Packaged Business Capabilities, Microservices, and APIs
PBCs are a key piece of composable enterprise. They’re used to create the “best-of-breed” solution.
What exactly are PBCs?
PBCs are software components that consist of a collection of a data schema and set of services, APIs, and event channels.
Basically, PBCs represent certain defined business capabilities. They’re building blocks for developers to create custom-assembled apps. They connect key software and microservices in a way that allows organizations to scale business functions more quickly. Capabilities can be reused and repurposed to form new and different applications.
Since they’re building blocks that can be assembled in a variety of ways, development teams can piece together components in order to come up with new functionalities to address a business’s unique needs.
The other critical variable in this formula is APIs and API management. APIs are required for enterprise architects to facilitate and scale PBCs across an entire digital enterprise. APIs allow the custom mix of components to be pieced together.
API developer portals let app developers and fusion teams (also known as application teams) explore, test, and learn about the capabilities that exist across the tech stack.
Fusion teams are groups of people with skills ranging from business to IT. This blend of skills and experience allows companies to adapt and meet consumer demands. Through regular collaboration, these teams can better achieve objectives, adapt to changing priorities, and learn new tools and processes more easily.
By not siloing these teams into their respective departments, decisions can be made and products delivered more quickly as all the necessary individuals are working together.
Some of the advantages of having multidisciplinary teams are:
- Better distribution of responsibility for delivery—collaboration is heavily encouraged
- Less time waiting for certain information and answers from other departments
- The ability to make informed decisions more quickly
- Increased autonomy, which often leads to greater commitment from the team members
Microservices are the functions of an application that are broken down into small, autonomous services that work together.
They complement PBCs, which can be thought of as combinations of microservices. Microservices are how an application is designed, constructed, and deployed. PBCs are how the app is brought to market and how users consume it.
Companies can then become more of a business platform than just a provider of one service or product. Consider Amazon, for example. They sell products, host servers (AWS), provide digital services like TV streaming (Amazon Video), offer groceries and delivery, and more. An organization that thinks in this way can rethink, repurpose, and put together complementary and diverse products and services.
In theory, a solution can include 50 microservices, but each would be from a different vendor. This would mean integration costs would be huge, and users would have to experience 10 different UIs from different vendors within one commerce platform.
This is where PBCs enter the picture.
PBCs offer benefits, such as:
- Less complexity – Businesses deal with fewer building blocks, meaning simpler construction, deployment, and personnel training.
- Ability to change and upgrade – As new microservices appear, older ones can be altered to accommodate new tech and frameworks.