For a while now I have been telling people I am “working on a small project” – and now is the time to unveil the mystery and introduce Shoppimon – a new start-up which I founded together with a small group of friends, and am currently spending most of my time around.
The idea of Shoppimon is simple – we want to provide Web monitoring and availability analysis which will be useable by, and useful to “normal” people – not only the tech guy, the programmer or the IT specialist, but the site owner, the business owner or even the marketing guy – in other words the real stake holder.
Shoppimon focuses on synthetic monitoring – it simulates real users going through the store and logs their “experience” – any errors encountered, overall time to complete certain actions, etc. – as such it complements real-user monitoring that products like Zend Server provide). In comparison to existing synthetic Web monitoring services, we want Shoppimon to be a snatch to get started with, an inexpensive solution that would be useful to even the smallest commercial site owners, and most important using it should not require one to be a tech savvy person.
Shoppimon is focusing on Magento – a popular PHP / Zend Framework based eCommerce solution. Magento has proved to be a popular eCommerce solution and has grown a rich ecosystem of developers and service providers around it, and has a rich community of users. But as most PHP programmers know, managing Magento’s availability and performance isn’t easy. It’s a heavy application, one of the heaviest PHP apps ever built, and the codebase is somewhat complex. Our goal is to help Magento store owners find (and fix) problems in their stores, and show them how their store compares to others.
This is why we decided to focus Shoppimon on Magento and provide objective scientific data (which we present in an easy-to-digest way) that would help Magento store owners (and in turn their developers and hosting providers) to enjoy smooth sailing.
Technically, Shoppimon is pretty interesting (hey, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it) – it has parts written in different programming languages. It is entirely based on Cloud technologies. The front-end runs on Zend Framework 2.0 (it is possibly the first commercial app to be out there running on ZF 2.0) and on Zend Server. The backend parts mix PHP, Java and Python (a long story…) and uses some very interesting technology to simulate real shoppers browsing around on the Magento sites we test.
In the next few weeks I’ll probably be posting more about how stuff work at Shoppimon under the hood. Stay tuned!