API extensibility patent highlights commercetools' innovation DNA

New API extensibility patent highlights the innovation DNA commercetools is built on

commercetools author image Stephanie Wittmann
Stephanie Wittmann
Head of Communications & Content, commercetools
Published 19 August 2020

Innovation is what commercetools is built on.

We broke new ground inventing the first ever headless commerce platform, developed under the MACH philosophy described below, and have gone from being a contender to a market leader in the commerce platform space in just three short years. Today, we’ve been granted a patent on a defining feature of commercetools.

The patent 10,747,600, issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office for extensibility for 3rd party APIs was filed by our own Backend Tech Lead, Christoph Neijenhuis. APIs allow you to develop a commerce experience that fits your exact business needs by calling on necessary functions and features. They are normally created and provided to you from a vendor – in this case, us – which works for the majority of development scenarios. However, sometimes creating that unique customer experience requires you to go the extra mile, beyond what the API does as-is.

API extensibility patent highlights commercetools' innovation DNA

This patent covers how you can add functionality to an API in terms of what it does and the way it behaves within cloud applications, so you can deliver results that are even more exact to your needs and, ultimately, an experience to wow your users. We call this feature ‘API Extensions’ within our product.

An example of how it may be used is if you’re selling luxury jackets. You’d want to make sure that particular color and size is available in your warehouse before your customers can add it to their cart. You wouldn’t want them to add it to the cart, only to discover that it’s not available while checking out because that would just be a bad customer experience. API Extensions allows you to modify the API to make sure that stock availability is retrieved as a customer selects the color and size they want and shown to them.

What’s even better about our platform is we support you doing this with any programming language, letting you extend APIs in a way that fits your teams and their workflows.

Standing out from the crowd through a patent

Fast-growing software vendors are usually focused on growth and invest all their energy into maximizing market adoption of their product – it’s not very common for them to file for patents. But we’re not just any software vendor – from the very start, we took a different approach to disrupt the market and revolutionize the way businesses think about online commerce in a way previously unseen. We broke the restrictive trend of vendors telling a business what it can do with their commerce platform and reversed it to allow businesses to tell the commerce platform what it can do for them.

By offering a platform that innately incorporates MACH principles, we’re able to heighten flexibility, efficiency and functionality for the customers that use us, allowing them to create amazing customer experiences that are cutting-edge, on-brand and ready for the future:

  • Microservices support allows functions to be maintained separately, developed the most optimal tech and deployed independently, allowing you to release changes and new features faster.

  • API-first means that all functionality is built to be just an API call away, allowing you to quickly grab and connect different features and functions both within our platform and with other systems you use and make them work.

  • Cloud-native enables reliability, scalability and flexibility to handle any commerce scenario and traffic volume while freeing you from maintaining your own hardware.

  • Headless decouples the front end from the back end, allowing these two parts to be worked on and updated independently, allowing for you to build out your commerce data once, and deploy your commerce experiences everywhere

This patent is a big part of the “C” in MACH as commercetools supports working in the cloud as a first-class citizen and the ability to extend the way APIs work within cloud applications solidifies that fact. Using API extensions, you can perform even more processing behind-the-scenes, which brings about 3 key benefits:

  • Higher performance and more efficient workflow since you’re working within the cloud environment

  • Improved security since less data hits the public internet unnecessarily while it’s still being worked on by your application

  • Better customer experience since you can now incorporate

A showcase of being a market leader

Success has been proven by analysts and reviewers naming commercetools as a market leader and other commerce platform vendors rushing to follow the trend of becoming headless, getting into the cloud and supporting microservices.

commercetools does stand for using open technologies like GraphQL (a query language that lets you get the exact data you need) and standards like CloudEvents (a standardized way to make different solutions work nicely within a single business ecosystem) that help with adoption, familiarity and efficiency when developers work with our platform. We also love sharing things we work on and how we do it with our open-source projects on GitHub and tech blog. Patents do have a place in protecting while showcasing specific inventions that we’re uniquely created that sets our product apart. Getting a patent issued is a long and involved process, we had filed for this one back in 2018. However, we’re not phased by that as there’s no better way to demonstrate our commitment and dedication to innovating in the commerce platform space!

Don’t just take our word for it. Find out how innovative our MACH-based commerce platform is by reading up on our blueprint architecture or trying our platform for 60 days at no cost.

commercetools author image Stephanie Wittmann
Stephanie Wittmann
Head of Communications & Content, commercetools

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