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Tunneling Apps


This article focuses on developing apps connected to Saleor hosted in the cloud. You can also develop them locally, using Saleor Platform, without access to internet. Read more about developing apps locally

What is a tunnel, and why do you need one?

The Saleor extendability model relies on the concept of Apps. If you want to read more about them, head to the Apps Overview page.

As you want Apps to react to events in your store, you reach for webhooks. However, webhooks pose a unique challenge: they can only communicate with public clients. If so, how are you supposed to develop your app on localhost?

This is where tunnels come into play. A tunnel allows you to create a proxy that exposes a local environment to a public URL.

Let's say you are building a Next.js application that leverages a webhook. You boot it up with the next dev command, which renders it on http://localhost:3000. Since this address is only reachable from your machine and is not HTTPS compliant, the webhook cannot reach the app. We have a perfect use case for a tunnel on our hands.

A simplified process of using a tunnel to expose this app would look like this:

  1. Start the dev server of your application.
  2. You authenticate yourself in the tunneling service of your choosing (e.g.: ngrok).
  3. You provide the tunnel with the port number 3000 (where your app is running).
  4. The tunnel will provide a publicly available URL of your application.
  5. Now you can install your application in Saleor Cloud and receive webhooks 🎉.

Example tunnels

Saleor will work with any tunneling solution and follow a similar set-up process.

Here are a few funnels we suggest:

Installing the App in the Dashboard

If your app is already exposed to the internet via a tunnel, here is how you can install it in the Saleor Dashboard:

  1. Copy the app URL.
  2. Go to Dashboard → Apps.
  3. Click Install external app in the top right corner.
  4. Paste the app URL with "/api/manifest" suffix.
  5. Follow the dashboard installation process.