The industry of software development in Sri Lanka and the world’s leading cloud support services have long since been working hand-in-hand to make sure the latest advancements in technology are used – but most importantly, clientele is leveraged to stay competitive with high-performing digital presences. Ultimately, this is what it boils down to; when clients approach a software development provider with their unique objectives, attaining them is a matter of using the right tools (which may or may not include the latest set of the very same).
In this case, how do businesses know that they are getting the latest in technologies from their software development provider, especially an offshoring one? On the other hand, what about resource, time and budget allocations? Are these set in line with the market standard, considering the scope involved? While these are technicalities which businesses are left to ponder upon even in the wake of long-term partnerships with their software development providers, understanding whether you’re getting your money’s worth is possible with a little bit of perception.
In other words, taking a step back and looking at the big picture will speak volumes in terms of whether your business is able to reach top and bottom-line revenues and attain any other specific KPIs – and all the while identifying whether you’re spending too much or too little when doing so. While this might sound counter-intuitive, it is simpler than it seems. If you’ve already got a DevOps project lifecycle that is well established and maintained by a reliable team of developers, you’ve already set a strong foundation for enhancing your development streams whenever needed.
Evolution, whether it’s in terms of features/functionalities, team members or even cost-efficacy, should constantly be on your agenda – after all, that is what differentiates successful businesses from the rest. Likewise, your digital applications are no exception. This is what brings us to the topic of event-driven architecture; considered by businesses to go further up the cloud computing spectrum, it is also a powerful set of tools to incorporate analysis that is faster, real-time and more accurate.
With competition becoming more aggressive by the day, businesses either need to step up – or risk losing out. Any changes in the interest of faster working systems is a topic of discussion that garners much buzz among technology experts and business leaders alike. Event-driven architecture is one such topic, since it can be a catalyst to improved business performance across various stakeholder levels.
As its name suggests, event-driven architecture is a form of integration which helps various loosely coupled components communicate with one another – whenever a change takes place within the application. For example, if a user makes a query via the contact form of a website, this is the creation of an ‘event’, which is then passed over to the backend of the application for processing, and subsequent output.
In the context of loose coupling, this means that all the components which constitute the application have been independently sourced and connected – as opposed to being exclusively coded from scratch. Microservices are an ideal example of loosely coupled components, which are also run by means of event-driven architecture.
Since an event-driven integration model relies on changes only being transmitted as and when they happen, they present an on-demand nature which can be very beneficial for the modern application development ecosystem. There’s no need to keep provisions on standby (and then pay for them even when they aren’t used) since cloud provisions can revolve around the quantity and intricacy of events generated. This is just one out of many benefits that event-driven application models pose.
Event-driven architecture is made up of three key components: event producer, event router and event consumer. The event producer will accept any change, such as an interaction that a user makes with the frontend of a system. This then passes through the router, which acts as a ‘middleman’ to process what is being received. The router then directs the event towards the right channel, so that the consumer can deliver what has been queried by the user.
In essence, this 3-part process goes back to the fundamentals of data processing: input, process and output. Although numerous advancements have been made, these basics stay they same. While there have been a variety of technologies that have executed these processes in different ways, they have executed them no doubt. What’s unique about event-driven architecture is the fact that every event request takes place only if needed – with no provisions on standby.
As core input/process/output functions happen, they do so by eliminating empty costs and excessive downtime – further justification to indicate a level-up in terms of functionality that’s speedier and more powerful than other conventional counterparts.
Event-driven architecture doesn’t only come to life as and when a change is detected – it also paves the way for data to be processed real-time. This is something that is highly important in today’s fast-paced and on-demand culture, as consumers are accustomed to accessing a wide range of products and services at the tap of a button, from smartphones to IoT devices. Event-driven architecture presents the capabilities to process mass volumes of data at the same time as well, thanks to event streaming.
By computing a stream of events simultaneously (as opposed to processing each event individually), event streaming enables faster processing. This processing power applies to both real-time and historical data, because event streams are stored in the router well after the consumer has accessed them.
Higher independence levels of components and scalability are both advantages pertaining to loose coupling. With each component being individually sourced and connected, one isn’t dependent on the other – in the way components are when they are custom-coded from scratch. Event-driven architecture bridges the gap between components, by transferring events from producer to consumer, via the router in the middle. This communication model will not be hampered in the likelihood that one of these components fall into disrepair; with components agnostic, they can be replaced while the others keep functioning as usual in the meantime.
Event-driven architecture communicates through asynchronous messaging – which means that components are only aware of the message that is passed between them, and not the characteristics or workings of their peer components. This is therefore another benefit which extends over from the loose coupling system that is primarily found in microservices architecture.
This asynchronous messaging also extends over to multiple technology stacks; if your application also uses more than one, then asynchronous messaging can be used to communicate between these variables – without having to undergo the hassle of coupling.
Scalability can also apply to potential backups that can be recovered from the integration model. The ‘persistence’ quotient of event-driven architecture enables this, as event streaming can store and then replay events lest there is a loss of data. In turn, this is what also creates the possibility to engage in historical analysis, in addition to real-time analysis.
Another benefit from the loose coupling system, event-driven integration models will only use resources if an event is triggered by a producer. As is the case with most cloud-based services, this pay-per-use model is feasible, and therefore highly popular. Whether your company is utilizing such resources on a subscription basis, or via maintaining an ongoing partnership (such as being a dedicated AWS partner, for example) your hosted solutions stand the chance to be made most productive use of – with no wastage in terms of budget or time.
Forgo the necessity to keep resources on standby, wondering whether or not you might need them. As demands increase, provisions can also proportionately increase to serve an uptick in traffic or demand. Once this requirement recedes, provisions can also proportionately decrease so that you are only paying for what you are using, at any given point of time.
This is a question that is best asked to your team first – with your software development provider having the final say in whether event-driven architecture should be implemented. To start off, a business assessment with your team can determine what your business’s key objectives are. Based on these findings, your software development team can then iterate how your application needs to be built in order to accommodate these objectives.
Granted that this is a given. But how you conduct your business assessment and the questions you ask will make all the difference between what you really need – and what you eventually end up getting. Both factors need to be parallel with one another, so that you aren’t left with gaps due to misinformation.
In essence, here are 3 reasons why choosing an event-driven architecture will be viable for your business.
This is one of the biggest benefits of an event-driven architecture in the first place. With on-demand event triggers and provisioning, your application isn’t just computing real-time data, but is doing so at top speed. Budgets are kept at a minimum, since you are only paying for what you use. If any of these advantages haven’t been incorporated into your application development process yet, doing so via an event-driven integration model would be something worthwhile to consider.
The advantages pertaining to loose coupling again come into play here, since independent components don’t rely on peer components for operational continuity. As uptime is maintained this way, fixing faulty components is one that eliminates downtime too. If you haven’t as of yet, adopting microservices can ideally be done in parallel with an event-driven integration model as well. Talk to your development team to learn if this is viable.
Today’s application development technologies are focused on maintaining individual components, so that codes don’t need to be built from scratch, and there is longevity in the project due to a system that is more ‘plug-and-play’ by nature. This also applies to multiple technology stacks that are utilized for application development. If you need a means of communication that does not have to rely on custom codes, event-driven architecture can facilitate this, without even having to couple the stacks together.
The demand for faster, stronger and better digital applications is an endless one. However, advancements in technology mean that there is always a way to stand out from the competition – no matter what your business requirements are. In this data-driven age, it isn’t enough to simply process a query and reveal results after a certain period of time; results need to be delivered here, and now. It is for this reason that microservices architecture has become vastly popular, owing to its loose coupling of component systems.
With each component independent and not reliant on its peers for function, an application can maintain maximum uptime since even a single faulty working part will not affect the entire system. To take this a notch above, event-driven architecture features an integration model which creates an ‘event’ based on a change that is made by a user interacting with the system. This event is then run through a router, which directs the event to the right consumer, for addressing the event and delivering the correct response.
Unlike a REST API, event-driven architecture does not need to adhere to any mandatory specificities, before entertaining a change. This gives it many advantages – ranging from faster computing speeds, to maintaining an application development process that is truly agnostic. Asynchronous messaging and persistence-based data backups also render event-driven architecture particularly unique, especially since a profound level of independence can be maintained by components.