Design patterns

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

3 June 2018

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.

The poor man’s Cassandra: scaling Azure Table Storage to maximise throughput.

22 July 2017

Azure Table Storage can be tuned for high throughput workloads, but you’ll probably be faced with some difficult trade-offs.

A simple (yeah, right...) guide to using Redux with React.js

12 February 2017

Learning React.js always starts so well, but adding Redux into the mix can make things unnecessarily complex. The lack of accessible examples doesn’t help - this is an attempt at writing a stripped down, bare bones introduction that focuses on the main ideas behind Redux.

Event stores and event sourcing: some practical disadvantages and problems

7 January 2017

Event stores and event sourcing are a powerful idea, but they can be vulnerable to a number of technical and operational challenges when faced with real world complexity.

What’s so bad about monoliths anyway…?!

3 October 2016

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.

Designing an event store for scalable event sourcing

29 July 2016

Event sourcing can scale very nicely, though this does depend on a number of key design decisions for the underlying event store.

Is “Serverless” architecture just a finely-grained rebranding of PaaS?

2 June 2016

Serverless computing makes bold promises of development without having to worry about environments, scaling or deployment. Haven’t we been here before?

What do we actually mean when we say business logic?

14 April 2016

In most cases “business logic” just refers to the poorly-defined “gloop” that sits between user interfaces and databases in layered architectures.

API gateways and the dangers of creeping middleware scope

23 March 2016

An API gateway can solve many generic problems in an API infrastructure, but you do need to define a clear remit and protect against creeping scope.

Can cross-cutting concerns really exist between services?

25 July 2015

You might be able to identify cross-cutting concerns in a monolith, but in a service-orientated world they should melt away into specific implementations.

Refactoring large monoliths to microservices: strategies, risks and pragmatic reality

5 May 2015

Large scale rewrites of systems are loaded with risk. You can address this by preparing the ground in advance and adopting an incremental approach, but a willingness to be pragmatic is essential.

How big is a microservice?

9 March 2015

We know that micro services are small and focused by design – just how small is this in practice?