Building your digital platform to capitalize in a multicloud environment

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Recently I shared my thoughts on how to tackle digital transformation in a multicloud world. I talked about the business need for agility, reliability and a developer experience that is fast, simple and based on modern tools.  Today I want to share how you build the digital platform and how microservices play a key part in this transformation.

Why microservices and agile methods are core to the digital platform

Both are well suited to deal with projects that require a degree of uncertainty to be managed, along with a need to iterate quickly and be able to respond rapidly to changing requirements.  Agile methods help prioritize the work of teams, so they can quickly iterate and respond to change. Similarly, microservice architectures enable small teams to build and integrate new capabilities where each microservice operates on its own delivery schedule.  These two approaches help leaders build small responsive teams that can investigate, develop and deliver new capabilities independently, creating an environment that supports innovation.

Meeting developer expectations

My goal is to provide the next generation of technology that forms the foundation for enterprises to maintain their edge in the new digital economy. These technologies help development teams build cloud-native applications while using the skills they already have, such as their investment in Java development and WebSphere. By building on this established skill base, productivity can be reached faster. There is no need to retrain or hire new developers, or spend time investigating and understanding new technologies, and new solutions can be built that integrate and leverage the investment in existing applications.

I also recognize the value of open source projects, because developers can benefit from the collective experience and innovation that an open community provides.  This is why we have invested in the Eclipse MicroProfile project, alongside a host of other well-known open source industry contributors, to create an open community initiative to develop the capabilities required for building robust Java microservices and cloud-native applications.  The Eclipse MicroProfile project sets out to extend the existing broad range of Java EE capabilities for building microservices, and developers should be encouraged to participate in and define the future for Java microservices.

Delivering capabilities to help capitalize on multi-cloud strategy.

Meeting the expectations of developers and building capabilities as part of an open community are two principles I firmly believe in.  These two principles are at the heart of our decision to create the Open Liberty project – an open source server runtime built from the same Java EE and MicroProfile capabilities we provide in our commercial WebSphere Liberty portfolio, made available as open source in Github. I believe that the Open Liberty project provides an ideal foundation to build the next generation of cloud-native apps.

Having a strong foundation in Java microservices may not be enough to achieve the true value of a multicloud strategy. You also need a consistent approach to your software deployments irrespective of the target cloud.  This is why we also invested in creating Microservice Builder, an end-to-end delivery pipeline that helps you build and deploy containerized apps and microservices into the Kubernetes-based IBM Cloud and our new private cloud offering, IBM Cloud Private. With IBM Cloud Private, developers  can run their next generation data and software with the inclusion of underlying containers, logging, auditing and encryption services. The architecture is not only compatible with IBM Cloud, but most other public cloud platforms, supporting easy portability and integration across multicloud environments.

One of the best ways to learn and manage these cloud technologies and methods is to be hands-on with them, which is where the IBM Cloud Garage Method can help jump-start your learning process.  We provide the guidance and structure to help you learn how to approach new projects using Open Liberty and Microservice Builder or any other cloud technology you choose.  The Garage Method leads you from an initial evaluation to scalable and transformative solutions that will enable you to learn how to think about and build microservices using agile techniques.

I’ll leave you with this closing thought – the best way to be successful in today’s digital landscape is to be able to assemble the componentry that makes the most sense for your business.  Getting started to build Java microservices is easy using Open Liberty, and you can be confident that they will seamlessly integrate with your existing WebSphere apps, while putting you in charge of your own cloud journey.

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