Microservices are to services, as organic food is to food

On Thanksgiving morning, I listened to a fascinating interview with Jacques Pepin, the celebrated French chef and PBS personality. Part of the interview touched on the topic of organic food. He joked that his parents were organic farmers even though at the time they were simply called farmers. That’s because the term ‘organic food’ didn’t exist until 1939. Before then all farming was organic. It wasn’t until the rise of industrialized agriculture, which uses pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, etc, that we needed a term to describe food grown without pesticides.

In many ways the organic food vs. food distinction mirrors the difference between microservices and service-oriented architecture (SOA). The term SOA has very negative connotations because it is strongly associated with commercialization and the baggage of WS* and ESBs. Consequently, in same way as we need to distinguish between organic food and food, we need to distinguish between microservices and SOA. It’s a shame that we need to do this because the word ‘microservices’  over-emphasizes service size.

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