Nowadays, when technology is part of our lives in everything that we do on our daily basis, we hear about new innovations every day and we have to keep up with them in order to be able to work more efficiently and develop all the time.
Whether it is for meditating, businesses, working out or even sleeping more efficiently, we use apps for everything that we do these days. Which is why, more efficient solutions are always developed in order to make things easier to use and understand, more resistant to failure, and more flexible.
When it comes to microservices, this new architectural style dates back in 2011, however it has started to be a hot topic in the IT world only recently. The modular architectural style started to gain much more fame because it seems to be particularly well suited to cloud-based environments and more efficient for developers of applications.
What is microservice?
Microservice is a distinctive software development technique, evolved from service-oriented architecture. Microservice break up different pieces of an application into individual modular services and each of them talks with the others and to the databases and gateways. Each of the individual microservice is self-contained and has its own database and load balancer.
Because it focuses on building single-function modules it has well-defined interfaces and operations which is why the trend has grown to be so popular in the last few years.
Why should you use microservices?
The benefits of using microservices are the fact that it simplifies applications. Microservice architecture transforms large applications with massive and complex internal architecture into smaller and independently scalable applications.
Monolithic application development is no longer a relevant, safe, and reliable architecture when you compare it with microservices architecture because microservices is offering applications developers the advantages of lower risk, increased productivity, and provides a faster time to market. Here are a few notable characteristics to prove it:
Using microservices architecture ensures easy integration and automatic deployment, it is easy to understand and modify for the developers, and it is easy to scale and integrate with third-party services. Also, it makes it easier for a new developer to understand the functionality of a service.
Software developed using microservices architecture is broken into multiple component services because this makes it easier to deploy, tweak and redeploy each service independently, without compromising the integrity of an application. Also, this makes it easier to understand and isolate defects that are being identified, without affecting other services.
Another benefit that you can find in using microservices architecture is the fact that the costs are reduced significantly and they are really effective for the fact that they are reusable. As a result of the fact that there are multiple components once you divide the software, microservices can be built in a way in which they are compatible with multiple applications.
Using microservices increases the efficiency of a team building together applications. When all the members of the team have to work together without being able to focus on an individual and smaller service, the risk to step on each other’s feet and mess up things for each other is a lot bigger. This means that the building process is being slowed down and takes more time to be finished. However, if every member of the team is able to work and focus all his or her attention on a specific the results will be more satisfying.
Because of the fact that the services are smaller, it means they are also easier and faster to test. Which means that any problem can be solved faster than before because you identify the problem without having to go through the whole application.
Drawbacks of microservice architecture
- Information barriers might be a result of the increasing services;
- The mechanism of communicating between the services means that the developers have to put more effort into making it work efficiently;
- Increased memory consumption can also be a result of the microservice architecture;
- Multiple databases and transaction management can be more difficult to handle by the developers;
- If the application contains a high volume of technologies, languages, and frameworks, it can be difficult to maintain the services and a level of consistency of the application;
- Microservices might be too complicated and complex if your team is not ready for them;
When is the best to use microservice architecture?
Now that we have explained the problems that this new software development technique is solving, knowing if it is suitable for you is another task that you have to consider. For example, when you are developing the first version of your application, is less likely to encounter the problems that need an approach as microservice architecture offers. The development might be slowed down when using an elaborate and complex distributed architecture.
So, when creating the application for a start-up which needs to be released as sooner as possible, you might want to reconsider whether you have enough time to develop the accompanying application and the business model.
If, however, you are sure that your application will grow rapidly into something that is going to get out of the hand of your team because of the large content that it has, it might be smart to consider taking all the necessary time for building microservices-based application right from the beginning. Read more here to understand better how you can do it.
If you have a large application that already consists of too many things which makes it hard for your team to maintain and develop according to the newest technologies, you should consider the fact that microservices are what you need because it will simplify the large amount of information and database into smaller individual modular services which will be easier for your team to deploy or redeploy, tweak, and test .
Whether or not microservice architecture is going to rise even more and become the preferred style of any developer in the future, it is surely an advanced software developing technique that brings numerous benefits that simplifies the designing and implementing of enterprise applications.