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Computer screen displaying microservices and master data management

Microservices are a hot topic in the tech world and with good reason. These tiny systems form the backbone of a composable enterprise and most digital transformation strategies. They provide unmatched flexibility to businesses previously bound by monolithic application suites. But they present potential downsides when it comes to data management. In this article we'll explore in more detail the relationship between microservices and master data management.

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What Are Microservices?

Microservices are small, autonomous services that can link together. They can function as packaged business capabilities on their own, or work together for a more streamlined business process. While they do communicate with each other, they do not share execution contexts. If packaged business capabilities are the building blocks for larger application suites, microservices are the building blocks for PBCs.

Microservices are API driven services, and use simple HTTP protocols with XML or JSON. They are simpler to construct and deploy compared to monolithic applications or service-oriented architectures (SOAs). Microservices are more flexible in their scalability and composability. The downside is that a microservice ecosystem can become too complex quickly. A solution to this is to link them together with API, potentially creating packaged business capabilities.

What is a Microservice example?

Amazon is a good illustration of the difference between a monolith and a microservice architecture. The Amazon of old was monolithic, with every service tightly grouped together. Many startups begin with a similar structure. The Amazon of today is more microservice-oriented, with most of its services working independently of each other. Here are some more examples of microservices at work.

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What Is Master Data Management?

Since all businesses rely on data, it’s important to make sure the data you store remains true, updated, and relevant. Master Data Management is the process of ensuring data quality by cleansing and discarding redundant and obsolete data. Through master data management, you ensure that your slow-moving data architecture remains uniform and consistent. Master data management ensures that your business maintains a single source of truth.

Storing Master Data

When it comes to storing your own data, businesses have a wealth of options. Many of them boil down to a question of SQL or NoSQL. The right type of server for you will depend on your business needs and your business roadmap. Generally speaking, businesses with an established structure and no plans to change in the future will be happy with SQL. But if you plan to make significant changes, consider a NoSQL server. If you’re still lost, you can reach out to one of our professionals for more guidance.

One new concept in data management is cloud-native or serverless data store. The name is somewhat misleading; you’ll still have your data stored on a server. But the servers are maintained by a third party instead of your IT department. This is favorable for many businesses because of the decrease in overhead costs like server maintenance and security. In this model, the cloud-native service provider takes care of the maintenance and data security concerns.

Microservices and MDM Come Together

Combining a microservice ecosystem with master data management is a somewhat controversial idea. They are fundamentally incompatible at first glance. A microservices architecture by definition works autonomously, and linking it with shared master data undermines that independence. But there are some circles that believe the two need not be at odds and a balance can be struck.

In the end, there can be room for microservices and master data management to coexist and for teams to work with Agile processes. These competing ideas can actually complement each other with a system of checks and balances.

Microservices raise the potential for data redundancies and inconsistencies. An MDM system can correct this issue. Meanwhile, microservices provide the speed and agility to handle business processes and add functionality without compromising business value.

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Start Creating Your Microservices Now

Unite Data and Services With DreamFactory

The key to data integration is effective API management. DreamFactory makes this a breeze from creation to deployment. With the DreamFactory platform, you can create a functional, documented, and secure RESTful API in minutes using your existing database. No coding knowledge is necessary to start — we take care of the API generation for you.

Ready to get started? DreamFactory’s free 14-day trial comes with a guided tour of the API creation process and tutorials for every step. Sign up today!