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12 factor app and database services

21 September,2017 by Tom Collins

I’ve been looking at the 12 factor apps manifesto and how it relates to database servers. Modern developers reference the 12 factor app manifesto and from discussing with a range of developers and system administrators, I’m starting to understand there is a wide variety of intepretations and criticisms about the 12 factor principles

The intention of the 12 factor manifesto is to standardise the conversation for the application development space. Applications are going through a large revolution – questioning the traditional Enterprise stack and transitioning to SaaS architecture . 12 factor focuses on the concepts of how to identify patterns.

One of the dangers in blindly following the 12 factor manifesto is locking your application into a rigid structure. Stateless or light footprint statefulness are the primary candidates for the 12 factor treatment, web services, API service, servers. Stateful applications , such as database servers, are not as easy to wedge into the 12 factor .

For database servers – the most relevant principle is IV. Backing services - Treat backing services as attached resources. The general definition of a backing service is any service consumed by the application over the network.

This raises obvious observations such as: 1) It doesn’t matter whether the database server is local or a third party cloud service. The application following the 12 factor app principles does not differentiate between local and third party.   2) This is a type of decoupling and still coupled to allow flexibility in application deployment  

To view the 12 factor app principles , read more here

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