Understanding MACH Architecture and its Benefits for Enterprises

Oleksandr Hutsulyak
Team Lead & Senior Front-End Engineer at TechMagic. Member of Solution Architecture Group. Passionate about JavaScript and AWS.
Understanding MACH Architecture and its Benefits for Enterprises

Learn the vital role of MACH Architecture towards business longevity and the ability to cater to the needs of current consumer demands.

The ever-changing and ever-growing world of digital and online spaces has become rampant in recent years. Both large and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are utilizing such platforms to help maximize their target market and grow their business significantly.

That said, one of the drivers of digital technology revolves around providing the best customer experience and satisfaction.

In 2021, it was predicted that one strategic technology trend that will become vital in the business sector is providing a mix of  “multi-experience, customer experience, employee experience, and user experience.” to transform business outcomes.

This would ultimately require enterprises to be agile and adaptable to modern-day consumer demands, pushing technology to evolve from the monolithic architecture to a new approach that considers cloud-based databases and mix-and-match software capabilities to meet consumer needs.

You may ask, how will enterprises cater and catch up with such heavy and speedy demands? This is where MACH Architecture comes into the picture. In this blog post, we will discuss the vital role of MACH Architecture towards business longevity and the ability to cater to the needs of current consumer demands.

What is MACH Architecture?

Becoming a digitally fluent enterprise requires extensive effort to establish a digitally advanced platform for its consumers. This is where MACH Architecture comes in.

MACH: microservices, API-first, cloud-native, headless

MACH Architecture refers to technology principles behind new, top-of-the-line technology and digital platforms. MACH stands for Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless. It can be a mouthful in comparison to the former digital software architecture you’re used to before. Still, each plays a vital role in achieving a well-rounded, multi-experience, and comprehensive digital platform for your consumers.

Allow us to explain the functions of such factors and how it contributes to the MACH Architecture:

  • Microservices. These individual pieces or platforms contribute to your business’ functionality. These pieces are usually independently developed, deployed, and managed.
  • API-first. API-first refers to all the functionality that is exposed through API. This refers to the approach that considers APIs as first-class citizens. It is where you develop APIs with the end goal of API consumption in mind.
  • Cloud-Native Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This is a SaaS that leverages the use of cloud-based functions and maximizes them for business use. These functions are more than storage and hosting but also scalability, consumer-centric, efficiency, and rapid development cycles.
  • Headless. This refers to the storing, managing, and delivering of content, products, or services without the need for a front-end delivery. This separates the front-end user experience from the back-end logic, which enables companies to have full design freedom in creating the user interface and connecting with various channels, platforms, and devices.

It is best to keep in mind that MACH Architecture uses the best-of-creed approach. This means that enterprises are able to choose from a series of available software that best caters to their needs and have the freedom to integrate them under one system or roof that serves the purpose of their enterprise.

The Importance of MACH Architecture Towards Businesses

Earlier, we have established how rapid consumer demands have changed and grown in recent years. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the changes in consumer needs for digitization and connectivity. Because of this, enterprises are pushed to match current industry trends and revamp their business approach in providing products and services to their consumers.

The monolithic or suite-based approach to technology has become unviable for meeting the needs of consumers today.

Moving into MACH architecture gives you the freedom to take and utilize the best tools in the market, without becoming limited to one structure or suite.

Moreover, MACH architecture has a structure that makes it easy to add, replace, or remove technologies that may become irrelevant and insufficient for your business and consumer’s needs in the future.

The Benefits of MACH Architecture

Here are the key benefits when deciding to move from the traditional, monolithic technology structure to help give you further insight into the importance of MACH architecture and get an established idea of its value to businesses and e-commerce.

Benefits of MACH architecture - TechMagic

Speedy Development Capabilities, with less risk

MACH Architecture provides enterprises with an agile and highly-adaptable structure, allowing you to develop and launch your products at a much faster speed in comparison to traditional methods. It can help you speedily bring your minimum viable products (MVP) to market.

This also allows you to launch your product prototypes and help validate your ideas and concepts to your consumers before investing in large-scale improvements and developments to your product.

The quicker you can market your product to early adopters, the quicker you are at validating your ideas, improving your products, and implementing such changes before launch, placing you ahead of the competition.

Read also: The MVP Approach: A Guide to Minimum Viable Product Development for Startups

House Best-of-Breed Technology

As mentioned earlier, monolithic and one-suite structures are slowly becoming unviable for many businesses and consumers, mostly due to the extensive pool of software that is readily available today.

With MACH Architecture, you have the freedom to make use of and fit the best tools in the industry without being constricted to a one-suite structure.

You can say goodbye to settling for less-than-the-best add-ons to make your suite viable and comprehensive. By implementing this, you can simply create a suite of services and tools that best caters to your product’s key proposition while ensuring that your consumers get what they want.

Reduce the Need to Upgrade

As new technologies emerge, companies are looking for ways to ensure that their products and services are up-to-standard with current industry trends to stay on top of their competitors.

Enterprises operating under monolithic and traditional tech structures will subject themselves to constant software and suite upgrading, which can become costly and inefficient.

MACH Architecture can provide automatic and non-breaking releases by ensuring that its code and your company’s code are separate from each other. This makes adding, replacing, or removing a set or individual tools or software easy.

Customization and Innovation

It is a known reality for many businesses that consumer demands change in a blink of an eye. What is viable and relevant today can simply become outdated and irrelevant tomorrow. This is why many businesses are looking at investing in MACH architecture due to its highly adaptable and agile structure.

The ability to constantly change is one of the key pillars in MACH architecture, providing freedom to enterprises to change and adapt based on its market and consumer demands while reducing cost and development time.

These are a few of the many reasons how MACH gives a large amount of business value to enterprises. With the ever-changing needs in the industry today, increasing your capabilities to become highly adaptable and consumer-centric is one of the defining factors of a successful business.

Read also: TOP 5 Enterprise Application Development Technologies 2022

The Pros and Cons of MACH Architecture

Although MACH Architecture comes with numerous benefits for business and product development, it is still a structure that can either be beneficial or crippling to some enterprises.

Although it provides best-of-breed technology, customization, speedy developments, and high adaptability, its cons – if not addressed or implemented properly – can result in over-complexity, which can hinder a product from fully providing solutions it services to its ideal clients.

Here, allow us to break down the factors to provide you with an in-depth look at the pros and cons of MACH Architecture.

Microservices

Microservices are the individual pieces or software/applications that contribute to the entirety of your business’ functionality. It's a cloud-native architectural approach where a single application (your product) is composed of numerous, loosely coupled, and independently deployable smaller parts and services.

Generally, microservices use a service discovery to find a proper route of communication between each component. This automatically detects devices and services on the network.

Once microservices successfully communicate with each other – through an API – they deploy static content to a static cloud-based service that delivers the content to their clients through a content delivery network (CDNs).

Here are the common pros and cons of microservices in a MACH architecture.

The Pros:

  • Microservices is capable of improving the scalability of your business. It allows for a modular system which can be individually scaled through on-demand auto-scaling
  • It can cover many aspects of business operations such as storefront, catalog, reviews, inventory, etc.
  • The agile and adaptable structure of MACH architecture allows for a quick adding, removing, and replacing of services.
  • Improves your products time-to-market rate

The Cons:

  • Microservice can be costly. Given that consumer demands regularly change, companies that opt to adjust microservices at a constant rate can accrue costly development and software replacement charges.
  • For small businesses, the lack of resources to manage APIs, conduct testing strategies, and build a DevOps culture can hinder business growth.
  • Complex architecture. Having too many microservices can create a hyper complex system that can confuse both developers and users.

API-First

API design is one of the vital aspects to a successful product. Having an API-first approach as one of the pillars in MACH architecture enables enterprises to provide a full coverage of its features and functionality at a programmatic API level.

Here are the pros and cons of having an API-first approach in MACH architecture.

The Pros:

  • You have the freedom to select any front-end technology or framework.
  • Having an API-first structure allows our developers to have a smoother and easier experience in developing your product. A well designed, abstract, and consistent API reduces the probability of encountering complications that happen behind the API-layer.

The Cons:

  • The need for a dedicated team of developers to create and develop your APIs. This implication can be costly, especially for smaller-sized businesses.
  • There is a probability of developing a low-quality API. Being API-first is not an automatic translation of developing high-quality API. Ensuring to take the time to research and dive into API principles will help you avoid developing low-quality API.

Cloud-Native Software-as-a-Service

As mentioned, Cloud-native SaaS refers to a kind of SaaS that is developed, designed and deployed as cloud-native applications and is built with a composable architecture, allowing it to host several independent services. A cloud-native SaaS is made and developed with speed and scaling in mind.

Here are the pros and cons of cloud-native SaaS in MACH Architecture.

The Pros:

  • It has a high potential for hassle-free scalability. Having a composable architecture with independent services enables enterprises to maintain and scale their product without problems.
  • The services imbued within cloud-native SaaS allows for an automated and continuous integration and deployment.
  • Cloud-native SaaS has the ability to be consumer-centric by allowing it to respond to the demands of consumers at a much faster pace.

The Cons:

  • There are several cases where cloud-native SaaS is required to deliver the service through a private channel due to security, among other reasons.

Headless

A headless approach allows businesses to support omnichannel journeys across traditional and digital platforms which works very well for businesses with a unique e-commerce approach.

Here are the pros and cons of the headless approach within MACH Architecture.

The Pros:

  • Omnichannel Journeys. As mentioned above, omnichannel journey allows businesses to eliminate channel silos and provide a seamless customer experience across multiple touch-points and platforms.
  • A common pro across all aspects of MACH architecture, having a headless approach allows businesses to have complete freedom over the front-end software they wish to use or build for their channels.
  • This also provides new opportunities in the industry by welcoming new business models that can improve revenue and growth for every enterprise.

The Cons:

  • Usually comes with a lack of front-end (head) with the solution
  • Businesses will have the tendency to build a front-end natively or hire a 3rd party front-end to integrate with their product.

MACH Architecture vs Traditional Architecture

Now that we have established what MACH architecture is, its components, and how it can drive value towards your business and product development needs, let us dive into its differences in comparison to the traditional and monolithic architecture.

MACH vs traditional architecture

API-Connectivity vs the Complexity of Integrations

We have established the ability of MACH architecture to provide seamless and easy integration of various software into one platform. It leverages APIs to smoothly integrate the best-of-breed tools available in the industry. This allows for a unique customer experience.

On the other hand, the monolithic structure features a suite-approach in providing products and services to their clients. This usually limits users from fully maximizing operations due to the constricting boundaries of the suite-based approach.

When it comes to integrating new software into the suite, it requires each integration to be heavily customized to fit into the suite and the requirements within the monolithic architecture.

Microservices vs Monolithic Architecture

MACH Architecture has the ability to cater a “mix and match” setup towards building a comprehensive product for their clients. It allows enterprises to utilize the best-of-breed tools for providing services to their clients.

With the traditional architecture, the approach was made by providing a one-stop-shop in mind. This focused on providing an all-in one suite/platform of the services your company may need. Applications are built as a single unit which enables all functionality and management to be stored in one place.

Local/On-Premise vs Cloud-Hosted

Before the emergence of MACH architecture, most databases were hosted in a local or private network stored in physical storages. As technology evolved and the emergence of cloud-based storages and software came in, enterprises have begun to shift to the latter due to its:

  • accessibility,
  • efficiency,
  • and cost-effective factors.

With MACH architecture, it utilizes cloud-based hosting rather than on premises. This reduces the complexity of having a host software, updates, and scalability.

Headless Separation vs Tight Coupling

Having a headless approach as one of its key pillars, MACH Architecture leverages this approach to separate the back-end and front-end, allowing enterprises to have the capability to have the freedom in choosing various front-end developments. This gives them the chance to focus on providing unique customer experience.

Meanwhile, in monolithic structures, both front-end and back-end features are tightly coupled together.

This makes each end to be heavily dependent on each other, making any changes or upgrades to undergo complex procedures as it requires companies to address both back-end and front-end development.

Read also: A Global Brand From Day One: the Core Idea, Benefits, and Features of MyTelescope

MACH Architecture in Practice

In this section, let us discuss how MACH architecture works in practice, how to implement it, and how it works. Here, we will explain how each aspect of MACH architecture should function as you transition from traditional architecture.

Microservices in Practice

How does microservices perform when implemented in practice? Generally, the architectural composition consists of the following:

  • Service mesh‍. This is a dedicated and configurable infrastructure layer that is built to document how how different parts of a product’s microservices interact.
  • Service discovery. This automatically detects devices and services on the network.
  • API gateway. This provides a singleURL for the clients and then internally maps the requests to a group of internal microservices.
  • Containers. This ensures that the units are consistent throughout the entire development process, including testing.

Microservices actively communicate with and exchange data with each other, forming a complete application, but remaining separate in nature. Each of the services hosts a separate IP address, exposes a public interface that is language-agnostic.

API-First Approach in Practice

Once the microservices are in place, they communicate with each other and exchange data through the use of an Application Programming Interface (API).

In practice, API is a host that is in a separate and microservices-based system. API is responsible for the sending and receiving of requests. Simply put, API creates a framework that handles the logic while eliminating the need to learn more about the back-end aspect of the product. It masks the complexity and provides an easy-to-use platform despite being run by loosely coupled systems.

Cloud-Native SaaS in Practice

Cloud-native SaaS is the software that is hosted in the cloud. Having such eliminates the need to install or maintain anything since updates are done automatically without customer effort, downtime, licensing costs, or other fees.

This way, it enables you to provide sophisticated and flexible scaling capabilities to meet growing and ever-changing consumer demands in the industry. Through cloud-based SaaS, enterprises can use the service as a whole without having to deploy or redeploy solutions.

Headless in Practice

In practice, the headless approach in MACH architecture allows enterprises to have complete freedom over customization, speed up time-to-market, and enables them to provide unique customer experience.

This can help you build a platform that meets the current trends in your industry and meet the needs of your consumers. You can freely compose your systems by adding, removing, and replacing certain technologies that can benefit and improve your product in the long run.

Final Thoughts

In an ever-growing and ever-changing business landscape, taking advantage of new technologies that prioritizes customer satisfaction and experience, accessibility, efficiency, speedy time-to-market and cost-effectiveness can place your business ahead of its competitors.

Mobile practice case study

MACH Architecture allows enterprises to fully take hold of their product while ensuring that they are providing their clients with the best-of-breed software in the industry at present.

This mix and match capability allows you to be more flexible in your industry which can increase the chances of securing a successful business venture.

Transitioning from traditional to MACH architecture can be challenging. At TechMagic, our full suite of experienced tech developers and tools can help you have a smooth transition into MACH architecture.

Frequently Asked Questions About MACH Architecture:

  1. What is MACH architecture?
    MACH Architecture refers to technology principles behind new, top-of-the-line technology and digital platforms. MACH stands for Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless.
  2. Why is MACH Architecture important?
    MACH architecture gives you the freedom to take and utilize the best tools in the market, without becoming limited to one structure or suite. This allows you to meet your consumer needs quicker with less hassle.
  3. What is the goal of MACH?
    The purpose of MACH provides businesses the flexibility to cater to and adhere to the growing and changing needs in market and consumer demands.
  4. What is the MACH Alliance?
    The MACH Alliance is a non-profit co-operation of technology companies helping enterprise organizations navigate the complex modern technology landscape.
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