8 best aspects of VTEX IO

Many developers and ecommerce specialists have found themselves stuck while trying to change aspects from their websites due to code restrictions, time-to-market and other obstacles. Imagine if those were facilitated through a network of APIs, easy-to-use features and serverless computing? Then, it’s about time you met VTEX IO.

VTEX IO is VTEX’s low-code development platform and in this article, we are going to show you what are its best aspects. If you are not yet familiar with our platform, this article will be great so that you can get to know it — and be excited to test it. 

VTEX IO offers the necessary tools so you can focus on your code instead of wasting time managing infrastructure. If you are already familiar with it, then you can also gain a few behind-the-scenes insights.

1. Handles infrastructure

Developers are kept away from worrying about servers and are able to focus 100% on building exceptional experiences, because VTEX IO handles the infrastructure part of the deal. It’s a cloud-native platform, so it enables developers to run scalable applications that are immediately synced to our platform — and you don’t need to install anything else to be able to deploy! 

2. No setup needed

Every development in the VTEX IO platform begins and ends with the VTEX IO CLI (Command Line Interface), which is the only thing you need during your development process. As soon as you have access to a VTEX account, you can start using it to develop your applications without racking your brains with extensive configurations. VTEX IO comes ready to be used.

Using only the CLI, you are able to: 

  • Log into your account;
  • Link local files to VTEX IO; 
  • Release new app versions; 
  • Deprecate apps, among other things that immensely accelerate the development. 

3. Workspaces

When developers are deploying code, it’s essential to be sure that it isn’t disrupting any experience and it’s super important to be capable of measuring if the code changes in fact improve your business metrics. 

All of that is possible using workspaces, which are basically versions of your code. Infinite workspaces are at your disposal so you can make code modifications, run your code in an environment close to the one in production, and even compare changes through an A/B testing experiment. 

4. Seamless user permission check

In order to be able to access a VTEX account and develop new applications using VTEX IO, the user has to have permission to do so. However, thanks to the way VTEX IO is structured, the authentication process is really smooth. Once authenticated, you can link apps, navigate through your workspaces and test your code changes without having the flow interrupted.

5. Variety of applications

It’s possible to develop a lot of cool and different kinds of applications using VTEX IO. You can build: 

  • Storefront apps; 
  • Tailor-made React components; 
  • Admin apps (i.e. extending your store’s admin interface); 
  • Back-end apps (i.e. building back-end services using Node or .NET Core); 
  • Pixel apps (i.e. connecting your store with a third-party solution);
  • Mobile apps.

6. Community

We have a growing and engaged community that learns and improves together. To enable the communication between external developers and VTEX we have some solutions: VTEX Community, a forum to ask questions, share ideas and solve problems, and VTEX Developers, a YouTube channel where we host Office Hours, in which we give weekly announcements, answer questions from the community and have an open space for demo presentations. 

Anyone who works with VTEX solutions is welcome, and encouraged, to interact through VTEX Community and/or VTEX Developers channels. That way, we keep sharing knowledge inside our community. Something else that is encouraged is to contribute to our VTEX IO Store Framework apps and store blocks.

7. VTEX IO Store Framework

It’s impossible to talk about VTEX IO without mentioning Store Framework. VTEX IO Store Framework is a low-code implementation framework focused on developing the storefront structure of VTEX stores. The idea is to accelerate stores’ development using pieces of code called store blocks, which essentially are high-quality React components that provide the means to quickly build your storefront. For example, if the developer wants to add a rich-text component — used for text written in markdown — to the home page, they would only need to add the “rich-text” block with the text they want and add a reference to it on the store home block:

{
  "store.home": {
    "blocks": ["rich-text"]
  },
  "rich-text": {
    "props": {
      "text": "Hello, World!"
    }
  }
}

Besides the advantage for developers, it also enables account managers — which aren’t necessarily familiar with code — such as marketing people, to make changes to the store through the Site Editor. The Site Editor is a panel on the admin side of VTEX’s platform that enables changes on the storefront without having to deal with any code, only modifying block properties.

8. Ever-evolving stores

Combining the advantages of the VTEX IO platform with Store Framework, you’ll get stores that are updated and improved without having to do anything. We and our community are continuously enhancing the development experience, creating new store blocks, fixing bugs and building apps that add new features to the stores. 

Therefore, you have the opportunity to always enhance your store and, depending on which app is being updated, your store can seamlessly get the changes introduced in the new version. 

Learn more about VTEX IO

These are just some of the aspects about VTEX IO that made me extremely impressed with VTEX when I joined the company, and I am now very thrilled to work with it constantly. Did it make you curious about VTEX IO, at least? Then you can learn more about it by reading our documentation on our developers portal and hands-on on our learning center.

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