When to choose Cloud Flight over the desktop browser

While you can test most of your application in the browser, there are certain cases where the native wrapper app is required. You need the native wrapper app when you have app commands that invoke native functionality, such as camera and vibration. You also need the native wrapper app when you are handling events coming from the device, such as orientation and gyroscope.

Usage of the Cloud Flight testing app

To test these features without deploying your code over and over again, Shopgate provides the Cloud Flight app. Cloud Flight is a native testing app for both iOS and Android devices. You can log in with the credentials of your developer account and easily access all your sandbox applications from within a single native app. It can also connect to your local webpack instance of the Platform SDK to test a local theme.

Cloud Flight is available in the Apple App Store or in Google Play. Download and install Cloud Flight on your test devices and log in with your developer account.

Development and testing with Engage

Registration and checkout

The Engage app consists of two subsystems. The first one is the GMD and IOS11 themes and the second is the classic system. Some shops do not use the classic system for user handling and checkouts and instead use Web-Checkout.

Every subsystem works as a unit in its own tab window, within the app. The connection and data transfer between the subsystems is handled via the app; it accepts app commands and sends events between the tabs. This process enables different tabs to communicate with each other. Therefore, the app is required whenever subsystems need to share information with one another. For example, when the Engage theme tries to open the registration or checkout page and sends data back when it is closed.

Testing this process in a desktop browser would be unsuccessful because only a native app can share data between different tabs (or windows); the desktop browser simply ignores the command to navigate to a different tab. Whenever an app command is dispatched in a desktop browser window, there will be some log output to the console to inform the developer of what the application just tried to do. There will be no error shown in this case, which is desired behavior.

Testing Web-Checkouts

Many shops are set up to use the Web-Checkout instead of the classic Shopgate system to handle the user login and registration functionality, as well as to perform the checkout itself. The same principle applies for these shops, with one difference.

The shops come with at least two additional extensions for Web-Checkout to work. The first is a trusted extension for user handling and synchronizing between the original desktop shop and the Engage app. The second is a cart extension, which takes Engage actions like “addProductToCart” and places the product in the user’s cart in the original shop, rather than within the Shopgate infrastructure. The product usually still comes from the data sources of the Shopgate classic system, but can be sourced from the original shop with further customization, if necessary.

These extensions are mostly backend extensions, but come with a small frontend layer that handles opening the original shop’s registration and checkout pages. This means to test everything in full, you must attach all involved extensions before any testing can be done. The Shopgate Platform SDK comes with a handy command to attach multiple extensions at once:

  • sgconnect extension manage
  • Scroll through the list, check all extensions to attach using the space key, and confirm with the enter key.

The testing can only be done within the Cloud Flight app, as described above, or by using the shop preview app, which can be found in the Merchant admin area. The preview app requires the shop to be deployed with all extensions in order to test everything together. For the development process, it is easier to work with the Cloud Flight app.


Continue with our Kick-start Tutorials