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What’s the key to a successful software system? It might be microservices. The idea is gradually replacing monolithic applications and becoming the standard in the development of new software systems.
Microservices are the future of software development. The microservices architecture has been around for a while, but it has only recently come to prominence in recent years. Microservices are a type of service-oriented architecture (SOA) that breaks up complex programs into smaller, more manageable parts called modules. Modules interact over networks while serving a single purpose.
It is being used by startups and enterprises alike because it offers some key advantages that other architectures do not provide. In this article, we will explore why microservices matter and what they can be used for – so keep reading!
Fundamental Difference Between Microservices Architecture And Monolithic
The microservices architecture of the application was born out of the monolithic architecture when it became complex and inconvenient to work with. The main difference between microservices and a monolith is the use of specialized, simpler programs (modules) when executing an application script. Whereas in a monolithic architecture, in-process interactions were used.
And, what is most convenient, the modules can be located on different servers and their interaction occurs through the network using protocol-independent technology.
Microservices Architecture Has Several Advantages Over Monolithic Architecture:
- Symmetric architecture (in monolithic applications – hierarchical)
- Interchangeability of microservices
- Independence of microservices from each other
- Organization of modules around individual functions
- Writing microservices using any software that is optimal for each specific module, while they “understand” each other well thanks to the interface. Interface creation is the most difficult task
- Microservices are only called by the user, not each other
Each microservice is a small monolithic program that performs its function. When developing a microservice architecture, you can add any number of new microservices to a software product, expanding its functionality. To achieve this in a monolithic program, you need to make changes to the main product.
The principle of operation of a microservices architecture can be seen in an everyday example. Let’s say we decided to use a service such as dry cleaning. We give the item, and after a while, we get it back clean, ironed and ready to use, without thinking about how this is achieved and what services are performed inside the dry cleaning.
And there are many such services: take a thing, put it in the washing machine, start the wash, get it out, iron it, give it out, and so on.
Also, inside programs, there are autonomous functions, microservices, which were previously hidden from the user in a monolithic architecture. As in the case of dry cleaning, the user accessed program functions and received results without thinking about how it was done.
The monolithic architecture could not keep up with the business need to accelerate, as large services are difficult to quickly change and adapt. To achieve acceleration, a reasonable solution was to create standard microservices, implemented in different ways in large services and separated into independent components.
Now every major service can use microservices as needed. And since there was no need to duplicate typical functions, this made the programs lighter and more flexible.
With a microservice architecture, applications can be updated in parts, which is much easier and safer than updating the “monolith”. The application will not crash if one or more microservices crash.
What Microservices Can Be Used For?
Developers use microservices when it comes down to handling complex tasks like mapping routes or creating APIs for mobile apps. In fact, many developers find that building new features on top of existing ones becomes much easier with a microservice-based approach because there’s less code coupling involved.
Microservices architecture is a perfect fit for systems with heavy continuous integration and deployment cycles or when many small teams work on the same codebase.
The microservice approach also works well in cases like creating an API that needs to be consumed by various devices, clients and browsers – each client would have its own microservice that handles requests coming from it.
How Do Microservices Work?
A typical microservice might use REST APIs, SOAP/RPC protocols or HTML form submissions to communicate over the Internet with other services of the system. This allows developers to send messages between themselves as needed, according to their individual responsibilities.
This way they don’t need any complex logic inside them because there’s less code coupling involved. As an example: if one person needs to update their website while and another person is updating their app, they can both use microservices to communicate and send messages from one service to another.
Reasons For The Emergence Of Microservice Architecture
The problem of using monolithic applications was first discussed in 2005 at the Cloud Computing conference. Large, solid programs became too inconvenient to develop, did not provide the required speed of implementation and functionality, were difficult to test and took a long time to put into operation. They did not allow for quick amendments and rapid response to changes in business requirements.
Even then, microservices were called a new stage in the development of architecture, which will provide applications with the necessary flexibility and lightness. The term “microservices” stuck in 2011 in the development of software containing modules – but this is more about SOA. In 2012, the term was finally adopted, but the meaning that we use today has acquired recently.
Microservices architecture in the modern sense have the following features:
- lightness and simplicity: each module has a unique function and is small in size;
- finiteness, atomicity.
- flexibility: the module can be easily changed by adding the necessary options to its work.
- combining microservices to implement different functions.
Microservices architecture eliminated the disadvantages of monolithic software by providing:
- isolation and minimization of changes.
- acceleration of development.
- the ability to easily adjust the software to the business structure.
- The need to speed up work
One of the key features of modern business is dynamism. Whoever entered the market first gets a competitive advantage. The quicker to make the necessary changes and implement improvements will gain a larger market share. All this leads to the fact that it is necessary to look for ways to speed up work, including software products.
As soon as there are repetitive moments or duplicate functions in the program, then it becomes necessary to switch to microservice components. In order not to produce thousands of micro functions in different parts of the system, it is better to split a large module into atomic functions. Moreover, the division continues until it is possible to isolate individual functions.
If earlier monolithic services implemented specific business functions, today microservices do not carry independent business functions. A huge plus of this architecture is that you can implement new business functions using a set of existing microservices.
This advantage of the microservices approach explains its relevance. In addition, each module can be built individually using optimal development tools.
By dividing the “monolith” into microservices, the developer gets the opportunity to parallelize the development, which significantly reduces the lead time.
When different modules are developed, it just remains to collect them into a single system. At the same time, each microservice can be easily transformed by changing market requirements without interfering with the operation of the entire application.
Debugging the work of software with a microservice architecture is a faster process than debugging the work of a “monolith”. The developer can easily track the interaction between different microservices, find and fix errors faster.
This allows the implementation of large software products in a short time. Independent evolution of subsystems makes it possible to improve the product without changing its essence.
Microservices provide an efficient development approach that enables you to:
- develop one application with multiple stand-alone teams.
- use different stacks for the necessary tasks for a single product.
- implement decentralized data management, if required by the business.
The Need To Adjust The Service To The Business Structure
With a change in the structure of the business, it is almost always necessary to adjust the software to new requirements. Making changes and then debugging monolithic software is a tedious task. And the timing of the adjustment is proportional to the size and complexity of the application.
But if the business has changed and new functions have been added to it, you no longer need to completely redo the old program or order new software. It is enough to create several new microservices that will help to accomplish the necessary tasks. It’s fast, cheap and convenient.
When the need to modernize the microservice architecture matures, the developers determine the modules that need to be changed, figure out what unique microservices need to be created. Improving individual components and debugging their work takes less time than upgrading monolithic software.
What are Business Advantages of Microservices Architecture?
- Microservices make it easy for developers to work in an Agile manner with a high degree of autonomy because each developer can just create or update their own microservice without having any knowledge about how that interacts with another microservice.
- Data consistency is maintained through eventual consistency – this means that data may be updated on different databases at different times, but will eventually come into an agreement when updates all happen simultaneously on all servers – even though there’s no guarantee as to which server will get the latest information first – so if you need realtime updates you should probably not choose a microservice architecture).
- Microservices help to improve fault tolerance because there is no single point of failure. If one microservice goes down, it will not affect the entire system and can be replaced with a new instance without affecting other microservices.
- The overhead costs for deploying small services are much lower than large monolithic applications (which have an operating cost that typically increases by about 50% every time they double in size). So if your business needs require scalability or stability then this may be a better option than traditional architectures.
Prospects For Using Microservices In Business
Moving from a monolithic architecture to microservices makes the business more mobile and flexible. The company gets at its disposal a design program that can quickly adapt to the needs of the business.
An additional advantage of using microservices to implement business functions is that they work in the same way in different systems. For example, using the same microservice in different systems that issue the client’s passport data upon request, we will get the same result in the same form everywhere. This is a guarantee of the stable quality of the software.
For large enterprise-scale applications, using a microservice architecture is the optimal solution to quickly respond to market changes.
Implementing microservices provides the following business benefits:
- operational expansion and improvement of functions without affecting other microservices.
- testing new functions without affecting workers – this is possible by replacing or adding microservices to the system.
- safe implementation of innovations.
- interchangeability of modules.
- readiness for horizontal and vertical scaling.
- distribution possibility.
- uninterrupted operation of all components and the system as a whole, even if several microservices fail.
- centralized changes.
Microservices are a great way to build software that is scalable and easy to maintain. The architecture has several advantages over monolithic architecture, including making it easier for developers to work in an agile manner with a high degree of autonomy because each developer can just create or update their own microservice without having any knowledge about how that interacts with another microservice.
If you’re looking for help building your enterprise application using the latest technology, we would love to talk more about our experience working on projects like yours! Contact us today and let’s get started!