Last updated

Getting started with Flex Template for Web

Learn how to install one of the Flex Templates for Web (FTW) to your local development environment.

Table of Contents

Flex Templates for Web (FTW) are marketplace web applications built on top of the Marketplace API. While you can create a marketplace purely using just the API, it requires a significant amount of effort (both money and time) and we recommened using the template as a starting point for customizations.

FTW-daily is built with React, Redux, and CSS Modules. It also contains a small Node.js server, which provides server-side rendering (SSR) for the production site.

The purpose of this guide is to clone and configure FTW-daily to your local development environment - and then get it up and running. This guide also helps you to create accounts to Stripe and Mapbox. Those services are needed to run the FTW-daily template app.

If you want to use FTW-hourly or FTW-product as your starting point, you can find the relevant options in this tutorial as well. However, if you are intending to work through the tutorial steps, we recommend starting with FTW-daily, as it is the basis for the tutorials.

Setup development environment

Prerequisities

To get FTW up and running, you will need to download and install some basic development tooling:

Install the FTW-daily App locally

  1. Open Terminal

  2. Clone FTW-daily repository:

    git clone https://github.com/sharetribe/ftw-daily.git
    To clone FTW-hourly, use the command
    git clone https://github.com/sharetribe/ftw-hourly.git

    To clone FTW-product, use the command

    git clone https://github.com/sharetribe/ftw-product.git
  3. Go to the cloned directory:

    cd ftw-daily/

    After these steps you should have a directory structure that looks like this for FTW-daily:

    ├── ext
    │   └── transaction-process
    ├── node_modules
    │   └── // dependencies
    ├── public
    │   ├── static
    │   ├── 500.html
    │   ├── index.html
    │   └── robots.txt
    ├── scripts
    │   ├── audit.js
    │   ├── config.js
    │   └── translations.js
    ├── server
    │   ├── api
    │   ├── api-util
    │   ├── apiRouter.js
    │   ├── apiServer.js
    │   ├── auth.js
    │   ├── csp.js
    │   ├── dataLoader.js
    │   ├── env.js
    │   ├── importer.js
    │   ├── index.js
    │   ├── log.js
    │   ├── renderer.js
    │   └── sitemap.js
    ├── src
    │   ├── analytics
    │   ├── assets
    │   ├── components
    │   ├── containers
    │   ├── ducks
    │   ├── forms
    │   ├── styles
    │   │   ├── marketplaceDefaults.css
    │   │   └── propertySets.css
    │   ├── translations
    │   ├── util
    │   ├── Routes.js
    │   ├── app.js
    │   ├── config.js
    │   ├── currency-config.js
    │   ├── default-location-searches.js
    │   ├── examples.js
    │   ├── index.js
    │   ├── marketplace-custom-config.js
    │   ├── reducers.js
    │   ├── routeConfiguration.js
    │   ├── store.js
    │   └── stripe-config.js
    ├── CHANGELOG.md
    ├── LICENSE
    ├── README.md
    ├── app.json
    ├── package.json
    └── yarn.lock
    If you cloned FTW-hourly:
    cd ftw-hourly/

    If you cloned FTW-product:

    cd ftw-product/
  1. Install dependency libraries:

    yarn install

Mandatory Integrations

FTW templates have 3 mandatory integrations that you need to configure before the app is fully functional. The app obviously needs to discuss with Flex Marketplace API, but the client app also makes direct calls to Stripe. Flex uses Stripe as a payment processor, and FTW-daily saves sensitive payment information directly to it.

The third default integration is to a map provider. Mapbox provides location search (geocoding) and maps for the web app.

Mandatory integrations: Flex Marketplace API, Stripe, Map provider

FTW templates just need 4 environment variables to make these integrations work.

Sharetribe Flex client ID and client secret

To use the Marketplace API, you will need a client ID. You can sign up for your free Flex account at https://www.sharetribe.com/products/flex/

When you get access, you will be able to log into Flex Console and check the client ID.
Flex Console: Build > Applications

In addition, FTW templates use transaction processes that include privileged transitions. This makes it possible to customize pricing on the Node server that's included in the template. The client secret is needed to make this secure call from the template's own server to Flex API.

Flex Console: Applications tab

Stripe keys

Both Flex API and your client app need to be able to discuss with Stripe API. Stripe has two different keys:

  • Secret key for server-side requests
  • Publishable key for calls from web browser

Flex API uses the Stripe secret key to make payment-related requests when a transaction moves forward. The client app needs to use the Stripe publishable key to run the stripe.js script. The script has two main functions: it has fraud detection built in, and it is also used to save sensitive information directly to Stripe. For instance, a customer's credit card number is saved directly to Stripe.

1. Create and confirm your free Stripe account

Register to Stripe. Remember to confirm your email address after the registration.

As you will receive money from your users via your Stripe account, you have to provide some details such as your address and your bank account. In the Stripe dashboard, click the "Activate your account" link in the top bar and fill in all the fields according to the instructions. The activation form varies based on your country.

Activate Stripe account

2. Enable Stripe Connect in your platform

Sharetribe uses the Stripe Connect features with Custom accounts.

Stripe Connect is used to route payments between customers, providers (sellers), and the marketplace, which can take a commission from transactions.

Stripe Custom accounts are created to hold the provider's account information (e.g. payout details) on Stripe's side. A Custom Stripe account is almost completely invisible to the account holder, but marketplace operators see the accounts on their Stripe dashboard.

United States
If you're based in The United States, Stripe will need to review your platform account before you get access. See this article to learn how to apply for Stripe Connect review.

Other countries
If you're in any another country, follow these instructions to enable Stripe Connect:

  1. Click the Connect top menu item, and then click the Get Started button.

    Stripe connect

  2. Once a modal opens, select Platform or marketplace and click Continue.

    Activate Stripe Connect

  3. Now when you click the gear icon on the top bar to go to Settings at https://dashboard.stripe.com/settings, you will see a new Connect section. Click Settings in that section.

    Connect settings

  4. Make sure that Custom is enabled in the Account types section

    Custom enabled

Great! You now have to get your API keys and input them into your marketplace.

3. Get your API keys from Stripe and add them to your Sharetribe marketplace

  • Click the Developers top menu item and go to DevelopersAPI Keys.
  • In the section "Standard keys" you will see two keys:
    • Publishable key
    • Secret key

The publishable key (with prefix pk) is one used in frontend application (e.g. Flex Template for Web) and secret key (with prefix sk) is the one you need to add to Console. If you want to use test data make sure the value of the key is eg. pk_test<somethinghere> and not pk_live<somethinghere>

Note: If you want to use test data in development make sure that "Viewing test data" toggle is on. This way no real money will be used. In production make sure that the toggle is off.

Get API keys from Stripe

4. Add your Stripe secret API key to Console

  • Log in to Console and go to BuildPayments
  • In the section Stripe configuration paste your secret key to "Stripe secret key" field and save the changes.

Add Stripe secret key to Console

Note: The secret key and publishable key need to match with each other. You can't use a publishable key from a different Stripe account than the secret key - or mix test keys and live keys.

Mapbox Access Token

Sign up to Mapbox and go to the account page. Then copy the "Default public token".

Mapbox Account Page: copy access token

If you wish to create a new one, click "+ Create a token" button, give it a name and make sure all Public scopes are selected. Create the token and copy its value.

You can make access tokens in your web applications more secure by adding URL restrictions. When you add a URL restriction to a token, that token will only work for requests that originate from the URLs you specify. See the Mapbox documentation for domain restrictions.

Add Environment Variables

Start the config script:

yarn run config

This command will prompt you to enter the three required environment variables that you you collected in the previous step.

After that, it will create .env file to your local repository and guide you through setting up the rest of the required environment variables. If the .env file doesn't exist the application won't start. This .env file is only created for local development environment.

See the FTW Environment configuration variables for more information on the environment variables.

Start the server

Start the development server:

yarn run dev

This will automatically open http://localhost:3000 in a browser:

Default marketplace screenshot

Note: As you browse your marketplace and create listings, you may notice that the search filters do not work. You can activate the filters by creating a search schema that corresponds to your FTW template.

Summary

In this tutorial, we used the FTW-daily template to get a marketplace running. Here's a summary of those installation steps:

git clone https://github.com/sharetribe/ftw-daily.git
cd ftw-daily/
yarn install
yarn run config
yarn run dev

As you can see from http://localhost:3000, FTW is a fully ready and polished marketplace application that is running on top of the Marketplace API. Client app customization is in your control, and you can change it to fit your marketplace needs. Check the tutorial to learn how to customize FTW template.