Monolithic vs microservices
Many businesses selling products online use an e-commerce platform that is monolithic, or a platform in which almost every e-commerce service (search, payment, promotions, etc) is located in the same code base.
This monolithic architecture makes it hard to deploy updates to different services quickly. It also leads to vendor lock-in, making it nearly impossible to integrate new, better e-commerce technology from other vendors.
Simply put, having a monolithic architecture in e-commerce limits your ability to quickly deploy better shopping experiences and sell more. A solution to this problem is an e-commerce microservices architecture.
E-commerce microservices architecture
Like a standard microservices architecture, an e-commerce microservices architecture contains separate services that have their own code base. These separate services can communicate with one another using serverless events (something we’ll talk about in a future Q&A) and connect to frontend shopping experiences (web, mobile, etc) with APIs.
The chart below shows how various e-commerce services in different categories connect to the frontend through an API layer and to the backend through a data layer.
Microservices can come from one or more e-commerce vendors.
For example, you can use a payments service from Provider A, a promotions service from Provider B, a search service from Provider C, and an OMS from Provider D. The only requirement is that each provider has an open and robust API for the service you intend to use.
As you can see, your ability to architect a world class e-commerce platform by selecting the best possible services is the benefit of an e-commerce microservices architecture. The drawback, however, is having to manage all these different vendors.
How to simplify vendor management with microservices
To simplify vendor management when building a microservices architecture it helps to find a solutions provider like Fabric that offers a full suite of API-based services spanning from PIM and OMS to Promotions and Merchandising.
With a solution like this, you can manage your services through a central admin without falling in to vendor lock-in. At the same time, you can easily add in services from other solution providers. This is e-commerce architecture at its best.