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Microservices and CI/CD

Creating a Working Partnership

What are Microservices?

Microservices are not magic, but they are an effective approach to breaking up an application into usable components that can then be connected together to form systems. Microservices have captured a great deal of attention in the software development community because they promise to:

  • Help iterate application functionality more quickly and with less fuss and bother.
  • Open up the real power and capabilities of the cloud for your applications and users.

What Makes Microservices Different for CI/CD?

Don’t worry. Your investment in CI/CD software tools and training is was not in vain and they can still do the job for which you invested in them.

  • Is loosely-coupled making use of little or no knowledge of the definitions of other microservices and communicating by message passing rather than RPCs, function calls or method calls — meaning that it can be deployed individually rather than in a larger executable.
  • Is autonomous and can be developed and modified with less coordination among different development teams — reinforcing the requirement that it be small and focused on a single task.
  • Is independently deployable and can be individually tested, rolled out, and rolled back without impacting other microservices —meaning that it must be testable alone, without an enabling framework, and must be deployable in a cloud container. Deployment, operation, and monitoring are usually best managed through a container orchestrator like Kubernetes.

What to Do?

It should be apparent that services need CI/CD to be fully microservices. It is also pretty obvious that the proliferation of deployable code units created by the microservice pattern can make CI/CD a logistical necessity. The only real choice is whether to use available commercial and/or open source tooling, or to roll your own. Barring any truly unique organizational constraints, that choice is easy.

Additional Reading

If you would like to read some more microservices, we recommend Software Architecture for the Cloud and Multi-Cloud Apps: Part 1, Mastering the Actor Model.

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Dick Dowdell

A US Army Vietnam War veteran with a wonderful wife and family, I’m a software architect and engineer who has been building software systems for 50 years.