Case Study: The ArtNight (Realtainment) digital transformation journey

Get ready to explore the fascinating story of ArtNight, the brand that’s all about turning fun into unforgettable experiences. In this case study, we’re diving into how ArtNight, a part of Realtainment, tackled some digital challenges head-on. Join us on this journey to uncover how creativity, technology, and a touch of innovation came together to create something truly remarkable. Let’s dive into ArtNight’s adventure, where problems met their match and solutions sparked a new digital era.

About the ArtNight (Realtainment)

ArtNight, a part of Realtainment since its establishment in 2016, is all about creating unique experiences. It began with interactive painting sessions in local venues, where participants discovered their artistic flair guided by skilled artists.

Today, ArtNight offers enjoyable events in numerous German cities. Their mission is to transform lives through easily accessible gatherings that break routines, inspire creativity, and foster connections. With a vision to revolutionize entertainment, ArtNight stands as an innovative alternative to mainstream activities.

Selling around 40,000 monthly tickets for ArtNight experiences in 2019 and introducing new brands like PlantNight and BakeNight, this German startup is making waves. Situated in Berlin, ArtNight operates at the intersection of B2C and B2B services, aiming to lead the offline event industry across Europe.

Challenges unveiled

ArtNight had developed a substantial Sylius-based e-commerce platform that orchestrated events through a central Pimcore instance, managing product information. Initially, they employed a Vue Storefront as their shopfront solution, relying on Elasticsearch for data provision. This intricate setup involved Sylius funneling data into an “Elasticsearch-based temporary cache” directly accessible by Vue Storefront.

However, with the arrival of Vue Storefront 2, ArtNight transitioned and took charge of the system in-house, concluding their collaboration with their previous technical partner in early 2022.

By the close of 2022, driven by our expertise in Sylius, Pimcore, and Vue Storefront, ArtNight sought our assistance. They grappled with significant stability issues within Sylius, prompting us to address these critical concerns. With the initial chaos contained, we initiated a meticulous technical analysis. This involved a deep dive into the application’s codebase, architectural structure, and the intricate processes governing code delivery in production.

In collaboration with the ArtNight team, we identified a series of challenges:

  1. Outdated and failing application tests across various levels.
  2. Stale infrastructure-related tests that overlooked proper Sylius-Pimcore communication.
  3. Partially broken payment gateway implementation was constantly polluting application logs, which was a problem in a microservice-oriented architecture, where high observability is a must.
  4. Lack of unified development setup to easily start working with Sylius.
  5. There was a recurrent issue related to sending gift cards to clients which was a technical problem negatively affecting the brand’s credibility.
  6. Continued dependency on an Elasticsearch instance for Sylius e-commerce operations.

Solving challenges, building success

Navigating through the maze of challenges, we charted a course to fortify ArtNight’s system. With determination and collaboration, we tackled critical issues that had been impeding sales and progress. Guided by insightful discussions during technical-focused meetings with ArtNight’s engineering team, we embarked on a plan to establish a rock-solid foundation for business expansion.

Stabilization: A solid starting point

Our primary focus was to shore up the system’s stability. Addressing pressing issues and resolving stubborn bugs that had hindered sales became our immediate priority. Collaborating closely with ArtNight’s engineers, we set the stage for a more dependable environment.

Better testing

Recognizing the potency of existing tests and the potential they held, we swiftly honed in on them. To ensure seamless communication between Sylius and Pimcore, we turned our attention to infrastructure-level checks. Collaborating with ArtNight’s engineers responsible for the system’s inception, we undertook this crucial task with an eye on future dependency updates. This meticulous effort served as a pivotal stride towards streamlining development processes.

Payment problems solved

Later on, together with ArtNight’s business and engineering team, we focused on the payment gateway issues. Errors in the logs were related to the webhook calls from the payment gateway and our first thought was that it can be related to outdated payment gateway integration used by the Sylius e-commerce.

Because upgrading it on a testing environment was a low-hanging fruit – especially after fixing the tests beforehand – we decided to be agile and take this route without extensive debugging first, especially knowing that this upgrade was something that either way should be done. After all our actions, the problem is gone and the logs are clear and readable again.

Streamlining development environment

Afterward, we prepared a unified development environment using Docker and bash scripts. Thanks to that, all developers can set up or recreate the development environment in minutes on any machine with only one command! This is a game changer in comparison to constantly broken local environments and hours spent on fixing them.

Finding and fixing bugs

The next issue we addressed was a recurring one that couldn’t be easily found due to the complexity of the code related to this functionality. Some problems were hard to find because they were hidden in complex code. But we dug deep and tracked them down. Solving these bugs made the system much more reliable. The fix was a one-liner!

Cleaning up Sylius

Later, after all the previous steps and when the application was stable, we decided to remove Elasticsearch usage from the Sylius codebase. Our reasoning was to remove this big and unused functionality (and some dependencies by that) before the big dependency upgrade that was to come. Having all tests green in the beginning, we could verify the effect of our actions after removing each small part and module of the Elasticsearch-related code, and there was a lot of stuff to cover. We modified almost 350 files and removed almost 14.000 lines of redundant code. ArtNight accomplished the biggest outcome by simplifying the infrastructure, eliminating all Elasticsearch instances across all environments, and making the streamlined codebase significantly easier to maintain.

Seamless migrations for robust systems

The next one – and a major thing to do before the dependency update – was to start working with migrations properly. In the client’s code, some vendor migrations’ content was copied and placed in the application code repository, when it shouldn’t be. We’ve managed to sort this out with a specific migration sorter service (to make the vendor migrations run in a valid order and to remove their content from the application-related migrations), and by preparing the appropriate base migration, to be able to set up the database schema from scratch by running migrations in the development environment. Thanks to that, developers can now easily (and properly) work with migrations, which is very important in production-grade applications. In the end, the dependency update could be done properly, without making the technical debt bigger.

Leaving a mark

Now, our goal is to slowly back out of the development, but remain around and help as external consultants with our experience and knowledge. Our work is done, and we’re happy that we could bring so concrete business value to this client.


In this insightful ArtNight case study, we delve into how we teamed up to tackle technical obstacles and craft a more robust e-commerce platform. By resolving critical issues and implementing strategic solutions, ArtNight transformed its system into a stable and efficient environment, driving growth and business success.


If you’re facing similar challenges, let us help you achieve your goals.
Contact us today to explore how we can empower your business!

Table of Contents