Introducing Electrode, an open source release from @WalmartLabs

Alex Grigoryan
Oct 3, 2016 · 5 min read

In less than one year, Walmart.com has completed its migration to React/Node.js and we are proud of that accomplishment! The goal was to build a new application platform to help @WalmartLabs and its engineers scale for the future.

Today, we are excited to announce the open source release of Electrode, the application platform powering Walmart.com.

Walmart.com at Scale

80 million monthly visitors, loads up to 10,000 requests per second, and 15 million items, adding more than one million new items each month is what Walmart.com’s scale is all about. With an e-commerce business that holds the number two online retailer spot in the U.S., we needed not just to scale Walmart.com, but to really leverage the talent and creativity of our engineering base.

Core Goals

In e-commerce development, platform migration is serious business. Technology evolves constantly and it’s important to move and adapt to stay competitive. However, transforming an engineering organization is a completely different story. With over a few hundred engineers, and dozens of applications, the Electrode platform was built to solve core problems that every large scale organization faces:

The problems we solved at @WalmartLabs, we want to solve for the community. So that’s what Electrode gives you out of the box — solutions to the above problems.

Electrify your App!

Our philosophy in creating Electrode was that developers should be able to take just what they need, without having to change the structure of their app. That’s why we split it into three parts: Electrode Core, Electrode Modules, and Electrode Tools.

1. Electrode Core - Get new projects started quickly with a simple, consistent structure that follows modern best practices.

2. Electrode Modules - Access pre-packaged modules that help complete a variety of complex tasks and features, from server-side render caching to flexible configuration management. These modules can be used independently of Electrode Core, which means you can integrate them into your existing apps

3. Electrode Tools - Use our powerful tools, which include a tool that enables discovery of reusable components (Electrode Explorer) and another to help optimize JavaScript bundles (Electrify and Bundle Analyzer). These tools can be consumed by existing applications independently without consuming Electrode core.

In short, Electrode is a quality platform for building universal React/Node.js applications. It’s powering Walmart.com. And, now developers can use Electrode Platform as a whole or take its pieces, as appropriate.

The impact of Electrode on @WalmartLabs

Investing in the Future

We are still improving Electrode. Future enhancements will include a deeper focus on mobile, enhancements in performance, and more — and because @WalmartLabs is committed to open source, our investment is an investment for all developers who want to use Electrode.

We are excited to see what developers will build with Electrode. Check out the electrode.io site, dive into Electrode’s features in detail, use our Getting Started: Quick Guide to start building now, or just check out our GitHub.

Special Thanks

A very special thanks to Laurent Desegur, our VP of Engineering who supported us every step of the way. Without him, the platform, the transformation, and the open source release wouldn’t have been possible.

Thanks are due to Jack Herrington, who led a grassroots campaign evangelizing React and energizing developers.

Thanks to Joel Chen, Arpan Nanavati, and Caoyang Shi.

Thanks to our leadership and everyone else who played a part in making Electrode a success story.

Walmart Global Tech Blog

We’re powering the next great retail disruption.

Walmart Global Tech Blog

We’re powering the next great retail disruption. Learn more about us — https://www.linkedin.com/company/walmartglobaltech/

Alex Grigoryan

Written by

Building Application Platform @WalmartLabs. Focused on Customer Experience. Fan of Python, Node.js, and React

Walmart Global Tech Blog

We’re powering the next great retail disruption. Learn more about us — https://www.linkedin.com/company/walmartglobaltech/