Goruco Videos

John Pignata

Asynchronous Service Oriented Design


Your monolithic application is getting unwieldy. Concerns are entangled, response time is getting sluggish, and changing anything in production requires deploying your entire system. Teams facing this challenge often have an “Introduce Services” chore in their backlog that inevitably sinks to the bottom of the list. Despite the realization that your monolithic application will sink under its own weight, you fear the inherent operational complexities of a service oriented system.

The complexity of operating services results from the reality that your system will be only as strong as the weakest dependent service. Synchronous service requests require a round-trip request and response cycle in real-time. Your system’s response time now might be only as fast as your slowest service and its uptime might be only as high as your weakest service. This potential brittleness is a high barrier to entry.

The boundaries of our potential services are defined by their communication patterns. One path forward toward service oriented design is to first target the components of your system that communicate asynchronously. These interactions do not require a roundtrip response in real-time and instead rely on incoming messages. First focusing on services that can be addressed through delayed messages will allow us to begin to carve up our application while ensuring the operational integrity of our system.

In this talk we’ll look at using message passing patterns when designing our service oriented systems. We’ll dig into an evolving feature from being some code sprinkled throughout the app folder in our Rails application to a standalone system that’s independently scalable, testable, and deployable. We’ll investigate the tactics we use to slice up our monolithic application, the operations and monitoring concerns it introduces, and look at several different messaging tools and protocols along the way.


John Pignata is a local New York City developer. He spends his days building systems at [GroupMe](http://groupme.com) to facilitate the exchange of millions of messages a day between friends and families within private groups on their mobile phones.