Simplified Ecommerce Integration Via AWS
How we helped Fast AF to deliver seamless custom integrations faster and at a lower cost.
About Fast AF
San Francisco-based startup Fast AF was on a mission to disrupt the payment space by making online buying and selling frictionless with a one-click checkout experience. Focused on improving the customer experience, Fast offered a zero hassle, multi-factor authentication login and checkout solution that could be customized and integrated with other commerce platforms.
To accelerate customer acquisition, Fast needed to provide a potential future implementation path for other commerce platforms. This required a turnkey – and potentially open source – user-friendly API layer that would simplify and speed up integrations.
Unlike out of the box solutions like Magento and Shopify, custom integrations offer companies a unique framework for writing checkout processes tailored to their customers. The challenge is that those custom integrations require substantial investment to build and deploy. Fast recognized the market opportunity of lowering that barrier to entry.
Backcountry.com was a Fast customer interested in integrating the checkout solution with Oracle Commerce. To expedite the integration, Fast engaged Commerce Architects for its development and ecommerce expertise. The success of the Backcountry project led Fast to follow up with Commerce Architects for help with a new integration with commercetools, a leading platform built on modern MACH principles (Microservice-based, API-first, Cloud-native and Headless). Specifically, the integration was with “Sunrise”, the commercetools reference store.
Fast needed to speed up the commercetools integration in parallel with their existing product roadmap. The company also wanted to address API layer improvements identified by Commerce Architects during the Oracle Commerce integration in order to simplify the integrations with other ecommerce platforms.
“Our longstanding relationship as a trusted partner to Fast made it logical for us to support the next integration,” explains Commerce Architects CEO Joe Conaty. “Our team was confident we could deliver a solution within their aggressive 7 week timeline.”
Solutions and Outcomes
Fast’s initial objective was to have Commerce Architects build a seamless interface in their existing cloud platform between their APIs and the commercetools reference store. The company also needed custom domain names for calling APIs.
During discovery, the Commerce Architect team quickly realized that there were technical limitations to implementing an API gateway solution in Fast’s existing infrastructure. Notably, their cloud platform was unable to provide custom domain names.
As a result, we recommended shifting to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon API Gateway. Not only could Amazon API Gateway provide private domain names, but the service also offered an easy, more complete rest profile as a proxy interface to AWS Lambdas handling the work of translating the calls.
To achieve Fast’s objectives, we architected the following solution:
Built a translation layer between API calls from Fast into the more robust, elaborate API calls on the commercetools side, reducing the amount of work clients needed to do and ensuring that the calls translated easily and accurately
Converted Fast’s non-specific, primitive rest API to a domain-driven, semantically rich REST API that an average developer could quickly integrate
Developed a translation layer written in Node/Typescript and deployed in the AWS Lambda serverless execution environment. Typescript interfaces were made available to simplify code on both the commercetools backend and React frontend codebases.
Deployed Amazon API Gateway as a proxy scaffold to receive calls from Fast
Enabled clients to provide their commercetools keys to set up Fast to point to custom domains
Delivered integration quick start modules that drastically simplified the integration for retailers using Oracle Commerce and commercetools
Leveraging Amazon API Gateway, we were able to quickly build a turnkey solution that allowed Fast to deliver seamless custom integrations faster and at a lower cost. This resulted in an improved customer experience, reduced time to market, and a healthier pipeline.