Why Kiwi.com chose Camunda Platform 8 for Their Customer Booking Journey

Why Camunda Platform 8? Learn how leading travel-tech company Kiwi.com utilizes Camunda 8 to overcome challenges using process orchestration.
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In this blog series, we highlight the organizations who have chosen to utilize Camunda Platform 8 and explore the challenges those companies are attempting to overcome using process orchestration. For the latest installment of Why Camunda Platform 8, we spoke with leading travel-tech company, Kiwi.com.

Kiwi.com provides travelers with an innovative algorithm that makes it possible to find better route options and prices other search engines can’t see. Daily, Kiwi.com is performing hundreds of millions of price checks across 95% of the world’s global flight content, and carries out 100 million searches. Kiwi.com provides a seamless booking experience and fully supports the customer during their trip, selling, on average, over 60,000 seats daily.

Kiwi.com has worked with Camunda since 2021 to orchestrate their customer booking journey. In 2022 the company has decided to migrate that process to Camunda Platform 8 to better optimize the process and increase efficiency. We spoke with Kiwi.com’s engineering manager and technical team lead Ladislav Radoň to learn more about their decision-making process:

Tell us about your use case. What is the problem you’re hoping to solve with Camunda Platform 8?

Ladislav Radoň: Our order management is a fully distributed system spread across multiple services, teams, and their respective domains.

Delivering the best possible experience to our customers is of course crucial, from point of purchase through to receiving confirmation. Ensuring that the order transaction runs through the whole system without any issues requires great diligence and, on some occasions, manual intervention may be required.

We need to understand every process scenario, including edge cases, to avoid any unexpected state or delay in processing. Given the visibility the Camunda platform provides at every time of the process, we can easily estimate the delivery time or communicate the order status to the customer.

The original architecture follows only the basic principles of choreography. We decided to move forward in favor of end-to-end orchestration, which means we needed a robust enough orchestrator to do the job for us.

Which options did you evaluate to solve your problem?

Ladislav Radoň: Before getting to know more about orchestration in general, we considered event-driven architecture the same way it is done in other parts of our system using choreography (pub/sub, service to service patterns). This would mean investing a great deal of time into mapping the legacy architecture, drawing flow diagrams and improving the overall documentation, which can get old quickly.

Once the orchestration approach was decided as a way to go, we evaluated a few open-source solutions. Camunda’s Zeebe engine was a quite new but impressive concept, which we decided to experiment with.

What were the key decision criteria you had when evaluating options, and why did you decide on Camunda Platform 8?

Ladislav Radoň: We’ve chosen one of our technical solutions written as a custom finite state machine (FSM) for the first lighthouse project and rewrote it entirely to Camunda Platform 8.

The workflows written in BPMN significantly improved the overall transparency and observability and proved helpful as a common language between the product manager and the engineering team. Thanks to the instant understanding of the process, we can investigate possible process flaws and mitigate the impact on business in a much shorter time.

From the technical perspective, our internal benchmarks passed without any significant issues. The engine itself proved scalable and resilient; hence there wasn’t any blocker to allow scaling the usage for the whole order management system.

What’s your advice for anyone evaluating Camunda Platform 8? Any helpful lessons you’ve learned and would like to share?

Ladislav Radoň: For any company in a similar situation as we were: tech-first, fast-growing, cloud-native, but with limited experience with BPMN or orchestrator engines within the engineering department, Camunda Platform 8 has a great pool of resources and it is easy to get familiar with the technology. The concept of distributed orchestrator fits very well with modern architecture, and the whole C8 platform can help resolve not only business process problems but also technical ones regarding service orchestration or decoupling heavy stateful monoliths.

Read more at code.kiwi.com, the tech community of Kiwi.com

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