Case study July 24th, 2023 by Danielius Kibartas, Solutions Architect
Improving time to market and new product launch efficiencies
Product launch challenges negatively impact a company’s time to market making it imperative to keep the process quick, scalable and efficient. Many have experienced that moment the evening of a new product launch. Everyone is gathered around the conference room table analyzing the details before the midnight kick-off and they know everything needs to be perfect. It’s an exciting moment that the team has been working diligently towards for months. As the “go button” is pressed nothing happens and there is a mad scramble to find the problem and rectify it before all is lost.
As a group of software developers working with one of the largest telecommunications providers, we were constantly facing challenges with product launches. The company was running a monolith architecture which meant that any code changes to the import processors would grind catalog updates to a halt. The old system relied on full re-imports of the product catalog, pricing feed and inventory feed. This process was time-consuming and often caused delays. Furthermore, it had an upstream dependency. The UI was expecting a unified export of all that catalog data to display products to customers. This whole process was prone to errors and required regular manual intervention.
Every night our ops went through the same painful cycle:
2 hours full product feed import
1-hour full pricing feed import
30 minutes full inventory feed import
1-hour full catalog data export
To improve our time to market and make new product launches more efficient, we migrated to an event-based data import system. We worked with our data providers to produce data change events. With events in place, we set up separate data pipelines that were triggered by specific events such as a change in the product description, inventory availability or an update to pricing information.
We made one more notable improvement to this architecture. We extracted all the import-related business logic from the original monolith and separated it into deployable applications. This enabled shorter development cycles and rapid responses to any new requirements or bug fixes.
As a final touch, we added a message broker to improve the resiliency of the solution. This ensures no events are lost and enables a redelivery mechanism.
Originally, there was a need to babysit the feeds, but with these changes implemented it relegated that action to the past. The ops were now able to focus on other important tasks like improving application monitoring. We even created our own little joke by using the acronym YAML. Yet Another Market Launch.
This new event-based system greatly improved our time to market for new products, reducing the time it took to refresh the product catalog from sometimes a whole day to just a few seconds. As a result, new product launches became much more streamlined and efficient, allowing us to bring new products to market much faster than before, which ultimately helped our telecommunications provider stay competitive in a rapidly changing market.
We wish them many more YAMLs to come!
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