I've built a network of eCommerce sites using WordPress Multi-site. My customers manufacture simple products and I'd like to build them a more robust web app that pulls in data using the wooCommerce API or upcoming WP-API. I'm new to programming and taught myself enough to setup my server (LEMP), build a custom theme and the multi-site network... I'm wondering if theres an open source solution that I can hack a bit to get the basic MVP built. I'm not enjoying PHP and so open to suggestions.
The best way to build an MVP for any SaaS product is to create a landing page that looks like a real product. Here's an example of one I built. http://www.happiily.com
In this case, it advertises the primary features of the product and invites people to sign-up. When they do, they are asked for information which qualifies the person and then sends me an email.
I built this quickly and very inexpensively and started getting inbound leads from it shortly thereafter.
I got on the phone with each person who signed-up and explained the features I wanted to build and was able to do a lot of customer learning based on that.
Happy to talk to you in a call if you'd like to talk more about customer development with SaaS products.
I see you still don't have an answer on this one and am wondering if more info might help. You say you're not enjoying PHP - is there another environment/language you prefer?
Furthermore, I am hesitant to answer this question because WooCommerce is such a fully fleshed out, well-supported system that it's hard to envision coding an alternate solution from scratch as opposed to just creating custom plugin functionality to do what you want. Have you considered this possibility (it would necessitate the PHP route)?
It's been a year to the original question, so not sure if you're still looking for an answer to this. Yet..
From your description, it seems like you want to build a web app that manages multiple WooCommerce stores from a single interface.
I saw a video demo of such a solution a few weeks ago. It's called Multishop - https://multishop.io/
There is also a proposed fork to WooCommerce to support multiple sites - http://woomu.org/
And here's a similar idea on WooCommerce Ideas board - http://ideas.woothemes.com/forums/133476-woocommerce/suggestions/4295981-multiple-shops-one-backend
We build some popular WooCommerce extensions. One of our plugins - Smart Manager - lets people manage products, inventory, orders and customers easily. Smart Reporter does advanced reporting on WooCommerce.
We have also looked at WC API and upcoming WP API.
It's great that you've setup WC multisite on your own. But if you don't like PHP, and want to rely on WC / WP APIs, I believe this is going to be a difficult project.
In all likelihood you'd need your own plugin. WC / WP APIs may not be sufficient for your needs. Another challenge is maintaining compatibility with ever growing list of WC extensions. So if you plan to build the web app for anyone (rather than a set of WC installs you control), you will need to invest significant energy in managing compatibility and updates.
And if the reason you wanted to build your app was to provide a simpler UI / UX, you can still build a plugin that hides all complexities. Or contribute to WooCommerce core with your suggestions / ideas / patches.
If you're looking to use the new API for WP, there's not gonna be much available at the moment as it's still technically in the works.
I'm not super familiar with the wooCommerce API - but it sure seems like a custom solution would be in order. Something like this would require more work than a beginner might enjoy though.
If I were in your shoes, I'd look to hiring a developer to slap this together for you. This sounds pretty in-depth so it would take you quite a while to get the hang of all the custom databases and things you'd need for a project of this scope.