JBS - Spotlight on Wine Access

Building a large, complex business platform with Django and AWS.

At its heart, Wine Access is a marketing campaign driven platform that delivers highly curated wines and wine recommendations to millions of members all over the world. Wine Access also has a store that is stocked with expert recommended vintages and editorial content for wine connoisseurs – articles and facts on famous wine growing regions, tasting notes, food pairings – among other content. Due to regulatory aspects, climate, and a highly limited inventory, Wine Access had a challenging set of business issues to overcome. Feel free to take a look.

At the heart of the platform is a large, sophisticated Django web application hosted within AWS. In addition to powering more common web based tasks such as user management, catalog administration, and serving web pages, we’re also using Django as a tool to help power and orchestrate the various backend tools and technologies that have also been incorporated to help the platform scale and mitigate some of the complexity we have encountered in some of the unique issues Wine Access has had to face.

While incorporating some of the more tradition AWS services such as ELB, EC2, S3 and RDS, we’ve also been leveraging some of the more recent AWS service offerings such as their API Gateway and Lambda services. AWS Lambda is an asynchronous, serverless way of running code based on events. A perfect example of how all these services are integrated would be Wine Access’s order pipeline. Due to the complexities in shipping, compliancy checks, and weather conditions, order information is submitted to an SQS queue (via Django) which acts as an event source for further order processing and finalization via Lambda. Throughout this process, business logic is executed, data is inserted/updated in our data stores, emails are sent (via AWS’s Simple Mail Service), and other integrated 3rd party API calls are made. By leveraging much of the functionality available in the Django platform (management commands, signals, etc…), we have been able to mitigate much of the back-end complexity needed to orchestrate such pipelines, and it has enabled us to keep a very high overall level of productivity.

Wine Access is one of several exciting and unique projects that we have been working on at JBS. If you’re interested in finding out more about who we are and what we do, please visit our website .