E-commerce is a fast-paced industry, and features that were once a glint in an end-customer’s eye are now not only a reality, but a necessity. While existing and previous versions of the FrescaCommerce Platform (FCP) are extremely robust, they have little to no API capabilities. And as John Musser, the founder of ProgrammableWeb, says: “APIs are how we are going to build software in the future, we are just going to glue it together.”
An API is an Application Program Interface that provides a developer with programmatic access to a proprietary software application. It makes it possible for application programmes to interact with each other and share data. Google Search is a single Web Service, whilst FCP6 has over 130 Web Services, which when used in combination means the possibilities are limitless!
Software development today is hugely different from how it was 10 years ago, and at BT Expedite we have been working hard to launch a version of the platform that uses the latest technology and working methods. The result is FCP6. It uses the same tried, tested and proven core platform and business logic, but the features are exposed via Web Services.
For the initial launch we’ve focused on replicating existing functionality …but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any improvements!
Decoupled front and back ends
A product roadmap
This new way of working is extremely exciting as it opens up the platform and allows us to quickly and easily grow and enhance the feature set. It also allows us to use our APIs to integrate with third party technology providers, all of whom are experts in their fields. And when the API reaches a level of maturity it will also allow third parties to build against the platform.
We asked our customers for feedback regarding a shortlist of technology partners, including OneHydra for SEO, MetaPack for fulfilment aggregation and management, Optimizely for A/B testing and Feefo for customer reviews, that we think would contribute to a better customer experience.
The feedback was incredibly positive, and the customers we spoke to are really excited to see some of these technology partners start to come on board. We’ve shared some materials containing information about these partners with the attendees and are awaiting further feedback to help us refine the product roadmap over the next 12 months. We’ll be sure to share the results of this with you in the near future.