AWS Developer Acceleration (DevAx) enablement program

DNX Solutions delivered the AWS Developer Acceleration (DevAx) enablement program to Big Red Group (BRG). The program is aimed at increasing the customers’ developer skills for cloud adoption and building developer cloud native fluency across their organisation. A major focus of AWS DevAx is the developer patterns and practices of modernisation and distributed system design, to break down and rearchitect monolithic application architectures.

The DNX team delivered the AWS DevAx enablement as a structured program by running a structured enablement program, working directly with BRG’s development teams for six weeks. A comprehensive curriculum taught through workshops and co-development sessions resulted in the upskilling of BRG’s internal development community.

What is the “Monoliths To Microservices” Program?

The migration from a monolithic architecture to microservices requires both a willingness on the part of the developer and the business as a whole, as well as a thorough understanding of the way in which architectures such as microservices design patterns can be used and the tools that can be utilised in order to deploy them.

The AWS DevAx “Monoliths to Microservices” program aims to increase developers’ knowledge and experience in distributed system design patterns, or to assist developers in gaining more experience in developing on AWS in general. The program takes a theory and patterns-first approach, then introduces the AWS developer tools. It, therefore, targets experienced developers looking to increase their skills, which perfectly reflects the BRG team that undertook the program with DNX Solutions.

Over the 6 weeks that DNX delivered the program, BRG developers started with a Java Springboot Monolith with a large RDBMS backend and methodically broke the monolith into a series of decoupled microservices. The DNX team rehosted the application in AWS, and then refactored the application architecture to utilise application release automation, bounded context based microservices, refactor and rearchitect the databases, implement an event driven system, implement authentication and authorisation systems, and create AI driven services. 

Topics like microservices security best practices are covered as a cross-cutting topic across all modules.

  • Module 1: Lift & Shift – Migrating The Monolith
  • Module 2: Application Release Automation
  • Module 3: Create a Microservice
  • Module 4: Refactor Your Database
  • Module 5: Microservices Decoupled Eventing & Messaging Architectures
  • Module 6: Creating an Authenticated Single Page App
  • Module 7: Creating Immersive AI Experiences

What is the value of the AWS DevAx program to BRG?

The DevAx enablement contributed to a mindset shift in the BRG Java developers, where they received the knowledge and tools required to alter their way of working from monolithic applications to a microservices-based architecture. This gave them the chance to understand the new technology, the different opportunities it provides and why it is worth adopting. For a company that is dealing with multiple brands all with unique infrastructures and functionalities, merging the data was a mammoth task that required an open-minded and educated developer team. As stated by the BRG Head of Engineering, this complexity is the reason “Devax Academy was extremely important in changing our team’s mindset, encouraging them to get involved with the project”. In addition, the deep understanding and insight into the patterns BRG’s teams need to break the monolithic across different types of architectures at speed will allow developers to reuse those same patterns in the future.

To move from monolith to microservices was a breakthrough for BRG. By moving away from long-running environments and drastically altering the development life cycle, teams can begin doing development with whatever the code repository is, allowing developers to spin up the environments. In addition, the cost of non-production is massively decreased by maintaining production and changing non-production as development is undertaken. In BRG’s case, the new confidence in breaking up and re-architecting monolithic applications that cannot be easily rehosted in the cloud has opened up many more doors, such as making it possible for them to build a secure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that is simple to use and maintain. An additional benefit of microservices is the ability to implement Straight-Through Processing (STP). STP uses automation to increase the speed of financial transactions, which not only simplifies financial processes but its implementation at BRG has also saved them a huge amount in operational expenditure.

Upon completion of the program, the BRG team had gained a thorough foundation of knowledge and insight, meaning they are not only willing but also able, to strive for continual improvement. These benefits are just some of those gained by BRG due to the move from monolith to microservice technology, all of which can be achieved by any business willing to commit to the change.

DNX Solutions values sharing knowledge and is proud to be able to deliver comprehensive programs through the AWS DevAx enablement. For businesses that want to take control of their assets without having to rely on external resources, completing enablement through DevAx is a straightforward and valuable way to increase in-house skills. To see how your business can benefit from this program, contact DNX today.