The Benefits of Microservices as a CMS/WCM Architecture Paradigm
Monolithic applications are old news – they’re hard to scale, integrate, and use. That’s partly why a new approach to development has taken hold lately. Microservices are an approach to compose powerful applications from small services, each independent from each other running in its own process. OS-level virtualization, often referred to as container technology, allows to independently deploy and maintain those bits of code, improving agility in application development among several other advantages. They are designed to work autonomously and communicate with other microservices through APIs. Because of their importance to cloud computing, much has been written of them lately, including a write-up in the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. My previous blog post also explored some of the general benefits of microservices – the fact that they are scalable, flexible, able to be continuously optimized, and allow for an open architecture, among other things.
Microservice adoption is on the rise. “Over the course of April-May 2016 DevOps.com and ClusterHQ conducted a survey of 310 respondents regarding their container adoption and usage patterns. 79% of respondents said that their organizations run container technologies, with 76% of them in production environments. This represents a significant advance from last year where only 38% of respondents had deployed containers in production.”*
I believe that as content marketers are challenged to deliver more and more sophisticated, digitally enabled customer experiences, they will need better approaches, microservices being one of them. But what are the benefits to CMS architecture specifically? Let’s take a look.
Fail-safe: Your business likely relies on the uptime of your marketing stack and ensuring that it’s operating at full speed is critical to success—microservices help make that happen. One of the selling points of microservices is their modular nature, which makes them easily swappable. If a microservice fails, there is no need to bring the production system or application down, which makes the entire architecture far more robust.
Interoperability: Today’s marketing stack comprises systems, services (including microservices), and APIs, all of which need to work together. Connecting all of these elements for an easily interoperable stack gives you a more strategic approach to delivering on your organization’s vision of the customer journey and experience with your brand. That’s why we’ve architected FirstSpirit to be highly interoperable with any system, from CRM systems to e-commerce to DAM, ERP and so on. FirstSpirit can easily integrate with any system, and pull or push content to it, or even to any ‘thing’ in the Internet of Things. This approach helps marketers quickly adopt and capitalize on technologies that place the customer at the center of every interaction for competitive omnichannel experiences.
Future-Proof: To keep up with the evolving customer journey, you must be on the top of your technology game. Using a modular approach based on microservices allows organizations to harness the velocity of the technology market to your advantage by leveraging best-in-class capabilities by simply tapping into a microservices API. There’ll be no more conflicts with operating systems, languages, or databases. You simply architect the best stack for your organization’s needs.
Less Expensive to Manage: Because microservices are reusable, they can be assembled and reassembled to build the best applications for your customers, regardless of how their needs change. This gives you not just more flexibility but also saves costs in the long run due to shorter development cycles.
Imagine: a platform that can scale to meet demand when it’s needed (and scale back when it’s not), a platform that has far more capacity for uptime even when something goes wrong, and a platform that works easily with other technologies. This is the empowering vision we have for our clients, giving you the ability, flexibility, and scalability to create and deliver your own compelling customer journeys.