Studio Rotate is a premier development agency studio with a focus on ecommerce. Jim Tattersall, co-founder and CTO, is committed to leading projects at the cutting edge, working with the latest stack, and pushing the boundary of digital experiences. Brands such as Chilly’s, Big Green Egg, Wild Cosmetics, and Bamford all trust Studio Rotate to create their online experience and deliver beyond what they themselves could imagine.
That being said, being at the cutting edge has its own set of challenges. One challenge, creating an outstanding experience, is built on top of many integrations, often 10 to 12 per ecommerce for flows such as orders or fulfillment. This leaves them exposed to greater risk of webhook failure, which would cause issues for downstream events.
Rotate relies onCommerce Layer as part of the his composable commerce stack. However, their webhook behavior and rules can cause lots of problems.
For example, after a certain number of failed events Commerce Layer will do a “short-circuit” and stop everything. Imagine if a service went down during the night causing webhooks to fail. Suddenly their flows stops, order fulfillment doesn’t go out the door until a fix is deployed, and Ben ends up in a scenario where he has to manually push data over a few hours to reconcile the problem.
That’s a full day of work spent fixing a scenario that he can’t do anything about.
Fires are the priority. Ben has to deal with issues before doing anything else, only to realize that dropping everything in order to fix things leaves him no time to work on project features.
A webhook error can take a lot of time to recover (as we saw earlier, up to 8 hours) because of a lack of visibility that makes it hard to troubleshoot. His workflow to solve the errors included first finding the error, then troubleshooting, and starting a reconciliation by rerunning all the orders manually from his local machine. And the pains don't end there, now he has to think about throttling… it’s unsustainable.
Spending his time fixing errors on one project is hard enough, imagine if he has 3 projects to maintain success. In the back of his mind he is always thinking about the stack to create the best solution for their client as well as deliver the project on schedule, and solve errors as part of their maintenance and retainer contracts.
To keep projects on schedule, he believed webhook problems were something valuable worth solving. He tried a few solutions to help reduce the fire-fighting. He invested time to learn and use AWS SQS/EventBridge but realized that except for the person setting it up, it was difficult for others to grasp what was happening and take advantage of it.
The alternative was to use RabbitMQ, but he quickly shied away from the solution because he would have the overhead of maintaining the services.
So what now? Ben kept looking for a solution to manage webhooks that gives them visibility and that is easy to use.
On Ben’s search for a solution that would allow him to spend less time on webhook failures and more time delivering more value, as well as ability to be transparent during incidents with clients, he created a wish list. It consisted of:
Ben came across a Hookdeck blog post and shared the solution with Jim. After getting his green light and talking with Alex to validate that Hookdeck is the solution to manage his webhooks, he then proceeded to give Hookdeck a shot.
When I notice a problem, if it’s not Hookdeck, then I have a lot confidence that it’s on the webhook provider’s end.
As soon as he started using Hookdeck, Ben realized how visibility was a game changer for him and his team. No need for an external logging system anymore. His workflow to finding answers boils down to:
Now when we talk about managing over 10 integrations, the visibility allows all his team to see the same “schema” and understand what happened with each customer workflow from start to finish.
Studio Rotate often has a retainer contract on their ongoing project to fix bugs that they have to solve within 12 hours. They use Sentry to capture small issues but rely on Hookdeck to tackle big integration issues.
Recovering from errors went from big headaches to an approachable process
A 8-hour process now takes minutes. It went from having no visibility and manually doing every step of troubleshooting to taking action before it impacts the customer.
Hookdeck is so easy to adopt. No code. Low risk. Incremental.
Ben reassures his clients by suggesting to take one step at the time:
At the end of the process, everyone is happy. Ben and his team are solving clients’ problems quicker than ever while the clients get their time’s worth with more new developments now that there’s a lot less fire-fighting.
With Hookdeck, Ben and his team are able to show data such as time of events and reasons for failures to the clients when they have questions and requests, providing clarity and building trust.
Hookdeck dashboard makes managing webhooks is accessible and enable everyone from the team to move the needle.
Ben noticed that he got his head out of the water and doesn’t deal with fire-fighting anymore. He is able to be more productive by tackling the long list of new developments that’s been slowly piling up and delivering value where he knows Studio Rotate shines.