Picture cool kids in startups, cranking code as if their lives depend on it, focusing on the proverbial MVP above all else. At this stage, who cares if technical debt accumulates as fast as code gets written? It would be a waste of time and focus to try to keep the field as green as it was initially. Then the worst happens: the cool kids have it right, people love their new app and traffic starts to surge. Though strong, the duct tape that olds the application together starts to show signs of fatigue. Maintenance becomes painful, adding new features is excruciating. The blood of the architecture that has been sacrificed on the altar of time-to-market is calling for revenge.
One of the most typical architectural mishap that comes back to haunt startups is tight coupling: the whole system is a monolith where coupling manifests itself both from a temporal manner (everything is synchronous) and a lack of abstraction in the interactions between the subsystems (everything knows the intimate details of everything else).
The good news is that there is hope: the giants of past time, upon whose shoulders everything is built, have fought these problems and won. Take Hohpe/Woolf’s Enterprise Integration Patterns (EIP) for example. They discuss how messaging can be used to alleviate coupling issues. Sure enough, the “enterprise” term in the name is dubbed “run away!” by our startups’ cool kids. So in this post we’ll look at a few of these patterns and how they could be used beneficially in modern applications. And hopefully these patterns will feel more lovely than enterprisey!