What Do You Need To Know About Microservices Architecture


What do you need to know about microservices architecture before starting the development of a complex web system


Nowadays, microservices architecture is more popular than ever among software engineers. Why? 


This architecture type is flexible, scalable, independent from any particular technology stack and is perfectly suitable for enterprises of all sizes.

Historically, microservices architecture appeared as an evolved version of service-oriented architecture (SOA). It’s a good option if we talk about multiple devices support (including IoT devices and various wearables), and delivering complex multifunctional systems.

The examples of successful application of microservices architecture can be encountered in information systems of Amazon, Netflix, Walmart, PayPal, and many others. According to their representatives, using this type of architecture in provided outsource web application development services helped these companies increase performance rates and consequently meet the changing market requirements faster. 

The Basics

Microservices architecture refers to the way of application development as a set of micro services, all of which are built around one full-fledged process.

In other words, there are various independent services, that put together work as a united information system. 

The main characteristics of this way of building applications are:
  • The ability to use different technologies when developing each of the services;
  • Decentralized data management;
  • A unique database per each service;
  • Contact between services works via HTTP connections.
Let’s look closer at the main components of this architecture:

Servers


  • In this type of architecture, every service has a single codebase, that consists of individual microservices parts. Each microservice is responsible for a business process. 
  • Bug fixing and maintenance in microservices architecture has become easier than ever due to the fact that software engineers develop and modernize all the services independently from each other. So when a problem appears in one service, it won’t make the whole system fail.


Information exchange


  • As it was mentioned before, services communicate with each other via HTTP, and the applications exchange data with them through a so-called API gateway.
  • Another cool advantage is the opportunity for software engineers to create connections with third-party APIs much faster and easier.
  • Anyway, just like a coin has two sides, there are some minor drawbacks to this architecture type. Since every microservice’s function is a separate mechanism, sometimes it can be a big challenge for microservices to find each other and connect in the right way. 

What are the benefits?

  • Agile scalability
Scalability and flexibility are some of the biggest advantages of this architecture. Compared to monolith architecture, in microservices architecture, each service can be scaled separately.
  • Techstack-free
Software engineers are free to use for creating applications any technologies and tools that they personally, no obligations. It is okay to use several programming languages, which can be assessed both as an advantage and a disadvantage. 
  • No major fails
We have mentioned this perk before - errors in separate services won’t make a negative impact on the total functioning of the system. In monolith architecture, for example, this fault isolation advantage doesn’t exist.
  • Fast deployment process
The deployment executes faster thanks to the services’ independence from each other, thus developers don’t have to wait until the whole gigantic application deploys - they can deploy only the services that have been modified. Consequently, application upgrades can be integrated and released much faster.
And even more, if you have a Continuous Deployment configured, the process becomes automated (for example, one can use open-source CD tools like Jenkins or Hudson).
  • Intelligible 
It’s not difficult to understand the main mechanics of the system. So even if your projects witness the change of several generations of developers, it will be pretty easy for all of them to dive into the projects without major misunderstandings.

What are other differences from other types of architecture?

Monolith architecture runs on a single layer, while microservices architecture consists of independent but connected services. Monolith architecture isn’t suitable for big corporate systems due to its inability to scale and flex.

The difference between microservices and SOA is mainly in the quantity of supported functionality. Both types represent a set of separate services. Also, developers point out, that SOA is more stable, while microservices is much more feature-rich. Moreover, SOA is less scalable and independent than its descendant. 

Which type of architecture to choose?

  • If you are planning to create a system, or a simple website/web application, this is not likely to change in the long-term period - monolith architecture is your best option;
  • If you need a largely scalable information system, you should consider choosing microservices architecture. Less headache - more opportunities, better user experience.
We sincerely hope that you found something useful in this article. In case you have any additional projects on the topic, or want to start a project and don’t know where to start - please write to Smartym Pro. We have perennial experience in developing mobile and web software. Smartym Pro is always ready to help with a bit of good advice and expert recommendations.

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