretty cool idea for how to show people the admin side of things. Look for an announcement on that shortly!

Please excuse a few broken links and other issues as we smooth
everything out. We decided to push this out rather than wait for it to
be perfect since the old demo was no longer an adequate representation
of the software. Please report any issues you find in the GH issue