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Ecommerce

Microservices-Based Architecture in Ecommerce | Modular Solutions

Microservices-Based Architecture in Ecommerce - ScienceSoft

At ScienceSoft, we successfully employ microservices architecture pattern to deploy scalable and high-performing software solutions.

Microservices in Ecommerce

A microservices architecture is used to create ecommerce applications as an assembly of separate components, or microservices, connected via REST APIs. Multiple user interfaces can be built using the same microservices on the back end. Though peculiarities of this architectural approach are of major interest to development teams, its benefits for businesses are numerous:

Development is not restricted by a rigid technology stack of a monolithic ecommerce platform and can use modern techs. This helps deliver beautifully designed and fast ecommerce applications.

Small development teams can work simultaneously to build different services for fast application implementation and market entry.

Migration to a modular ecommerce architecture is investment in installments. You can rebuild and modernize your ecommerce solution step-by-step, by replacing each business function with a microservice. You can start with areas where custom workflow or design can influence customer experience and thus sales the most.

It’s easier and less costly to scale a microservices-based ecommerce application because each service lives through its own life cycle – it’s created, modified, tested and removed (if needed) independently from other services. This is beneficial for growth-oriented companies that are planning to invest and evolve their ecommerce presence gradually.

Ecommerce applications (and hence online sales) are more resilient as malfunctions in a single microservice don’t disrupt the whole application.

The infrastructure cost can be optimized as microservices are cloud-native, and each service can be hosted on a different cloud instance based on its bandwidth requirements.

Microservices Architecture

We describe the main architecture layers and components of a microservices-based ecommerce application.

Microservices architecture - ScienceSoft

User interface layer

Is used to create multiple digital customer touchpoints using the same microservices on the back-end.

Routing layer

Connects HTTPS queries to corresponding microservices.

  • API gateway is used to create APIs at any scale.
  • Service Discovery is used to find dynamically assigned network locations of microservices instances.
  • Load Balancer is used to distribute API calls among microservices.
  • Caching is used to store and return static data (e.g., text files) to upload web pages faster.

Container ecosystem

Stores units of microservices.

  • Microservices are built around certain business context: data type, responsibility, function.

The Role of Automation in Microservices Delivery

Designing and maintaining an operational microservices architecture requires proper automation strategy relying on DevOps practices and test automation.

CI/CD pipeline

All microservices are packaged, tested and deployed in the same manner so unification of the delivery pipeline propels fast progress in the ecommerce application creation.

Testing automation

Each microservice with its dependencies should be tested separately, and the number of microservices may easily exceed 100. The use of automated tests during microservices testing is a way to speed up the application deployment.

Container orchestration tools

All microservices are containerized. Tools like Docker and Kubernetes help with automated simultaneous deployment in multiple containerized environments. For example, with a one-line command in Kubernetes, one can introduce a required update to dozens and hundreds of microservices.

A multicloud strategy

One can employ several cloud vendors to optimize infrastructure cost and minimize the risk of overload of a single resource. In this case, a DevOps team must standardize the management of several clouds, monitor the availability, performance and security of cloud environments.

Useful Third-party Integrations

Along with an API-based inner structure, an ecommerce application should provide external APIs to connect to third-party systems. For ecommerce operations, we recommend to integrate a web application with:

  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning system) to streamline the exchange of information between a company’s different units (e.g., finance department, warehouses).
  • PIM (Product Information Management system) to collect holistic information about products and push it online (also to non-digital sales channels in case of multi-channel retail environment).
  • Personalization tool to increase the return from marketing initiatives, to position the brand as caring about customers’ time and knowing their habits.

Useful third-party integrations - ScienceSoft

How to Migrate from Monolithic to Modular Architecture

How to migrate from monolithic to modular architecture - ScienceSoft

Migration tips from ScienceSoft

Define the bounded context of microservices to decompose your ecommerce application. The context can be based on the type of information microservices will deal with, e.g., Order service to manage orders, or an action, e.g., Wish list service responsible for adding items to wish list by a user’s click.

Don’t make microservices too small not to overcomplicate the structure. If you doubt, you can start with larger services and split them later if needed.

The very idea of a microservices-based architecture implies having a separate database for each service. You can split a monolithic database by:

  • Introducing Data as an API approach. In this case, a single database exposes relevant data to different services at API calls.
  • Build data projections so that each service could interact only with referenced data.

When dealing with database splitting, you will also have to locate data that will be used by many microservices, e.g., supported currencies. We recommend developing a separate microservice to manage such data and provide it to API calling microservices.

The database-per-microservice architecture means that data from multiple databases needs to be aggregated for data analytics and reporting. The simplest way to do that is to put in place a data analytics engine that will collect data from corresponding databases via APIs. Alternatively, you can have data pumps that enable high-speed movement of data from different source databases into the data analytics engine.

Use monitoring tools to control the performance of microservices and alert on malfunctions.

Custom Approach to Ecommerce Microservices Development

Each case of microservices-based architecture development for ecommerce is individual. There is no universal set of tools that would allow getting all the benefits the microservices architecture can bring. What you need is a cross-functional team, proficient in designing stable, scalable and high-performing distributed architectures, to code each individual microservice and assemble them all into a coherent ecommerce application.

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a software development provider experienced in building custom ecommerce solutions, both monolithic and modular. In our team of 700+ IT experts, there are experienced software architects working with microservices and containerization environments. They can create an ecommerce solution from the ground up or migrate an existing application to microservices. In either case, our team takes care of all key project steps, including:

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