The Difference between SOA and Microservices?

We’ve had a few articles over the years on the differences and similarities between SOA and microservices. Some suggest there is much to be learned from SOA whereas others believe that distancing microservices from SOA is more beneficial. Furthermore, Neal Ford, amongst others, has suggested that moving from monolithic architectures to a services-based approach may be easier than going to microservices. There has not been much activity recently around the overall “SOA or microservices” debate until RedMonk’s Stephen O’Grady published an article on the subject. In it O’Grady suggests that the size of the service is not the deciding factor, similar to what others have argued over the years, such as Dan North, and separately Jeppe Cramon stated:

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Life as an IT contractor | Network World

Independence, job variability, earning potential, skills development. But is it worth it?

The upside of life as an IT contractor is alluring. You get to be your own boss, accept only the jobs you want, and work flexible hours. With each assignment comes the opportunity to learn new skills and gain exposure to different environments.

But there are obvious sacrifices – job security and paid vacations, for starters. As an IT contractor, you’re also often responsible for your own benefits (healthcare, retirement), paying taxes, and marketing yourself for the next gig.

Tech pros who successfully balance the pros and cons of contracting play an important role in the IT world. They provide manpower when workloads spike and can bring key expertise or niche skills to a team. In recent years, companies have increasingly relied on a contingent workforce to augment their full-time staff. According to new survey data from IT staffing and services firm TEKsystems, 26% of IT hiring managers expect to increase headcount for contingent workers in the second half of 2017 (another 46% report that headcount will remain the same for temporary workers, and 13% say it will decrease).
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Why serverless? Meet AWS Lambda

Why would a developer use AWS Lambda? In a word, simplicity. AWS Lambda—and other event-driven, “function-as-a-service” platforms such as Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk—simplify development by abstracting away everything in the stack below the code. Developers write functions that respond to certain events (a form submission, a webhook, a row added to a database, etc.), upload their code, and pay only when that code executes.

In “How serverless changes application development” I covered the nuts and bolts of how a function-as-a-service (FaaS) runtime works and how that enables a serverless software architecture. Here we’ll take a more hands-on approach by walking through the creation of a simple function in AWS Lambda and then discuss some common design patterns that make this technology so powerful. Read more..

New Online Training – AWS in Motion

AWS are happy to announce the filming of our book Amazon Web Services in Action. Our video course AWS in Motion is introducing Amazon’s cloud offerings in more than 3 hours of video lessons and 25 exercises.

Manning has published our online course consisting of:

• Quality video lessons available on-demand.
• Rich, interactive transcripts for navigation.
• Exercise driven learning.

Packed with exercises and tutorials to try out, you can learn how to work with AWS in a way that makes sense: by working with AWS directly. We’ve designed the lessons to work within a free trial subscription to AWS, so you can get started without spending anything on a live AWS account. With the expert training of the Wittig brothers, the authors of our bestselling Amazon Web Services in Action, you can rest easy knowing you’ve learned the foundation that every AWS developer needs to succeed, and fast! Read more..

The Benefits of Serverless Applications in a Data-Rich World

Serverless applications are the source of much confusion of late. For one thing, they’re not “serverless” at all. In fact, it’s more accurate to refer to them as “multiserver apps” — their components are distributed among cloud servers far and wide and assembled on demand.

This begs the question, “Do you know where your app is?” In today’s microservices-based computing environments, the question becomes meaningless. Exactly where particular pieces of a full-blown application live matters much less than the network’s ability to retrieve and assemble the required components accurately, and in a timely manner, when and where they’re needed.

Such widely distributed applications demand a new approach to development, deployment, maintenance, and updates. Forbes’ Janakiram wrote in a March 22, 2016, article that the growing interest in serverless apps is driven by two trends: mobility and the Internet of Things. In both cases, applications need to follow the IFTTT model: respond in an instant as current circumstances dictate in terms of location, time, input, and context. Read more..

How the Financial Industry Is Doing DevOps

The second DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) Europe, once again held in London, brought together the DevOps enterprise community. The financial industry was well represented, giving the attendees a unique perspective on the challenges facing this heavily regulated industry and how DevOps is helping to overcome them.

One of DOES’ main goals is to gather high-fidelity experience reports and to gather evidence that negate the objections to the adoption of DevOps in an enterprise environment. The set of presentations by large financial institutions highlighted their common challenges: legal, compliance, security requirements and the prevailing bureaucratic and siloed culture of such organizations. The approaches taken to takle those challenges also have commonalities: automated continuous delivery pipelines; lean approaches and organization alignment based on value streams; automated testing; automated compliance and security checks; close collaboration with legal and compliance departments. Some organizations are also moving away from outsourcing and into insourcing. Read more..

AWS makes Greengrass Generally Available

Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that AWS Greengrass, software which allows customers to run AWS compute, messaging, data caching, and sync capabilities on connected devices, is now available to all customers. With AWS Greengrass, devices can run AWS Lambda functions to perform tasks locally, keep device data in sync, and communicate with other devices while leveraging the full processing, analytics, and storage power of the AWS Cloud. More than a dozen AWS partners, including Annapurna, BSquare, Canonical, Digi International, Intel, Lenovo, Mongoose, Qualcomm Technologies, Raspberry Pi, Samsung, Technicolor and Wistron are integrating AWS Greengrass into their platforms so devices will come with AWS Greengrass built-in. To get started with AWS Greengrass, visit https://aws.amazon.com/greengrass/. Read more..

Best Cloud Services

Choosing the best cloud service comes down to personal preference based on whether you want to access files on the go, back up your files for security or collaborate with colleagues on projects.

As ethereal as cloud computing sounds, it simply refers to an external server where you store data. It’s essentially a hard drive on which you lease space. Cloud computing has improved over the past several years, which has extended to storage space, software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

For our buying guide, we chose the best cloud services that let you store all your data, including media files, documents, emails, contacts and calendar information. They also let you access those items through the cloud service’s desktop and mobile app, and via browsers, which is important whether you’re running a small business, you’re an entrepreneur or you’re an individual who simply wants more space.

Some cloud service providers in our guide are made for Mac lovers, and some are great for any device. A handful let you edit files in the cloud, whereas others require you or your client download files first. All the services we included here let you store music, photos, videos and documents, while others offer broader storage options.

Choosing the best cloud service comes down to personal preference based on whether you want to access files on the go, back up your files for security or collaborate with colleagues on projects. Many of these services are excellent choices, regardless of your storage needs, but if you’re running an enterprise-level business, you may require a business cloud storage service. For more information on what the cloud is and how it can change how you do business, read our articles on cloud computing. Read more..

New AWS Training and Certification Portal

AWS Training and Certification can help you get more out of the AWS Cloud.

The new AWS Training and Certification Portal allows you to access and manage your training and certification activities, progress, and benefits – all in one place:

Previously, you had to rely on multiple websites to find and manage training and certification offerings. Now you have a central place where you can find and enroll in AWS Training, register for AWS Certification exams, track your learning progress, and access benefits based on the AWS Certifications you have achieved. This makes it easier for you to build your AWS Cloud skills and advance toward earning AWS Certification.

You can create a new account or simply log in with your existing Amazon account. If you already have an AWS Training account, you can migrate your existing AWS Training history into this new primary account. If you are an APN Partner, you can simply sign in using your APN Portal credentials. If you also had a Webassessor account, be sure to visit the Certification tab and merge this account too.

Once you are set up, you can rely on the AWS Training and Certification Portal to be your place to find the latest AWS training and certification offerings, built by AWS experts. Read more..

Cloud security faces the public sector test – a Q/A with Doug VanDyke of AWS

One highlight of the Infor Federal Forum was a view from AWS on the dynamics of public sector security. I missed him that day, but I tracked down AWS presenter Doug VanDyke to get his take on cloud security, and share the reactions to his keynote.

Few things bug me as much as an interview opportunity missed. I covered the Infor Federal Forum event from several angles, but I wasn’t able to sit down with an important piece of the puzzle: a guest keynote from Amazon Web Services on public sector cloud security. Read more..