How to Select a Programming Model for Your Enterprise Software Development

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How to Select a Programming Model for Your Enterprise Software Development

Understanding the three philosophies of programming models will help you choose the microservices development stack that's right for you.

· Microservices Zone ·
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Microservices hype is not over yet. There are technologies like serverless computing and multi-cloud platforms coming up, and they will eventually increase the need for microservices-style programming and application development. When it comes to enterprise software development, we can see that it is a mixture of traditional SOA-style systems, API-driven systems backed by microservices or SOA-systems, cloud-based SaaS applications, and proprietary software systems running on-premise. Enterprise is going to be like this for the foreseeable future.

It is quite important, as an architect or a senior leader who is responsible for an enterprise software architecture, to understand the proper approach to build your software ecosystem, which will be an ever important factor to your business. When it comes to building such a complex system, there are three main approaches that stand out:

  • Polyglot programming model

  • Platform-based programming model (open source)

  • Vendor-specific programming model (proprietary software)

Let’s talk about each of these approaches in detail.

Polyglot Programming Model

The rationale behind this model is that you allow your development teams to choose the best programming language or technology to build the systems they are building. In a microservices-type architecture, this freedom is automatically there since each microservice is independent of the others. It provides more agility and maximum usage of internal talents. With the invention of cross-platform tools like Docker, you can bundle your applications in a common wrapper and deploy them like they have been developed with the same technology. The main disadvantage of this model is that scattered knowledge and too many tools and techniques on the platform make it complex to manage. However, this gives the maximum flexibility when it comes to selecting the best technology for a given task. Most architects and senior leaders are afraid to go with this approach due to the fact that they cannot build enough expertise on all different technologies.

Platform-Based Programming Model (Open Source)

Instead of selecting a technology per each and every application, you can select a technology platform which will cater to most of your application development requirements. When it comes to selecting such a platform, we need to consider the following capabilities of the platform:

  • Stability

  • Extendibility

  • Performance

  • Maintainability

  • Transparency

Open-source technology platforms have become the standard for platform-driven use cases. All the above mentioned factors are well covered with a proper open source technology platform. Some of the most popular open source technology platforms for building open source based enterprise applications are

  • Spring framework

  • Kubernetes

  • Docker

  • Netflix OSS

  • WSO2 open source platform

This model provides advantages like easy maintenance due to the common technology platform, easier to build in-house expertise, less complexity, and more stability. Based on the platform you choose to build your system, you can achieve goals like agility through this model.

Vendor-Specific Programming Model

This model of programming has been the choice in the past when there were few companies building enterprise software platforms. These large corporations built their own proprietary platforms and provided easy-to-use user interface-driven tools to program their systems. No one knew how to debug these systems or what was happening under the hood, and there was no open information about future roadmaps of these platforms.

Even though these platforms are proprietary and hard to debug, they have their own advantages:

  • Ease of use

  • Better stability

  • Purpose-built software with quality features

One of the main disadvantages of this model is the lack of flexibility and vendor locking. Once you are locked in, you don’t have a choice but to pay what the vendor demands when you want to add a new feature. Sometimes, they will not add the relevant feature at all.


The three programming models described above have their own advantages and disadvantages based on your requirements and capabilities. Therefore, you need to weigh in all the factors before deciding on a specific approach.

enterprise ,microservices ,programming ,software development

Published at DZone with permission of Chanaka Fernando , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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