Using Shopify's API for online store and POS apps

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 Partners 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 a new store.

Create test shop

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. To do this, click on the Switch to paid plan button in your Partners dashboard. Once you enter your payment details, Shopify will move your development store to the Affiliates tab and your shop will now function as an Affiliate shop.

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.

Install your app into your Development Store

Shopify's API implements JSON to manipulate each API resource in isolation, providing a RESTful interface. All API usage happens through Shopify apps created by either store owners for their own shops, or by Shopify Partners for use by store owners.

Any Shopify app that you create will use the Shopify API to access another shop's data and automate almost any action from their shop admin dashboard. When a shop installs your app, all they're really doing is giving your app permission to access their shop's data through the API.

To properly install your app, you will need to provide your app with an authentication mechanism. Authentication mechanisms allow your app to interact with other Shopify stores. Shopify uses OAuth 2.0 as its primary authentication mechanism but many of our developers and Shopify advocates also have authentication mechanisms (typically referred to as gems, connectors or adapters) available through software development kits (SDK). These SDKs are available in several programming languages. Take a look at our Libraries to see what is available in your preferred programming language. You will need to authenticate your app to install it in your development store.


When developing your app, please 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.

Should you run into any problems along the way please bring your questions to our developer forums.

Checking the requests and responses

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

Interpreting the API documentation

Our API documentation is generated programmatically, meaning that the API docs are kept accurate and up to date. Everything that can be done via the API will be reflected in the documentation.

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