Software has emerged as a critical differentiator for digital businesses. To stay alive, companies require agile and scalable software to remain competitive.

Microservice architecture (MSA) is an increasingly popular cloud-native design paradigm and approach for implementing back-end services. Early adopters have been able to cut development lead times by as much as 75%, and the approach has become extremely popular for back-end service migration.

Building individual microservices is relatively easy. Making those services work in harmony in a distributed environment pose new challenges companies must address.

Here are the 5 crucial building blocks for a Microservice Automation Toolchain  

To get the agile benefits of MSA, you need a DevOps automation toolchain to ensure continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). It should include at least these 5 crucial building blocks:

  1. Component, Integration and Regression Testing tools to ensure that your code changes are not unintentionally changing the interactions of your application. These tools help developers and QA teams analyze and validate software updates continuously during development.
  2. Build automation tools that compile your code prior to testing or deployment. Travis, Jenkins, NuGet, and Red Hat’s fabric8 are a few vendor examples.
  3. Deployment automation tools, which automatically convert executable code into fully configured deployable images. Support for rolling, blue/green and canary deployments should be in place.  Electric Cloud’s ElectricFlow, Vamp, Netflix’s Spinnaker, Weaveworks’ Weave Cloud and XebiaLabs’ DevOps platform are a few tools out there.
  4. An image registry for storing and sharing deployable images. Examples include Docker Hub and CoreOS’s Quay.
  5. Platform automation enabling self-service environment provisioning, and providing the runtime’s autoscaling managed container environment. Apsara Stack Agility, Docker Enterprise Edition (EE), Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) On-Prem, IBM Cloud Private, OpenShift Container Platform, or Azure Service Fabric.

Building a toolchain can seem intimidating at first, as it is a fast-moving environment with multiple tools and vendors. But starting with these building blocks will get you on the right path.