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BLOG. 2 min read

Microservices: What Are They and Why You Should Care

In our "How SS&C approached the design and execution of Lyric" post, we talked about how SS&C approached the development of Lyric. We learned that microservices are a core part of Lyric’s architecture. Modern developers are increasingly adopting microservices due to their agility-focused benefits, and as a result, the architecture is appearing more and more in new technologies. However, for those who work outside the tech world, microservices likely spark some basic questions: what are they, why use them, and what are the benefits?

What are microservices?

Microservices architecture is a way to build a series of applications as “loosely coupled” parts or modules that can come together to form a bigger solution or service. Each microservice represents a specific function or task that is independent, yet intended to interact with other microservices. Microservices are simple by design, but do not underestimate their power. Developers are still designing for complex needs and using the architecture to create powerful, new technologies.

Built on a state-of-the-art cloud-native microservices architecture, SS&C Lyric is a fully integrated solution for asset managers, financial advisors, broker-dealers and retirement providers. Each component of Lyric works great by itself, but operations are dynamically orchestrated when they work together.

One microservices use case within Lyric is the new account verification process, which is multifaceted involving several verifications. These include address verification, AML (anti-money-laundering) check, KYC (know your client) and bank verification. We developed a microservice for each of these specialized tasks. Each microservice contributes to the end result—the new account verification process.

Why microservices?

Some of the top advantages of microservices architecture include faster development and deployment and greater agility and flexibility. A microservices stack is designed at the lowest functional level, so it then becomes an assembly of those functions. Deployment can occur in multiple channels, yet no additional development is required. This approach enables much faster development than a monolithic system because of reuse, and not having to wait until all components are ready. 

With targeted and independent development, other microservices will not be impacted. This creates opportunities for greater reliability, consistency and agility. It also enables organizations to better manage enterprise architecture because business functions are designed as a combination of smaller, independent applications.

Scaling also becomes easier and faster because functions are separate and executed when needed, as opposed to having to deploy the entire application; whereas, with monolithic systems, the opposite happens. Even a small change involves the entire system. As more modifications occur, the programming becomes more complicated, making upgrades and scaling more complex and time-consuming. Since the system is tied together, there is a greater risk for the system to be impacted negatively. If one application fails, the entire system can fail.  

Benefits for SS&C and our clients

There’s no doubt that microservices offer unique advantages. At SS&C, we gain the ability to iterate faster, address new features on a shorter schedule and turn fixes around quicker. This helps us run our clients’ most business-critical workflows and technology with greater speed and agility. We are better able to meet our clients’ changing business needs since we are continuously designing, developing and deploying new applications and services to address clients’ future outcomes. The result is a powerful, investment management framework that harmonizes client operations, enables rapid digital transformation and scales to meet our future marketplace’s needs.

If you’d like to learn more about the technology behind Lyric, listen to our "Lyric in Action: Bringing a Technology Vision to Reality" podcast.

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