If there’s anything we learned from the corona pandemic, it’s that under pressure everything becomes liquid. Regardless what kind of organization you have, big or small, what we learned is that when push comes to shove, you can do much more than you think. This ability to innovate is extremely valuable for organizations, because there’s a lot of hesitation.
There are many arguments against it:
- We never did it;
- That will never work;
- People don’t want it.
And it's true, some innovations that became very popular took a long time, to ramp up. Not everything will work, a key element of innovation. Do you have a choice? Probably not. You need to innovate and create new services, mostly digital or at least with a big digital aspect. It’s true that the COVID-19 pandemic created an environment that no one could have ever imagined. Why is that? Well, to some extent, it’s the global reach. It doesn't care which country you're in. It doesn't care what the color of your skin is or your religion. The corona virus is something that impacts all of us.
We’ve seen a lot of activity in making stuff more digital, especially when people are worried about being contaminated with the virus. They are reluctant to go outside for something, so menial as grocery shopping. There was a huge increase of online ordering and delivery of groceries worldwide. Ordering online allows you to pick your groceries online at home and have them delivered when it suits you. We saw teachers are now able to teach online. And of course, not everything is perfect, especially if you do it in such a short time frame. For example, in the Netherlands (and likely in many other countries too) the time frame for the implementation of online learning for children, was one or two weeks. Far from ideal, but it’s possible. More importantly, it allows you to continue with your service, or your business.
API-first, not APIphobia
There is no discussion that we need to have an API-first approach when developing microservices. Define the API first (with the user in mind) and then make it work with the existing backend (services) or a new set of services. APIs are the dominant interface to services we offer in our enterprises. An API is only useful when we have security, management and monitoring, in other words when it’s a managed API. But the APIs need to call something as well, and that’s a microservice.
It’s possible to create a microservice that will take care of the order process with all of the elements that are part of the process:
- submitting an order,
- calculating the total of the order.
- Making connection to a payment provider
- scheduling the order for pickup, or delivery
- informing the order pickers that there is an order that they should fulfill.
- Informing the customer about the order
But why microservices on the WSO2 Micro Integrator? The reason has to do with a very specific situation that the coronavirus has suddenly confronted us with. As mentioned earlier in this blog, the number of online orders has grown dramatically. It has grown so bad that typically people were not able to order stuff and have them delivered the day after tomorrow. Instead they had to wait at least two weeks due to high demand. Websites were non-responsive because everyone was accessing the site and ordering online.
One of the big grocers, was overwhelmed with the number of visitors trying to order something. That's one of the reasons why we believe the combination of microservices in a Docker / Kubernetes environment is so powerful, because you can scale up and down almost effortlessly. Basically, driven by demand. So, if you have services that have a high load or very high fluctuation as far as the number of calls go, a microservice in an environment that’s isolated from other services that we can quickly copy and spin up, is something that is very beneficial. It allows you to scale up just that service, rather than scale up the entire service landscape.
On Tuesday 26 May 2020 at 9:00 a.m. (PDT) / 6:00 p.m. (CET) / 9:30 p.m. (IST), Yenlo and WSO2 will host a webinar on “API-first Integration for Microservices”, to demonstrate the power of innovation. With WSO2 Enterprise Integrator and WSO2 Micro Integrator in a Docker / Kubernetes environment we will show an example of innovation.
Join the webinar and register now.