Bespoke Microservices platforms vs Magento Open Source: The pros and cons
Consumers today have high expectations when it comes to software apps. As standard, applications must be seen to be reliable, scalable, secure and up to date – and anything else is sub-par. One approach to building better software has come in the form of microservices.
Rather than delivering a single, larger application, microservices architectures pursue a modular approach and bundle processes together via language-agnostic APIs.
This offers a powerful, highly-adaptable solution for ecommerce, which sidesteps the issues of traditional software development. As a point of comparison, most widely-used apps come with large codebases, which require complex development and whole-app releases for updates.
Building with microservices, in contrast, means that separate services can be developed by their own dedicated teams and they can then be independently deployed and scaled – accelerating processes and cutting out logistical and computing bottlenecks. What's more, individual elements can be dropped in and out of the structure, as needed; and, for the same reason, issues in a single service can't crash the whole program. Additionally, as the services are connected by an API, there's no requirement that the processes must use the same programming language – meaning that each can be tailored to its specific purpose. It's for reasons such as these that companies like Google and Netflix have made use of microservices.
Magento Open Source
There are downsides to microservices, however. These architectures are more complex and will take longer to develop than standard applications – and testing and deployment is hence more difficult. A further problem is the fact that rather than being able to rely on a single database, you will need to create a partitioned architecture, with different services accessing their own siloed databases within the wider system.
Magento Open Source, formerly known as Magento Community, on the other hand, is a free, open source platform, which can be endlessly tailored and configured to the specific requirements of any given business; and there are a huge range of themes and extensions available, supported by a growing user community.
The platform is arguably a perfect solution for small businesses expanding their ecommerce provision, for online stores already using products like WooCommerce and Shopify and for medium-to-large enterprises requiring scalable infrastructure – and it comes with some powerful options for customisation for organizations of all sizes.
Magento Open Source offers an integrated, PCI-compliant payment solution, a Content Management System, Customer and Order Management Systems and tools to handle landing pages and promotions and for SEO. There are also a wide variety of options when it comes to shipping, payments, order management and navigation – and the store owner has complete access to analytics on site performance and for customer accounts. In short, Magento offers complete control over how you handle your online storefront.
Of course, using Magento Open Source isn't necessarily simple. You'll need to self-host and to install patches and security updates – and, it is likely, you'll need to work with a Magento expert to fully tailor the platform to your requirements. That said, creating a bespoke ecommerce platform using microservices will almost inevitably be a vastly more complex and expensive process.
And in terms of Magento's success, the numbers speak for themselves. Magento drives more than 25 percent of all ecommerce sites in the Alexa top 1 million, while 31 percent of mid-to-large companies use Magento for their online stores. In addition to that, Magento has over 40 customers individually running $100m-plus through the platform in annual online sales.
It's hence hardly surprising that the platform is popular in Western Europe – and far beyond. “Magento is by far the most prevalent ecommerce platform, not only in the Netherlands but also worldwide,” notes Magento development specialist Tigren. “Magento can meet and even exceed your expectations with strong performance, high security and innovative ecommerce features.”
Businesses looking for a powerful, highly-customisable solution in the ecommerce field would hence do well to pick Magento Open Source."
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