What is the BigCommerce API
Jan 14, 2023

What is the BigCommerce API

Did you know that APIs, more specifically, BigCommerce API can give your store a powerful edge over stores built on other platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce? In this video, I'll get into BC's APIs and how you can easily deploy them to your store!

⭐ MORE INFO ON BIGCOMMERCE STENCIL FRAMEWORK⭐ BigCommerce's API coverage is incredibly impressive - as is the number of API calls that BigCommerce can process per second.

In fact, it can handle 100 times more API calls per second than Shopify Plus! Shopify limits you to just two API requests a second, or four APIs per second if you’re a Shopify Plus user. Whereas BigCommerce can handle a whopping 400 API calls per second!

Check out the video and as always, reach out if you have questions!

If you want to see more of our BigCommerce Learning Series, click here to access the entire playlist.

Video Transcript:
(What is the BigCommerce API)

So what is the big commerce API? You keep hearing this word API? Like it's a magical thing.

But you know, what is it? Well, this video will explain to you what it is.

And before we get started, my name is Callum, a developer and a store owner.

And I run the E commerce growth, private community for store owners just like you have made, it's a free community, I'll have the link below.

And every week, I post more ecommerce videos.

So if you find this one interesting, subscribe and hit the bell.

And you can hear me talk more in the future.

Alright, so what is what is this API thing that we keep hearing about? Right? It's like, it's like it's magic, just API.


But what is it? Well, API what it is it's, it's a, it's an agreement.

It's an agreement between two databases on what they will allow in or out of their database.

So an example of how to use this would be that, you know, a developer like me could write a program, generally called generally referred to as writing an API.

But it's not, it's not technically correct.

You're writing a script that connects to an API is what you're doing.

And so I can write a script that sends a query or question to big Commerce's API.

And the question could be, you know, what are the product IDs of all of the products in the store, for example, right? Now, big commerce, their API, Doc's say that if you want to get this type of information, then you need to ask us in this way, right.

So I format my question to say big commerce, would you presume to give me the product IDs, you know, code wise, something like that, where we're asking them in the way that they have said that they want to be asked, and then they return the information, they say, here are all the product IDs, and then we will take all those product IDs and say, Okay, for this particular one, would you tell me the name of this product? Would you tell me the price of this product? Would you tell me that whatever.

And so what the API, technically is, it's an agreed, it's an agreed upon set of endpoints that say, if you connect in this way, in this format, will give you this type of data.

And so they, they, you know, they publish these API docs and say, here are the, you know, so many different things that you can communicate in and out of our database.

And, you know, do with that what you will, and then I write my script that interacts with that API, and does whatever, you know, we're supposed to do, right? Whether it's fetch information, whether it's fetch information and push new information in the API is just a script that communicates to it from that database in the way that that database has said that it wants to be communicated with.

So an example of usage of that would be like an app, right? An app is a an external script or database that connects to yours.

And so it's doing that through the API, anything outside of big commerce really has to communicate with big commerce through the API.

And so one thing that becomes important is talking about limits.

So every, you know, every system out there that has an API that has an agreed upon set of connections, has to tell you has to set limits on how many requests can come in, because otherwise, you know, you could send a million requests in a second.

And that will take down a server, right? So every platform out there will set limits and say this is how many API API calls or queries we will accept within a given timeframe.

And you can find big commerce is plot rate limits here on their platform limits page, which currently is this URL up here that's in my address bar support dot big commerce comm slash s slash article slash platform dash limits.

And it's got a capital P and a capital L.

Don't type all that stuff out, though, just to Google search for big commerce platform limits, and you'll you'll find this page.

And currently, their platform limits are this number one, there's a limit of 50 API accounts.

So that's 50 username passwords that 50 different developers can use to connect to your store.

So there's a limit can't have more than 50 API keys out there.

Now, you can delete old ones and create new ones as a result, but it's 15 Max concurrently.

Here we go.

API calls.

They differ it by the plan that you're on.

So if you are on the trial standard or Plus plans 20,000 API calls per hour right So 20,000 divided by 60 is 333 per minute.

Divide that by 60.

And we got 5.5 per second at the low limit, right.

And this one, the 60,000, which is plus plans that are pro plans, and above is going to be basically three times this.

So that's, you know, 16 calls per second.

Enterprise is unlimited.

And they say unlimited.

But technically, you know, again, if you said the million API calls, they are going to maybe have trouble with that, I don't know, probably throttle it so that maybe they respond slower, so it doesn't take down the server.

But this, this is pretty fast, right? This is a lot of API calls.

Shopify, in comparison, does two requests per second, and only four requests per second on the Shopify Plus.

So that's their, their version of enterprise.

Four requests per second versus big commerce is, well, 16 requests per second here on pro plans, but unlimited on enterprise.

So you can see that there's a lot more API calls allowed per second, which is fantastic.

There's also a lot more stuff that you could do with the API on big commerce, which is also fantastic.

So they're trying to make it so that everything you can do, because you can do through the API, which really opens up everything.

But this is important, it's important to know that you get more more calls per second this way.

I will say that I believe that this is per app basis.

So this is siloing your requests from one app to another app.

So like, the other guy's app, if it's using a lot of requests per second, aren't going to affect your ability to use your requests per second, but it is a slow rate overall, in comparison.

So hopefully, this explained a little bit about what the API is.

Again, it's an agreed upon set of endpoints, you can, let's see, I actually bring my bookmarks back there is let's see under this right here, you can go to developer dot big commerce comm slash stencil slash docks.

And you can see handlebars helper reference.

So this explains like all the stuff that you can do with handlebars.

And you can come in here and see the API docs and look at all of the stuff that you can do with that.

There's also web hooks, which are technically something a little bit different.

But those are interesting, too.

And this is where you can learn really all about what you could do with the API.

So it's, it's pretty substantial.

It's how everything outside of big commerce communicates with big commerce.

Their API is very fast.

But there are limits, especially at the lower levels.

And yeah, hopefully, you guys found this helpful.

If you did, give me a like, and make sure that you join our community here at joinecommercegrowth.com.

And if you're looking for a developer to help you with your API calls or anything like that, reach out to us at Epic design labs.

We'll see if we're a good fit.

And I'm always looking for ways to help you guys out so let me know leave me a comment.

Let me know what you guys are struggling with.

And maybe it's something I can help out.

Maybe someday it'll be in my next video.

Either way, thank you guys so much for joining me.

I appreciate it.

And I'll see you next time.