Recommended approach for adding lots of custom fields to products, and making them easy to manage?

Shopify Partner
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I'm building a store for a customer who have over 100,000 products.  Each products has a number of meta data against it beyond what Shopify supports.


I know the recommended way of doing this is to use the API or to use a third-party app to manage the additional fields.  However, using the API obviously isn't client-friendly for managing the data, and in my experience third-party apps will show meta data in a completely different area of the Shopify backend to the rest of the product data.  It makes for a very poor user experience for the admins of the store.


What is Shopify's recommended approach for this?  In theory, I could build an app specifically for my client that allows them to edit all product meta information against each product, along with the standard data that Shopify has.  In essence I'll be rebuilding the product edit screen of the Shopify backend using the API to update data and including the missing meta fields.  This seems like overkill, but I'm unsure of a better approach.


What do Shopify recommend doing?