What is MACH Architecture?

This article will detail the MACH architecture, which was designed to assist you in utilizing adaptable and combinable systems. This will help you keep your promise of superior user experiences.

Keeping up with rapid changes in customer expectations is difficult. And these expectations are getting more rigorous every day. Providing a user experience that meets customer's expectations requires a technical approach that is flexible and forward-thinking. This is when the MACH architecture enters the picture.

What we want to do is: Future proof enterprise technology and propel current and future digital experiences.

MACH Alliance

What exactly is MACH?

MACH is an acronym that stands for Microservices based, API first, Cloud Native SaaS, and Headless.

Microservices Based

This is a method where separate elements of business functionality are created, deployed, and maintained on their own. You gain a lot of flexibility in the design by establishing a framework of tiny autonomous parts. The fundamental idea here is minimalism. When systems are divided into smaller composable components, they become considerably easier to maintain and increases the solution's flexibility. The most significant advantage is agility. By breaking the monolithic system into manageable pieces, the whole software development lifecycle (SDLC) is simplified. This efficiency allows for more rapid development and more trustworthy operations because of this microservices based method.

API First

This means that all functionality is exposed through an application programming interface (API) at its core. In most digital property implementations, this means that a set of services is established to be the "translator" between two systems. A great example of this is a web service layer that assists the front-end website in retrieving data from your ERP system. Because your implementation started with an API first mindset, the ERP team can replace or upgrade to tools on their end without disruption to the overall system. An API First mindset coupled with a Microservices architecture results in a modular, extensible, and reusable ecosystem. Your organization will be more agile knowing that it can confidently make changes in one area without being forced to work through a complex set of cascading impacts.

Cloud-Native SaaS

Microservices that are API-centric fit naturally with being cloud-native. This allows systems to be deployed into SaaS and PaaS environments that take advantage of more than just compute, data, and storage resources. Programmatic development, elastic scaling capabilities, and automatic updates are all features found in cloud-native solutions. These cloud-native features speed your time to market, reduce your compliance risk and gain efficiencies of scale. 


As we discuss in our Headless CMS whitepaper, taking a headless approach offers a slew of advantages. My favorite one by far is that it increases flexibility. The API model behind the Headless can be leveraged in many unique ways. Your imagination is the limit. Using headless and microservices you can unlock the capabilities of a website, CRM, phone app, ecommerce, and voice activated technology (VAT) -- all with the same content store on the backend and a simple API layer to provide access. For years, the term "omnichannel" has been used to describe online customer experiences that are personalized for each individual customer. With this technological advancement, it's now feasible to deliver such user experiences that surprise and delight your consumers.

Let's take a look at the three primary benefits of MACH:  

Easier to Build - Because each function area is broken down into fragments and supported by a comprehensive API, it's simple to divide a project into several areas of responsibility within the company. Each one can operate swiftly and independently without affecting the others, allowing them to grow at their own pace. This adaptability gives your digital transformation an edge, allowing it to develop rapidly.

Testing - Modules that are smaller are more testable, which increases deployment confidence. The separation between backend tools, middleware APIs, and frontend rendering adds to the benefits of this method even further. Making it easier to deploy will significantly increase the speed at which change is made. Imagine seeing a dashboard with each code change demonstrating that the system will continue to operate reliability post deployment. Confidence in testing is exactly how Etsy has achieved over 80 deployments a day. With the MACH principles, this is achievable by any organization.

Focused on Business Needs - As Martin Fowler puts it "Products not Projects." The digital world is a product-oriented, service-providing place, which means your websites and digital properties should be as well. Each has an intended audience, a defined business purpose, and ultimately serves the audience. By using MACH architecture, you create a digital infrastructure asset that is focused on business demands rather than technological constraints.

Industry Leading Insights 

Our latest thinking on personalization, digital transformation and experience design


Stay in the know.

Email is required.