Ecommerce and Retail

Broadleaf Commerce: A Unified, Headless, and Microservice PaaS for Ecommerce

As businesses grapple with the increasing complexities of commerce, solutions like Broadleaf Commerce are invaluable. Broadleaf Commerce is a software solution designed to handle the intricacies of the commerce industry. Its principal mission is to remove hurdles to innovation, providing an open, truly headless, and modular platform built explicitly for complex commerce.

Before we speak to the platform-as-a-service (PaaS), let’s discuss some key terminology:

  • Headless Commerce: This refers to the decoupling of the front end and back end of an eCommerce application. This architecture separates the front end (or the head) from the back end, allowing developers to work on both ends independently. This enhances flexibility and will enable businesses to tailor the customer experience without affecting backend processes.
  • Unified Commerce: This is an approach to retail that combines in-store, mobile, and online commerce into a single, coherent whole. The goal is to provide a consistent and seamless customer experience across all channels.
  • B2B eCommerce: Business-to-Business (B2B) eCommerce refers to online transactions between businesses, as opposed to transactions between a company and individual consumers (B2C).
  • Marketplace eCommerce: This involves an eCommerce website where multiple third parties provide product or service information while the marketplace operator processes transactions.
  • Multi-site eCommerce: A system that allows businesses to manage multiple online storefronts, each potentially with different branding, products, languages, or currencies, from a single centralized platform.
  • Composable eCommerce: A modern approach to digital commerce that allows businesses to select and assemble various independent, interchangeable components or services to create a tailored, flexible, and scalable eCommerce solution.
  • Microservices: Also known as microservices architecture, it is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of small, autonomous services that are loosely coupled, independently deployable, and organized around specific business capabilities.

Broadleaf Commerce is not just another eCommerce solution but a technology enabler, taking full advantage of microservices architecture and cloud scalability. The Broadleaf Commerce Cloud positions businesses to adapt and thrive in the fast-paced world of online retail, delivering exceptional results without compromise.

The Broadleaf Commerce Advantage

Broadleaf Commerce’s unique approach centers on independent scalability, limitless combinations, and collaborative interoperability.

  1. Independently Scalable: Each Broadleaf microservice can be scaled separately from other solution components, addressing performance, infrastructure cost, and regulatory/privacy concerns effectively.
  2. Limitless Combinations: Broadleaf allows you to combine any number of microservices into a single container and single database or decompose services into their bounded context, providing exceptional flexibility to meet your specific business needs.
  3. Built to Work Together: Broadleaf’s features are designed to interoperate seamlessly. Features such as sandboxing, customer targeting, team collaboration, and deployment workflows work even better together, adding value to the user experience.

Broadleaf Commerce Cloud incorporates a robust open-source stack designed for ultimate flexibility, control, and innovation. This stack combines leading frontend, core tech, and DevOps technologies.

Frontend Technologies

Broadleaf’s frontend technologies are designed to deliver rich user interfaces and a seamless user experience. The stack includes:

  1. Vue.js: A progressive JavaScript framework used for building user interfaces.
  2. Thymeleaf: A Java-based library used for server-side rendering of web pages.
  3. Angular: A platform for building web applications, developed by Google.
  4. React: A JavaScript library for building user interfaces, maintained by Facebook and a community of individual developers and companies.

Core Technologies

Broadleaf’s core tech stack is centered around robust and reliable technologies, which form the backbone of its platform:

  1. Java: A high-level, class-based, object-oriented programming language that is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.
  2. Spring: An application framework and inversion-of-control (IoC) container for the Java platform.
  3. PostgreSQL: An open-source relational database management system emphasizing extensibility and SQL compliance.
  4. Solr: An open-source search platform built on Apache Lucene.
  5. MySQL: An open-source relational database management system.
  6. MariaDB: A community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system.
  7. Oracle: A multinational technology corporation that sells database software and technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products.

DevOps Technologies

The Broadleaf DevOps stack involves technologies for continuous integration, delivery, and deployment, as well as platform management and orchestration:

  1. GCP Pub/Sub: A scalable event ingestion service provided by Google Cloud Platform.
  2. Kafka: An open-source stream-processing software platform developed by the Apache Software Foundation.
  3. Kubernetes: An open-source platform designed to automate deploying, scaling, and operating application containers.
  4. Docker: An open-source platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of applications within containers.
  5. Microsoft Azure: A cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services.
  6. Amazon Kinesis: A platform provided by Amazon Web Services to collect, process, and analyze real-time streaming data.

By leveraging these technologies, Broadleaf Commerce Cloud can deliver a highly scalable, flexible, and innovative eCommerce solution, meeting the evolving needs of businesses across the globe.

Broadleaf Cloud Solutions

Customization as a Service and extensibility are built-in at the application, API, and admin console layers. Entities are extensible, including new fields, tables, and relationships. Services allow for custom business logic and external system integration with ease. With their React-based admin, companies can easily manipulate and monitor API endpoints from a single place.

Broadleaf offers several modules, including:

  • Product Information Management (PIM) / Catalog Management: This feature set is all-encompassing, including product, category, catalog, merchandising, and marketing features.
  • Cart & Checkout: This feature allows for all the modern complexities of commerce with a unified multi-channel capability. It leads the market in cart composability, checkout customizations, and performance scalability.
  • Pricing, Offers & Promos: This engine provides offers and discounts, personalized ad targeting, and promo codes, helping businesses choose the best incentive for the buying behavior they want through any channel.
  • Subscriptions & Entitlements: This feature allows businesses to build their subscription platform, increasing conversions and incentivizing customers with promotions.

The Future of Commerce with Broadleaf

Broadleaf Commerce positions businesses to adapt and thrive in the fast-paced world of online retail, offering a platform-as-a-service solution powered by Broadleaf microservices. Their API-first approach and cloud-native microservice architecture give companies the control, flexibility, and performance to innovate quicker and achieve time to value faster.

By prioritizing user experience, flexibility, and powerful functionalities, Broadleaf Commerce continues to be a leading choice for businesses navigating the complexity of modern commerce. It empowers retailers to embrace a headless, unified, and comprehensive approach to their digital presence, ensuring they can deliver on customer expectations across multiple channels.

Whether it’s B2B eCommerce, marketplace eCommerce, or multi-site eCommerce, Broadleaf Commerce provides an array of solutions that are as versatile as they are innovative. Broadleaf Commerce provides a full suite of tools to power today’s eCommerce businesses.

Find Out More At Broadleaf Commerce

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and CEO of DK New Media. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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