HONEY, I SHRUNK THE APPLICATIONS
Next-generation agile and response “light” application services are built on the concepts of Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless
Back in the day, applications were vast, cumbersome, and bundled together with traditional user interfaces and hardcoded business logic. Applications would respond prescriptively to input, typically provided by humans via a console, web front end, or fixed user interface. Connecting to other applications was a bespoke project. Enter the science of minimization; building application services that are tiny, stateless, efficient, and scalable. They are flexible and adaptive, responding in real time to events, weaving seamlessly around new situations, needs, and means of use. The keywords that make applications shrink: Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless. Together, they pave the way for the next generation of application services, which are ready for a variety of intent-driven user interfaces and can be connected and integrated by design. Big applications are done. Get your magnifying glass ready.
Sarah Saunders Expert in Residence
- A Technology Business needs open, agile application services that can seamlessly address both current and future needs. A combination of Microservices, APIs, Cloud-native development and “Headless” design has emerged as the blueprint to achieve this.
- Microservices can be viewed as the result of a marriage between component-oriented architecture and service-oriented architecture. Software as a suite is composed of many small, business-driven components with very specific business-domain responsibility.
- An application programming interface (API) provides standardized, open access to an application service or data set, decoupled from the actual user interface of the application. It should be the first thing to consider, when building an application service.
- Creating application services to be deployed “natively” for the cloud means that all well-known benefits of the cloud are built-in by default, such as elasticity, adaptability, scale, security, availability, and efficiency.
- Headless application services do not assume any specific user interface, so they can be accessed in various ways, on top of the more established ones. Think chatbots, voice assistants, car systems, VR/AR and the Metaverse, wearables, and many other “things.”
- The resulting application services deliver one single business capability in an independent, loosely connected, and self-contained fashion. They “do one thing and do it well.”
- New Orleans launched an AI-powered 311 chatbot, “Jazz,” which is reachable using the city website and via text. It provides round-the clock support to citizens with information and service requests.
- Together with Microsoft and a consortium of partners, Capgemini developed the chatbot “Ave” to provide real-time information and advice about the coronavirus, answering the more trivial questions while redirecting users to a human-owned webchat when confronted with a complex query.
- Amazon.com was one of the pioneers of microservices architecture. Decoupling of services enabled the creation of one of the first automated deployment systems, and the prototype for much of what Amazon offers customers today – appropriately named “Apollo” – paving the way to creating what is now known as AWS.
- Ebay.com is also based on an microservices architecture, dividing everything (databases, application tiers, even their search engine) and implementing microservices architecture. The result: eBay could answer the arising challenges of the mounting complexity of the codebase, improving developers’ productivity, and enabling a faster time to market while maintaining the site stability.
- Netflix is one of the earliest adopters of microservices. The story of Netflix turning towards microservices began in 2009, and they still are considered a leader in the field today.
- Faster, scalable, and intent-driven application services that are modular, sustainable, and thus fit for current and future Technology Business purposes.
- Much faster time to market for new business services and products, as the enabling application services can be rapidly selected and integrated
- Less need for massive, troublesome upgrades of entire application suites, as minimized application services are autonomous and only loosely coupled to others
- Better reuse and upcycling of application services, as they can be used, integrated, and interfaced in many ways, wrapping old legacy systems in peripheral microservices – allowing faster adoption, saving scarce human resources and energy.
- Our research shows that 76% of organizations have realized quantifiable benefits from their voice and chat initiatives in a variety of areas, from reducing customer service costs to increased NPS.
- Microservices infrastructure: Kubernetes, communicating event streams such as AWS Kinesis, Google Cloud Dataflow, Confluent, Apache Spark, Kafka
- Voice assistant platforms: Microsoft Cortana, Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Duplex and Assistant, Alibaba’s AliGenie
- Text assistant platforms: WeChat Open Platform, Microsoft Bot Framework, Facebook Messenger Platform, Uipath Druid