HCL Commerce has supported traditional relational databases such as DB2 and Oracle for many years.  In 2021 we added support for another option, OneDB. This blog talks about why customers are asking us to do this, what features it offers and how you can use OneDB as a cloud native database with HCL Commerce.

OneDB isn’t a completely new database technology. It is based on IBM Informix which HCL provides engineering support for, but OneDB is its own product with its own development stream and roadmap.  HCL’s goal with OneDB is to provide customers with a cloud native database solution that can work in the cloud or on premise with the performance that makes it automatically the best choice for solutions like HCL Commerce.

Why introduce a new database for HCL Commerce? The primary reason is that our customers have been asking for a fully cloud native solution to the database component of Commerce. Going fully cloud native for the entire Commerce infrastructure offers many benefits for scalability, high availability, ease of management and costs. For example, with Commerce and OneDB in Kubernetes, install and configuration can be done with a single Helm chart, greatly simplifying deployment, configuration and future updates.

DB2 and Oracle are proven database technologies that helps HCL Commerce deliver the highest performance for its transactional operations and other needs, however they are owned by IBM and Oracle and therefore we have no control over their roadmaps, support, end of service announcements and the like.  With HCL OneDB we wanted to have more control, so that we can imagine and deliver on innovation that our customers want without being constrained by other software vendors. The HCL teams working on OneDB and Commerce are joined at the hip, so when Commerce has a requirement, the OneDB team is able to turnaround a new release for it within days – accelerating our overall time to market.

Customers are asking for capabilities that go beyond just a transactional database.  OneDB offers versatility to Commerce customers who can use it for the following:

  • As a transactional database for Commerce to replace DB2 or Oracle.
  • As a time series database for event data, such as from IOT devices.
  • As a data warehouse to capture data for analysis.

The fact that its cloud native is big for our customers. HCL Commerce has been cloud native and containerized for some time, so the ability to bring a database that is ALSO containerized and cloud native, sits well with our vision.  The cloud native capabilities of OneDB solves some problems for Commerce customers, such as:

  • Achieve near-zero downtime for the commerce platform helps clients sell more products and services, with hot-hot capabilities reducing the need for a disaster recovery (DR) site.
  • Ability to scale the database layer using Kubernetes, the same way the Commerce application containers can be scaled.
  • Ability to distribute those containers into different cloud data centers to create active-active database availability across those different zones and geographically distributed databases for performance or compliance reasons.
  • Ability to deploy the database together with Commerce using a single Helm chart, which is much simpler faster and easier for clients, thereby reducing time to market.
  • Small footprint, low resource usage for cost efficiency.

For Developers, OneDB for Commerce has also been developed with interoperability in mind.  You can use familiar JSON to document data store patterns, but you can do “join” queries across SQL databases and document databases using SQL Drivers and OneDB’s support for the MongoDB API.  This avoids having to move all the data into OneDB, and respects customer’s desires to keep data where it is and not create data silos that are difficult to manage.

OneDB’s heritage had an emphasis on low administration.  The database was designed to work well in environments where there was no Database Administrator, and so the admin overhead of running it is low.  This helps customers with their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), as many manual tasks are automated with OneDB.  The OneDB Explore console shows you whats going on, but there isn’t as high a level of active involvement due to its low admin nature.

With Commerce, scaling for peak loads is important.  The Commerce and OneDB teams took a lot of time to ensure that prior to launching Commerce with OneDB we tested it under a variety of load scenarios, such as storefront browsing, checkout, search and administrative loads such as data ingest (loading Commerce related product or inventory data in large volumes).  Our goal was to provide equal to or better than performance than existing Commerce database options (DB2 or Oracle) with Commerce.  We wouldn’t release the product until we had that, and we’re delighted to have achieved that goal.

To learn more, schedule a demo of OneDB – available as an option with HCL Commerce Summer 2021 release.

 

 

 

 

Comment wrap
Further Reading
article-img
Cloud Native, Marketing & Commerce | August 18, 2021
The Key to Achieving Cloud-Native Commerce Success Is Selecting the Right Partners
With more transactions taking place online every month, few technology systems are as essential for business success as a digital commerce platform. However, there are a wide range of technology vendors to choose from (well over 100, by my count) and countless variations that online merchants can make when deciding how to architect, implement, and maintain such platforms. Once a merchant clears these initial hurdles and selects the right platform for the business – a daunting task to begin with – organizations then face an equally challenging project: figuring out how to get the system up and running. Unfortunately for online merchants, there isn't an all-encompassing manual or blueprint explaining how to design, build, and operate a digital commerce technology stack. In fact, a dirty secret in the digital commerce platform market is that many commerce implementation projects take years or fail altogether. No organization has time to make mistakes with any of these decisions and projects. As discussed in the first two blog posts in this series, cloud-native digital commerce systems can help B2C and B2B merchants leverage the full power of cloud by delivering greater portability, scalability, and business agility. However, there isn't a “silver bullet” digital commerce platform or architecture that works for every company's processes or organizational structure. As a result, many organizations that don't have the right IT talent in-house or a trusted systems integrator (SI) partner struggle to take make the leap to cloud-native applications, or they fail to take full advantage of their capabilities. IDC believes that every organization embarking on a cloud-native commerce journey should consider the hurdles it faces in deploying cloud-native digital commerce and how it can overcome them by either building internal capabilities or partnering with an organization that can take care of the infrastructure. Cloud-Native Digital Commerce Delivery...
article-img
Software Delivery has just Grown Up
When’s the last time you or your operations team were able to deploy an entire, fully functional, enterprise-grade suite of applications for your organization to tryout within one day?* * Sometimes actually less than an hour. AND you need zero technical knowledge, cost or commitment, but instead you can just kick back with a glass of whatever and watch your entire Kubernetes cluster spin up in front of your eyes within hours, AND there’s a cloud native container orchestration app that you can visually monitor the health of all your nodes with Grafana charts, and its completely free for any customer of any product in said suite? Yeah, me neither! Not until I had the honor to spend the last year and a half working with the HCL Solutions Factory team here at HCL Software. What this team has done for our solution delivery capability is almost too difficult to draw a comparison to. It is truly a paradigm shift for cloud native software delivery. In this article, I will introduce you to what we have been cooking up for the last five years and how it will radically improve your competitive footing. Our incredibly talented team of modernization experts have gone all-in on cloud native tech to bring the world SoFy, the HCL Solutions Factory. Think of SoFy as the Netflix of enterprise software. First and foremost, it is an incredibly friendly catalog of all the HCL Software titles – pre-containerized and ready to deploy to public cloud sandboxes in literal minutes. What once took weeks with expensive experts, can now be done by the most non-technical users on their phone while sitting in Starbucks. It's seriously that easy. If that was all SoFy was, it would still be a game-changer, but we didn't stop there! The SoFy team...
article-img
Bringing Cloud-Native Commerce to the Masses to Accelerate Innovation
In a post-COVID world, digital commerce success is a prerequisite for overall business success. Sky-high customer expectations and abundant competition has raised the bar of a "minimum viable experience" that online merchants must deliver to customers, regardless of a company’s size or industry. Every seller must reevaluate the technology it uses to engage with customers and invest in areas of weakness. Cloud-native commerce technology, described in the first post of this series, has the potential to deliver on this promise by unlocking greater business and technology agility. However, many organizations struggle to take full advantage of the power of the cloud and cloud-native technology when not backed by an army of developers. At IDC, we are beginning to see this paradigm shift. The State of Cloud-Native Technology in Digital Commerce Since the inception of digital commerce over two decades ago, IT and line of business (LOB) folks have acted as unsynchronized dance partners. While LOB leaders – such as marketers, sales executives, or eCommerce managers – have often crafted the commerce strategy, they have relied on IT to develop those capabilities and maintain the infrastructure necessary to support online commerce operations. Something that sounds simple coming from the mouth of a marketer, such as adding a new localized site or changing the layout of product detail pages, can prove to cost hundreds of developer-hours for IT to achieve (particularly if staff are working with rigid, legacy commerce platforms). Leveraging containers and API-first architectures, cloud-native digital commerce applications run on highly distributed and scalable architectures. However, cloud-native has also fallen into the IT vs. LOB trap, with technologically savvy organizations overwhelmingly being the ones gravitating towards cloud-native digital commerce technology up to this point while those merchants with less of a tech background settle with other technology options, such as hosted...
Close