Resilient, scalable order management system with GCP and CockroachDB

Resilient, scalable order management system with GCP and CockroachDB

“Google cloud and cockroachdb are the building blocks that we use to create a globally available platform.” - Paweł Sobkowiak, CTO, Booksy

Remember the original order management system? You made a phone call, went back and forth about a few dates and times, then got an appointment literally penciled into a paper calendar. It was charming on occasion but not terribly efficient. Booksy is the solution to that problem.

On the surface, Booksy is a global digital appointment booking service that makes it easy for customers to make appointments at beauty, health, and wellness salons. This is a popular service that supported nearly 100 million bookings in 2021 across 25 different countries. But Booksy is also an inventory management solution, a business analytics resource, and a marketing platform.

Prior to the modernization of their infrastructure Booksy had become a critical business tool for small businesses. Customer satisfaction is (and was) important to them. To guarantee a good experience they had to resolve issues that had encountered with resilience and scale. 

How the datastore impacts customer satisfaction

Booksy originally launched with on-premises IT and a monolithic application architecture built on top of Postgres. This architecture worked well until the user base and application feature set both grew. At one point Booksy was forecasting 10x growth over the course of two years. At the same time, customers increased their appetite for supplementary business services like marketing, sales, and point-of-sale. 

To continue growing their user base while delivering a quality customer experience Booksy needed a cloud-first approach that would allow them to scale without hurting performance or compromising the time needed to support the application features. Booksy chose to use Google Cloud and CockroachDB. With this combination Booksy could shift from a legacy architecture to a microservices architecture and make sure their services are online and available all over the world all the time. 

Resilient inventory management saves money

“The most important thing about CockroachDB is that it provides a resilient database at planetary scale without the need of manual management and sharding. And we like their backup and restore features and point in time recovery.” - Pawel

If an inventory management system goes offline at the wrong time it can cost a business millions of dollars. Booksy takes pride in the role their business plays in supporting small businesses around the world. If their service is not available, even for a few minutes, it could harm many of these small businesses. It likely won’t cost each of those businesses millions of dollars. But a barbershop could lose a customer and, as a result, Booksy might lose that barbershop. 

Designing infrastructure to handle spikes in traffic 

“Scalability is a big factor because our customers are experiencing huge spikes around the holidays and we need to scale our infrastructure and our database and Cockroach helps us to achieve it.” -Adrian Jarczynski, Lead DevOps Engineer, Booksy

Legacy infrastructure can scale for a big spike if they know it’s coming. But it’s easy to overspend. And it requires a lot of manual effort. With a globally scalable database like CockroachDB, Booksy can simply add nodes and scale up for floods of traffic and then scale back down efficiently. It saves money. It saves effort. And it protects users from bad application experiences.

Another concern regarding scale is the ability to scale into new regions for continued business growth.  Booksy uses Google Cloud geo-tagging tools and CockroachDB’s built-in data homing capabilities to help it meet data location-related compliance requirements and to lower latency by keeping data close to the user. The ease of these tools make it simple for Booksy to add coverage in new regions and grow their profitability. 

CockroachDB for retail

If you want to learn more about Booksy’s use case you can check out the case study authored by Google Cloud. There are a number of other retail use cases in which businesses found CockroachDB’s combination of consistency, scalability, and resilience to be a good match for their business needs. You can find all those on our retail page.

We also recently published a ~50 page report detailing the ways that a distributed SQL database enhances innovation while reducing costs. There are seven different companies references in that report and some important insights into the costs of unplanned downtime. There is a case study in the report about a well known retail brand that increased its ROI by 149% in the first year of using CockroachDB primarily because of the automation in CockroachDB as it compared to MySQL.

About the author

Dan Kelly

Dan has been producing technical blogs, videos, whitepapers, and webinars at Cockroach Labs for the last 4+ years. His mission is to identify the most pressing problems developers face and to create content to solve them. Outside of work Dan is usually chasing his three year old daughter or cooking something indulgent.

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