Microservices to Dominate PaaS Offerings; Efforts Receive Boost from MicroProfile Project


C. Dunlap
C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • PaaS offerings are beginning to include container/microservices options.
  • The MicroProfile project seeks to ensure heterogeneous deployments of microservices apps.

Microservices efforts got a major boost during Red Hat’s recent annual conference, where the vendor presented its flagship PaaS OpenShift as a container platform while simultaneously launching a new community project, MicroProfile.io. The project acknowledges Java EE as the dominant standard for building next-generation, business-critical, distributed apps and aims to raise the bar among Java developers looking to move into microservices and container environments.

PaaS is evolving into a container service which hosts microservices architectures, in essence, standardizing application platforms. PaaS providers within the highly competitive cloud market will only gain mindshare through services which support the demands of mission-critical apps via containers and microservices architectures.

To date, the majority of microservices-based app development has been achieved by companies with strong internal development teams needing to create applications that require rapid update components without having to break apart a monolithic application model to make those updates. Enterprise developers primarily use Java EE with app servers such as WebSphere, WebLogic, JBoss EAP or Tomcat, but the majority don’t have time to retool or decompose app platforms into smaller components as part of a microservices environment. The MicroProfile open community project seeks to decompose those Java app servers into microservices, efforts which could be a game-changer by standardizing app platforms. Reportedly traditional middleware solutions require as many as six DVDs to install, while new efforts around MicroProfile promise to significantly shrink that process (the first version of this project is slated for September).

Much of Red Hat’s approach to microservices stems from its efforts with WildFly Swarm, a lightweight, Java EE-compliant app server which leverages Maven tools and allows developers to choose only the necessary components on which to build apps. WildFly Swarm is at the foundation of JBoss EAP, and it will run on various Red Hat OpenShift container versions to scale to an enterprise’s needs.

Going forward MicroProfile’s success is more likely if vendors such as VMware and Microsoft, which are investing heavily in microservices and container solutions, will get on board and help further adoption of the emerging architecture by driving just such new standards. Such vendor collaboration will reassure enterprise DevOps of smoother portability and integration around new app development project deployments.

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