I have been working my way through Building Evolutionary Architectures by Neal Forward, Rebecca Parsons and Patrick Kua. Three senior and respected members of Thoughtworks (also the home of Martin Fowler). Having read and listened to Neal and Rebecca’s presentations and writing I had expected a deeply thought provoking read, but have to admit to being disappointed. There are some good points without a doubt, but the book pretty much focuses on one idea, the application of fitness functions. But I’m not convinced it warrants several hundred pages of a book as result the point does at times feel laboured.
There are some arguments made, that leave me thinking that there is a view that the only answer is microservices in the conventional model of Kubernetes, Docker etc, which I agree is a powerful paradigm to allow solutions to evolve, but it isn’t a silver bullet and not always right in every case (if you have a team lacking the underlying appreciation of the goals, or put in to place in an ad-hoc manner (see Chris Richardson‘s work) it isn’t going to help.
Alongside this, there is little said about the interface definition for microservices (typically APIs of one form or another). Whilst mention of leaky abstractions is made, the material illustrations such as code lead API definitions are omitted (risk being, code changes, the API changes and the impact cascades).
What surprised me the most is the on more than one occasion the books points to ERPs not being sufficiently customisable. Yet, anyone working with ERPs will tell you that ERPs are at their best when you use them to leverage industry best practices rather than crow bar them to fit unconventional ways of operating. If you’re a manufacturer, is fiscal reporting part of your differentiator; probably not, so why not take best practice OOTB.
As usual I have mind mapped things as I read through the book. The dynamic/interactive version is here, the image (but not in full detail) is below.
In January we presented our 1st online training, looking at API Design and use of Apiary and Swagger. Things went well until near the end where for some reason voice and video dropped for no apparent reason. Our coordinator Lindsay kept the recording going and soon as we reconnected I continued the session and went through the Q&A.
So if you missed the end of the end of the training, please do check back with the recording.
If you missed the training – we’ll be rerunning in March – go here.
For those on the training will have seen at the start of the training links to my social media profile, so happy to try respond to any further questions.
We are also scheduled to run the session again in a month or so.
One of the questions received during the session I thought worth mentioning was when would Apiary support Open API 3.0. Well according to their blog very soon, looking forward to it as the OAS 3 does look a little cleaner.
Yes it’s that time of year and Packt have launched their Christmas Promotion where the books and videos are all $5 (£4.76) including the two I’ve co-written and others I’ve tech reviewed.
Based on past trends, this is the best time to get any EBooks you want from Packt, there are other promotions but not as good as this!
My next Packt project (via O’Reilly) is not a book, but a short online training course about good API design, API 1st and some tools that can support an API 1st methodologies. Register for the session here.
It includes a closer look at cloud tools such as Oracle’s excellent Apiary (sorry if this sounds like a sales pitch, but it is a good tool and the words of the found of RestLet confirm this) along with SwaggerHub and a few other options.
A good API goes beyond just the payload definition and I’ll walk through the other considerations and explain why these other areas are important.
Earlier this year, I wrote a short post on Chris Richardson’s book Microservice Patterns (Praise for Microservice Patterns). When the I read the book I mind mapped my notes which can be seen at Mindmap Index or access directly here. The mind map is no substitute, but should act as a reasonable aide-memoire.
We would highly recommend getting and reading the book.
After months of labour, the arrival of new family members for a couple of the authors the Implementing Oracle API Platform Cloud Service book as finally been published. The book has been included into Packt’s Expert series so, earns(?) the privilege of having photos of the authors on the cover. The book can be purchased directly from Packt (go here) or from book retails such as Amazon (here).
It has been an interesting experience. Whilst working as part of a team of four authors lightened the writing load, a lot more energy went into communication so things were lined up. If you want a challenge, why not read the book and try to work out who wrote which chapters!
I’ve been reading Chris Richardson’s new book Mixroservice Patterns published by Manning (here or here). Whilst I haven’t finished the book yet, I have read enough to feel I can provide worthwhile observation.
The book is supported by Chris’ website microservices.io which provides the patterns and related content in summarised form – great for a memory jogger and quick reference, but doesn’t make a substitute for the book.
When it comes to the book, Chris’ writing is extremly engaging whilst economic with its language – no long passages when a short sentence can convey everything necessary (unlike this one for example 🙂 ). For example, in three short paragraphs is an explination as to why there is a tendancy for IT people to point at particular technologies or techniques as silver bullets. As a result is incredibly informative and points to sources that inform the thinking – such references can be as diverse as Sam Newman’s Building Microservices to the (real) architect Christopher Alexander and Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind).
The book is grounded in honest real world thinking being upfront and clearly pointing to when Microservices aren’t the right answer, to talking about the difficulties that can be expected in working with microservices. This won’t surprise anyone who has heard Chris speaking (here for example).
A recommended read.