Event-driven architecture (EDA) is a popular architecture for building fast, highly scalable applications. It’s comprised of decoupled, single-purpose components that asynchronously receive and process events. Events are any actions that occur inside or outside of a business. Events can occur when a customer makes a purchase, there’s an inventory update, an attempted security breach occurs, or there’s a state change in an application. Events are often time-sensitive or mission-critical, and businesses need a means of capturing and reacting to these events. Events trigger reactions that are recorded, processed, and responded to by the preset logic of IT systems.
Understanding Event-Driven Architecture
Event-driven architecture is a design practice that records, transmits, and processes events via a decoupled architecture, meaning systems don’t need to know each other to share data and accomplish tasks. Decoupling is key to EDA and offers several advantages for sharing data. When systems are decoupled, an event producer sends an event notification without the need to know what happens next, leaving the action up to the event router or broker. Event consumers then receive the event to process without requesting it. Each service that consumes the event works independently, which means events are processed asynchronously. The flow of event data between the event producers, brokers, and event consumers is called an event channel.
Event based architecture replaces the traditional request-response architecture that requires services to wait for a response before moving to the next task. The flow of event-based architecture is run by events and can respond to or carry out actions in response to events. This type of architecture uses a log analogy of tracking events, meaning business users can look back and replay the log to determine something that happened in the past.
Events are actions, and EDA is how a business defines the reaction to the event. This architecture pattern is especially useful for e-commerce businesses. When a customer submits payment information, this is a critical action. The user interface (UI) generates a new event with payment information, and the event broker knows to route the notification to the payment system based on metadata. When the event notification is received by the payment system, it processes the event and generates a new event indicating the success or failure of the payment processing. The event broker then pushes back to the UI to update the customer about the payment status and prompts the customer for the next steps.
This type of event processing helps create a streamlined and efficient customer experience when placing a new order online. For example, when customers go to shop necklaces from Kendra Scott, they’ll discover a beautiful digital collection of statement accessories, fine jewelry, and special occasion pieces that add an air of elegance to any look. The site’s collection of necklaces includes white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver, colorful gemstones, pendants, and more. Customers can also explore a sparkling collection of rings, earrings, and bracelets that accent any personal style. When a customer purchases an item, it is considered an event.
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EDA Use Cases
There are several common use cases for leveraging EDA. Data replication means that one event can be shared among multiple services that need to copy data into their databases. Parallel processing can be triggered by one event to execute asynchronously of each other. Real-time monitoring allows businesses to scan for event anomalies and suspicious activities. Events can be persisted and propagated no matter what code the services are written in. EDA eliminates redundancy and allows events to persist in the broker until the service can consume the event. Lastly, EDA is typically paired with microservices to share information between decoupled systems at scale.
These are just some of the many benefits of using an event-driven architecture in retail commerce.