Decorative double Helix

Monolithic vs Composable vs Microservice CMS's - What's the right tool for the job?

As covered in our last blog post & podcast, this is definitely the “Year of re-thinking your CMS architecture.” A part of that, though, is carefully looking at each piece of your stack and evaluate it based on its functional merits, costs, drawbacks and benefits and not only based on “how in-fashion is it”.
In this podcast, veteran multiplatform architect and AEM Rockstar from DX-ROI Brett Birschbach and Arbory Digital Principal Architect Tad Reeves discuss the case of the unloved monolith - the “bad word” that so many tech blog posts out there love to hate in favor of “modern” approaches like composable architectures and microservice-based implementations.
Are monoliths all bad? Are they actually universally inappropriate for any modern enterprise to consider?

To be clear - AEM (inclusive of the self-hosted AEM 6.x versions as well as most of the AEM cloud service) is in-effect a “monolith”. Wordpress is a monolith. Drupal is a monolith. Are they all bad? Or do they have their place?

More info on microservices vs monoliths:

Understanding the differences between Monoliths & Microservices (most of these articles are very pro-microservice):

And some interesting pro-monolith examples:

Please give our podcast a listen, and reach out if you’d like to discuss how new infrastructure models like this might work for your environment! Please reach out!

Covered in this podcast:

  • 0:00 - Introductions
  • 1:46 - The pendulum swings of technology
  • 3:46 - Define: what is a Monolith?
  • 5:42 - Is the term "monolith" negative?
  • 7:48 - Define: what is a "composable" site?
  • 9:15 - Defining "composable" vs "microservice"
  • 11:40 - Microservice examples
  • 12:40 - Defining "headful" vs "headless"
  • 17:28 - What about "omnichannel" and old monoliths?
  • 19:52 - The ORM analogy
  • 22:25 - "Tech stack lock-in" myths & truths
  • 25:30 - Microservices can save the day - like AEM Asset processing
  • 29:15 - "All monoliths have performance problems" myth
  • 32:32 - A known vs unknown set of performance characteristics
  • 37:36 - Can you find experts for all of your system's constituent parts?
  • 40:10 - Long-term budget considerations
  • 44:23 - Some organizations "just aren't ready for composable"
  • 51:02 - Now you have to get REALLY good at documentation
  • 52:53 - Key questions for a future-architecture evaluation
  • 56:25 - Analogy - the forced cloud migration
  • 58:12 - The conference hype train

Please give our podcast a listen, and reach out if you’d like to discuss how new infrastructure models like this might work for your environment! Please reach out!

Tad Reeves

Principal Architect at Arbory Digital

AEM Architect & DevOps guy with 14 years experience on AEM/CQ and 25+ years in systems infrastructure. He’s been mountain biking longer than he’s been doing system administration, and though originally from Maine, makes his home in the mountains of Northwest Georgia.

Contact Tad on Linkedin

Brett Birschbach

Executive Director of Technology at DX-ROI

Brett is Executive Director, Technology at DX ROI, driving technical thought leadership, processes, and solutions that focus on achieving both near-term and long-term value on enterprise digital experience and martech platforms. Leveraging his extensive real world experience as an Adobe Certified Master and Global Practice Lead with nearly 20 years of consistent leadership and relationship training, Brett leads and mentors an A-team of expert consultants and implementation specialists with an insatiable appetite to win.

Contact Brett on LinkedIn

Like what you heard? Have questions about what’s right for you? We’d love to talk! Contact Us

Podcast Episodes & Blog Posts

What is AEM? What is AEM used for? A basic explanation of AEM for beginners - Arbory Digital Podcast Ep6
What is AEM? What is Adobe Experience Manager used for? We’ve attempted to do a basic explanation of what AEM is and does in 30 minutes or less - and somehow we managed to make it, despite the Fire Department randomly showing up about 19 minutes into the podcast recording!.
Optimizing Site Performance in China for AEM & other platforms
How much do you know about the tools at your disposal to optimize your site's performance in mainland China? And even if you don't have a Chinese-language site, do you need to be concerned with in-China performance? YOU DO!
Is Self-Hosted AEM Still a Thing? Revisited in Today’s Edge Delivery World
In today’s war between cloud repatriation and blazingly-fast new Edge Delivery services, let’s revisit: is self-hosted AEM still a thing?