Authenticating with WooCommerce: Here’s how you can do it

Before now, WooCommerce authentication method was left open so any 3rd party REST API could use there authentication method. This gave no limits for users to authenticate with CoCart.

However, due to the added restriction for just their REST API, (which could change in the future as WordPress will provide a more generic version) CoCart could no longer authenticate the WooCommerce way on either version of CoCart’s API.

But have no fear as today version 2.0.5 provides a small update to re-enable WooCommerce’s authentication method again for CoCart.

CoCart users can now authenticate the #WooCommerce way again. ?

On top of the update, I’m going to show you how to authenticate the WooCommerce way.

Please Note

The guide below is assuming you are making requests with HTTPS.

First if you haven’t already created any keys you will need to go the advanced section in your WooCommerce settings.

From there you need to press Add key button. Then select the user who will be using the key. Set the permissions to READ/WRITE so all of the CoCart API is accessible. Enter a description if you wish and then press Generate API key button.

You will then be presented with your consumer key and secret which you will need to copy before moving away from the page as warned to the user in the screenshot below.

Once you have your key created you can then make any authenticated request with CoCart like so.

Fetching the cart while authenticating

If you would like to understand more about authenticating with WooCommerce read the authentication section in their REST API documentation.

Happy coding!

CoCart Pro Launched

Updated: 8th September 2019

I’m pleased to announce that CoCart Pro has now launched and it could not have come at a better time. Over 30% of the user base is now using version 2.0 of CoCart which is the minimum requirement to use CoCart Pro and CoCart has just passed 6000+ downloads. ?

I also like to thank those who have tested the beta’s, provided feedback and reported bugs found during it’s development. ?

It has been a great help to get the product ready and I have awarded you with a discount via e-mail as a thank you.

Support

Support will be provided via Slack. There you can contact me directly via DM when needed and use the other available channels to discuss with other users and developers, provide feedback, share ideas or even showcase what you have built with CoCart.

An invite will be sent to the customer via e-mail to which you must accept in order to receive the support.

Why Slack instead of e-mail? Well for one so I don’t get a full inbox, two, Slack is the perfect tool to communicate with my customers anywhere. We can see each other online and have a live conversation which is far more engaging than e-mail.

Lifetime Offer

For those who like to get on the best deals at launch, you can do just that.

For a limited time, you can get the lifetime tier for a one time purchase that will allow you to use CoCart Pro on unlimited sites, receive lifetime support and free updates.

What’s Next?

Over time I will be supporting more official WooCommerce extensions and improving the documentation for other code languages.

If you have any questions I recommend checking out the FAQ page. I may already have an answer.

CoCart v2.1.0-beta.2

A new beta of CoCart v2.1.0 is now available for testing with new and improved support for guest customers by saving the carts in session to a new database table for storage, performance and ease of cleanup.

Storing the carts

WooCommerce has a similar method of storing the cart data but it is only for logged in users and is stored under the usermeta table. While this is fine, it does not help those who are guest customers neither does the cart data expire unless the cart is emptied, an order has been made or all session data has been cleared via the tools section of the WooCommerce System Status.

In the first beta I simply saved the cart to the WordPress options table wp_options.

I realized that this was not the best solution should the cookie be removed on the users device, the cart would still be saved in the database which would eventually lead to increasing the size of the database due to human error.

The data not only needed to be stored but identified should the cart not have had it’s data updated or used for some time. This lead to creating a sessions table of my own wp_cocart_carts where the cart data per customer would be stored for a period of time.

When is the cart stored?

The data of the cart is stored the moment a customer adds the first item to the cart. The cart data is then updated when another item is added or an item is updated or removed. It’s also updated when a coupon is applied, coupon removed, fees and totals are calculated.

Cleaning the carts

With the large amounts of customers successful eCommerce stores get, maintaining the carts stored in the database needs to be kept in check and not overload the size of the database.

To achieve this, the carts have to expire after X amount of time. 48 hours should be enough but it can be overridden should the store owner choose to increase or decrease the time using a filter cocart_cart_expiration.

A cron-job is scheduled to run twice daily to clean any carts that have expired to keep the new table optimized.

For developers, I have added a new tool option to clear all carts saved in the new table via WooCommerce System Status. I recommend only using this for debugging purposes on a local environment as it does not clear the cookies stored on user devices.

WooCommerce System Status - Tool to clear cart sessions

Getting the carts

Once the customer has added at least one item to the cart, a cookie is created with a unique key for the cart. You then access that cookie to get the value of the cart key.

After getting the cart key you can then request to return the carts content for that cart like so.

There is no permission or authentication required to access the saved cart. As long as the cart key matches or the cart has not expired, you will be able to return the cart contents.

If you have already tried beta 1, it’s important to know that the cookie name has changed slightly to keep everything consistent throughout the code base.

In beta 1 the cookie name is called cocart_cart_id. In beta 2 the cookie name has changed to cocart_cart_key.

What else?

Wither you use CoCart for the REST-API or not, this new supported feature could be used to determine if a cart has been abandoned. This could be helpful to you with detailed information on what your customers are adding to their carts.

By default, storing the cart data was designed for guest customers only but it can also be used for registered customers too simply by filtering in the users ID as the unique key using cocart_customer_id.

Pretty sweet right!

Feedback is Required

For this new release I require you (specifically who are developing for Android) to test and provide me feedback. Getting the support right for you is important.

I’m not an Android developer nor do I have the time or tools to learn Android development so I urge you to tell me what works, what does not and what is missing so I can get it right for you.

No release date is set so there is plenty of time to test.

Thank you for reading and happy testing.

Just a Warning

A new database table will be created upon activation of the plugin for the carts to be stored. Please only install the beta on a local environment.

Removing the Cart Item Key

With CoCart v2 it is now possible to filter the responses before they are returned. In this small tutorial I will show you how you can change the response when getting the cart contents.

What you see when you return the cart contents is how WooCommerce formats the data. This format is what WooCommerce or a WooCommerce extension use to be able to identify the item in cart should they need to alter it before or after being added to the cart or even update it.

Get Cart Contents Response Example
Example of the default response you get when getting the cart contents.

However, via the REST API this particular key is not a requirement to have as the parent of the array of item data and since we are not altering the core of WooCommerce, we can remove it.

Some of you who are developing for Android have requested to remove the cart item key as the parent array in order to make it easier to capture the list of items.

It’s very simple and easy to do. You will however, require to have some knowledge of PHP in order to apply the filter.

Here is what you need to do. Copy the source and apply it either to your child-theme’s functions.php file or use a plugin like My Custom Functions to apply the filter.

Image of the filtered code to remove parent item keys.

Source: https://gist.github.com/seb86/9461d6fdad9367246ad9fb87d52a9891

Once you have applied the filter, any time you get the cart contents again the results of the response will look like so.

Hope it helps with your development. If you would like more tutorials for CoCart, please let me know in the comments below.

CoCart v2.1.0-beta.1

Android developers required

CoCart v2.1.0 beta 2 introduces improved support for storing cart data and is available for testing now.

This release introduces what I hope is support for guest customers. I have had a number of users telling me when developing an app that when a customer adds items to the cart and another user adds items to the cart on another device, all items are merged together.

To my knowledge these apps are developed for Android. I don’t know if this issue is the same in other apps developed for other devices.

Now I’m not an Android developer but that should not be happening and it became clear that it was not handling sessions correctly or at all.

So I have added my attempt at manipulating a session for guest customers in order to create an individual cart for them.

To do this, when a guest customer adds an item, for the first time a unique generated ID is created and stores that ID into a cookie called cocart_cart_id.

Once the item is added to the cart, the whole cart is then copied to the stores database under that unique ID. e.g. cocart_2e0eb609fe1a73a80405e7c4cf0ba8d7

That cookie is then used to get the unique ID so the developer can fetch the saved cart and return it’s content.

https://yourdomain.com/wp-json/cocart/v1/get-cart/saved?id=2e0eb609fe1a73a80405e7c4cf0ba8d7

The cart is updated every time an item is added, quantity is updated in the cart, item is restored to the cart, a coupon is applied, a coupon is removed, cart totals and fees are calculated.

The cookie and the copied cart are only cleared from the database if all items were removed or an order was created.

For the time being I have only added the option to get the cart contents, (until I get positive feedback that what I have done works) then if all is good I will apply support to the other endpoints if needed.

So download and test CoCart v2.1 Beta 1 today and provide me your feedback.

Thank you.