Monday, April 25, 2022

Portfolio Architecture Examples - Retail Collection

Figure 1: The portfolio architecture process
For a few years now we've been working on a project we have named Portfolio Architectures. These are based on selecting a specific use case we are seeing used in the real world by customers and then finding implementations of that case using three or more products from the Red Hat portfolio.

This basic premise is used as the foundation, but many aspects of open source are included in both the process and the final product we have defined. There is a community, where we share the initial project kickoff with a group of architects and use their initial feedback from the start. We also present the architecture product we've created right at the end before we publish to ensure usability by architects in the field. The final publish product includes some internal only content around the customer projects researched, but most of the content is open and freely available through various open source channels. 

This article is sharing an overview of the product we've developed, what's available to you today in our architecture center, and concludes by sharing a collection of architectures we've published.

Introduction

The basis of a portfolio architecture is a use case, two to three actual implementations that can be researched, and includes the use of a minimum of three products. This is the ideal foundation for a project to start, but we encountered a problem with use cases containing emerging technologies or emerging domains in the market. To account for these we've chosen to note the fact that these are opinionated architectures based on internal reference architectures. 

The product has been defined as complete for publishing when it contains the following content:

  • Short use case definition
  • Diagrams - logical, schematic (physical), and detail diagrams
  • Public slide deck containing the use case story and architecture diagrams
  • Internal slide deck containing both the public deck content and the confidential customer research
  • Video (short) explanation of the architecture
  • Either a technical brief document or one or more articles covering the solution architecture

Note that the items in italics are all available to anyone  in the Red Hat Portfolio Architecture Center or in the Portfolio Architecture Examples repository.

Figure 2: Logical diagram design template
Tooling and workshops

The progress towards our products required a good idea of how we wanted to diagram our architectures. We chose to keep them very generic and simple in style to facilitate all levels of conversation around a particular use case without getting bogged down in notational discussions. 

A simple three level design for our architectures was captured by using logical, schematic, and detail diagrams. All of these have been integrated in open source tooling with pre-defined templates and icons for easily getting started. Furthermore, we've developed a tooling workshop to quickly ramp up on the design methods and tooling we've made available. It's called Designing Your Best Architectural Diagrams, has been featured in several conferences around the world.

Retail collection

The collection featured today is centered around architectures in the retail industry. There are currently seven architectures in this collection and we'll provide a short overview of each, leaving the in depth exploration as an exercise for the reader.

retail collection
Figure 3: Retail architecture collection

In each of these architecture overviews you'll find a table of contents outlining the technologies used, several example schematic diagrams with descriptions, and a link in the last section to open the diagrams directly into the online tooling in your browser.

Business optimisation

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Retailers satisfy demand identified through a supply chain. The term retailer is typically applied where a service provider fills the small orders of many individuals, who are end-users, rather than large orders of a small number of wholesale, corporate or government clientele.

business optimisation

The use case is optimising delivery routing, automating rostering of staff, and improving efficiency of tasks across multiple stores.

Headless e-commerce

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. The term electronic commerce (e-commerce) refers to a business model that allows companies and individuals to buy and sell goods and services over the Internet.

headless e-commerce

The use case is deploying a container based e-commerce website while moving away from tightly coupled existing e-commerce platform.

Point of sale

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. A point of sale, or point of purchase, is where you ring up customers. When customers check out online, walk up to your counter, or pick out an item from your stand or booth, they're at the point of sale. Your point-of-sale system is the hardware and software that enables your business to make those sales.

point of sale

The use case is simplifying and modernising central management of distributed point-of-sale devices with built in support for container based applications.

Real-time stock control

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Real-time inventory management is an automated process of recording sales and purchases through the use of software. It gives you a complete picture of what's happening with inventory, allowing your business to react quickly to supply chain needs.

real-time stock control

The use case is providing (near) real-time stock positions and dynamic pricing promotions information to retailer omnichannels.

Retail data framework

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. A data framework refers to the process of managing enterprise retail data. The framework or system sets the guidelines and rules of engagement for business and management activities, especially those that deal with or result in the creation and manipulation of data.

retail data framework

The use case is creating a framework for access to retail data from customers, stock, stores, and staff across multiple internal teams.

Store health and safety

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Store health and safety is all about managing risks to protect workers and stores. In a global context, health and safety is also an essential part of the movement towards sustainable operational growth.

store health and safety

The use case is managing effective in-store compliance, health & safety, and employee checks and procedures.

Supply chain integration

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Supply chain integration is a large-scale business strategy that brings as many links of the chain as possible into a closer working relationship with each other. The goal is to improve response time, production time, and reduce costs and waste.

supply chain integration

The use case is streamlining integration between different elements of a retail supply chain for on-premise, cloud, and other third-party interactions.

If you are interested in more architecture solutions like these, feel free to explore the Portfolio Architecture Examples repository. More architecture collections include: