As the world renowned frontrunner of enterprise e-commerce platforms, Hybris is the obvious choice for taking your online business to the next level.
Updated May 21, 2014

As the world renowned frontrunner of enterprise e-commerce platforms, Hybris is the obvious choice for taking your online business to the next level.

Erin Riggers | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

5.0.1

Modules Used

  • B2C Storefront
  • B2C Mobile Storefront
  • B2B Storefront
  • WCMS

Overall Satisfaction with Hybris

Razorfish has formed a partnership with Hybris and have adopted the platform as our primary e-commerce offering going forward. My technology division, Razorfish West, led the charge in launching the organization's first implementation for West Marine in February of 2014. Several other Hybris initiatives are in active development throughout the company nation-wide.
  • Solid architecture upon the Java Spring framework
  • Clear, efficient separation of presentation and data layers
  • Easy to setup and maintain local development environment
  • UI layer easy to extend, or re-tool to fold in preferred frameworks and utilities.
  • CMS Cockpit is slow and inefficient for performing certain kinds of content management and template manipulation tasks. I often defer to the HMC, but this is not a feasible option for our client's content management team.
  • The OOTB UI code that ships with v5.0.1 is several years behind industry standard front end technology. v5.1 shows no promise of significant improvements in this arena. Some things I'd like to see: Dropping the Blueprint framework in favor of something Like Bootstrap, Less Framework or AngularJS. Jquery and key dependent plug-ins need to be upgraded and large, over-featured plugins like JQuery UI abandoned. SASS + Compass should replace static CSS. Granule should be dropped in favor of better tools for JS dependency management, code minification, and file concatenation.
  • Maintaining independent codebases for Desktop and Mobile views increases UI development hours by a margin of 30-50%. Natively supporting the option to configure a responsive design with a framework such as AngularJS would offer flexibility to serve up content and site chrome targeted at a wider range of device classes than just desktop machines and mobile phones.
  • With one solid Hybris implementation live, and another on it's heels in Q3, we've built significant in-house expertise in the platform. As we win more Hybris business, our ability to rapidly implement performant and unique e-commerce solutions for our clients can only improve.
I truly enjoy leading Hybris development projects and participating in new feature development for the platform. I see huge potential for growth and hope to be instrumental in bringing Hybris to the bleeding edge of presentation layer technology.
Hybris is straightforward to implement and customize for teams well versed in the Java Stack. The learning curve for technical staff with no exposure to Java is quite steep. Official training courses targeted at front end implementation would be tremendously beneficial in jump-starting productivity for those who fall into this category.

Using Hybris

sales, client engagement, technology leadership, new feature development and testing.

Hybris Implementation

I give this an 8 instead of a 10 because in hindsight, while I am extremely happy with the platform and the things I've learned through my exposure to it, I also see so many areas for improvement in the outcome of my efforts.

My advice to front end developers working with Hybris and/or the Java stack for the first time, is to not be intimidated by it. Question everything. Trust your intuition. Do not be afraid to refactor or completely replace something that appears integral to the platform if you see a clear benefit to doing so. It's much less far reaching than you think and the core system will not come crumbling to its knees if you make broad sweeping alterations. In fact, the energy you will expend to retool your site with a new framework will grow in tandem with the amount of time you spend hesitating, and at some point may become critical enough to force your hand while simultaneously becoming risky enough to destabilize your entire project delivery. If you don't like JQuery UI, punt it. If you don't care for the Blueprint CSS framework, burn it down. Making the strategic decision to adopt the toolset that best fits your organization from the very beginning will pay off in spades.

  • Implemented in-house
  • Professional services company
Implemented with a combination of in-house resources and experts contracted through Sceneric that worked both on-site in the Razorfish offices and remotely from Europe. I cannot say enough good things about Sceneric.
Yes - We organized the project into eight 3-week feature development sprints, a stabilization phase where we focused on critical defect resolution, and a UAT phase prior to launching the site.

Development of the sister site is underway and organized in a similar fashion.
Change management was a major issue with the implementation - With the scope of an initiative like this one being so large, there are always challenges in managing changing business needs of the client, scope creep, unforeseen technical hiccups, and all of the other things that contribute to churn. There was nothing unique to Hybris about the issues we faced.

The only thing I would say in regards to lessons learned specific to my own area of expertise, is that I would have put a great deal more effort prior to starting feature development, into scrutinizing the front end architecture that ships with Hybris to make certain it would scale to accommodate inevitable deviation from original specifications and allow adoption of new tech as it becomes relevant.
  • Steep learning curve for front end developers not already well versed in the Java stack
  • Hybris documentation, at the point of project initiation a year ago, was too sparse to be helpful in the training of new members of my team.
  • Impex files and the placement of significant portions of presentation layer code within them, was highly problematic for my UI team. One of the major functions of impex files is to store default CMS editable site content, and it was an arduous process to learn best how to troubleshoot and resolve defects for functionality that came from the markup stored within them.

Using Hybris

Figuring out the CMS tools took some time. Supporting documentation is sparse.

I also found the tools to be slow at times, making simple template edits an arduous process.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Feel confident using
Familiar
Requires technical support
Cumbersome
  • Via the HMC, bulk modifications to templates, modules, products, etc, were very easy to make
  • Editing templates via the CMS cockpit was very intuitive and straightforward.
  • The preview and live edit features in the CMS cockpit were incredibly helpful.
  • Understanding how Endeca integrated with the product catalog and categorization took some time to wrap my brain around.
  • Documentation around category restrictions and other vital configuration details is sparse, requiring a lot of trial and error to learn when and how to apply them.
Yes - The mobile interface should be dropped entirely in favor of responsive design support.

Because the mobile site is an entirely separate codebase, supporting it required my team to author a lot of duplicate functionality with only slight differences between the desktop and mobile implementations.