As part of the SAP Integration and Certification Center, I am fortunate enough to work with amazing partners and third-party vendors who integrate their solutions with SAP platforms and technologies. Among SAP’s portfolio of products is the hybris Commerce Suite, a best in class omni-channel commerce solution that has witnessed an ever growing interest. In order to shed some light on the experience of developing extensions on this platform, I will be having a short Q&A session with Yasmin Sharp, Commercial Partner Manager at Worldpay.
My thanks to Yasmin for graciously partaking in this exercise and to Worldpay, one of the first hybris partners to have joined the vast and vibrant SAP Community through technical alignment and the successful completion of the hybris Commerce Suite 5 Extension certification.
Hi Yasmin, please tell us about Worldpay
Worldpay is a global provider of payment, risk and treasury services, processing millions of transactions every day. We work with online businesses to implement a seamless payment experience across all distribution channels. With over 200 alternative payment methods and over 120 currencies, our country specific experts work with clients to make global reach a reality.
Can you provide a brief overview of Worldpay’s area of expertise and the the technologies used?
Our global gateway, alternative payments, acquiring, risk management and treasury services are designed to lower operating costs, reduce PCI requirements, increase global acceptance rates and manage risk. We recognize that no one size fits all. That’s why we customize our technology to match the needs of our customers. We processes more than 8 billion transactions annually and our gateway has been honed through years of experience to bring smart and insightful functions. The communication method to access our suite of payment services is through a single integration to our payment gateway, preformed by passing an XML message that conforms to a pre-defined structure.
Can you give us a quick overview on your e-commerce initiative?
We are experts in payments. Our products and services power commerce across the globe. Our story started in 1989; as a payment provider that focused on point of sale transactions. Worldpay emerged later as one of the first online payments companies. By 2010, Worldpay had become the largest merchant acquirer in Europe and one of the largest globally today. We’re creating value by uniting our expertise and insight, and sharing it with our customers across the globe. We offer end-to-end payment services through a single integration, and deploy industry market insights and analytics to help retailers achieve their market expansion and growth targets.
How did your company get started on hybris?
At Worldpay, making our products and services accessible and easy for customers to use is king. By working with the hybris partner team and our mutual customers, we identified the need for a pre-built, pre-tested connection to the hybris platform. The hybris architecture is designed in a way that promotes ease of integration of reusable components. Therefore, an opportunity was identified where customers will need to do the same process over and over again (i.e. handling payments) and we could provide something that would streamline that process.
What motivated you to develop on the hybris platform?
Our strategy is to work and partner with companies that are aligned with our global vision. hybris was highlighted by the Worldpay partnership team as a fast growing innovative platform which mirrored our customer base, product capabilities and regions. Our Global Partnerships team worked with hybris’ System Integrator community and partner team to build the case to create an extension for companies who have global ambitions and want to control fraud.
Tell us about the extension your team has developed for hybris. Who is it for and what are the benefits?
The extension is for any business using the hybris platform (version 5 and above).
The key benefits are:
- Faster and more effective global expansion through a pre-built, and accredited connection to our payment platform, including leading local payment methods
- Reduced development costs and risk of integration – our extension saves up to 80% of the time needed to integrate. It also removes significant complexities by providing pre-built code and clear documentation on customization
- Flexibility – the integration can be tailored for any customeror channel due to its unique and intuitive design
- Increased revenue with an optimized check-out process that enables joint customers reach more shoppers, allowing them to pay in the methods they desire
- Greater margins – reduced internal operating costs with a flexible API to help automate manual processes
Can you briefly describe how you developed the extension and your choice of technologies?
We wanted to build a robust extension, utilizing Java best practices. We built the extension in multiple layers to minimize the risk of communication failures associated with passing various messages on a standard call. A specific layer was implemented to handle the communication between the platform and Worldpay (marshalling all the messages). That specific layer is independent from the platform that is calling it, acting as ‘middle link’ before passing onto a layer that specifically knows how hybris handles payments. The communication between the extension and Worldpay is done by passing XML messages that conform to the message structure defined by hybris.
The hybris specific layer is called by the hybris platform which in turn calls the communication layer that calls the Worldpay gateway. The response from that call is then passed all the way back up the chain to the hybris platform.
The extension is designed to operate in both PCI compliant environment and non-PCI hosted environment and in both customer present mode (i.e. website storefront) and customer not present (i.e. customer services).
Worldpay sought the guidance of a leading hybris System Integrator with a significant experience in building extensions and eCommerce solutions for tier 1 businesses. Together, we performed market research and customer evaluations which we deployed to create a strategy that would ensure the production of an extension that can satisfy a variety of business needs. We shared our findings with the team at hybris to confirm we were developing an integration that would appeal to hybris’ customers and community.
Can you share with us the biggest challenges?
The main challenge was to select the right mix of Worldpay products to include in our integration. We wanted a ‘plug and play’ model for customers to select the features they want to deploy, and provide them with the right level of customization. Along side the hybris SI we developed a modular design that enables customers to select the functionality that works for their business. This method ensures that the integration is fully scalable, meaning customers can switch on functionality as they grow.
Which new feature(s) of hybris SDK available in version 5 do you like the most?
Overall, version 5 release has seen a vast amount of new market leading functionality but my personal favorite is the B2C Commerce Accelerator for China. Helping businesses enter new markets is crucial in today’s competitive landscape and a key part of our strategy. Features such as pre-built address models and store locator, available in version 5, can help businesses localize their online offering.
How would you compare your team’s experience developing on this new version?
We started on hybris version 4.7 and had a solid framework for developing new versions and features into our extension, so it was a simple process. It is clear that hybris is proactive about customer and market demands, as they continue to add new innovative features that keep the hybris platform a market leader.
What tips can you provide others who plan on creating an extension, if any?
The customer always comes first, so ensure that the plug-in you are creating adds value to the hybris customer base and eco-system. Align your business models, plans and strategy with the hybris proposition and work closely with the ISV team. Lastly, the extension should be supported by hybris specialists and needs to be ‘future proofed’ so that it’s simple to upgrade to the latest version.
How was your experience with the certification process?
Overall, the process was straight forward and clearly documented, which helped us meet the accreditation standards fairly quickly. We’ve participated in many accreditation processes in the past, and I can safely say this was the smoothest and most organized we came across.
Do you think that the certification process allowed you to better align with SAP and hybris?
Certainly – we are now building stronger ties with the hybris/SAP teams by aligning our joint roadmaps and future accreditations, as we continue our investment and progress.
Do you think that certification process promotes better quality extensions?
Yes – the additional certification process provides an extra layer of confidence for businesses who are looking to implement a hybris extension. In addition, a certified extension guarantees higher quality of code and a seal of approval for best practice integration. We’ve received positive feedback from customers about the certification as it clearly displays our commitment to work with hybris and embrace the broader SAP community.
This concludes our Q&A session. My thanks to Yasmin Sharp from Worldpay for sharing her experience !
Please find the list of useful links below. If you want to learn more about the hybris Commerce Suite extension certification, please contact me or the SAP Integration and Certification Center.
SAP Integration and Certification Center