June 3rd, 2018

Layers, onions, hexagons and the folly of application-wide abstractions

Not only are layered applications difficult to maintain, but the common abstractions they are built on tend to give rise to inflexible implementations that have serious scalability challenges.

May 8th, 2018

How to decompose that monolith into microservices. Gently does it…

You’re rarely given the opportunity to focus on transitioning an architecture to the exclusion of everything else. You may have to get used to the idea that decomposing a monolith is a direction of travel rather than a clear destination.

March 9th, 2018

Microservice preconditions: what needs to be in place before you decompose that monolith…

One of the main benefits of microservices is that they reduce the cost of change. The problem is that you need to make a significant up-front investment to realise this saving. Your first few microservices are more likely to be an expensive and potentially painful undertaking.

January 21st, 2018

Automating Docker image deployments using Azure Container Instances

Azure’s Container Instances provides an easy and quick way to run Docker images without having to learn the various complexities of orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes.

December 13th, 2017

Entity services: when microservices are worse than monoliths

Finely-grained, entity-based services seem to be advocated by some pretty authoritative sources. This is unfortunate as they are something of an anti-pattern that can undermine many of the benefits of decomposing an monolith into micoservices.

November 4th, 2017

Events, sagas and workflows: managing long-running processes between services

An event-driven architecture can give rise to complex chains of events that are difficult to manage. These problems can be mitigated through careful design rather than resorting to shared state databases or workflow engines.

October 3rd, 2017

Managing and throttling serverless scaling with Azure Functions

The serverless promise of unlimited scale-out can be a curse when your downstream processes and data stores have strict limits on throughput. With Azure Functions your options for mitigating this are limited, though the new durable functions may provide an answer…

August 14th, 2017

Swagger is not WSDL for REST. It’s much less useful than that…

Swagger enables the same kind of automated discovery and integration that WSDL was invented to support. In doing so it undermines the design of REST APIs and doesn’t even provide adequate documentation.

July 5th, 2017

Writing unit tests for Azure Functions using C#

You can now write compiled Azure functions in C# with full unit test coverage, though there are a few obstacles along the way.

June 4th, 2017

Can consumer-driven contracts manage breaking change in microservice integrations?

One of the more enduring problems with service integration is managing change in service interfaces. Consumer-driven contracts can help to detect breaking changes, but this visibility comes at a price.

May 26th, 2017

Comparing serverless C# and .Net development using Azure Functions and AWS Lambda

Recently released toolsets for AWS Lambda and Azure Functions are finally making serverless application development available to C# developers.

May 16th, 2017

API management and the return of the enterprise service bus

No self-respecting integration platform is complete without an API management story these days. Is this just a RESTful return of the enterprise service bus?

April 12th, 2017

Using Docker to build and deploy .Net Core console applications

Using Docker with .Net Core is initially straightforward, but to get beyond basic image building you will need to handle more than the simple scenarios demonstrated in quick-start guides.

November 13th, 2016

Handling Protocol Buffers backwards compatibility between versions 2 and 3 using C#

You will inevitably be pushed towards upgrading your protocol buffer messages to Proto3, particularly if you want a client that supports .Net Standard that .Net Core. This can be done, but there are a couple of speed bumps along the way.

October 3rd, 2016

What’s so bad about monoliths anyway…?!

Don’t get me wrong – I am an advocate of decomposing functionality into autonomous services. My reservation is that you need to have a lot of prerequisites in place before you can start leveraging microservices.