Learn how to deploy Medusa on AWS with Microtica
Medusa won the Golden Kitty Award for Best Ecommerce Product ✨ Learn More
Medusa offers bespoke commerce infrastructure and is the most popular open source commerce platform on GitHub. The solution allows developers to build scalable and custom ecommerce applications through a composable stack that allows you to easily integrate with your favorite tools for payments to search, CMS and more.
You can easily manage your products, add discounts and gift cards as offers, support multiple currencies and regions, and much more. These are possible due to Medusa’s headless architecture that decouples its backend server, storefront, and admin dashboard.
In this article, you will learn what headless commerce architecture is and the benefits of headless commerce solutions. Additionally, you will learn about Medusa, the #1 Node.js ecommerce backend, and its underlying architecture in detail.
Medusa is a composable commerce platform that utilizes Node.js’s superpowers on the server to provide a great developer experience and advanced ecommerce features. It is highly customizable and easy to maintain.
Medusa offers standard ecommerce features including payments, cart functionality, user management, discounts, gifts, and more, much like other ecommerce platforms. An ecommerce business can use Medusa to build an ecommerce stores of different types and purposes.
Released in 2021, Medusa has gained about 15K stars in a little more than a year, making it the most popular ecommerce engine on GitHub. Currently, Medusa has +16K stars, passing other popular open source platforms like Magento and PrestaShop.
Here are some reasons why Medusa has become the most popular Node.js ecommerce backend:
There are a few reasons behind the high popularity of Node.js frameworks among web developers:
Other reasons for the Node.js popularity include its high performance and scalability. The support for microservices architecture makes Node.js ecommerce backends one of the best choices for ecommerce development.
As discussed, Medusa has a composable architecture, meaning the frontend and backend are loosely coupled. Medusa is composed of three components: the headless backend, the admin dashboard, and the storefront.
You can choose to use the complete Medusa platform or just the parts that you require for your store. Also, the decoupling of the backend from the frontend allows a backend developer to focus on the Medusa server, and the frontend developer to focus on the storefront or admin.
The following sections explain how Medusa provides most of the ecommerce store functionalities out of the box. You just need to configure these functionalities as per your use case.
The Medusa server is a core component of Medusa. It is a Node.js ecommerce backend. It contains all the store's logic and data. The other two components use the REST APIs exposed by the backend server to retrieve, create, and modify data.
The Medusa server comes with most of the functionalities related to an ecommerce workflow. These functionalities include product, cart, and order management, shipping and payment providers, user management, and more.
In addition to that, you can configure your store including your store’s region, tax rules, discounts, gift cards, and more.
Setting up a Medusa headless backend server is just a matter of a single command. You have the freedom to select any storefront because Medusa comes with a full commerce engine and APIs to manage your entire store.
Since Medusa is highly extensible, it allows developers to build custom features or integrate third-party services into Medusa using Plugins. You can find both official and community plugins to assist you with your common needs. Learn more about these plugins here.
You can easily extend and customize the functionalities of your Medusa server. You can add endpoints, business logic, and database entities to handle customizations. In addition, you can create subscribers in your Medusa server that listens to events to perform an action.
Medusa Admin is quite an essential component of an ecommerce store. Merchants use this dashboard to view, create, and modify data such as orders and products.
Medusa includes an admin dashboard to provide functionalities to manage your store including order management, product management, user management, and more. You can manage your orders across regions and channels using one single dashboard.
If you're migrating your store from other platforms, the admin dashboard provides you with functionalities to easily import and export large datasets on products, orders, and customers. The dashboard also provides you with customer-group functionality that allows you to create tailored pricing lists, discounts, and gift cards.
The Medusa Admin Dashboard looks like this:
However, if you are not satisfied with the existing admin dashboard, you can utilize the Admin REST APIs to extend it beyond.
Storefront is the frontend or the main presentation layer of your ecommerce store. It is the storefront where your customers can view and purchase your products. These storefronts may be progressive web applications or mobile apps.
The Next.js storefront includes the following features:
You are also free to create your own storefront using the Storefront REST APIs.
You can get started with Medusa by following the Medusa’s Quickstart guide.
After that, you can follow these guides to kick-start your development with Medusa:
When considering a Node.js ecommerce backend, Medusa is the ideal choice. Built on top of Node.js, Medusa provides many essential ecommerce and development features. Businesses that use Medusa can benefit from both advantages that Node.js and Medusa provide.
Should you have any issues or questions related to Medusa, then feel free to reach out to the Medusa team via Discord.
Learn how to deploy Medusa on AWS with Microtica
This article first discusses the basics of ecommerce APIs and an in-depth evaluation of an open source ecommerce API-first solution —Medusa.