Before making your first customizations, consider the design environment you'd like to use when creating your custom screens. There are many software products out there that provide features for editing HTML and JSP documents. Among the most popular are Macromedia's Dreamweaver and the open-source editor jEdit. However, any text editor can be used to edit the JSP templates, including Microsoft's Notepad, or the open-source editor Emacs .
We strongly recommend setting up a separate installation of SoftSlate Commerce that you'll use only for development purposes. The SoftSlate Commerce license allows you to install the application on an unlimited number of development machines, so long as they are not accessible by the public through the Internet. It also allows you to install the application on a publicly-accessible staging server, which can be used to test your changes before going live.