Elements of modern applications:
Application Architecture: Modular Microservices
Monolithic applications are popular because they are fast to develop. However, they become difficult to scale and update as the code base grows because each aspect of the application is tightly coupled. When applications are built with modular independent components, called microservices, release velocity can increase because changes to any component are easier to make. Microservices make applications easier to scale and faster to develop, enabling innovation and accelerating time-to-market.
Software Delivery: Automation, Abstraction, & Standardization
Front and back end developers need tools, frameworks, and processes that enable them to rapidly and securely deliver new features to customers - often daily or more. Frameworks and tooling abstract take away the complexity of provisioning and configuring resources. Automated release pipelines, including continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), enable teams to rapidly test and release lots of code while minimizing errors. Standardization through infrastructure as code templates provision the entire technology stack for an application through code, ensuring teams meet central requirements.
Data Strategy: Decoupled & Purpose Built
Much like a monolithic application, a single database is also difficult to scale. It can become a single point of failure with fault tolerance challenges. Modern applications take advantage of decoupled data stores in which there is a one-to-one mapping of database and microservice. By decoupling data along with microservices, teams are free to choose the database that best fits the needs of the service, like choosing a database that is purpose built for the task at hand.
Operations: As Serverless as Possible
Modern applications have a lot of moving parts, including many microservices with unique databases that are all releasing features frequently. Serverless technologies reduce that burden because they run without the need for infrastructure provisioning and scaling, and have built-in availability and security. Plus, they have a pay-for-value billing model. There are serverless services for the entire application stack: compute, storage, and integration.
Management & Governance: Programmatic Guardrails
Managing your organization securely, legally, and safely is priority one but often, strong governance results in checkpoints that slow down innovation. Increasingly, organizations address this by adopting the concept of guardrails, which are mechanisms, such as processes of practices, that reduce both the occurrence and blast radius of undesirable application behavior. Usually expressed as code, guardrails can standardize processes and practices for the monitoring, provisioning, deployment, cost management, and security of applications, without creating bottlenecks or slowing innovation.