Decoupling Applications from Architecture

Docker led the way by introducing a new dawn by which we can decouple our Applications and their software dependencies from the Infrastructure on which we need to run them.

The TAO is here to provide the same by decoupling our Applications from the Architecture on which we implement them. A true separation of the Application (its logic, data and interface) from where the data is stored, how we move data around and where the code of the application executes.

The intent behind this split is to allow each to evolve independently without affecting the other, allowing the context of the moment (current needs) to guide the changes made to an application in the direction intended to achieve the most value without compromising the future of the application.

A Layered Approach

Docker provided a clean separation between the Application Layer and the Infrastructure Layer. This led to vast improvements in DevOps and System Administration enabling an explosion in the development of Cloud Native technologies like Kubernetes independent of the Applications being built to run in the Infrastructure provided.

The TAO further divides the Application Layer into 2 layers along the lines of implementation responsibility like Docker does:

  • Developer Layer
  • Architecture Layer

Using the TAO to achieve our goal of decoupling

The 3 parts making up the TAO provide the ingredients towards decoupling these 2 layers from each other:

  1. Trigram as message format
  2. Handler primitives (intercept, async, inline) as the interaction
  3. Signal Network

We can group these into our 2 Layers by who is responsible for defining and implementing them:

  1. Product Managers & Developers
  2. Developers
    • implement Behaviors using Handler Primitives w/ desired language
  3. Architects
    • decide what Signal Network implementation to use
    • decide where to run the Signal Network

Just like Docker introduced the Container using the shipping container analogy to separate what is inside the Container (Application Layer) from what the Container is running on (Infrastructure Layer), the TAO uses the API of the Signal Network to separate the Developer Layer from the Architecture Layer.

What an Application is as defined by using trigrams and what the Application implementation is using handlers is separated from how the different parts of an Application communicate using the Signal Network and potentially where the different parts of the Application execute.

How does this differ from other Rapid Application Development Frameworks?

Choice in Architecture

Most Rapid Application Development (RAD) Frameworks are providing the "Rapid" part of the application development by deciding on the Architecture for you.

The TAO is not making technology or implementation decisions based on a prescribed architecture:

  • any data store is supported without need for a framework specific library
  • how interaction with the data store is through the chosen driver

NO lock in on using specific communication mediums. All of REST, GraphQL, gRPC, Websockets, Request-Reply, Publish-Subscribe, etc. are available when using the TAO.

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