How we built VELOX — The Ecommerce Swiss Army Knife

The inventors of VELOX have more than 20 years of experience in building B2B eCommerce solutions. Over the years they’ve worked with various different solutions and platforms like Hybris, Intershop, Magento, Elastics Path and many more and they also built two eCommerce platforms by themselves. The experience when using standard solutions remained mostly the same. Even though they offer great functionalities, but it’s always a huge effort to customize and integrate the solutions. In addition to the license, there are big costs for development.

We have seen many big projects and monolithic systems getting more and more complex over the years. We always had the feeling that there must be a better way! And that’s why we did it again.

The VELOX project started during the lockdown in Switzerland. While many companies sat it out and did short-time, we developed our own open-source headless eCommerce foundation.

We believe it does not make sense to customise a standard system, until it fits the needs. The leaner and more effective method is to develop a tailor-made solution based on the exact requirements, nothing more or less.

You might argue that a custom implementation often is more expensive than customising a monolithic standard solution to your needs. But this has been proven to be wrong:

  1. The standard platforms need years to implement new trends and the customers need even more time to upgrade their solution in order to benefit from the new features.
  2. With a headless microservice architecture, new functionality can be integrated with minimal efforts.
  3. There are much more experienced developers available on standard technologies, like Java and Spring, then there are on proprietary solutions.

VELOX offers a solid foundation for custom implementations containing all the important features. The VELOX way, a custom implementation can even have a faster time to market with fewer costs and a lot of other benefits. If you are curious about the benefits of headless eCommerce feel free to read our blog post about this specific topic.

Imagine wearing a standard-size suit compared to a tailor-made suit, which perfectly fits your measures, just without the big price tag. Sounds awesome? Read on to learn more about the benefits of our solution for tailor-made eCommerce implementations.

velox opensource headless ecommerce
https://velox.swiss
Source: VELOX

What are the benefits?

Zero License Fees — We never were fans of huge license costs posed by some well-known eCommerce platforms. So we decided to release our solution under a free license. Lower your total cost of ownership by removing immense license fees.

True Flexibility — We are well aware of today’s complex eCommerce scenarios and designed our solution for maximum flexibility. This includes but is not limited to the licensing model, the software architecture and design.

Integrate Everything — Due to the open architecture, the microservice approach and the integration of the Apache Camel Middleware, you are free to integrate about anything into our foundation.

Lean and Modular — You are free to decide if you only want to use specific modules or the complete foundation. Our solution is designed to support many use cases and you only take what you need. Read on to learn more about our use-cases.

B2B Focus — Our experts rely on thorough expertise around the full spectrum of today’s B2B eCommerce challenges, such as real time integration, order uploads, e-procurement integration, RMA process, customer inventory and personalisation. All of this experience has been bundled together and put into the development of our solution.

Real Scalability — Our solution scales alongside your emerging business requirements and can be deployed in cloud-native environments.

Open-source — With an open-source license, the customizability is not jeopardized like in closed-source solutions, where you can run pretty fast into license agreement issues if you try to change the source code.

velox headless microservice ecommerce
Source: VELOX

What can I use VELOX for?

Due to the underlying microservice architecture of VELOX, the system is highly adaptable to different use-cases and software-landscapes. It’s designed to support the following main use-cases, amongst many others:

Easy Standalone eCommerce — Full functional eCommerce solution, shipped including a headless CMS, enables full out of the box use cases. Best for cases that need a new shop including web-site.

Complex B2B eCommerce — Built to integrate with existing system environments to build even the most complex B2B eCommerce scenarios, featuring many concurrent integrations and customisations. VELOX comes with a full B2B Feature set, but in comparison with most other eCommerce solutions, with VELOX, you only take what you need, so you don’t have to carry the weight of all unused functionality.

Enrich existing CMS with eCommerce functionality — If you already have a good working website, but you like to extend it with eCommerce functionality, then VELOX is an optimal good fit. With the API first, headless architecture, you can integrate the required VELOX modules with an ease into your existing solution.

Selective Module Integration — Missing functionality in your current eCommerce solution? Just extend it with selected modules. All VELOX modules are independent from each other and can be easily integrated into your existing solution.

Modular Soft Migrations — Not interested in a hard cut or an expensive migration project? Transition one part after another to VELOX. We provide an easy approach to transition your existing solution to a microservice architecture. No need to do a full replatform at once, just migrate new features and features which need development to the new architecture.

Build your own Application — Easily integrate the desired eCommerce functionality into your custom application. We can offer training and support to show you how you best can benefit from VELOX open source foundation.

velox opensource microservice ecommerce
Source: VELOX

Where can I run it?

It is our goal to offer all sorts of hosting options to fulfill our customers needs:

Cloud Hosting — Our solution runs cloud-native and allows deployments to all major cloud providers. We provide pre built docker containers and kubernetes configurations so you can directly deploy to your favourite cloud hosting provider.

Swiss Private Hosting — Reliable swiss hosting provider, either self-deployed or by one of our partners. Our hosting partners provide co2-neutral, green hosting solutions.

On-premise Hosting — Deploy to your own infrastructure either by yourself or with the help of our partners. You own the environment and remain in full-control of the infrastructure.

Maintenance, devOPS, Support and SLA — Together with our partners we can offer devOPS, operations and maintenance of your infrastructure, including a 24/7 SLA.

Monitoring — The solution comes with a prebuilt set of monitoring and tools, which can also be extended to your needs.

Software Architecture from the Future

Our solution has been built from the ground up to include the latest trends of the software development universe:

API-First Development drastically reduces the risk of failure and decreases time to market. As a little bonus, your development teams can even work in parallel with an improved development experience.

Microservice Architecture — Reduces complexity, increases scalability and extensibility. And that’s only a few reasons why many big companies already adopted microservice approaches within their platforms.

Headless Architecture — Distinct separation of the backend and the presentation layer, leaves the flexibility to exchange presentation devices, technologies etc. Basically, this approach makes your setup resilient to future changes of frontend technologies or redesigns. The frontend can easily be replaced because it is decoupled from your backend system.

software architecture diagram ecommerce
Source: VELOX

Sneak Peek 2021

We are ramping up to onboard the first Pilot-customers onto our platform. At the same time we are getting ready to introduce our solution into the market. In addition, we planned some pretty exciting features on our Roadmap for 2021.

Features like SAP ERP Integration, Enterprise Integration Module, Digital Order Upload, Subscription Module and a Workflow Automation Module are in our development pipeline.

Are you interested in a personal demo or just want to know more about our solution?
Please shoot us a message here.

If you’re interested to contribute, feel free to checkout our developer hub.

velox ecommerce launched
Photographer: Bill Jelen | Source: Unsplash

Sly GmbH is Switzerland’s first headless ecommerce partner, get in touch with us today and find out how your ecommerce environment can benefit!