New Distributed Primitives for Developers

Object-Oriented Primitives (in-process primitives)

As a Java developer, I’m well familiar with object-oriented concepts such as class, object, inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism, etc. In addition to the object-oriented concepts, I’m also well familiar with the Java runtime, what features it provides, how it manages my applications, what would be the life cycle of my object and the application as a whole, etc.

And for over a decade, I’ve used all the primary tools, primitives, and building blocks as a developer to create applications. In my mental model, I would use classes as components, which would give birth to objects that are managed by the JVM. But that model has started to change recently.

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Microservices Deployments Evolution

Microservices Are Here, to Stay

A few years back, most software systems had a monolithic architecture and slow release cycle. In the recent years, there is a clear move towards Microservices architecture, which is optimized for scalability, elasticity, failure, and speed of change. This trend has been further enforced by the adoption of cloud and containers, which also enabled practices such as DevOps.

Trends in the IT Industry

All these changes have resulted in a growing number of services to develop and an even bigger number of deployments to do. It soon became clear that the explosion in the number of deployments cannot be controlled using pre-microservices tools and techniques, and new ways have been born. In this article, we will see how Cloud Native platforms such as Kubernetes allow deployment of Microservices in high scale with minimal human intervention.

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Spring Cloud for Microservices Compared to Kubernetes

Spring Cloud and Kubernetes both claim to be the best environment for developing and running Microservices, but they are both very different in nature and address different concerns. In this article we will look at how each platform is helping in delivering Microservice based architectures (MSA), in which areas they are good at, and how to take best of both worlds in order to succeed in the Microservices journey.

Background Story

Recently I read a great article about building Microservice Architectures With Spring Cloud and Docker by A. Lukyanchikov. If you haven’t read it, you should, as it gives a comprehensive overview of what it takes to create a simple Microservices based system using Spring Cloud. In order to build a scalable and resilient Microservices system that could grow to tens or hundreds of services, it must be centrally managed and governed with the help of a tool set that has extensive build time and run time capabilities. With Spring Cloud, that involves implementing both functional services (such as statistics service, account service and notification service) and supporting infrastructure services (such as log analysis, configuration server, service discovery, auth service). A diagram describing such a MSA using Spring Cloud is below:

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MSA with Spring Cloud (by A. Lukyanchikov)

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From Fragile to Antifragile Software

One of my favourite books is Antifragile by Nassim Taleb where the author talks about things that gain from disorder. Nacim introduces the concept of antifragility which is similar to hormesis in biology or creative destruction in economics and analyses it charecteristics in great details. If you find this topic interesting, there are also other authors who have examined the same phenomenon in different industries such as Gary Hamel, C. S. Holling, Jan Husdal. The concept of antifragile is the opposite of the fragile. A fragile thing such as a package of wine glasses is easily broken when dropped but an antifragile object would benefit from such stress. So rather than marking such a box with “Handle with Care”, it would be labelled “Please Mishandle” and the wine would get better with each drop (would be awesome woulnd’t it).

shipping_box_example

It didn’t take long for the concept of antifragility to be used also for describing some of the software development principles and architectural styles. Some would say that SOLID prinsiples are antifragile, some would say that microservices are antifragile, and some would say software systems cannot be antifragile ever. This article is my take on the subject.

According to Taleb, fragility, robustness, resilience and antifragility are all very different. Fragility involves loss and penalisation from disorder. Robustness is enduring to stress with no harm nor gain. Resilience involves adapting to stress and staying the same. And antifragility involves gain and benefit from disorder. If we try to relate these concepts and their characteristics to software systems, one way to define them would be as the following.

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Create Resilient Camel applications with Hystrix

Apache Camel is a mature integration library (over 9 years old now) that implements all the patterns from Enterprise Integration Patterns book, but Camel is not only an EIP implementation library, it is a modern framework that constantly evolves, adds new patterns and adapts to the changes in the industry.

Apart from tens of connectors added in each release, Camel goes hand-in-hand with the new features provided by the new versions of Java language itself and other Java frameworks. With time some architectural styles such as SOA and ESB lose attraction and new architectural styles such as REST, Microservices get popular.

To enable developers do integrations using these new trends, Camel responds by adding new DSLs such the REST DSL and new patterns such as the Circuit Breaker, and components such as Spring Boot, and that’s not all and we are nowhere near done. With technologies such as linux containers and Kubernetes, the IT industry is moving forward even faster now, and Camel is evolving in order to ease the developers as it always has been.

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Scalable Microservices through Messaging

Microservices are everywhere nowadays, and so is the idea of using service choreography (instead of service orchestration) for microservices interactions. In this article I describe how to set up service choreography using ActiveMQ virtual topics, which also enables scalable event based service interactions.

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Download and learn more about Red Hat JBoss Fuse, an innovative modular, cloud-ready architecture, powerful management and automation, and world class developer productivity. It is Java™ EE 7 certified and features powerful, enterprise-grade features such as high availability clustering, distributed caching, messaging, transactions, and a full web services stack.