High popularity doesn’t always imply success. In the online industry high popularity often reveals weaknesses. By “weaknesses” I mean technological problems – such as lack of scalability, security problems and problems with implementing modifications to software.

What about eCommerce platforms?

Purchase and development of a technology platform is not a trivial process. Systems have many nuances; dedicated functions we implement affect the overall shape of the solution. All software aims – as part of development – to increase its disorder. This process is heavily influenced by the way software is developed and the approach to its maintenance. It’s often hard to assess it at the beginning.

I’m in contact with companies that after initial success with the new implementation turn to us for help. Sometimes the implementing company for some reason can’t finish/continue the project. Quite often there are also suspicions and problems with further development. Questions occur whether the software is well written, or efficient.

What are the reasons for technological problems?

I’ve noticed that the reasons for stress related to technology usually involve two situations:

  • for some reason we want to take over/pass on the development of our software to a new technology provider,
  • our current provider encounters problems which they are not able to fix (e.g. performance problems) – we think about improving their mistakes on our own or look for objective solutions to suggest them to our provider.

If we operate on software which is the industry standard – e.g. Magento, passing the development tasks on to another company is relatively simple. It is a standard that persists even in the case of many dedicated modifications. If, however, we operate on a dedicated platform (written on a turnkey basis), the situation is worse – taking over the code, often without proper documentation – can be a stressful and difficult task.

How to deal with problems?

What can you do in such situation? One of the simplest solutions is to make a short technical analysis of a current solution. The scope of work – at a minimal extent – may include:

  • The analysis of server logs and system logs for errors. A rough diagnosis of what are the errors caused by.
  • Overview of source codes and assessment of their legibility, comments, documentation and good practices,
  • Performance testing using Siege, AB…
  • Security testing using automated tools. The following vulnerabilities will be checked: XSS, SQL Injection, CSRF,
  • Creating a brief description/report including the assessment, conclusions and suggested solutions.

Carrying out such activities will give us answers to basic questions connected with the takeover of the platform development:

  • Can the software be developed and whether it is written in accordance with good practices? Does the code include comments, does it use popular libraries and frameworks?
  • Are there problems with security and how to eliminate them?
  • Does the software run stably?
  • Are there any performance issues, what are they caused by and recommendations to remove them.
  • What traffic is the software able to handle, sizing the platform.

As part of the analysis a document should be created – describing issues related to security, performance, code quality (code review).

Based on the conclusions drawn from the application review, you can take further decisions, correct errors – and above all – get to know the real risks associated with the further development of the system.

Do you want to solve your technological problems with Divante? Contact us.

Piotr Karwatka

CTO at Divante eCommerce Technology Company. Open-source enthusiast and life-long builder. Co-founder of Vue Storefront and Open Loyalty. Now gathering engaged communities around new technologies. | LinkedIn | Twitter

Share your comment