Articles tagged 'architecture'

Crisis of the Monolith

Last week I gave a presentation at the first meetup for Melbourne Microservices. Since many of us are aware of the general characteristics of microservices I wanted to survey the broader context of forces driving the emergence of microservices as a potential new application architecture.

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PaaS: Only a Part of The Composable Enterprise

Is PaaS the secret sauce for the Composable Enterprise? Certainly Warner Music Group and their CTO Jonathan Murray have put a lot of effort into using CloudFoundry as the container for applications in their new enterprise. But I think PaaS is only one side of the coin.

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Value Cross Referencing in Integration

In almost every integration project in existence, you’ll find that at some point you need to map one set of representative values to another. It doesn’t take long to think of a few common examples. Lets take two hypothetical systems named Xup and Yonder. How do they each represent countries in addresses?

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The Digital Enterprise Shift

Continuing my series on the Composable Enterprise I’m looking at how different thought-leaders and organizations perceive the shift from our current methods of doing business to the digital platforms that will drive future, more agile businesses. This week I cover the “The Digital Enterprise Shift”, a whitepaper written last year by Neil Ward-Dutton, co-founder and Research Director at MWD Advisors and a prominent member of the enterprise architecture community.

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Characterizing Microservices

My last microservices post welcomed the opportunity to further the conversation about service oriented architectures, because frankly the SOA job isn’t done yet. But I didn’t actually talk about what microservices are. Here I write down a simple definition.

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Composable Capabilities on Demand

My last post on the Composable Enterprise gave an overview of Jonathan Murray’s manifesto. While this is leading edge stuff, it is by no means new. We’ve been aiming for composable architectures for many decades now, going back to DCE and CORBA and perhaps even earlier. This speaks to how difficult the challenge is and how our approaches change with lessons learned from previous attempts.

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Microservices! Really?

My colleague Yamen recently started the Sydney Microservices meetup group and the response was surprisingly strong with more than 86 people registered within 10 days. The first meetup on September 3 has 36 RSVPs. This is merely a local indication of the buzz that surrounds microservices at the moment.

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The Composable Enterprise

Fifty-five percent of businesses are under threat from digital disruption. An MIT CISR Research Report that landed in my inbox this morning reports that out of a sample of 105 senior executives that attended a recent workshop on digital business models, 55% assess their business as being in the "red zone"—significant threat of digital disruption.

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Alfresco Partnership for Activiti BPM

Business process management (BPM) is one of the key capabilities in our layered architecture. When you're building out services—liberating the data and functions from your back-end systems—you're only doing that for one purpose; to operate on those systems through external channels. You want these capabilities to be available to your customers, your business partners and your internal business processes. A stand-alone business process engine enables you to manage and orchestrate processes that cut across system and organizational boundaries. These processes consist of automated tasks as well as human tasks.

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Business Insights from Data in Motion

Building distributed systems is our métier. One lesson we learned very early is the importance of visibility across all the elements in a system. But the more extended and loosely coupled your systems, the harder it is to achieve the visibility required. Loose coupling promotes availability and resilience but works against oversight and control. This is essentially a corollary of the CAP theorem. The challenge is very applicable to microservices as described by Benjamin Wootton in his article "Microservices - Not A Free Lunch!." 

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Platforms Beat Monoliths

IT goes through cycles—fat clients vs thin clients, centralised mainframes vs distributed computing. These tend to be areas where the costs and benefits of either end of the spectrum are difficult to discriminate between the alternatives. It takes time for the industry to settle on an equilibrium position, and quite often technology change shifts the equilibrium before it is reached.

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The Benefits of A Layered Architecture

Perhaps the number one problem in enterprise IT is 'change'—how to handle it and how to keep up with a changing world. Gartner says that "IT organizations' application strategies often aren't dynamic enough to handle changes in technology." 

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The Value of Integration

There are two ways to look at integration:

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Warp Speed on the Composable Enterprise

Deeply ingrained in our philosophy at Sixtree is the idea of building solutions by composing services to fit a unique business need. Nothing really new here, people have been talking about "mashups" about "service composition" and "composite applications" for a while and we've seen our customers derive great benefit from this approach. But what is really exciting is the way that cloud and software as a service (SaaS) really kicks this philosophy into high gear. The majority of our projects in the last two years have involved SaaS integration and that demand is accelerating. 

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