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API Deprecation At Shopify: 2021-10 Edition


Welcome to another edition of API deprecations at Shopify, where we dive into the breaking changes coming into effect for all supported versions. In this edition, we'll review the breaking changes in the 2021-01 API version, the oldest supported version as of October 1, 2021. This includes vital information for developers of private apps. Let's take a look.

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A quick refresher on versioning

Before we dive into the changes headed your way, let's revisit how API versioning at Shopify works.

  • We release a version every quarter. These releases typically happen on or around January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. Versions are named in a year-month format (e.g. 2021-01), ensuring that it will always be easy to identify the time the version became stable, as well as compare the timelines of multiple versions.
  • Apps make requests to a specific version of the API by specifying it in the request URL. While the Shopify APIs continuously evolve, apps can be built on a stable version to ensure that the API contract remains constant. Keep in mind this means that any features released after your targeted version won't be accessible until you update your request URL.
  • We release features to merchants continuously. To ship features without affecting the latest stable APIs, we use release candidates. The release candidate is simply the next API version, and can be targeted for requests using the same year-month format. In the release candidate, you'll find the latest set of features that have just been released. However, since it's continuously evolving, you should avoid using the release candidate for your app's general everyday consumption of the API. To have both the benefit of stability and access to the latest features, we recommend keeping your app's everyday requests on a stable version, and only moving specific calls that deal with newly released features to the release candidate.
  • Apps that do not request a specific version are served the oldest supported version. This allowed existing apps to continue functioning when we shipped versioning, without having to update to the new URLs. This concept also applies to apps explicitly calling versions that are no longer supported. While every app will benefit from this mechanism preventing all of their requests from erroring out after a version switch, we recommend targeting recent releases intentionally.
  • Versions are supported for one year. Removing support for versions allows us to stay agile and make the changes needed to best serve our merchants and the Shopify platform for the long term. While versions are supported for one year, this means that apps actually only have nine months to adopt these new changes and take advantage of new features before the old behavior is no longer available.

With this refresher at the top of our mind, let's review the key information you'll need to be ready for October 1, 2021.

What’s happening on October 1

On October 1, 2021, the following changes will come into effect on our APIs for both public and private apps:

  • The 2021-10 version will become stable and ready for general usage.
  • The 2020-10 version will become unsupported.
  • Requests that have been deprecated by changes in 2021-01 will cause your app to be flagged. To minimize merchant impact, Shopify will de-list flagged apps from the Shopify App Store and block new installs. Additionally, we may notify merchants that your apps are no longer supported.

Shortly afterward, at our discretion:

  • Requests with no API version specified will be served the 2021-01 version.
  • Requests for the 2020-10 version will no longer receive that version. Instead, these requests will fall forward to 2021-01.
  • Webhooks set to 2020-10 will fall forward in the same manner.

Most importantly, the 2021-01 API version, which will become the default version, includes breaking API changes. If your app is making requests that would break in 2020-10, you need to take action and migrate those requests before October 1, 2021. Failure to do so will result in failed requests and a broken app. 

Upcoming breaking changes

Below are the breaking changes introduced in 2021-01, which will become Shopify’s oldest supported version on October 1, 2021.

Status field in REST FulfillmentOrder resource

As of the 2021-01 API version, we've added a new scheduled value to the status field in the FulfillmentOrder resource. For more information, refer to Managing prepaid subscription orders.

Auto-activate billing charges using the REST Admin API

We've removed the accepted value for the status field and the activate endpoint on the ApplicationCharge and RecurringApplicationCharge resources. As of the 2021-01 API version, when a merchant accepts a charge, the charge immediately transitions from pending to active. This means that you no longer need to activate the charge to finalize it.

Cursor-based pagination

The /admin/api/{version}/users.json endpoint now supports cursor-based pagination.

Get ready for October 1, 2021

The following resources can help you stay on top of changes to the Shopify platform:

  • API health report: A per-app health report in the Partner Dashboard that showcases the exact API changes that will affect you.
  • Email: Ensure your developer contact email is up-to-date so we can notify you about pending changes.
  • Deprecation headers: In your app, the X-Shopify-API-Deprecated-Reason header is added to requests that are deprecated and will be unsupported within nine months.
  • Developer changelog: Stay up to date with the recent changes to Shopify’s APIs and other developer products
  • Deprecated API calls endpoint: Private apps can access their API health information via this endpoint.

Check out the 2021-10 release notes for the full set of new features, your Partner Dashboard to see which changes may affect you, or subscribe to our monthly What’s New for Shopify Developers and Partners newsletter below.

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This article originally appeared on the Shopify Web Design and Development blog and is made available here to educate and cast a wider net of discovery.
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