More Pondering On My Own Microservice Definition

Like API, the term microservice has emerged as a force, along with a meaning that is very precise, or very broad, depending on who you are. The only thing I’m sure of at this point, is the term microservice is very personal, and means very different things to different people, depending on where you stand in the industry.

Regardless I can't help but consider the implications of the term, internalize it, and see what value I can derive from its meaning in my own world. This exercise leaves me asking, what is a microservice? Over and over, acknowledging I may never fully know the meaning, and like API it will be more of a journey, then it never will be a destination.

First and foremost in my world a microservice means simple, and small. Simple and small. Simple and small. Say it until you can feel it, all Buddhist colliding with API Evangelist. Simple and small, penetrates all layer of meaning for me.

  • minimal surface
  • minimal on disk
  • minimal compute
  • minimal message
  • minimal network
  • minimal ui
  • minimal time to rebuild
  • minimal time to throw away

Ultimately I want all of this, coupled with the ability to achieve maximum scale, with minimum effort. I want to do one thing, as well as I possibly can, with as minimal resources necessary, but delivering the maximum value at any scale—with value benefiting myself, my API consumers, and the end-users being served, equally.

None of this is set in stone for me. I acknowledge this is my own perception, and that others will see microservices as something entirely different. Even so, I share my definition publicly, as also I enjoy reading others definition. I kind of think that is part of the whole microservices thing, sharing your own personal definition. In reality microservices do not change my API mission, but it does allow the conversation to be distilled down, for a new generation of business leaders working to make sense of all of this.