Published on: 8th September 2021, Reading Time: 6 mins.
“There are three crucial elements for a successful tech platform:
customer centricity, agility and scalability.”
Like most Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startups, everstox has a strong group of tech professionals as the backbone of the software development. Microservices is a big topic in our technology architecture that enables developers to deploy, maintain and test a specific functionality from the platform. Our tech team has dedicated their time to develop new features and scale up service capacity to achieve goals for better customer experience. But, have you ever wondered how our software is developed?
At everstox, more than half of the team has a technical background. And it’s the tech-savvy minds within our team who ensure the daily smooth operations of our Logistics-as-a-Service (LaaS) solution. To learn more about how microservices empower the everstox technology and also how our tech team benefits from it, we asked Stefan. Stefan is one of many developers from our tech team, actively develops new features as a Software Engineer. He is also responsible for code testing and feature release.
During our interview with Stefan, you will learn about our technology from a technical perspective and get to know unique insights from a software developer.
TechTalk with Stefan: Microservices
Stefan, can you tell us a little bit about Microservices?
Sure! A microservice architecture organizes an application in multiple smaller services that can be developed, maintained and tested independently. In order to develop a more consumer-oriented software, each microservice should represent a specific business functionality.
In what way is everstox utilizing Microservices for our software?
As a Logistics-as-a-Service platform, everstox connects online shop systems, like Shopify, with ERP systems or warehouse management systems (WMS) of our selected logistics and fulfillment partners. Our solution enhances order and stock related business processes with a higher degree of automation. The challenge lies within the translation of data in diverse formats between those complex systems. Our software needs to abstract all business logic, so that third-party systems can still be integrated on the platform, even if their technical implementation is totally different from each other.
Now, that being said, we currently utilize three types of microservices to enable the integration between systems – connectors for Commerce Systems and Warehouses, the everstox core (Python Backend), and the everstox dashboard (React Frontend). Here’s how this looks when we process, extract and refine data between commerce and logistics systems:
Our shop connectors are stand-alone microservices for each shop system. When a shop connector receives orders from an online shop, it automatically parses and forwards relevant order information to our everstox core. You can imagine the everstox core as a central processor that handles inflow and outflow data and operates the majority of business logic. For example, the core would determine how the incoming order will proceed even if the order itself is split up to be fulfilled by multiple warehouses. Finally, the order information will be parsed once more by the warehouse connector before the data reaches the WMS.
At all stages, the data flow is completely automated which helps save hours of manual work (e.g. sending spreadsheets or CSV files back and forth) for our clients and avoids inaccurate data information being transferred. That being said, working with automated data contributes to better inventory planning and order management. Last but not least, our everstox dashboard makes it possible for our clients to visualize all data flow with a single source of truth and also allows them to make changes to an order before it is too late.
Now, we understand the capabilities of different microservices that allow our customers to have full transparency of their logistics operations regardless of what sales channels or commerce systems they use. In the interview, we also ask Stefan about his personal opinion about microservices through his development experience.
What do you like about Microservices?
From my personal experience, there are three crucial elements for a successful tech platform – customer centricity, agility and scalability.
Being customer centric means to understand clients changing needs and requirements. The tech team has to be agile enough to quickly adapt to those changes. Also, the overall architecture of the software needs to be built to scale not only for an increasing number of users and transactions, but also from a maintenance perspective. The codebase has to stay maintainable without adding too much overhead even when the system grows significantly.
You can achieve all elements with the use of microservices.
Why do you think they are important?
Microservices enable tech teams to deploy faster, maintain with fewer effort and onboard new hires more productively compared to a monolithic approach. It is an essential factor for super versatile and fast-growing startups like everstox. In the past 6 months, our tech team has doubled in size and continues to grow rapidly. Following a Microservice approach helps to cope with such growth rates in tech teams sustainably.
And lastly, what’s everstox in three words for you?
The conversation with Stefan helps us to recognize the capabilities of microservices for our LaaS solution and also explains why our tech team can be super versatile in terms of software development.
Like many other developers at everstox, Stefan is like the microservice to our tech solution – an essential element towards the success of the team. He is very passionate about his work and the team. You can feel his excitement about the product when he is talking about the upcoming features on the everstox dashboard at the weekly all-hands meeting.
If you want to know more about Stefan’s work and the everstox technology, our tech team is hiring! Check out our opening positions and become one of us today!
Max and the marketing team at everstox take care of researching, evaluating and writing all logistics insights that we gather from our day-to-day operations. If you have any questions on our thought-led articles, guide’s or any other blog-related topic, feel free to get in touch with our team.
Head of Marketing
Stefan is part of our tech team and works as Full-Stack Software Engineer at everstox.