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Best Rails Ecommerce Platform: Spree Commerce vs Solidus

apis others rails ruby rubygems    over 2 years Ago     583   208   Like

Since 2015, when Spree declared the end of support for its open source ecommerce platform, the global Ruby on Rails business community has been confused by this move. When we get inquiries about creating online stores, the very first question we get from customers is “What’s up with Spree?”

The good news is that the Spree team has not only revived platform support but has also released a new version recently. In the meantime, the uncertainty surrounding Spree provided the basis for a forked ecommerce solution, Solidus.

To reply to the most pressing questions and pull together all the details as thoroughly as possible, we’ve prepared an overview of Spree and Solidus: their statuses, the opportunities they provide, their main differences, and their development trends and business uses.

But before going into details, let’s briefly touch upon the history of the ecommerce era for the Ruby on Rails business community.

Ruby on Rails and Ecommerce

The story of Ruby on Rails ecommerce starts in 2004 with an online store selling snowboards, named Snow Devil.

Two years later, in 2006, Snow Devil’s creators, who were also Ruby on Rails core team members, started a closed ecommerce platform called Shopify. By spring 2014, the number of stores built on Shopify had reached 200,000.

Meanwhile, in 2008 a project called RailsCart appeared, which then got the name Spree. A year later, the Spree team launched the platform’s website. Since October 2011, Spree has offered support for Ruby on Rails 3.0.

What is Spree?

Spree is an open source, multifunctional Ruby on Rails solution aimed at building large online stores. It’s pretty flexible, which allows to adjust this platform according to business needs and requirements, and it implements a wide range of features.

The adjustability and reliability of Spree are proved by figures. According to Spree’s data, over 45,000 stores worldwide have implemented this platform for their ecommerce projects.

In spite of such promising success, several key members left the project in 2015, and therefore Spree support was dropped for a while. Its suspension led to the appearance of Solidus, a fork of Spree version 2.4.

After almost a year of assumptions and confusion about Spree and its further support, Spree Commerce announced the release of version 3.0.0 along with a new roadmap in January 2016. This new Spree version and its updates provide Bootstrap support for frontend and backend, enhanced support for RoR, and many other useful features.

Since then, the Spree team has continued sharing regular releases, supporting migrations to updated versions, and encouraging the developer community to revive and actively contribute to the platform.

What is Solidus?

When the Spree team stopped investing in its open source platform, some previous Spree contributors from Canada (to be more precise, developers from Bonobos and Stembolt) started a new project called Solidus by forking Spree version 2.4.

Just like Spree, Solidus is an open source ecommerce solution that works equally well for small and medium-sized businesses, complex storefronts and high-volume retailers.

Forking any project is a big responsibility, which demands commitment and accountability. The current status of Solidus proves that its creators and developers are seriously committed to providing high-quality code:

The story of Ruby on Rails ecommerce starts in 2004 with an online store selling snowboards, named Snow Devil.

Nothing gets into master until it has two thumbs from core contributors who feel confident that it is production-ready code.
Solidus’s creators also encourage the developer and business communities not to accept their word, but rather check out their GitHub repository and see for themselves.

Due to Spree’s revival alongside the development of this high-quality forked platform, Ruby on Rails-based storefronts now have even more efficient options to build their online ecommerce projects.

What makes these platforms so great? Let’s investigate the opportunities they provide compared to other ecommerce solutions.

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