In today’s hyper-competitive retail landscape, it is no longer acceptable for retailers to take months or even quarters to release and iterate on new features. A new approach to software development called “Microservices” can dramatically shorten innovation cycles from months or quarters to just hours. In his latest book, Kelly Goetsch, Chief Product Officer at commercetools, discusses how retailers can use microservices to accelerate commerce feature development and out-innovate their competition. Copies are available here starting today.

For today’s consumers, there’s no distinction between commerce and ecommerce. People shopping for products today expect to have the same experience with a brand no matter what sales channel they choose—website, mobile device, wearable, internet-enabled TV, or retail outlet. Most omnichannel retailers already rely heavily on software to drive sales, but their monolithic enterprise applications are too slow to keep up with the new, more fast-paced omnichannel retail landscape. After analyzing how E-Commerce can benefit from cloud in  “E-Commerce in the Cloud“ (O’Reilly, 2014). Kelly now shows how enterprises can adopt the next evolution in cloud native architecture by using microservices.

Kelly explains why digital commerce leaders are increasingly moving away from one-size-fits-all monolithic solutions to avoid the complexities inevitably created by numerous individual adjustments to standard commerce solutions across various development teams over time. They are (re-)gaining their flexibility by shifting to small, dedicated microservices, developed by individual specialist teams for clearly separated commerce functionalities (e.g. an orders team, a payment team, a promotions team, etc). The respective microservices talk to each other via APIs.

“For the past 5-10 years, retailers bent their rigid monolithic commerce solutions to meet an ever increasing number of needs. Over time, these platforms ended up having millions of line of code. The platforms become brittle as hundreds of developers keep making changes. Move one stone and you risk complete collapse. Retailers want to focus their energy on building their vision, not on worrying about how to remove the technological roadblocks to get there”, explains Kelly.

The book outlines how the microservices approach with its clearly separated development responsibilities translate into faster deployment and decreased business risks. It also gives practical guidance with regard to the organizational structure and the architecture needed to deploy, connect to, and communicate between microservices. Copies can be ordered here.

About commercetools

commercetools was founded in 2006 by Dirk Hörig and Denis Werner. The company runs offices in Germany in Munich and Berlin as well as in the United States in New York and Durham/North Carolina. commercetools is one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-based e-commerce technology. On the basis of their highly available platform, complex retail models across all sales channels and for all devices can be implemented. By means of an extensive e-commerce API, existing corporate processes and technologies are connected flexibly. In addition, the platform enables sustainable solutions for B2C and B2B retail. Since 2014 commercetools is a subsidiary of REWE Group. Its customers include Koffer24, Merkur, REWE, Wöhrl and ZEG.

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