The Evolution of Commerce Platforms

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Customer expectations have evolved considerably since 1997, even as many commerce packages are still mired in architectural choices made two decades ago. Looking back, we can see three major waves of architectural choices:

The Monolith – 1995 – 2010

Most existing commerce applications were developed in the 1990s, and their architecture reflect the best practices of that time – a single monolithic application with a tightly coupled front end and back end. As digital commerce has evolved, it’s proven challenging and time-consuming to keep pace with customer expectations. Changes in any area of the application require extensive testing, and as the application gets older, it gets more brittle as more and more functions are glued into it.

Software as a Service – 2010 – 2017

As commerce became a critical part of the retail economy, the expense and implementation difficulty of monoliths opened a space for fully hosted solutions. Rather than spending months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to stand up a storefront, it became possible to quickly outsource the heavy lifting of commerce. This strategy addressed some, but not all of the issues with monolithic commerce. Companies traded speed for flexibility and bumped into the inherent cost and flexibility limitations of this architecture.

Modular Microservices Commerce

Designed to combine the advantages of SaaS and the flexibility of a fully custom solution, microservices introduce a new paradigm in commerce architecture. A business can make significant changes to one part of the application without impacting others. Since each microservice is modular, companies can target the most important areas of their business to migrate or evolve without impacting their ability to transact online. In fact, companies can plan migrations and enhancements around the introduction of new features, rather than be restricted to a feature parity rip-and-replace strategy.

Monolithic vs Microservice architecture

A modern commerce platform like Skava Commerce can unlock your e-commerce store, offering Agile Development, Cloud Hosting, Headless Commerce and best of all, a distributed microservices architecture. Skava’s microservices based commerce package gives you a migration pathway off your monolith or SaaS platform without a rip and replace.  Instead, the hyper-flexible Skava architecture allows you to slowly replace pieces of your architecture with microservices, allowing both platforms to co-exist and keep your business moving.

A microservices architecture gives you the flexibility to meet the needs of your business, and the modern development paradigm necessary to move with speed. Stop fighting technical debt and start focusing on the future with a modern e-commerce platform!

Want to learn more about microservices? Check out our latest webinar: Innovate in today’s digital commerce world with microservices architecture.