On July 19th DreamFactory hosted another expert panel discussion, this time addressing the topic of microservices. The panel brought to the table two thought leaders and industry experts — Kin Lane, the API Evangelist, and our friend, Analyst, Architect, Adviser, and frequent Forbes contributor Janakiram MSV, whom we couldn’t get enough of following the IoT panel discussion.The discussion, moderated by VP of Product Ben Busse, took aim at the subject of designing web-scale workloads with microservices.
If microservices are an alien concept to you, don’t worry! What microservices are and why they matter is explained by Janakiram in the first few minutes of the panel to help kick things off and set the stage for the remainder of the discussion. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that the microservices architecture is a method of developing applications as autonomous independently-deployable modules that work together using lightweight protocols for communication, such as REST. Each module runs a unique process required for the application and can be scaled independently.
This architectural style is gaining momentum with developers because it allows agile teams to move away from traditional monolithic architectural styles that call for the deployment of the entire stack to an application server. Managing change and implementing modifications using the traditional monolithic style is costly both in time and resources. Incremental changes often result in rebuilding and redeploying an application entirely. Janakiram also touched on the technologies driving modern microservices architectures including the rise of containers such as Docker and orchestration tools like Kubernetes and Docker Swarm, as well as some of the earlier technologies that preceded these.
After Janakiram laid the foundation for understanding microservices, the conversation shifted to APIs and microservices where Kin Lane laid out some of the business drivers. To understand where we are today with regards to APIs and microservices you first need to understand some of the recent history of APIs. Kin does exactly this in the webinar explaining how the business of APIs took off in the early 2000s with several API management providers leading the first wave of APIs. This of course led to the present second wave of APIs that DreamFactory is a part of. This second wave of APIs encourages new ways of thinking about legacy data stores such as databases in a consumer-centric approach. Employing a microservices approach and decoupling monolithic web apps allows resources such as legacy databases to take on new life when used with a platform like DreamFactory.
With an API-first approach more devices can be connected across multiple clouds delivering this data to consumers and partners where it can be used to drive business processes and create new workflows. To summarize, the way applications are being architected using microservices and data is being delivered in this second wave of APIs is changing the way we do business in the evolving digital economy.