VTEX: collaborative cloud commerce
Based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, VTEX enables B2C and B2B brands to quickly build and grow their own digital storefronts. Currently, more than 2,500 global brands—such as Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Sony, and Motorola—are using VTEX APIs to power their e-commerce businesses in 42 countries.
Collaboration is at the heart of VTEX’s business vision. The platform is designed to make it easy for brands to work with the software development agencies that build and run their storefronts. In addition, third-party service providers and the developer community contribute a wide range of plug-ins that extend the platform with additional services. VTEX’s ecosystem of more than 100 partners is key to helping the company grow worldwide.
APIs are the product
The VTEX platform is made up of a constellation of microservices. Each service has its own API that is relatively small to make it easy to consume. Other APIs enable communication and data sharing between services. Externally available APIs power every interaction on an e-commerce site, from customer login to checkout to order tracking. Brands also use some VTEX APIs for their own internal administration, such as searching order data or routing data to analytics systems.
VTEX shares API information with external developers through Postman Collections that help them explore and understand the APIs. Developers can run requests for common services, like search or authentication, and see the expected behavior in a staging or production environment. VTEX shares collections during the sales cycle and continues to leverage Postman Collections for success and support workflows.
A company-wide repository for API information
Internally, almost everyone at VTEX—more than 600 employees worldwide—regularly accesses API information on Postman. Many teams only need basic training on, or an occasional reference for, some of the APIs. Other teams, such as customer success and sales, use Postman to demonstrate core APIs to prospective partners and customers or to help troubleshoot issues with existing users. Engineering teams can easily onboard new members to the product portfolio so that they can get up and running quickly. Although most developers are already familiar with Postman, many other VTEX staff are not. However, Postman’s ease of use enables them to quickly get comfortable with the platform and the APIs themselves.
Our whole organization uses Postman every day. Whenever someone new joins, part of their onboarding process is to install Postman.
Collaborating with partners on issues and solutions
VTEX also recommends that partners use Postman as part of their daily workflow. VTEX teams sometimes create special collections for partners that walk through specific use cases or explain how to solve particular issues. With Postman Collections, they have an interactive tool that can easily reproduce a scenario and show immediate results, thus reducing support or resolution timeframes. To enhance security, the VTEX team uses variables in the collection URLs that they share with external teams.
Engineers share their work across internal teams
Along with its external APIs, VTEX builds and manages a range of internal APIs that power the platform itself. Across engineering teams, Postman serves as a central repository of API information for developers, QA engineers, product managers, user experience designers, and others as they build and test new APIs and updates. Postman Workspaces help teams maintain a single source of truth during development, and make it easy to share collections throughout the company.
Postman is actually a simple way to communicate between teams. No words needed—I only send a Postman Collection with descriptions for every request, and it has everything a developer needs to know right there.
A simpler approach to integration testing
During development, VTEX teams conduct integrated testing to ensure that updates will perform smoothly on production. They had been using Apache JMeter, but the tool was difficult to use and added complexity to the testing process. The team found that Postman offered a simpler way to achieve the same results. They created a test collection and used Newman, Postman’s command line Collection Runner, to deploy the collection to both staging and production environments. A test script helps testers determine whether or not the requests are producing the correct responses. The team runs the test every two minutes and collects data that they then use for monitoring purposes.
Thanks to Postman’s great documentation, we were able to set up integration testing on Postman in only a couple of days.
VTEX’s thriving culture of collaboration
At VTEX, collaboration is one of the company’s core values that infuses both their product and workplace culture. Postman has become an important tool on both fronts. Whether it’s about development, testing, troubleshooting, or education, Postman provides a standard language and reference that is easy for all to use.