Discovering VTEX Commerce APIs

Finding the VTEX Commerce APIs

Introduction

In this step, you will learn how to find the documentation for VTEX APIs, as well as understand the differences in calling them through VTEX IO.

Developer Portal

Before starting to develop your integration with VTEX Commerce APIs, it is essential that you can discover them and understand how they work. The VTEX's Developer Portal lists all available APIs, as well as explaining how to use each of the endpoints offered.

Developers PortalDevelopers Portal

Most APIs follows the REST specification. it is also important to note that all calls operate on an account at VTEX.

Differences in VTEX IO

VTEX IO is a first-class citizen for VTEX APIs and, therefore, there are some differences in using them in your application. The Developer Portal receives some identification and authorization parameters that are not required when calling endpoints through VTEX IO.

Authentication

Traditionally, VTEX authenticates calls to private routes (/pvt) using a pair AppKey and AppToken, obtained from an account administration panel. In VTEX IO it is not recommended to use this key and token pair to authenticate yourself, since the platform offers another more scalable and elegant way.

All apps that are developed on VTEX IO represent a resource on the platform, which allows an application to interact with other systems on behalf of itself, duly authorized by the account administrator. It is up to the app developer to declare the necessary permissions.

In practice, this means two things:

  1. Both the endpoint and the role required to access any API must be declared in the manifest.json of the app.
  2. Calls must be made with a VTEX ID token instead of the AppKey and AppToken pair.

You will learn how to make these settings soon!

The Role, talking about authorization within VTEX, represents a "role" in License Manager, the user and authorization manager on the platform. Some VTEX modules do not require any specific role, but others may and are necessary for the caller to be able to access that resource.

App Token and User Token

  • Each app in VTEX IO automatically receives an authToken that can be used to call external APIs. This token, which can be obtained from the context object in any request, has all the permissions that were declared in the policies field of the application manifest.
  • It is necessary to check if it makes sense to use this token in requests, especially when accessing critical systems of accounts. If you identify a situation like this, you can also use the token of the user using the app.

accountName

As stated, all calls to VTEX's Commerce modules are related to some account on VTEX, and traditionally this information is passed through the query string ? An. However, throughout the course, we will present abstractions created in VTEX IO that do not require this manual configuration.

It is worth mentioning that the apps that are developed on VTEX IO must work regardless of the account where they are installed, so it is important that none of this critical information is "hard-coded".

Activity

  1. To check the token that each application receives from the platform, in the validation middleware of the service-example app, add the following log:

node/middlewares/validate.ts

+ console.log(ctx.vtex.authToken)
  console.log('Received params:', params)

  const { code } = params
  ...
  1. Now, link your app and access the public URL provided in the process. The URL will be something like https://{workspace}-{account}.myvtex.com/_v/status/:code. Replace :code with200 and, after accessing the URL, check the content that was logged in console.log through thevtex link process.
    console.log Token exampleconsole.log Token example

You can check the contents of this token on the website https://jwt.io/. It is a token similar to your personal token (run the command vtex local token), but it represents the application you are developing and will contain the permissions that were requested by this app inmanifest.json.

Any questions?

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