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Twelve-Factor App methodology

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The Twelve-Factor App methodology is a methodology for building software-as-a-service applications. These best practices are designed to enable applications to be built with portability and resilience when deployed to the web.[1]


The methodology was drafted by developers at Heroku, a platform-as-a-service company, and was first presented by Adam Wiggins circa 2011.[1]

The Twelve Factors[edit]

The Twelve Factors[1][2]
# Factor Description
I Codebase There should be exactly one codebase for a deployed service with the codebase being used for many deployments.
II Dependencies All dependencies should be declared, with no implicit reliance on system tools or libraries.
III Config Configuration that varies between deployments should be stored in the environment.
IV Backing services All backing services are treated as attached resources and attached and detached by the execution environment.
V Build, release, run The delivery pipeline should strictly consist of build, release, run.
VI Processes Applications should be deployed as one or more stateless processes with persisted data stored on a backing service.
VII Port binding Self-contained services should make themselves available to other services by specified ports.
VIII Concurrency Concurrency is advocated by scaling individual processes.
IX Disposability Fast startup and shutdown are advocated for a more robust and resilient system.
X Dev/Prod parity All environments should be as similar as possible.
XI Logs Applications should produce logs as event streams and leave the execution environment to aggregate.
XII Admin Processes Any needed admin tasks should be kept in source control and packaged with the application.

Criticism and adaptation[edit]

A Nginx architect argued that the relevance of the Twelve-Factor app concept is somewhat specific to Heroku, while introducing their own (Nginx's) proposed architecture for microservices.[3] The twelve factors are however cited as a baseline from which to adapt or extend.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Hofmann, Michael; Schnabel, Erin; Stanley, Katherine (13 March 2017). Microservices Best Practices for Java. IBM Redbooks. pp. 2–3. ISBN 9780738442273.
  2. ^ Wiggins, Adam. "The Twelve-Factor App". Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  3. ^ Horowitz, Ben (28 July 2016). "MRA, Part 5: Adapting the Twelve‑Factor App for Microservices". NGINX. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Beyond the Twelve-Factor App - Exploring the DNA of Highly Scalable, Resilient Cloud Applications". O'Reilly. Retrieved 22 December 2017.

External links[edit]