In a multi-channel world, businesses must be able to present and connect on an array of platforms and devices. Enabling business to happen where it needs to in a consistent way doesn’t happen by an accident – it happens with microservices.
Microservice architecture is a way of building a digital estate where processes are broken down into separate processes driven by small (micro) independent services. In business terms, instead of everything being in one big box that does lots of things (e.g. PIM + CMS + CRM + Ecommerce), there are lots of little specialised boxes that are then knitted together through a central hub called middleware. This gives a host of benefits detailed in our section WHY MICROSERVICES, but in short introduces resilience, agility, and speed into digital infrastructure. This means it can unlock valuable development outputs in a shorter period with the capability to grow and adapt as technology changes, without having to do big re-platform exercises every few years.
Have you found this page because you are looking for information on headless websites? A headless website is often part of a microservice estate but not always. Head over to our headless page to find out more.
Resilient & Robust
The alternative approach to a technical estate is called ‘monolithic’. This is a traditional big-box solution where a business will look to have one or two core all-in-one systems that provide most of the features required. These systems are then typically extended through a marketplace or custom development to connect to other systems or provide additional features. While these systems have benefits of everything being under one roof in a common language, they also have limitations. A single code base means deployments touch everything, customisations must be managed through an update path and a broad set of features typically precludes specialism, meaning the toolset can only take the business so far and at a considered pace. Typically, these tools are best suited where they are going to be used as-is with minimal customisation. Businesses who accept that these systems have a shelf-life and use them to unlock a stage of growth, or plan to introduce specialism in high-need areas, succeed the most with a monolithic architecture.
We believe microservices unlock value across the whole business, not just for technical teams. This is because microservices can:
There are lots of acronyms and terms floating around the microservice space. Here are a few common ones that you might hear and what they mean: