Net API Notes for 2019/08/07

Summer! Summer! Summer!

Some editions of this newsletter are overstuffed, containing numerous interesting pieces that combine into a narrative more significant than the sum of individual parts. Then there were the past couple weeks, where many of the stories evaporated under scrutiny.

Still, there are a handful of essential items worth noting. Let's get to them:



Successfully transforming a monolith to a microservices is not a trivial thing. Many a team have tried, only to discover that they've incurred increased architectural complexity while only gaining marginal benefit.

Susanne Kaiser's conference talk, "Preparing for a Microservices Journey" provides a high-level visualization of all the necessary components at play in a "modern development stack". She, rightly, points out how daunting all these dependencies can be. However, Susanne then goes further and shows how usage of Wardley Maps (among other things) can be used to guide decision making.

It is very much worth your time to watch.


While we're talking both microservices and video, Sam Newman has a recording on YouTube. Entitled "Monolith Decomposition Patterns", he pragmatically approaches how to create microservices in the real world, not a "greenfield" architecture. Check out the video if you are interested in learning more about:

  • Single Process Monolith
  • "Modular" Monoliths
  • 3rd Party Monoliths
  • Distributed Monoliths

Sam, whom you might recognize as the author of the seminal work, "Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems", is writing a new title: "Monoliths to Microservices: Evolutionary Patterns to Transform Your Monolith".

I'm looking forward to that title.


Wallowing in technical minutia can be fun. However, worth remembering is that APIs are not just an architectural pattern but also a business consideration. Alison Jarris, in her piece "Facebook, privacy, and the Delicate Data Dance" not only discusses the current landscape but gives a brief history of notable API closures and restrictions based on changing market factors.

It pairs nicely with Matt McLarty's blog post on The Ethics of APIs. When prepping (or revisiting) your API strategy, be sure to account for these growing concerns.



Thoughtful guidance is a seasonal thing. The stream of new work dries to a trickle under late summer sun and 2019 is trending no different. As a result, and as has been the case in previous years, I'll be taking 3-4 weeks off from compiling notes this August. I'll be back in your inboxes in September.

If you're hard-pressed for some long-form writing, I published the slides and script for my workshop "Agile Antipatterns". There are also still a number of notable in-person API events worth checking out on If there is a meetup, hackathon, or conference that is missing, reply to this message or send me a email directly and I'll be sure to add it.

Finally, thank you to my Patreons. I've got a unique set of design resources in mind as a reward for these folks. However, more on that in a future issue.

Till next time,

Matthew @libel_vox and

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