Using PWA Kit is the fastest way to turn your storefront into a progressive web app (PWA). A PWA is a website whose user experience includes features that we normally associate with native apps, such as:
- Fast load times
- Smooth rendering and transitions
- Offline support
- Install on home screen
The reason they’re called “progressive” is that these features are added one-at-a-time (or progressively), based on what the user’s device and browser can support.
A PWA works on any desktop or mobile device that uses a standards-compliant browser.
The following table shows how a PWA compares to a traditional responsive website and to a native app.
|PWA||Responsive Site||Native App|
|What is it?||A website that is both responsive and provides native app-like performance and features||A website that dynamically scales across different screen sizes||An application available on a specific program (iOS, Android) that can access device-side capabilities|
|Use case||When you want a faster, more engaging app-like experience||When a traditional web storefront meets your needs||When you want to drive higher engagement with your most loyal customer base|
A front-end app that’s separated from the backend can’t rely on the ecommerce platform for storefront operations. That’s where a managed runtime can help. The Managed Runtime provides the infrastructure to host, deploy, secure, scale, and monitor a storefront built with PWA Kit in a decoupled environment.
- Slash time to market: Use a prebuilt high-scale, fully decoupled, serverless, public cloud native platform to run an enterprise storefront in a headless environment.
- Enhance trust and scalability: Offload operational burden and stress with a reliable solution that ensures enterprise scalability with a historical 99.99% uptime.
- Add flexibility: Own the customer experience with the freedom to innovate and evolve that experience independent of backend systems.
The API Connection
The B2C Commerce API and Open Commerce API (OCAPI) are fast, with enhanced developer efficiency for building and integrating commerce experiences for hundreds of storefront applications. Developers can layer the PWA Kit and Managed Runtime on top of B2C Commerce and other back-end systems using these APIs. While B2C Commerce provides the critical commerce services (like pricing, promotions, search, and Einstein), the PWA Kit and Managed Runtime use APIs to access these services, render the web experience, and provide the operations infrastructure.
The Managed Runtime adds layers of caching to reduce API calls to B2C Commerce, while automated monitoring tracks performance across the front and back ends, finding and tracing bottlenecks.
While using PWA Kit and Managed Runtime, you will see occasional references to Mobify, which was the name of the company that originally developed these technologies. Mobify was acquired by Salesforce in 2020, and we are still in the process of rebranding the product.
Now that you’re familiar with the basics of PWA Kit and Managed Runtime, explore our Getting Started guide.