A Better Spree PayPal Express
Extension<http://spreecommerce.com/blog/a-better-spree-paypal-express-extension>

POSTED JULY 29, 2013 BY RYAN BIGG

We’ve noticed recently that a lot of people have been wanting to use Spree
and PayPal Express Checkout together and that those people have been coming
against problems
<https://github.com/spree/spree_paypal_express/issues/151> when
they attempt to do so with the more recent versions of Spree.

Over the years, the codebase for this extension has grown and grown and
grown, and as a consequence has gotten extremely messy. When we attempt to
fix an issue in this codebase, it’s confusing and there’s no testing
“safety net” in place to make sure that our changes are a) correct and b)
not going to break anything else. In addition to this, our experience with
PayPal itself has been… less than fun. APIs behaving differently between
testing and live, situations where transactions would work in one instance
and not another and so on. Hence we’ve been reluctant to do any work on
this extension for fear of further issues.

It’s really a terrible thing to have an officially supported extension for
such a major part of shopping carts on the web and have that officially
supported extension not work. When it doesn’t work, people get upset, and
when people get upset, we get upset.

So to put an end to this upset-ness, we’re working on a new and improved
Spree PayPal Express
extension<https://github.com/radar/better_spree_paypal_express> aptly
called “better_spree_paypal_express”. This extension does a couple of
things differently.

Firstly, it doesn’t hack the CheckoutController class to make things work.
Instead, there is a completely separate controller within the extension
called PaypalController which deals with interacting with PayPal. The
CheckoutController is left to its own devices.

Secondly, it uses PayPal’s own Merchant
SDK<https://github.com/paypal/merchant-sdk-ruby> library,
rather than Active Merchant’s own code. This way, we can be sure that
whatever happens to PayPal’s API, they’ll hopefully update this gem and we
don’t have to wait for a patch to land in Active Merchant.

With just these two minor differences, the amount of code in the extension
has been cut down and it’s extremely easy to test walking through a Spree
checkout with it. Because the code’s cleaner, the barrier to entry is much
lower in order for people to be able to figure out what’s going on within
the extension. If there’s a problem with the extension, then submitting a
patch should be fairly easy.

We’re currently looking for people to give the extension a try in place of
the current `spree_paypal_express` extension. If you’re looking for PayPal
Express Checkout support with Spree, please try out this
extension<https://github.com/radar/better_spree_paypal_express>.
If you find any problems with this extension, please report them on the
repo’s issue page.

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