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Laying the foundations for a data-driven approach

Moving from a shop-centric approach to a data-centric approach

50,000

Products

9

European markets

3

Data hubs

Gartenhaus is a leading online platform for home and garden projects. They currently offer more than 50,000 products across 9 different European markets. 

However, their eCommerce processes were too reliant on their shop system. This was a problem for several reasons:

  • Business-critical data was too centralized. It was all in one system (the software that powered the shopfront) which was a single point of failure.
  • It was labour-intensive to exchange data between the shop system and satellite systems such as external marketplaces, data warehouses, ERP systems. 
  • This overly centralized architecture made it harder to integrate new systems such as new business applications or the back office systems of an acquired company.
  • Upgrading the shop software itself risked too many breaking changes.

These technical hurdles had the potential to severely hamper the medium- to long-term growth of their business so we proposed a project to decouple their shop system from their business data.

We wanted to help Gartenhaus move from a shop-centric approach to a data-centric approach. 

Practically, this meant moving a lot of the core data out of the shop system and into more specialized systems, such as different tools for managing product inventory, sales orders and customer data. At the center, we added a middleware layer that facilitates data exchange between these multiple constituent systems. 

The middleware layer consists of several “Data Hubs” that store different data types (such as sales orders and product entries). We also created independent definitions for how this data should be structured. This approach ensures that Gartenhaus’s “business objects” aren’t shaped by any software vendor’s view of the world and makes it easier to swap out different systems as the company grows.

Data Hubs: The perfect wheel to enable scalability for us by reducing system migration risk, making system integrations way easier and with providing the strong capability to be a true and flexible source for every data consumer.

Sebastian Fritzsche, CTO Gartenhaus

We created and integrated three Data Hubs (1. Product Data Hub, 2. Sales Order Data Hub, 3. Customer Data Hub) which enabled Gartenhaus to integrate with new systems and 3rd party tools in a fraction of the usual time.

In addition with the implementation of the Data Hubs we also built the foundation for a simplified migration of a future shop system.

Sebastian Fritzsche
Sebastian Fritzsche
CTO GartenHaus
Stephan Schulze
Stephan Schulze
CTO Project A

Want to learn more? Contact stephan.schulze@project-a.com

Stephan Schulze
CTO Project A

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