Getting started with Shopify's API

Welcome to Shopify's API documentation.

Become a Shopify Partner and create your development store

To start developing your app, you need to become a Shopify Partner by registering here for your free Shopify Partner account. As a Shopify Partner, you gain access to the Partner Dashboard where you can create Development Stores. Development Stores are an area for app development where you can create data to test out the functionality of your app. To create a Development Store:

  1. Log in to your Partners Dashboard.

  2. Click Development Stores in the sidebar.

  3. Click Create development store.

Create dev store

Development stores share similar functionality to a real Shopify shop and are capable of:

  • Making unlimited purchases through the "bogus" gateway,
  • Making 10 purchases through the real gateway,
  • Having stock keeping units (SKU)s, a code to identify unique products, of up to 100 and
  • Storing data, including html and css, in a disk block of 1GB.

Once your development process is complete you have the option of switching your development store into one of Shopify's paid plans so you can start earning money from your store. For more information, see the documentation for handing off development stores.

If you are already creating a shop for a Shopify store owner (also known as an affiliate), you can follow the steps above to turn your Development Store into an Affiliate. The shop will then appear on the Affiliates page.

Once you have your shop created, your next step is to create your app.

Populate your development store with dummy data

To populate your development store with dummy products, customers, and orders, install the Developer Tools app. If you are subscribed to webhooks, they will be triggered every time data is added by the app.

Installing your application

To install your app, your app will need to use the OAuth 2.0 authentication mechanism. You will need to authenticate your app to install it into a store and begin making requests to the API.

There are several client libraries that simplify the process of implementing OAuth. Take a look at our Supported Libraries to see what is available in your preferred programming language.

Private authentication is another form of authentication which allows your app to interact with the Shopify API on behalf of a single shop.

Learn more about authentication mechanisms ›

Making requests

To find out which properties and values can be included when making a POST, PUT, GET, or DELETE call on an object via the API, check the API Reference. There are examples reflecting all possible ways to interact with that object.

The HTTP status code returned by Shopify will indicate the success or failure of the request. In general, a status code in the 2xx range indicates that a request was successful, while other status codes indicate an issue with the request.

Learn more about response status codes ›

Debugging requests

Use Fiddler for Windows, or Charles for OS X to debug your HTTP requests and responses.

API Call limit

When developing your app, make sure to respect the API calls limit. The API call limit operates using a "leaky bucket" algorithm as a controller. You can read more about how this will affect your app here.


Webhooks allow your app to receive a request from Shopify every time a specific event occurs. This allows your app to trigger some action when a specific event occurs in Shopify. Webhooks can also allow your app to operate within the API call limit by preventing the need to poll for data on a regular interval.

Learn more about webhooks ›