Rumor has it that Oracle Commerce Cloud (OCC) might shut down. Recently, Oracle fired lots of employees, mainly from CX and marketing units. Numerous posts on LinkedIn under the #oraclelayoffs hashtag prove it. This can mean that sooner or later Oracle will drop the product, though the company itself hasn’t confirmed it yet.
Andy Hoar, an ecommerce expert from Forrester, considers that Oracle Commerce Cloud layoffs may scare away loyal customers. No wonder — sunsetting OCC will mean it stays in “support” mode, with no product development and no new features arriving. That’s why those clients, who don’t want to wait until it’s too late, have already started looking for a different solution for their business.
But what if it’s just a rumor?
What if Oracle won’t give up on its ecommerce product?
It’s highly unlikely, and here’s why.
Has Oracle Commerce Cloud Sunsetted? A Few Considerations Why This Might Be True
Prior to mass firings, Oracle acquired Cerner, a healthcare IT company. This might be signaling about changing the focus — perhaps, because of the high competition:
If you look at the 2022 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, you’ll see that engineers fancy Amazon, Microsoft, and Google cloud solutions. For business owners, it’ll be easier to find a skilled specialist for those platforms.
Yet, you can still doubt whether to move from Oracle Commerce Cloud to a different solution. Here are a few things that might hold you back:
- Investments you’ve already made
- Possible risks that may come up during the transition
- New technology you might be unprepared for
- [insert yours]
Found yourself in one or more statements? Then let’s see why it’s better to join Oracle Commerce Cloud clients, who are already choosing other providers.
A monolith legacy platform
Why should a monolith legacy platform be a red flag for you? First, let’s make sure we interpret “monolith” and “legacy” alike.
In software development, monolith means “united, holistic,” but in a negative way. When someone refers to the app or system as “monolithic,” they usually imply it’s too large and everything in it is too interconnected. Once you decide to remove or change a part of it, the whole system either breaks down or starts working incorrectly.
Legacy is about old code, using obsolete technology. Quite often, it’s not clear how this part is connected to another one and what business logic was put behind the developer’s solution.
Combined in one sentence, “monolith legacy” means outdated software, which makes it harder and longer to support it with each change. Besides, you never know when it might crush. In simple words, it’s just like Jenga falls apart if you remove one of the blocks.
What’s more, highly skilled devs don’t like working with such complex, obsolete systems. This means, hiring top talent for such a project might be challenging.
Being a successor of ATG Web Commerce, Oracle Commerce Cloud is exactly that kind of software. In fact, OCC is the ATG with its over 10-years-old code in the cloud. And the majority of the next constraints come from this “monolith legacy platform” problem.
Unexpected and substantial cost
OCC is pricey and based on multiple factors (number of users, features, CPU, etc.), which makes it affordable rather to mid- or large-sized businesses. Site maintenance and support come at high costs too. This may result in overhead expenses if you need to extend functionality. Here are rough calculations of how much OCC may cost you yearly:
- 10 instances of Database VMs (virtual machines) = $38,399
- 10 instances of Content Management with 500 GB outbound data transfer per month = $15,199
- Analytics Cloud for 10 users = $19,200 or $80,000 per 1 Oracle CPU
- 1 Network Firewall Instance with over 10 TB data processed = $24,552
- 1 TB File Storage = $3600
If you need more features, or more storage, or more users, your price will increase as well.
When we talk about pricing flexibility, Oracle loses the competition:
Oracle charges per feature, which may result in overhead costs if you need to extend functionality. Moreover, you can’t get a free version or, at least, a free trial. Value for money is questionable as the product diversity is limited, compared to other cloud platforms.
Let’s have a closer look at this problem.
Lack of features
Oracle Commerce Cloud comes with an insufficient feature set, which hardly matches the business needs of its customers:
Also, OCC doesn’t support paying with store credits, integration with Amazon and eBay, as well as single-click checkout. On top of that, it covers only three major promotion types: order discount, item discount, and shipping discount.
Another comparison shows that auto-assigning products to specific categories, product ratings and reviews, defining product quantities, and some other features will require additional setup or aren’t available out of the box. Even the free version of Magento has broader functionality.
This means you’ll need to customize the system. To be fair, OCC isn’t the only one with the problem of limited features. But if you remember, it also has an issue with outdated technology behind it, so every time you wish to add a feature to your OCC website, you risk making your store look like a thread bundle that’s almost impossible to untangle. Besides, every new custom feature will increase your development costs and time to market.
Since OCC is cloud-based, it faces common cloud-related issues. The performance of your online store may be the first to struggle because of a poor network connection, limited memory available, or online traffic spikes (for instance, during Halloween or Black Friday).
Though you can build a lovely and engaging UI, it might not work well with large product portfolios. Additionally, the more customized attributes you have, the worse the performance will be. This can impact the customer experience of your store and increase the cart abandonment rate.
For most cloud infrastructures, seamless scaling is one of the greatest benefits. There are some pitfalls in the case of Oracle Commerce Cloud, though.
Being a monolithic platform, OCC operates on three basic architecture levels: web servers, app servers, and databases. Thus, if you want to add more application servers, your database may not handle the workload. The same story is with adding app servers, which may overload your web servers. Such limitations can hardly satisfy mid-sized or large businesses’ needs, especially during seasonal sales.
Finally, complex server configurations, transaction timeouts, and database connection limits make companies using OCC prepare for season traffic growth ahead. Each preparation usually takes around two-three months, not to mention the money spent on it.
Long time to market
Again, because of poor monolithic architecture. Each update or customization, even a minor one, makes developers introduce changes to multiple parts of the system.
For instance, to develop a custom promotion and display it on the website, devs might spend a few days on it. Typically, such a task takes no more than 2-4 hours. One of the main reasons why developers waste time is the legacy codebase with lots of lines of code repeated in different places. Another reason is that ORM data modeling goes through XML configuration.
When purchasing any software, you’d better pay attention to both features available out of the box and the technology behind it. Otherwise, you will be tied to one vendor, and it can be hard to find a new one if you need to change them for some reason.
Oracle Commerce Cloud uses its own database language that isn’t compatible with other databases, which use a widespread SQL language. But even this is not the primary issue, although it can give you hard times when you decide to migrate to another platform.
The key problem that leads you to a vendor lock-in is the customizations, caused by a limited feature set. The more you tailor the system to your business needs, the harder the transition will be. Imagine it like cemented bricks instead of panels, which you can easily disassemble and then assemble again.
Anyway, we always recommend considering all possible risks before deciding anything. Especially, if it’s about choosing expensive software for your online store.
Now or Never: Why This Might Be a Good Time to Replatform From Oracle Commerce Cloud
The recent OCC employee layoffs sound like a warning, and it seems like the sunset of Oracle Commerce Cloud may be close. Sure, Oracle won’t give up on its product the next morning, but it won’t hurt to consider your options given the legacy and unsupported features of OCC.
At Elogic, we know how important it is to take into account every tiny little detail before making a big decision to replatform. Within 13+ years in ecommerce development and consulting, we’ve become a trusted partner for over 500 companies. Being technology-agnostic, we dive deep into your business needs and requirements, advise the ecommerce platform for you, and map out the outstanding customer experience.
Talk to us today and prevent your website from crashing due to the obsolete platform.