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Are microservices set to revolutionise DAM?



Martin Wilson, Asset Bank co-founder

It's clear that microservices are set to change the face of software development. That being the case, digital asset management will be no exception. But what are microservices, how can they benefit DAM and, most importantly, how will they shape its future?

What is a microservice?

microservice is a small, modular software program that enables other applications to make use of its functionality. Unlike traditional monolithic applications, an application built using microservices removes the single points of failure and bottlenecks.

Benefits of microservices

DAM systems can definitely benefit from the scalability, reliability, maintainability and reusability of microservices.
Many monolithic softwares that start out as well-architectured applications can deteriorate over time, due to issues such as team turnover and pressure to bolt on new features quickly. They can struggle to evolve quickly enough to adapt to fast-changing requirements, and it's often not long before they topple from the perch of "cutting-edge".
Before long, the idea of buying a single DAM application will seem quaint
Microservices have started a trend for smaller front-end applications focusing on specific business areas, rather than one monolithic application. Imagine a number of different applications sharing and using whichever microservices they need, each providing a user interface designed specifically to support a small number of business processes really well.
In essence, microservices will allow DAM applications to make a smoother transition to becoming DAM platforms, essentially centralising an organisation’s digital assets and providing DAM-related services to other applications across the enterprise.

Microservices and the future of DAM

Before long, the idea of buying a single DAM application will probably seem quaint. That's because organisations will become more modular and process-orientated in their DAM strategy.
Organisations will buy solutions that are plugged together to meet their exact needs, consisting of a number of microservices (DAM-related and otherwise) and multiple front-ends. Nor will these have to be custom solutions — out-of-the-box solutions can use pre-existing microservices and vanilla front-end applications. Custom components can be mixed with pre-built ones in whichever mix-and-match configuration the customer requires. The microservices architectural style is perfect for this.
How will DAM companies adapt to this? It's likely that many will shift focus and move to a microservice-based architecture. In the long-term, vendors wedded to their own software solutions may struggle.
The fact is, microservices are already here — it's the DAM providers most willing, able and ready to adapt to this new reality who will thrive.


Martin Wilson, 24th August

This is a shortened version of a longer article written for DAM News. Read the full article 'How Microservices and Cloud Services are Changing DAM'.

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Martin Wilson
Written by Martin Wilson

Martin Wilson is co-founder of Bright, an agile software company behind Asset Bank and Dash, leading Digital Asset Management solutions. He is particularly interested in applying lean principles to software development, through use of agile and lean startup techniques. He refuses to say whether he likes strong coffee or can do the Rubik’s Cube in less than a minute.