I ran into a talented developer last year that was talking about microservices. It’s an interesting concept, one the Netflix has adopted with success. I was excited about the possibilities of using microservices until this guy said that everything could be a microservice and the day of the RDBMS was over.
That was silly, and I’ll admit I struggled to remain polite in the discussion. Eventually I had to walk away because the idea of no RDBMS for any application is a ludicrous as the concept of using an RDBMS for every single system dealing with data. It’s frustrating to talk with someone that views our industry as too black and white. There are many ways to solve any problem and many problems can be handled by a variety of techniques.
However I am intrigued by microservices. It’s an area that I want to continue to research, as I suspect that the idea of small, loosely coupled applications, working in a service-oriented architecture, is a great way to scale systems.
I’m not sure that many of the monolithic, large applications we have in banking, in retail, in supply chain, in a variety of industries are worth rewriting to use SOA concepts. The return just isn’t there, as many of these systems can be served with bigger, faster hardware as they upgrade.
Microservices are interesting, and I suspect we’ll see more of them in the future. I also think that SOA, using messaging services like Service Broker, are a very robust way to build applications. I hope that more developers out there learn about SOA and find ways to start building system that can work well together, but aren’t so highly dependent that changes are difficult or stressful on everyone.