Microservices, why we’re a fan, how we help you adopt them

Microservices has lately become a hot topic: on blogs, slideshare, etc.

Microservices is hot – Active bloggers like Martin Fowler and Active speakers like Adrian Cockcroft have blogged, spoken, and posted on slideshare on this topic. Even Gartner’s Gary Oliffe has even recently conducted a webinar called “Time to Get Off the Enterprise Service Bus?”  (I’ve also posted some links at the bottom to these references.)

At Software AG, we’re a huge fan of the concept of microservices.

In fact, we’ve had many customers doing this for years, and have made numerous enhancements to our webMethods Integration Platform and broader product suite over many releases that enable easier adoption and support of this architecture pattern.

The Microservices Architecture is actually central to how we’ve been re-architecting the webMethods platform for the Cloud. Microservices don’t mandate your deployment topology. They give flexibility to use services within a variety of topologies. This approach is about component-ization and independence. That is an ideal fit for Cloud.

You may be asking, “What is a microservice?”

I’ll share the Wikipedia definition and link:

“In computing, microservices is a software architecture design pattern, in which complex applications are composed of small, independent processes communicating with each other using language-agnostic APIs.[1] These services are small, highly decoupled and focus on doing a small task.[2]

The core point of microservices is that, being decoupled, they don’t force a particular topology on you. They are designed to be atomic and “self-contained” so that you can deploy them independently. You can also use them as simple building blocks for applications, like software Legos™. This means you could deploy them out into the Cloud. You could also deploy them into a “monolithic” OnPremise ESB, or into segmented, dispersed run-time containers, what you might call “micro-ESBs” around your Enterprise. That also makes it easier to use them in many projects without interlocking these project work streams.

Why use microservices?

You might need to:
  • deploy the logic into different projects and into different topologies
  • make the testing of your services easier to automate, allowing for better continuous integration adoption and Agile development
  • make deployments easier by removing complex inter-dependencies
  • enable easier adoption of them into public and private Clouds and easier scalability
  • deploy services into smaller components as a part of your “Internet of Things” strategy, or what I prefer to call the “Internet of Everything.” IoT leaves out the most important part of technology, PEOPLE!

What are examples of where your customers have used a microservices pattern?

  • Retailers, who run microservices inside a “slimmed down” version of our ESB container in every one of their hundreds, even thousands of retail stores
  • Kiosk vendors who to run services that gather information from tens of thousands of kiosks
  • Hospitality Industry customers, who need to run these services inside Hotels, Casinos, Cruise Ships, or Resorts.
  • Launch a multi-tenant, elastically scalable, component-ized Cloud Integration Platform (OK, this is actually Software AG)
  • Be able to dynamically launch and run hundreds of different demos in the Amazon Cloud (OK, this last use case is also Software AG)
Those a just a few of numerous examples of how some of our customers are adopting a more componentized, automated, elastic architecture with our webMethods Integration Platform.

This helps to explain why this pattern has been a central driver for numerous product enhancements in our webMethods Platform, including:

  • Adoption of OSGi across all our Java components to enable flexible runtime deployments
  • Introducing our Command Central console for
    • Automated Management, Deployment, Installs and Configuration,
    • Templated Environments & Elastic Scalability
    • Centralized Control: Across Numerous Runtimes and even Numerous Multi-Component Environments
  • Enhanced Focus on Continuous Integration
  • Increased Focus on Componentization Across Our Platform
  • Many, many more features.
In my next blog, I’ll talk about how we enable easier management, deployment and governance of Microservices with many capabilities that have been added to our platform over the past few years.
I’m also collaborating with a team from our R&D and Product Management on authoring a whitepaper on Best Practices for Microservices Adoption with the Software AG webMethods Integration Platform. This will be shared on our tech communities site.

A list of the references for more reading on what others have said on this topic below:

[1] Martin Fowler’s article:
[2] Sam Newman. Building MicroservicesISBN 978-1-4919-5035-7.
Adrian Cockroft Slideshare from one of his talks on Microservices and Cloud:
Gartner’s Gary Oliffe’s Webinar:
 Microservices, why we’re a fan, how we help you adopt them

About John DesJardins

John DesJardins has written 5 posts in this blog.

John DesJardins is passionate about collaborating with leaders across industry on innovative technology solutions. Customers and Consumers form the nexus of innovation in this ecosystem. UX has become the accelerator that drives transformation, while technology itself has become ubiquitous and as inherent in what we do as the air we breath or the clothes we wear. We are already entering the second generation of the Post-PC era: beyond mobile into Internet of Things and Augmented Reality, while most of those in IT are still trying to grasp the concepts such as Mobile-First, Design Thinking, Agile Development, and Continuous Engineering. John provides his leadership, industry knowledge, and innovative vision to evangelize our solutions to ensure the success of our strategic customers. John leads our solution engineering team working in the South-East US in partnering with those customers to achieve the high level of partnership that we have set.

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