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Why One Ecommerce Site Moved from Rails to Scala

Scalability is very important at Gilt.com.


ReadWrite has published an interview with Eric Bowman, the vice president of architecture for Gilt.com, an e-commerce site that specializes in flash sales. Because the site experiences huge spikes in usage, it needed an application architecture that could scale to meet that demand. Bowman explained that over time, the site transitioned from Ruby on Rails to Java to Scala. "Scala required much less code-writing than Java, and it was easy to integrate with other JVM services," he said. "We adopted it, and we continue to reap the benefits of the language’s elegance and simplicity."

The company takes a "micro-services" approach, which allows the company to "maintain isolation between unrelated services and that keeps our development process as friction-free as possible and reduces complexity," added Bowman. "It also enables us to establish team ownership of end-to-end quality, which not only makes us all more accountable but also contributes to developer happiness--our engineers know they can have an impact and see the results of their work more readily."

Bowman advises other developers to "take advantage of all the great open-source software available--not only for cost-related reasons, but for quality-related reasons as well."

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