iPhoned: The cross-checker for your iPhone
How we developed a comparison tool for a high traffic eCommerce website
- Ruby on Rails
Roland worked on this project
Experts in mobile tech, apps, games and devices
BigSpark is the publisher of a number of major websites in the field of mobile technologies, which together generate more than 2 million monthly visitors. BigSpark provides its visitors with targeted purchase advice with advanced product and price comparators. A good example of this is iPhoned.nl; a platform where you can compare different iPhone plans and devices.
Staying up to date with daily changes
Nothing is as changeable as the world of technology. New devices follow each other in rapid succession and telephone providers are constantly coming up with new offers to entice potential customers. All these variable elements had to be integrated into a product comparator. In addition, the architecture of the software had to be set up in such a way that it could be further developed by various developers, without the need for knowledge about server configuration. In short: a flexible platform that is understandable for every developer.
We started building a CMS that can meet the daily changes in the market. Obviously you want such a piece of software to continue to work with thousands of different products, so we already thought about scalability from the start. By making it possible to place the CMS on multiple servers, we have been able to guarantee scalability. But that was only the beginning! In eCommerce, speed is crucial; every second that your website gets faster, you will gain an increase of conversion of 3% on average. If a comparison tool would take a few minutes retrieving all information from all the different websites and providers, your users would give up in an instant. By using Elasticsearch we have built a super fast search engine that makes it possible to sort an infinite number of categories, even if those categories change daily.
Automated processes leave time for the finishing touches
To guarantee the flexibility that a platform like iPhoned.nl needs, we have divided the software into separate microservices. As a result, adjustments are made quickly without having to overhaul the entire architecture of the web application. And thanks to a watertight GitLab-versioncontrol that seamlessly connects to Kubernetes, these adjustments can also be tested and implemented very quickly. So no lengthy development processes, just very fast new features and updates.
But we're not there yet. In our opinion, it can all be done even easier and more sustainable. With the ready-made software packages from AWS (Amazon Web Services), managing the database is also a breeze. This popular service takes the manual configuration of the server off your hands, which not only saves a lot of time but also ensures that a developer without knowledge of server management can use the web application. All this automation reduces the chance of errors, which benefits the stability of your application.
The value of DevOps
By dividing the existing software into microservices, the application architecture has become a lot clearer. This promotes further development of the platform, even with new developers. But the big advantage lies in the smooth transition from development to operations, better known under the term DevOps. By automating and streamlining this process as much as possible, we have created an environment in which the developers of BigSpark can go crazy with their code; without having to worry about the online infrastructure and scalability. These implementations guarantee the uptime of iPhoned.nl. And that's great if your business depends on your web application.