Brian Polster, CEO
Today, the effective management of mission critical systems and the scalability needs of applications are pertinent challenges faced by most CIOs. In response, micro services are emerging as the next phase in application architecture—fast replacing monolithic enterprise applications. The situation holds true for eCommerce companies as well. “The low cost of hardware and SaaS applications further encourage companies to opt for micro services, where the adoption of discrete modules result in increased agility and flexibility,” remarks Brian Polster, CEO, Broadleaf Commerce.
Addressing the needs of online retailers for a more modular architecture, Broadleaf specializes in enterprise e Commerce solutions that are customizable, flexible, and highly extensible. The company offers a solid framework, leveraging leading open source Java-based technologies like Spring and Hibernate.
“For many companies, it is important to have the ability to pick and choose between modules and updates. When powering an enterprise commerce solution, bloating your system with unnecessary modules and feature sets can hinder site performance and increase maintenance costs,” states Polster. “Maintaining a lightweight solution is key when site performance falls hand-in-hand with conversion rates.”
Built from the ground up with a layered architecture, the Broadleaf framework comprises presentation, business logic, and a domain layer. The framework is also designed to allow users to add custom entities and replace and extend services in any one of the layers. The firm offers a unique application context merge process that permits a user to override any default configurations or components and extend or add new data entities. “Broadleaf delivers a competent data and services model, a rich administration platform, and specialized tooling,” adds Polster.
Developing on top of a modular system dependent on open source technologies also enables enterprises to keep pace with innovations where it might otherwise be cost-prohibitive. “For example, we recently leveraged the ‘Spring Mobile’ project to provide mobile device detection,” states Polster.“With merchandisers and marketers eager for enhanced content targeting solutions, Broadleaf is dedicated to providing a modern system that will enable website management teams to be as granular as they choose when it comes to their on-site marketing efforts.”
Other system features include a content workflow engine, rule-based targeting, and support for multi-tenant and multi-vendor applications all in an intuitive, customizable administrative interface
Following a partnerial approach with clients, Broadleaf is always open to the idea of molding their functionality and framework to fit a client’s request. “We recently partnered with a leading Fortune 500 retailer to add contract pricing and account approvals to the framework to meet their B2B requirements.” Broadleaf believes today’s market requires both business and technical agility and credits the system’s modular architecture for their ability to do so.
Retailers require an eCommerce platform that can easily integrate with their core systems. On migrating to Broadleaf's e Commerce platform, The Container Store a specialty retailer chain company, was able to enhance their order workflow and fulfillment processes. “Moreover, additional site features, like allowing web shoppers to create a customized shelving solution, were developed utilizing the same technologies as Broadleaf Commerce but without requiring any deep integration with the client’s framework,” says Polster.
Encompassing a robust feature set, the firm offers a suite of modules that assist clients in cart operations, checkout, payments and promotions, and content management. “Other system features include a content workflow engine, rule-based targeting, and support for multi-tenant and multi-vendor applications all in an intuitive, customizable administrative interface,” states Polster.
As for future plans, Broadleaf will continue its focus on assisting companies that want to opt for more modular systems and will be innovating on the technology side to better support microservices. The company also intends to continue investment in content management features to provide merchandisers with the best tools for managing compelling digital experiences for both web and mobile. “Not limiting ourselves to product advancements, Broadleaf will also be expanding on its partner network in the coming year,” ends Polster.