Evaluating the right commerce architecture for your business

Ilya Grigorik, principal engineer at Shopify, shares his view on what makes a resilient commerce architecture—and critically, why microservices aren’t the magical solution advocates claim they are.

3 key design features of a modern commerce OS

Extensibility with speed and maintainability

Extensibility at the cost of agility and maintainability is a common but unnecessary pitfall of microservices. Kernel extensions and drivers are robust patterns that offer speed, cohesion, and low maintenance—while allowing for extensibility and modular configuration.

Reduced operational complexity

Good architecture leverages component and service isolation in appropriate places. Unchecked, you lose operational leverage and benefits of shared standards, patterns, and knowledge across teams.

Scalability and security

Opinionated defaults abstract functionalities behind standard interfaces, constrain bad patterns, and minimize costs. Without a shared code convention, deployments are hard to audit, scale, and debug.

[Larger organizations] should look for commerce platforms with an interoperable core kernel, powerful workflows for key commerce functionalities, and enough extensibility to enable differentiated customer experiences.

Travis Hess

EVP, Head of DTC, The Stable, part of Accenture Song

How are you powering your commerce architecture?