Back-end development for a comfort control system of Daimler AG
Seamless digital customer journey
As a software service provider cooperating with Audi Business Innovation (ABI), jambit was actively involved in the development of a platform for a scalable, global retail infrastructure for AUDI AG. AUDI AG sells digital products in vehicles to end customers via a platform instead of selling it via local dealers. The Audi e-commerce platform offers a consistent back-end platform for various front-ends and suppliers. This enables suppliers to get their product to customers faster without having to develop a complete e-commerce system themselves. The platform is a building block in the development of a seamless digital customer journey for AUDI AG customers.
With the Audi Commerce Platform (ACP), jambit supports the after-sales process of digital products for vehicles. A central product for end customers is "Functions on demand" (FoD). With FoD, customers can easily activate features in the car via the myAudi app. Special additionally booked functions make it possible to respond flexibly to customers' changing needs. For example, users can activate the parking assistant or display smartphone functions on the cockpit. Since its go-live, customers in over 17 markets in Europe and the USA have been able to access the system. In the course of further development, it is planned to expand the system to other markets and vehicle models and to open it up to B2B customers.
Multi-facetted domains in the development of the e-commerce platform
Technically, jambit has been supporting the development of the platform since May 2018. The jambit team assisted in adapting the payment process to the new PSD2 standard and ensured strong two-factor authentication. Between August and October 2020, jambitees also worked with ABI and its partners to manage the go-live in various markets. Independent of the go-lives, the teams integrated a unified supplier interface that should significantly simplify the integration of new suppliers. This means that non-vehicle digital products such as the verified vehicle report Digital Twin can now be offered. At the same time, they worked on opening up new vehicle models with the associated vehicle back-end systems.
The software development in this project builds on a variety of domain themes of the platform. The special feature for jambit was also the independent involvement in the most diverse domain topics. In the project, we took the approach of domain-driven design architecturally and team-wise. The product domain, for example, ensures the delivery of the product catalog for the individual vehicle. Another domain organizes shopping cart and order processing and payment processing via the brand's own AudiPay service. A third domain takes care of the activation of functions in the vehicle via VW back-end systems.
jambit’s proactive way of working is a perfect fit for us in this project with diverse stakeholders. We are particularly impressed with the developer’s engagement and driving new architectural topics and improvements for the Audi Commerce Platform forward.
Sophisticated technologies for the platform development
The platform development is based on a microservice architecture with Java Spring Boot services. Up to 30 back-end services can be developed separately and interconnected via APIs. This ensures shorter development cycles and independent work in the domain teams. The e-commerce solution commercetools serves as the basis for managing products, shopping carts, and orders. Order processing and product activation require asynchronous processes, for which RabbitMQ is used. The teams are also building an internal support front-end using React, which is aimed at product owners to strenghten third-level support.
Circles promote decisions across teams in agile processes
At times, up to ten software engineers and architects from jambit worked together in teams with other service providers and ABI. Contact persons for the jambitees were Scrum Masters and Release Train Engineers in the ABI team. The platform was developed using an iterative agile approach, with heterogeneous Scrum teams working hand-in-hand. Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) was introduced to the project in November 2020. The Audi Commerce Platform operates as an independent agile release train within the SAFe agile framework. Based on the motto "You built it, you run it", the teams are responsible for deployment, operation, and maintenance. Particularly established circles among the developers also created a basis for better coordination of topics relating to the overall architecture, deployment, and monitoring. Together with ABI and other service providers, jambitees from five teams pushed forward technical issues and created the necessary symbioses. From the very beginning, the cooperation has been characterized by a close partnership. In the beginning, regular meetings took place on-site in Ingolstadt or at the ABI office. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the teams have been organizing themselves remotely.
Audi Business Innovation: jambit's long-time partner
ABI was founded in 2013 by AUDI AG as a wholly-owned subsidiary with the aim of rethinking the core business of the automotive industry. ABI offers in-depth expertise in the areas of IT, digital services, and product development along the entire value chain with a focus on the digitization of sales processes. One core product is Audi on demand, a mobility service with which users can experience mobility flexibly and conveniently. jambit was already able to contribute to Audi on demand as a development partner.
Success at a glance
- Ensuring successful international rollout in Europe and North America of a global e-commerce infrastructure
- Efficient coordination through dedicated circle culture among developers on topics such as overall architecture, deployment, and monitoring
- Joint responsibility of jambit teams for deployment, operation, and maintenance – true to the motto “You built it, you run it.”
- Audi Commerce Platform as independent agile release train within the agile framework SAFe