How Zalando serves more than 16 million customers with BPMN

Zalando is Europe‘s largest online fashion retailer, famous for its exclusive and extensive ranges of clothing, accessories and sports goods from global brands and private labels. Founded in Berlin in 2008, Zalando works with more than 1,500 manufacturers to serve more than 16 million customers across 15 European markets. 

Zalando has used Camunda Platform to execute its customer orders since 2014 — from creating accounting data, communication with payment service providers, holding articles in logistics centers, sending order confirmations, fraud checks, to communicating with its ERP system. 

Zalando introduced Camunda Platform to manage the complex logic behind processing orders. Its ‘take order’ process includes business logic, as well as numerous service integrations, such as the coupon service, stock service, payment service, partner service and integration with the logistics system and SAP. This process had initially been automated via a self-developed ‘process framework.’ But with process logic  spread across multiple systems, it was becoming impossible to understand the actual operation of this  strategically important core process.

Zalando was able to create a professionally documented ‘take order’ process that corresponds 100% to technical reality, by leveraging Camunda Platform. Most questions regarding the process can be instantly answered by a quick look at the BPMN diagram, and the team was able to develop test scenarios for all business transactions, as well as integration tests for end-to-end processes. 

Scalability and performance are critical for the successful execution of orders of more than 16 million active customers — asynchronous processing, for example, has to take place in less than 300ms. To achieve this, a high-availability runtime environment with frontend nodes for load balancing and backend nodes to perform jobs was put in place. 

For Zalando, a great customer experience is what sets the company apart from competitors. Its continuous improvement of order taking processes managed on Camunda Platform has been foundational to Zalando’s growth. Read more about how Camunda has helped power Zalando’s growth in our case study. 

Camunda at Zalando Case Study
  • Publishing “Practical Process Automation”

    A Book about Orchestration and Integration in Microservices and Cloud-Native Architectures I am happy to share that my new book called “Practical Process Automation” is officially published by O’Reilly today. In this book, I distilled my practical experience implementing process automation solutions from the last two decades. What You Will Find In The Book A general introduction to process automation and the different forms of automation An explanation of how developer-friendly process automation can be applied in modern system architectures and software development practices A hands-on guide to lightweight workflow engines and BPMN as the core elements to make this happen Architecture guidelines and best practices to implement your own process solutions A discussion of typical misconceptions around process automation...

    Read more
  • Camunda Closes $100 Million Series B Funding...

    I am excited to share that we just completed a €82 million (approximately $100 million) funding round led by Insight Partners. The round also included our existing investor Highland Europe from the Series A. You can find the official press release here. In this blog post I want to comment on this funding round in my own words and briefly walk you through the story of Camunda. But first things first: Who is Camunda and what do we do? Who is Camunda and what do we do? Camunda provides process automation software that is used by our customers, such as Allianz, ING, Vodafone, or Atlassian, to automate processes they need tailor-made for their business. In essence, Camunda provides software to build software. For example...

    Read more
  • Communication Between Loosely Coupled Microservices

    In our recent webinar titled “Communication Between Loosely Coupled Microservices” we got a lot of great questions and because of the limited time some were left unanswered. As community questions are really important to me I want to follow my tradition to answer remaining questions in a blog post (as I have for example also done roughly a year ago in “Webinar FAQ for Monitoring & Orchestrating Your Microservices Landscape using Workflow Automation”). What Was The Webinar About? You can find the slides (here) and recording (here) online. The webinar covered different styles of communication. This was explained by looking at how ordering food works: Synchronous blocking: A call uses a synchronous protocol, like HTTP, and blocks for the result. This is you, calling a pizza...

    Read more