Yesterday I was very excited to participate to the first YOOXLabs Technology Event: Scaled Enterprise Cloud Services Powered by AWS. YOOXlabs is the new initiative from YOOX to share their passion for technology and innovation.

The agenda was full of speakers from YOOX, with a contribution from Stefano Rodighiero from MusiXmatch. Towards the end, I shared my view of server-less event-driven apps build using AWS Lambda and the Amazon API Gateway.

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At the beginning Alex Alexander, YOOX CIO, introduced the new YOOXlabs initiative and the advantage of a cloud-first approach for the business.

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Gabriele Tazzari, YOOX R&D Director, started with a quick live IoT demo, using a Photon form particle.io to switch a light on/off while keeping a website in sync with the operations. The purpose of it was to show how Cloud helps Innovation, so that building prototypes (and validating them) is now much easier and faster than what was possible before.

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Mirco Patroncini, YOOX CloudOps Manager, introduced how they automatically deploy Wordpress applications using AWS Elastic Beanstalk with a custom Ruby script that is using the AWS SDK to make blue/green deployments. They also have a centralized configuration that can be used by the script to “adjust” any deployment to the right environment, from development to production.

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Riccardo Masetti, YOOX Senior Developer, described the approach and the benefit of adopting the cloud from the developer point of view. A bright idea in my opinion was to leverage that the Wordpress configuration file (wp-config.php) is actually a PHP file and can be much smarter than just contain plain configurations. So they created an XML file that contains a much broader landscape of configurations and depending on the environment the wp-config.php file would read and parse the right info from the XML file. And the wp-config.php is also granted to not be impacted during updates, so all their customizations are safe and preserved for the future. That was brilliant!

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At the end Tommaso Bellagamba, YOOX DevOps, closed the circle started by the previous sessions showing their Enterprise approach to Continuous Deployment on AWS.

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After a nice dinner and some sparkling wine we moved to the front-end with Andrea Verlicchi, YOOX Functional Architect, who showed the advantages of managing CSS using a preprocessor such as SASS and Compass.

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Stefano Rodighiero from MusiXmatch told us the best practices they use to collect, process and share within the company the data generated by mobile apps. They use Amazon Redshift to handle the workload and the huge quantity of data they need to build reports and to pay the licenses for the music lyrics they share with their amazing mobile app.

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As I said, I closed the event with this deck (but you’re missing a few animations here):

Build a Server-less Event-driven Backend with AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway from Danilo Poccia

The all event was recorded (in Italian) and I’ll be more than happy to share the videos as soon as they will be available.