One of the biggest online retailers within the Central European region. Their story began more than 20 years ago in the Czech Republic. Currently, they are serving markets in multiple countries within the EU. Since the beginning, their portfolio has grown to almost one hundred thousand specific products, in more than four thousand categories.
The e-shop has been on the Czech Republic market since the very first years of the millennium. Like most established e-shops, their internal web structure has aged over time and required significant updates in line with all the developing technologies. They decided to take this step.
"Monolithic systems are complicated to maintain. Once the original technology becomes obsolete, switching to a modern solution is incredibly difficult. Another difficulty is finding experienced professionals that can work with those systems," says a software architect from ARTIN, Jiří Minx.
The e-shop struggled with slowing the website, had increasingly difficult maintenance, and needed to lay down foundations for future growth. Re-designing their software was one of their top priorities for moving forward with their vision.
There were two options for solving their struggles. The first option was to create an entirely new system that would produce uncertain results and years of additional work.
We could offer a more effective, also inexpensive, and faster solution – rebuilding their current architecture into a modern version that perfectly meets their needs.
"Our task was shortly to orient in the web core and recreate a new one. That allowed us to understand how to remove functionality from the previous monolithic system, prepare it for the transition, and make it run in the cloud. In addition, everything had to be done while the e-shop was running without customers noticing any changes," describes Minx the project.
Our collaboration began in 2019. From the initial contact, it was clear that the best way to cooperate was a dedicated team of three IT experts with wide-ranging experience. A team that could understand every detail of the system, map all the possible risks and plan every single step of the upcoming redesign.
The individual functions of the monolithic system were like a cobweb. They were closely interconnected, and a single change could cause changes in other parts of the system. "This was our biggest challenge of the whole project. We had to be surgically precise," says Minx.
The whole success of the project stood on open communication. They explained their vision and expected results, and we chose the way to achieve it and shared all pros and cons in every phase. We were entrusted with building the solution and sharing our expertise. The client’s internal IT team got detailed documentation of the current phase to ensure they can easily continue providing results in the new system.
We delivered the system ready-to-go, with all the functionality of the original design. All this without the need to shut down the e-shop even once. Now we continue to work closely with the client and are currently discussing the details of our next common project: the complete transformation of the monolithic infrastructure to a microservices architecture.