Microservices: Table Stakes in Digitally-Driven Development

Moving to a microservices-based design/build/deploy development approach enables you to deliver on the “multiple deployments a day” timetable that digital requires.

The flexibility and speed-to-deploy advantages of microservices leave traditional three-tier architectures in the dust. With microservices, you can use different programming languages because each microservice has its own database. Tie these technical components together over in an endless variety of applications – and never again build an application from scratch. You can even scale a particular microservice up or down –without impacting the other components. Change microservices’ functionality on the fly without recoding the entire application as frequently as user expectations shift. You can even take several services down for maintenance without your users complaining – because they won’t even notice.

Today, a myriad of tools and technologies stand ready to support microservices. Consider the impact on microservices developers when Docker containers and Cloud Infra became first became commercially available. Developers in large scale development campaigns were no longer required to adhere to traditional provisioning dictates. Now, multiple teams could create and deploy microservices simultaneously and independently, cutting build-to-test-to-deploy cycles from months to days and, in some cases, hours.

Scalability continues to lead the list of microservices’ advantageous benefits – one that is as available to large public enterprises as it is to smaller businesses with limited IT resources. With microservices, you can scale applications up and down as the digital business environment mandates without investing in expensive staff, hardware and infrastructure. With everything in the cloud, capacity and flexibility become unlimited.

But, microservices comes with some important post-build requirements that must be considered. For example, rigorous and vigilant monitoring is warranted to identify database errors, network latency, caching issues and service unavailability as soon as these problems surface. Then, after updates have been made to address these issues, complex testing is needed to verify if the problems’ root causes were resolved without compromising any microservice’s performance across the universe of instances where it is in use. This layered and comprehensive testing can be tedious when multiple applications share foundational microservices.

A national lack of digitally prepared technologists continues to be the gating factor to fully unleashing the rapid-fire power of microservices. Next time, we will discuss how you can overcome that scarcity and power up for microservices at the enterprise level.

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