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InfoQ eMag: Architectures You Always Wondered About


This eMag has had an unusual history. When we started to plan it the intent had been to look at the different architectural styles of a number of the well known Silicon Valley firms. As we started to work on it though it become apparent that nearly all of them had, at some level, converged towards the same architectural style - one based on microservices, with DevOps and some sort of agile (in the broadest sense) management approach.

According to ThoughtWorks Chief Scientist Martin Fowler the term "microservice" was discussed at a workshop of software architects near Venice in May 2011, to describe what the participants saw as a common architectural style that many of them had begun exploring recently. In May 2012, the same group decided on "microservices" as the most appropriate name.

When we first started talking about the microservices architectural style at InfoQ in 2013, I think many of us assumed that its inherent operational complexity would prevent the approach being widely adopted particularly quickly. Yet a mere three years on from the term being coined it has become one of the most commonly cited approaches for solving large-scale horizontal scaling problems, and most large web sites including Amazon and eBay have evolved from a monolithic architecture to a microservices one. Moreover the style has spread far beyond its Bay Area roots, seeing widespread adoption in many organisations.

In this eMag we take a look at the state of the art in both theory and practice.


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Contents of the Architectures You Always Wondered About: Lessons learnt from adopting Microservices at eBay, Google, Gilt, Hailo and nearForm eMag include:

  • Martin Fowler on Microservice trade-offs - Many development teams have found the microservices architectural style to be a superior approach to a monolithic architecture. But other teams have found them to be a productivity-sapping burden. Like any architectural style, microservices bring costs and benefits. To make a sensible choice you have to understand these and apply them to your specific context.
  • Eric Evans on the interplay of Domain-Driven Design, microservices, event-sourcing, and CQRS – The interview covers an introduction to DDD, how the community’s understanding of DDD has changed in the last 10 years, strategic design, how to use DDD to design microservices, and the connection between microservices and the DDD bounded context.
  • Service Architectures at Scale: Lessons from Google and eBay - Randy Shoup discusses modern service architectures at scale, using specific examples from both Google and eBay. He covers some interesting lessons learned in building and operating these sites. He concludes with a number of experience-based recommendations for other smaller organizations evolving to -- and sustaining -- an effective service ecosystem.
  • Evolutionary Architecture - Randy Shoup talks about designing and building microservices based on his experience of working at large companies, such as Google and eBay. Topics covered include the real impact of Conway's law, how to decide when to move to a microservice-based architecture, organizing team structure around microservices, and where to focus on the standardization of technology and process.
  • Lessons Learned Adopting Microservices at Gilt, Hailo and nearForm - This article contains an extensive interview on the microservices adoption process, the technologies used, the benefits and difficulties of implementing microservices, with representatives from Gilt, Hailo and nearForm.
  • Building a Modern Microservices Architecture at Gilt - After living with microservices for three years, Gilt can see advantages in team ownership, boundaries defined by APIs, and complex problems broken down into small ones, Yoni Goldberg explained in a presentation at the QCon London 2015 conference. Challenges still exist in tooling, integration environments, and monitoring.

About InfoQ eMags

InfoQ eMags are professionally designed, downloadable collections of popular InfoQ content - articles, interviews, presentations, and research - covering the latest software development technologies, trends, and topics.