Case Study

Bob Familiar and Bob German Featured in SD Times

Digging into Microservices

By Christina Mulligan

Today's monolithic applications are starting to become too big and too complicated for developers to maintain. When developers want to update a feature, they are forced to update the entire application. To solve this problem, organizations have been turning to a new software development approach: microservices.

“Microservice architecture is the idea that rather than building large monolithic applications, where you have one enormous thing that tries to cover thousands and thousands of different pieces of functionality and lots of different business services, we are going to try to break these out into smaller components, each of which represent an individual business action,” said Andrew Phillips, vice president of product management at XebiaLabs. “And then we are going to treat them as independent applications, which can be written and easily updated.”

Monolithic applications have served the software development industry very well for the past 10 to 15 years as organizations have been delivering solutions in the enterprise and on the Web. But when organizations look to deliver software on a continuous basis, the monolithic architecture falls short, according to Bob Familiar, practice director of cloud and services at BlueMetal Architects, a Boston-based software consultancy.

“The reason is that as you are making changes to that software, you are touching the entire surface area of that solution,” he said. “So things like regression testing, any time you touch it, add content, add a new capability, the entire system needs to be regression tested, has to go through the testing stage, and then the entire software product has to be put into production. That is a very heavyweight operation.”

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