Learn the secret to modernizing your legacy application architecture

Accelerate innovation with microservices, API management and developer-friendly tools.

A decade into the application economy, it’s still a familiar problem: How do you quickly roll out new apps, integrations, and business models when your enterprise architecture is based on legacy applications, SOA, or an ESB?

As I listen to customers from different industries, there is a common list of obstacles to innovation that comes up in every conversation:

  • Organizational, infrastructure and data silos
  • Difficulty supporting or scaling for mobile, cloud and IoT apps
  • Fear of security threats to APIs and the apps that use them
  • Friction in the API and app development lifecycles

When you look for solutions to these challenges, you tend to find patterns and products that target each one individually. For example, many teams are transitioning monolithic applications to loosely-coupled microservices as they try to improve agility and scale for mobile, cloud and IoT use cases.

Yet solving for one problem often leads to complexity somewhere else. In those microservice projects, many architects are running into new challenges around orchestration and security.

Modern application architecture model: the playbook for agility

Ultimately, all IT organizations want to achieve the same thing – provide the foundation for great digital experiences in a fast, manageable and cost-effective way. They are the modern software factories that transform enterprise information assets into apps that customers, partners and employees want to interact with.

For a CTO or Chief Digital Officer, the goal of the game isn’t to have the most elegant microservices architecture or the most perfectly-managed API platform. Those are just great plays. The endgame is an efficient and effective end-to-end architecture that drives business agility and innovation.

With this in mind, it’s helpful to take a step back and look at today’s best practices – microservices, APIs and great tools for app development – in the context of a holistic model that broadly articulates the role of modern application architecture:

Full lifecycle API management at the heart of the model

CA has said it for a while now, and leading analysts agree, that full lifecycle API management is the connective tissue that holds a modern architecture together. As APIs progress through their lifecycle – from planning and creation to publication and consumption by app developers, enterprise data “becomes real” and directly impacts the customer experience in terms of payload, performance, scalability and security.

Because of this, a full lifecycle API management solution is at the heart of our model, where it defines, manages and secures the relationship between the providers of enterprise data from existing systems, and its consumption by modern apps.

Microservices + APIs bring clarity to modern architectures

On the API provider side, decomposing legacy applications into a microservices architecture is rapidly becoming a best practices approach. Athough this leads to greater agility and scalability, it can also create complexity around things like service discovery, orchestration and security.

These challenges are similar and analogous to problems that a full lifecycle API management solution is designed to solve. That’s why we made a pioneering decision to expand the footprint of our API management suite to encompass microservice management – creation, orchestration and security – as well. When you look at microservices and APIs in a holistic way, the idea of “modernizing application architecture” starts to make a lot of sense.

Mobile & IoT App Development as the next frontier

The final frontier for this model is to take our newly decomposed, microservice-based APIs out into the world by making it easier for developers to discover, develop with, and consume them in their apps.

Adding developer-friendly tools into a solution strategy that also integrates microservices and API management means that you end up with a model that closely parallels the actual objective of IT organizations today – modernizing application architecture to drive agility and innovation, especially for mobile, cloud and IoT.

Your next step

This is just a teaser – there’s so much more to talk about when it comes to this subject.

That’s why, together with the API Academy and our partners including Perficient and Wipro, we’re excited to host a free Virtual Summit Series to educate and share best practices about modernizing architectures with microservices and APIs.

Our first event takes place on July 11, 2017 – register now for this opportunity to learn from thought leaders and network with your peers.


David Chiu is a Senior Principal for product marketing at CA Technologies, specializing in API…

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