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apeacox / nova




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An attempt to port/rebuild Spree, an open source e-commerce solution, with Phoenix.


Spree is an excellent product however, for several reasons, it started to show some limits:

  • being written in Ruby and Rails requires a lot of hosting resources
  • it became a big, monolithic piece of software, really hard to customize
  • it slowed down the development pace (perhaps because of the point above)

So here's the deal: why not to port/rebuild Spree with Elixir and Phoenix? The main idea is to take inspiration from the many Spree's good parts and build a new generation ecommerce for the next years.

Roadmap, a sort of

See TODO for more details, meanwhile, here there are some intentions:

Short term

The first short term goal is to quickly build a bare-bones MVP with the core models (eg: Product, Variant, Order, LineItem, ...) and the necessary code to glue them through isolated, well defined commands. Then, at a very high level:

  • get a monolithic app, for now
  • as a Customer (say a guest user for the first iteration), I want to purchase products (add to cart -> do checkout)
  • as an Admin, I want to manage products and orders through an HTTP-JSON API

Mid term

Once we get an initial, working, very basic product, we can start to split the whole app into components. Very similar to Spree:

  • core: contains the core models and their basic integrations (queries, commands, ...);
  • api: all actions should be done from an HTTP-JSON API, so anyone can build its custom frontend (eg: a Single Page App, command line, mobile app, ...), especially for admins;
  • frontend: uses plain old server-rendered HTML pages;
  • admin: not a top priority. it's like frontend, for admins;
  • extensions: everything that doesn't strictly fit into the above components, should be done in a dedicated package. After all, some features are very specific to certain needs, we don't want another monolithic piece of software.

Long term

Don't know right now, world domination™? :-)


  1. Be nice with others
  2. Check issues or, if your prefer kanban boards, we have waffle too
  3. Fork this repo
  4. Write code (and tests)
  5. Open a PR


  1. Copy .env-example.exs to .env.exs, then edit it to set secret configs
  2. Install dependencies with mix deps.get
  3. Create and migrate your database with mix ecto.create && mix ecto.migrate
  4. Run tests with mix test
  5. Install npm dependencies with npm install
  6. Start Phoenix endpoint with mix phoenix.server
  7. Visit localhost:4000 from your browser