DeveloperWeek Europe 2021 DeveloperWeek Europe 2021
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Micro-Applications

- BST
Workshop Stage 2
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Michael Westergaard
Open Circle Solutions, Senior Consultant

Michael has more than 20 years experience with software development, both in academia and the real world. His daily work includes devops work for multiple clients with very long-term perspectives, where the final product is not the final product, but rather the entire lifecycle is, and the problems and opportunities this involves.


Monolithic applications have been shunned for years now, and micro-services is one of the architectures trying to replace them.

Micro-services suffer from two central problems: 1) they easily become an unmanageable soup of individually versioned components that are hard to manage and continually version, and 2) the paradigm does not really deal with user interfaces.

Micro-GUIs try to resolve the second issue, but the technology is still in the infancy.

Instead, we propose to use micro-applications. It is individual applications that work together to achieve a single goal. Micro-applications are size-wise closer to micro-services, but are self-contained in the sense that they come with data-layer and user-interface (as applicable), reducing the pain of tracing a function point between many different micro-services and allowing internal unpublished interfaces (e.g., keeping services used solely for the GUI private), reducing problem 1, and explicitly splits up the user-interface into blocks, handling problem 2.

Micro-applications allow each application to use its own paradigms and frameworks, allowing freedom in selecting not only technologies but even suppliers, yet tie everything together using a robust single-sign on solution, presenting a single experience to the end-user.

In this talk, we present the architecture in more detail and outline some of our experiences with using the paradigm at multiple customers, as well as a driving architecture for modernization of existing applications and entire landscapes.

The talk is not technical and presents all prerequisites; it is an advantage but not a prerequisite to have felt the pain of altering a 5 years untouched monolith or having to do a wide-sweeping change in a micro-service landscape.