YaaS: eCommerce/hybris-as-a-service

Recently SAP launched hybris-as-a-service (YaaS.io) as open beta. I looked it thoroughly and made some experiments.

YaaS is a cloud-based solution for e-commerce based on ideas of service oriented architecture. According the the idea the functional components of your e-shop are available as independent services with their own data. It allows you to have more flexibility and scalability within the platform you’re using.

Despite the similarity in their titles, hybris and YaaS are completely different products. SAP hybris is rich of features and highly extensible, all components are clear and well-tested, you can find thousands websites powered by SAP hybris online.

What is YaaS?

  • Set of ready-to-use out-of-the-box RESTful APIs looking like add-ons or plugins in your shop. Source code is not available, poor extensibility. Using these services your storefront and control panels operate with e-commerce data like products, orders, customers etc. Access rights depend on users.
  • Control panels for out-of-the-box add-ons, non-configurable and non-extensible.
  • Lightweight “demo” plain HTML storefront template where these APIs are utilized. Source code is available. The storefront is based on AngularJS framework, so there is a lot of javascript.
  • Message queue system to communicate between services
  • Marketplace for APIs from SAP and third-party service suppliers. It has not been opened yet.
  • A set of tools for making your own APIs and control panels. Starter kit.
  • Pivotal.io/Cloud Foundry integration for APIs.

YaaS is in open beta as of today, so there are no such things as CMS for our storefront or promotions for e-commerce or order management or customer service functionality.

The existing APIs (from SAP or from other companies) are hardly extensible in terms of functionality. The only way to extend these APIs is to proxy them. You can envelop other services into your own code to perform some actions before and/or after their native code. But there is no way to inject your functionality inside as you can see in Spring IoC paradigm. Some modules have their own “plugin system” as well as additional/dynamic data fields capability (the called it mixins), but it looks like a workaround rather than a normal way.

Due to lack of functionality YaaS is not ready yet for large e-commerce solutions, but it is fine for light and simple e-commerce solutions, especially for early adopters and innovators.

Basically, YaaS looks very promising. Now it is good solution to quickly build functionally simple scalable e-shops hosted in cloud. I hope SAP will add all necessary things into the platform soon and YaaS will become a good tool for large business.

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