Four51 may not be on the list of prominent Valley startups, but that’s not just because it’s been around for 16 years. (It’s mostly because the company is based out of Minneapolis.) Today, the company unveiled its own major product launch, away from the hustle and bustle of the Valley. That product, however, has plenty of Silicon Valley cache.
OrderCloud.io was launched yesterday by Four51 in an effort to bring better e-commerce customization and support to developers building online stores. Steve Davis, CTO of Four51, said that the company has put its 16 years of experience to use in developing OrderCloud.io.
“We’ve taken and converted 16 years of business logic development through a SaaS application and exposing it entirely through an API,” said Davis. “As time went on, feature requests became almost entirely around custom UI and custom workflows, which is tough to accommodate.”
(Related: Tableau introduces new APIs)
Thus, the company moved to an all-API strategy, allowing the functionality of its platform to stay constant while the presentation layer remained in the domain of the end developer.
Mark Johnson, CEO of Four51, said, “The way software is built is changing rapidly. Speed and customization rule and, by virtue of that, developers are in the driver’s seat, and they have different needs. The B2B e-commerce market is moving away from on-premise solutions and toward an API-based approach. Research indicates that nearly 90% of the trillion-dollar market is in play as companies create their digital transformation.
“We’ve moved quickly to disrupt with the only API-first, fully exposed B2B e-commerce platform, and development partner feedback has been outstanding. In 2016 alone, we’ve added 41 software integrator partners, several with active solutions or planned solutions in process for companies in the U.S. and U.K.”
To that end, OrderCloud.io is a RESTful API that encompasses most of the capabilities available in Four51’s SaaS e-commerce platform. “Developers are the drivers of digital transformation. They are continually looking to break down obstacles of production,” said Davis. “They want to discover platforms and immediately become productive. They want robust APIs with great documentation, community support and quality development tools—all of which they will find with OrderCloud.io.
“With our API-first platform, developers don’t have to commit to costly monolithic systems. They can offset the complexity of B2B e-commerce and focus on their customer’s solution and user experience.”
OrderCloud.io is offered as a pay-per-order service, meaning that developing an application with the OrderCloud.io API is free. Charges only accrue when orders are made by customers on the platform.