Global companies, like Amazon, Coca Cola or Zalando are transforming their IT infrastructures into a microservice architecture. In addition to this, they are rebuilding their internal organizational structures and pushing their businesses ahead of the competition. We take a closer look at examples of microservice architecture in eCommerce. 

Most big companies, as well as startups, build their systems using a monolithic architecture. They start out this way as in the initial phase of projects it is much faster to set up a monolith and get the business moving. After some time, problems arise due to maturing projects or fat growth. With the system’s growth, the code gets more complicated, the architecture more complex and we need more developers to maintain it. At the same time, we lose speed, flexibility and agility which makes it harder to react to the market’s needs.

Microservices as a tool to improve eCommerce

Taking the microservice approach is seen as one of the ways to answer problems of large and complex IT systems. Microservices architecture is a technique of developing applications built as a suite of small services (microservice), where each of them answers to one function, like product search, payment or shipping. They communicate with each other via API gateways. 

Although it would be hard to look for examples of microservice implementations 10 years ago as this approach evolved recently, the number of companies turning towards microservice architecture is rapidly growing. After Amazon and Netflix went through the process of transition from monolith to microservices, the concept of microservices was clarified and the way paved for their followers. 

We’ll get back to Amazon, Netflix, but also Coca Cola, Uber and Zalando in just a moment.

Benefits of microservices for eCommerce

One of the biggest benefits of microservices is that each microservice can be developed, scaled, and deployed separately. In the case of eCommerce, and not only, it means that if your online store needs any changes in payment, then you apply and deploy these changes only on the microservice dedicated to payments and don’t have to re-deploy the other parts of the system. Thanks to this, microservice architecture cuts costs and time-to-market, allows for quicker release cycles, and also encourages innovations.

Single microservices are maintained by independent, specialized teams. That’s why microservice architecture, along with technology, strongly relies on people and processes within an organization.

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Aleksandra Kwiecień

Marketing and content manager. Passionate about new technologies that make our everyday life easier, and people who create them. Leader of the eCommerce Trends 2020 report, editor of Divante blog (2018-2020), and reports for eCommerce experts, incl. The New Architecture and PWA Book | LinkedIn

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