Today, the ability to acquire and process data in real-time to make effective and timely decisions is the differentiating element for companies that want to compete in the market. However, in order to develop this ability, you need a suitable application architecture: the ideal solution is an event-driven architecture based on data streams that allows you to adapt and respond to market dynamics as quickly as possible.
The recent COVID-19 emergency has made this need clear: the sudden and unpredictable fluctuations in supply and demand have put the large-scale distribution sector in difficulty. Since there has been an increased demand for certain products and a big request for accessing digital services, systems have not been able to respond effectively. This led to inaccessible or unreliable online services, products out of stock on the shelves, and the inability to properly reorganize stocks. These problems have mainly affected the largest and most consolidated realities, with a less agile and adaptable structure.
In these contexts, the visibility and processing of data in real-time, together with an event architecture, characterized by flexibility and scalability, can make the difference, allowing companies to transform or adapt their processes and respond to new customer needs fast and punctually.
What an event-architecture is
An event-driven architecture is a software design paradigm in which the interaction and communication among services allow an event - a change of state in a system - to trigger, in response, other actions or processes. For example, in the e-commerce field, when a product is placed in the cart and then purchased, it generates a series of subsequent actions: the order is created, the user profile is updated, the warehouse is notified to prepare the order, the warehouse stock is modified, etc.
The main advantage of this type of architecture lies in the separation of responsibilities between the producer and the consumer of the event: they never interact with each other.
Digital Integration Hub and event-driven architectures: the way to scalability
From a structural point of view, the Digital Integration Hub paradigm allows deriving the maximum value from this type of architecture. By interposing an integration layer between the SORs and the channels, the DIH model decouples the aggregation, organization, and display of data from the operativity of the systems and from the logic of the channels.
In this way, the systems keep running and they are protected from high workloads that could be excessive and compromise performances or send the whole system down.
In addition, this new paradigm allows for improved scalability and reduced response time of applications, while ensuring secure access to data and better governance.
Fast Data architecture to manage events
Mia-Platform proposes the realization of this paradigm by building a Digital Integration Hub that uses data streams to combine the needs of scalability, performance, and speed imposed by current market standards.
Leveraging Fast Data technologies, data streams are collected in real-time, rather than in batch mode. A layer of cloud-native and containerized microservices, developed according to business needs, organizes data in JSON Single Customer Views. These vistas summarize all the information generated by the interactions of a given customer on different channels and its complete purchase history of products and services.
In this architecture, different applications – both internal and external - are able to call the single views via APIs or be notified about data updates in push mode.
The event-driven architecture keeps data updated in real-time in a high-performance database and makes it immediately available to meet the services and applications that handle the various requests.
In addition, all channel activities involving the SORs are mediated and performed asynchronously; when writing operations are performed directly on the single views, these are then reported on the SOR systems.
As we have seen, the advantages of an event-driven architecture based on data streams are essential in a modern organization and can be amplified by using the emerging Digital Integration Hub paradigm.
Mia-Platform offers a solution that meets the technical needs of scalability and performance while ensuring the speed and integrity of information, to embrace the paradigm of omnichannel services and offer users valuable experiences.