eCommerce integration

There has been a lot of talk over the years about how farmOS could feed data into an eCommerce system - or even provide one of its own (using Drupal Commerce: Let’s use this thread to discuss big ideas!

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See recent feature request on GitHub (closed and linked back to here):

I’d be curious to know what kinds of eCommerce solutions farmers are currently using, and whether those systems have API’s that farmOS could connect to.

Just checking a few of the big names…

It would be interesting to write a farmOS module that could push inventory data to sources like that, or perhaps write extensions on those platforms that can pull data from farmOS.

I feel like these types of integrations would be most beneficial, however, once we made the move to OAuth. Love this idea, though, more thoughts to follow…


Does the inventory module work on plants? if so then we could use to feed data into eCommerce work flow module. what do you think guys to try this out

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@Kafuidarkey it does not currently. Enabling that is as easy as adding a single line of code. However, there is a prerequisite:

So how do you keep record of harvested plant from lot of seedling ? That will let you know the data to request if you want to connect with a different purchase and order commence or erp

You can create a “Planting” asset, which tracks the plant (or set of plants) from seeding to harvest. Harvest logs can also specify a lot number, if you are packing them into labelled boxes.

In the future, the vision is for a “Harvest” log to automatically create a new asset (eg: “Product”) that links back to the planting as it’s parent. These product assets could then be managed independently, with their own inventory levels, and tracked to sale.


Some related discussion around “Product” asset types here:

One eCommerce platform I know of is the Open Food Network:

It’s more popular in Australia where the project started, but it has expanded to other countries around the globe! I’m not sure if they have a well established API yet, but if so that would be a cool integration!


Thank very much i will look at it

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@paul121 This would be a great integrated network shop module for farmOS.
I am in talks with LaurieWayne the main coordinator for OFN (USA) and she is very interested in seeing this integration and mentioned she had discussions with OpenTEAM about it in recent past. This seems like a real good match of the 2 platforms.
I feel this could be a new standard as i really like how they have there system laid out.
Very straight forward to use and OFN seems to cover most important aspects of bringing farms online into one platform to sell goods.

Heres my feeble attempt of ideas on how farmOS + OFN could play together.


Develop a “farm2foodnetwork” module (*what data sets to share?)

  • Ability to have a farmOS profile on OFN as Provider etc
  • Ability to push asset ”product” thru movement till it goes to OFN store
  • Ability to push assets to OFN inventory and categorize each desired asset as a network store product with in farmOS.
  • Ability to track and trace product from start to market and the ability to tag it at each stage.
  • Push items to network store from farmOS directly when ready.
  • Integrate crop production plan with ofn product availability.
  • OAuth to connect the accounts?

@FarmTech very cool! That’s a good list, definitely more thought than I had put into this integration! Seems like that covers most of the desired use cases. I might add “auto-creating” harvest & packing tasks in farmOS - but that might be an add on anyways.

Really interested how we could make this come together


:slight_smile: Hi @paul121 Excuse delay in response, its been busy on the farm lately! Thats great news, thanks for checking this out and im very interested in how we can get this integrated as well. I am going to be meeting with Laurie from OFN USA next tuesday on the phone. Hopefully we can get these dots connected in the near future. It seems theres lots of development happening at the moment and would love to see this happen when the time is right. There is grants available for this that we are applying for at our farm project in northern california and one our main goals is to integrate farmOS, OFN and our smart systems all together.
Thus having a smart farm package that we can offer.


Ok so i posted on the Open Food Network community discourse. We are getting some traction!


Heres some aspects they shared with me that may be helpful.



Just seeing this, @FarmTech, looks like a great conversation started over there on OFN forum!

I’m especially intrigued with the work they’ve done with the DFC standard: I heard about this a while back but don’t think I realized they’d finally published a spec.

@mstenta, @paul121, maybe we should investigate how we might conform to this spec when we take a look at the data model for farmOS 2.0. My intuition is that it wouldn’t require much, since this spec primarily concerns post-production entities, and therefore lives outside the scope of much of farmOS. I assume it would just require another layer of transformation (perhaps akin to inventory management?) on top of whatever data model we end up with; that is, to transform a farmOS asset to a DFC product, as Kirsten points out in that thread.


I’d love to learn more about the “DFC product” model that OFN uses. FWIW I’ve been thinking about this similarly: assets need to be able to “transform” from one type to another, and we will ultimately need a “product” asset type for managing your product inventory. This asset type could then be used to tie into commerce platforms, including OFN.

(Note: I don’t mean “transform” as in “asset type changes”, but rather: the original asset “gives birth to” new asset(s) of a different type. This doesn’t mean that the original asset necessarily changes or goes away at all. For example: an apple tree producing bushels of apples that are sold (the tree still stands), vs a cow that becomes many different cuts of meat.)

One of the biggest challenges is making it easy to maintain your own inventory.

The “cuts of meat” use-case is a great example of the complexity of this, and how difficult it is to make it user-friendly. I’m sure OFN has had to grapple with this and I’m curious what they have decided on! To summarize: cuts of meat are often returned from the butcher pre-packaged and labelled. Each will have different weights and prices, so each is technically a unique product. As opposed to something more uniform like “lbs of spinach”. In a store, it’s easy for a consumer to pick up an individual cut of meat, see the sticker, weight, and price, and put it in their cart. Online stores need to have separate records for each of these cuts, in order to truly track stock of inventory. I imagine that being hard for both the farmer (to enter all the separate details - unless it could be auto-entered by the butcher, but that’s a bigger issue), as well for the consumer (to effectively display what’s available without overwhelming them with a bunch of “default thumbnails” that are meaningless). It’s been a while since I’ve looked into how this is being done these days, though, so maybe OFN and others have come up with good solutions!

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Hi @jgaehring @mstenta @paul121
Thanks @jgaehring for reviewing this and bringing this topic forward. Super stoked to see this is of interest!
@mstenta i really appreciate your insights in response.

Really see the value in this as well as it was immediately what made sense in the forward movement of the open agtech localization of food markets and farm management.
So i was super inspired to see what could happen too and here we go ! :slight_smile:

Just posting some infos here. I had a little time today to go thru some of the tech and found these links that might be helpful.
It seems that there is already good movement being made for developing universal product model so external clients can interact with a universal food product standard.

Here is some resources ive scraped around this topic
Based around the DFC Product Catalog


*Just want to mention i am not a proficient programmer but more of a developer/prototyper/maker and i work more on web development and a hardware level for the most part. Dev hacks w firmwares and mostly web scripting. I can make my way around developing with code i am not familiar with, but to program a solution and or lead a project like this is a bit more of a time consuming learning curve for me. Currently my plate is full as well managing, developing and implementing the tech at hand for the organization i am working with. I am a solo IT Director for our organization as well. So i just wouldnt want to bite off myself more then i can chew and hold up any possible progress. I am available 100% to keep this development momentum going with any kind of project management, but to take on heavy lifting of programming, i dont feel thats my strong suite here.
hope this helps get to know my current bandwidth + ability + time available

  • A little update on where we are at…
    Currently we are using farmOS as our daily farm management platform and just now starting to use our Open Food Network producer hub to host our veggies that will be harvested through out the summer. Our open food network hub store will be able to be used by other local food providers to purchase our harvested veggies to fulfill there CSA subscription orders they provide weekly.
    So we have a great test bed in place to start developing with here in Northern California.
    We are also in talks about getting setup to host farms on a farmier style hosting setup for local farms here in Northern California. This ideally can be connected to the that we are currently working with.

These 2 platforms currently will work in tandem for us because we can export spreadsheets from both and create a fairly simple way to keep things organized, but still requires alot of manual effort and physical simple tasks to keep this up to date and congruent. So to have these platforms integrated would greatly benefit on many levels with time/task management along with show and automate track n trace validity from seed to market. This alone would seem to be a winner. Also this combined product will standalone (at this time) in the open agtech circles this could connect alot of dots modeling a sort of all in one open farm to market management solution.

edited… we are currently working on grants that will enable us to invest funds for future development here at farmOS and on OFN*


I used the term “transform” somewhat deliberately, b/c to me it denotes the type of higher-order-function you would pass to the map function, which incidentally also implies immutability, but I guess that’s pretty subjective usage. “Morphism” might be the most accurate term for what I’m thinking of, but perhaps a slightly less mathy way of saying it would be that we “map” assets to products. Maybe?

Sorry to bike-shed this, but this just makes me want to dive back into some category theory tutorials! :nerd_face:

No worries, these kinds of efforts tend to be marathons, not sprints, always best to pace yourself. If we keep the conversation going at least, that’s momentum we can use once the time is right.

Awesome! At the beginning of this year I was interested in looking for more sources of funding to explore eCommerce integrations like this. But then this year happened. :upside_down_face: Perhaps if/when things settle down, we could look to pool our efforts there.

Thanks for pushing this conversation forward!


Hi all – I am chiming in to praise this initiative, and also to express my interest as a potential contributor.

I have two decades of experience working with software, including various drupal projects dating back as far as 2004. I used to geek out a lot with ontologies, taxonomies, semantic web and the like. And having worked a pretty sizable drupal commerce launch about 8 years ago, I quickly “grok” how @mstenta is using the term “transform” here in this context :slight_smile:

I am also increasingly involved with some local community gardening projects and have a rapidly expanding interest in small-scale, sustainable, regenerative farming (hook_career_alter ?!)… and concerns for food quality, availability/distribution, and especially food security.

As I’m sure is the case in many other areas of the world, there is quite a lot of activity related to all of the above in the region where I live – the Fargo-Moorhead (small metro) corridor between Minnesota and North Dakota.

All the best