Introduction To Magento PWA Studio For Developing Progressive Web Applications

Since the advent of Smartphones, there has been a constant effort to tap the mobile customer base for the eCommerce segment by using both mobile-friendly websites and Native Apps. For websites, the focus has been on making them optimized for mobile usage by designing them in a responsive format that adapts to any viewing resolutions. Apps for both Android and iOS platforms are being developed to give mobile customers ease of access while purchasing online.  The next hybrid model-Progressive Web Applications (PWA) intends to combine the best of native Apps and the flexibility of usage from a mobile web browser in a single application.

Progressive Web Applications redefine the user experience in the mobile platform and give fast-loading, feature-rich and intuitive web pages that boost mobile conversions. Some of the World’s leading websites, social media platforms, and eCommerce stores have successfully used PWA’s to increase customer activity, session duration, and conversions on their websites. PWA’s have been determined as a game-changer in the mobile shopping experience by giving a technology that can be integrated right into the existing website without the need for a download or a periodic user-triggered update. With mobile commerce and conversions being the focus areas of every online store, it’s essential that eCommerce websites adopt PWA to boost their revenue, customer experience, and ease of maintenance.  With  PWA’s getting increasingly popular, Magento has also announced its support and development environment with the Magento PWA Studio. Let’s take a look at the platform and its features, along with useful links to learning resources.

 The Magento PWA Studio-An Introduction

The Magento PWA Studio provides developer tools to build, deploy, and maintain a Progressive Web Application with Magento 2.  It consists of tools and libraries to create an efficient build system and an extensible framework as per Magento coding specifications. The earliest version of the PWA Studio (Ver 2.0.0) is compatible with Magento 2.3.0, and the latest PWA Studio version 6.0.1 is compatible with Magento 2.3.4-2.3.5. Instead of using themes in a conventional Magento implementation, the PWA Studio uses storefront applications to create the front-end store.

The Venia Store is a PWA implementation in Magento, built using the PWA Studio tools and offers a visual overview of the implementation with handy components for your PWA build with Magento. It supports the Braintree payment methods in the built, but other payment methods can also be added by using specific implementations.  The PWA Studio supports both client and server side rendering (SSR). A PWA Storefront uses an UPWARD Server as the backend for the code, with Magento providing two varying UPWARD Server implementations in UPWARD-PHP and UPWARD-JS.

The Venia Storefront PWA in Magento

                              The Venia Storefront PWA in Magento

 

Basic Concepts in using the Magento PWA Studio

Application Shell: For providing the basic user interface for the PWA design.

Service Worker:  A background script used in PWA’s for caching and retrieving resources.

Component Data Binding:  The data binding patterns that PWA’s use to communicate between the dynamic data in the source to the User-Interface.

GraphQL:  A data query language specification used to fetch and push data in a Progressive Web Application.

CSS Modules: CSS Modules are reusable modules of CSS styles  used to develop components independent of external style definitions.

Redux components such as Actions, Reducers, and Client state-that are used to manage the state of a PWA. Also included are Loading and Offline states in the PWA architecture.

Container Extensibility:  This allows writing containers that allow others to re-use and modify your container without affecting the source.

Included Performance Patterns for boosting the PWA performance.

Root Components and Routing: For node management and mapping a URL to its appropriate handler.

Critical Path:  A Critical Path refers browser steps takes to process HTML, CSS and JavaScript files to display the website. Its optimization is the most critical aspect of the performance of a PWA.

Useful Links:

For more information on how PWA’s are creating a revolution in the mobile market, do watch the webinar in the below link.

PWA’s redefine the Mobile Experience

For more information on the PWA Studio, please use the below link

PWA Studio-Overview

For a list of Magento websites built using PWA’s, click on the below link.

PWA Studio Stats

The article is part of a series of articles on Progressive Web Applications.

For an introduction to PWA, please Click Here

For an overview of PWA benefits to customers and website owners, please Click Here

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