Wipro Addresses Seismic Shift in Retail with Quarkus
Retailers are aggressively adopting cloud technologies to keep up with changing customer needs, seasonal demands, and increased competition. Digital retailers, like Amazon, are disrupting the industry and retailers are looking for ways to remain competitive through technology.
Retailers are making significant investments in the acquisition and adoption of cloud software platforms and Quarkus is helping system integrators like Wipro to accelerate the cloud adoption journey for their retail customers.
Driving Retail Innovation with Quarkus
Wipro has a successful retail consulting group that works with top retailers across the world to gain agility and reimagine shopping journeys by utilizing Wipro’s capabilities in design thinking, analytics, system integration, product engineering, artificial intelligence, cyber security and business support.
Arijit Mazumdar, Solution Architect on the Wipro Digital team, helps the retail and other vertical consulting groups to identify and promote cloud technologies for their customers. They work together to accelerate digital transformation and enterprise application modernization. Arijit spearheaded the recent effort to identify, evaluate, and integrate the Quarkus framework into many of these customer solutions.
Retail Industry Technical Challenges
“Born on the cloud” retailers, like Amazon and other digital startups, are putting pressure on traditional retailers to evolve quickly. In order to remain competitive, traditional retailers are looking to evolve and modernize their technology stacks to compete and differentiate themselves.
Many retailers have traditionally run their mission critical applications on standard enterprise Java stacks that are too heavy and not suited for cloud-native implementations. These retailers are now aggressively moving to cloud-native and microservice architectures which has led them to explore alternative languages to Java which would require hiring or retraining developers.
Retailers are going through tremendous technology churn right now in order to modernize their enterprise applications. Traditional COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) systems such as order management and e-commerce are not allowing our customers to scale and be agile. Consequently, they are being replaced by microservices in order to scale and provide the agility needed to compete with digital retailers.
-Arijit Mazumdar, Solution Architect on the Wipro Digital
Arijit heard about Quarkus via the Red Hat Developers program and was immediately intrigued by its capabilities and potential to impact his organization and its customers. As he and his team researched and evaluated Quarkus a few things really stood out.
Leveraging Java Expertise
A lot of Wipro customers use Java frameworks like Jakarta EE and Spring for enterprise development. The limitations of Java were magnified as they moved to a microservices architecture in the cloud. The memory consumption and startup times required the need for bigger containers and VMs. Their customers had already started looking at Java alternatives such as Golang and Node.js which meant that they would have to retrain their employees and take time to learn a new language.
Before we introduced Quarkus, many customers had started to look at alternative stacks like Go and node.js to improve performance and efficiency. These customers were weary of selecting a new language and having to hire new developers or retrain their existing Java developers.
- Arijit Mazumdar
With Quarkus, they could now achieve the efficiencies they were looking for by leveraging their existing Java knowledge and experience. In fact, the Wipro team started a pilot project to migrate an existing application written in Spring to Quarkus. The lead developer was a Spring developer and was able to learn the Quarkus framework and be productive in a short period of time.
There was a low learning curve with Quarkus. It took one of our developers one week to get up to speed on Quarkus and another week to migrate a Spring application to Quarkus.
- Arijit Mazumdar
Quarkus was also appealing because of its many features and capabilities that would enable Java developers to be more productive. The live coding, extension ecosystem, and Kubernetes integrations were an important part of the developer productivity gains.
The live coding capability was a “game changer” according to the Wipro team. The hot reloading capability drastically increased developer productivity resulting in faster time to market for application development and migration. Wipro developers were familiar with this capability for other languages like Node.js but not in Java, which was a pleasant surprise.
The Quarkus community has developed over 100+ extensions which provide additional enhancements and integrations to the framework including the ability to compile an application into a native executable. The Wipro team utilized a number of extensions including RESTEasy, Hibernate ORM, Spring compatibility, PostgreSQL, and more. The Apache Camel extensions were particularly useful for reducing the time and complexity for integration development efforts. The Camel extensions allowed them to quickly write abstraction and anti-corruption layers on top of legacy applications like mainframes and COTS applications.
Also, the Quarkus support for containerization and Kubernetes deployments was important. Most of the Kubernetes components are auto-generated, like the Dockerfile, that make it easier for developers to use and be more productive with Quarkus.
Retail Use Cases
The ability of Quarkus to use cloud resources efficiently makes it an ideal runtime for a number of use cases. Wipro sees Quarkus as more than just a framework for new development. They have seen firsthand the impact that it has on modernizing existing applications. One of the projects mentioned earlier was a Spring to Quarkus migration of an order management application. The Quarkus Spring compatibility extensions allowed them to easily port the application in less than a week with minimal issues.
Quarkus and the Spring API compatibility reduced the migration time and complexity which is critically important for our customers.
- Arijit Mazumdar
Wipro also sees a big opportunity for Quarkus to enable Java developers to create event-driven, serverless applications. Retailers utilize a lot of task processing events as part of batch jobs or real time processing to accept and fulfill orders. “Always on” services are typically used for these tasks and they consume resources even when there is no load. For example, a retail customer in the United Kingdom receives allocations from a SaaS provider three times a day that utilizes four services running 24x7. By shifting the processing to serverless, the retailer saved significant processing cycles by paying only for the CPU cycles when there is an allocation activity.
The Wipro Digital and Retail teams are excited to keep utilizing the Quarkus framework to bring the power of cloud computing to their customers. It has proven to be a powerful tool they look forward to future releases and improved capabilities.
Wipro Limited is a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company. We harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies to help our clients adapt to the digital world and make them successful. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, we have over 180,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents. Together, we discover ideas and connect the dots to build a better and a bold new future.