Platform Architecture

The strength of a platform's architecture can't be assessed when looking at the interface and reviewing features and functions. But when using KalioCommerce, it becomes clear that you have something powerful that supports your ecommerce business fully.

There is a fundamental difference between KalioCommerce and other eCommerce platforms. With other platforms, customizations are done by changing the underlying platform (i.e., overriding, appending, decorating, etc.) With Kalio, customizations are done using the platform. You never need to change the underlying platform to achieve your customizations. This most fundamental difference will show up in many ways over time, and certainly effect satisfaction and total cost of ownership. In most platforms there are real concerns about the maintenance of customizations.

Now, let's dive into specific details about what we mean when we talk about the architecture of the platform. The following is a detailed list of architectural principles that makes our platform powerful for our customers.

Enterprise Class – this means the following to us:

These are some of the unique characteristics of the platform that our customers value are:

Flexibility.

When we defined the requirements for Kalio Enterprise, we declared that customizations could not require platform changes. We needed an architectural model that didn't limit customers. Customizations could not cause issues for future upgrades, and everything had to be doable without extreme costs.

Multi-Tenant.

A true multi-tenant product means that all customers use the same product, and that all releases are backward compatible.

Can't get off the upgrade path.

For us this also means that nothing is customer specific in the platform and there is no way to get off of the upgrade path.

Clear line between platform and implementation.

It is imperative that the platform did not in any way dictate the user experience of the website. It did, however, need to make building and changing the user experience accessible and efficient for our Professional Services team and our customer's team. This degree of separation and supported independence is unmatched in any other mid-market platform.

User exits.

User exits are specific hooks into the shopping cart calculation process allowing a merchant to modify how the platform calculates price, promotions, shipping, or tax. When you implement a site, you use the Merchandising and Marketing data structures that are needed or appropriate for your business; however, everyone must use the shopping cart logic of the platform. Having these opportunities to add User Exits ensures that some of the more extreme uniquenesses of a business can be handled efficiently.

No matter how mature or complete a platform is, there are always requirements that don't exactly fit. Architecting in a robust solution for these inevitable requirements is necessary for peace of mind that you will not hit a wall.

Continuous change.

We recognize that ecommerce is a continuously changing world. Embracing change is the key to success. It's our job to make changes easy to do without introducing new issues, to help you do more, faster without sacrificing quality. We built KalioCommerce to give our customers maximum access. As a matter of fact, our customers have the same level of access as our Professional Services team has. Also, we intentionally build tools that allow our customers to make many routine and not so routine changes on their own without requiring Developers.

Designing functionality that is complete and usable.

Today, we are laser focused on making sure that what we build is wanted and used by our current and future customers. To do this we must go against typical development norms where developers know best, and users will use what they produce, and instead work together with our internal customer champions and our customers giving them a strong voice in the definition and design of platform enhancements. This is not the easy path, but results in functionality that customers love!

Stand the test of time.

Building a robust ecommerce platform is a very large job given the vast number of things that the platform must do. So, picking a technology that will be around and architecting to insulate ourselves from trends allows us to ensure a long and productive life span for our product. Here are a few ways that we do this:

Access and ease of data movement.

Your team will be able to easily and reliably handle many changes on the website. We do not require a programmer to make many changes. Also, our enterprise-class Integration Architecture allows you to use our pre-existing data imports and exports to freely and easily move data in either an automated or ad-hoc fashion. We will work with you to define any needed on-going data processes.

Robust, full-featured and always being enhanced.

All products require a maturing phase, and typically that is a challenging time for a customer. There is a lot of change which brings volatility, and the knowledge of how the platform works is not widely known because of the pace of change and challenges during this time. We are past this phase!

KalioCommerce had its first beta customer in February 2011, and we spent the next 5 years on-boarding new customers and implementing many of our existing customers from our first platform. To get started, we invested in a dedicated team led by a top Silicon Valley systems architect who architected and built our platform and implemented the first beta customer sites. This intense time period was focused on building out all of the necessary infrastructure to support the platform that we knew our customers needed based on our significant history helping mid-market customers run their ecommerce businesses over the prior decade.

We are well past this risky phase of our product life cycle and we're able to do a lot with a tight, focused development team. We get more velocity and quality than a larger team developing for a broader customer base would produce. We're leveraging the solid foundation of our road-tested product and continue to enhance our platform with marketing and merchandising functionality since all the heavy lifting is complete. We have implemented and run 100's of mid-market websites on our KalioCommerce platform. The foundation is very solid and the architectural choices we made are proving to be valuable to our customers, enabling them to turn their ideas into revenue quickly.

Learn how online retailers optimize the conversion funnel, read the CRO playbook