Businesses need to innovate to match rapidly changing consumer behavior and expectations. To this end, software development practices are also continuously evolving. MACH software architecture is one of the many such practices that has evolved over the years to meet the changing business needs.
MACH stands for Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless.
It is a term coined by the German e-commerce platform: Commerce tools in 2019 and is a set of architectural design principles to build modular software that is agile, scalable, customer-centric, and future proof.
In traditional software architecture, everything is built into a single monolithic piece. Microservice architecture often called microservices is a new approach in which each business function of an app can be built, deployed, and maintained as independent modular components. This modularity also means that multiple applications can be architected to share resources.
Since your functions live independently, failure or errors in one function often doesn’t bring down your whole application. This not only means that your application will be more resilient but also gives you more freedom to improve, scale, or update these independent pieces. This aligns well with the Agile DevOps practice of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD).
This modular approach helps your team to work simultaneously on independent functions enabling you to bring products to market much quicker.
Also Read: Micro Frontends: The Microservices Approach to Web App Development
In a code-first approach, the core services are developed and the API implementation accommodates the core service. You might end up in a situation where different parts are built such that some functionalities might bottleneck and restrict others. This means that you might have to rework and delay your development.
In an API-first approach as the name suggests the APIs are built first. Your team will start with planning, designing, and testing APIs first. Your team that is responsible for the rest of the application will architect other pieces to work well with each other.
Since API-first approach helps gather feedback early from both development and non-development teams, you can make changes early and avoid wasting time.
Cloud-Native is an approach to building and running applications in a cloud environment. Microservices that form the core of cloud-native architecture are often packaged into containers which dynamically orchestrate so each part is actively scheduled and managed to optimize resource utilization. The cloud-native application can be scaled up to meet demands in a very short span all the while keeping your infrastructural costs low because you only pay the cloud platform for the resources you utilize.
Also Read: What is Serverless Microservices ?
In a headless architecture, the front-end of the application is decoupled from the backend of the application. With a single backend, you can deliver to multiple frontends like web, iOS, Android. When you want to introduce either a new business channel or support a new IoT device, you can easily implement them without having to rebuild your existing systems.
This gives you the flexibility to choose a front-end framework that is not as restrictive as the traditional monolithic framework which means that you can provide breakthrough (UX) tailored to each platform. Since changes to your backend remain independent of your frontend you can also rapidly scale up your business.
The modular nature of MACH along with its amazing benefits comes with an inherent complexity. It requires organizational changes and not just changes to your development practices. You should evaluate your current and future requirements to decide if a transition to MACH makes sense for your business. Book a free consultation with our experts if you want to see if MACH architecture is right for you.