Microservices are increasingly used in the website development world, as it is one of the most distinctive methods of developing software systems. It can help to innovate faster, manage infrastructure, and reduce the complexity of adding new features.
In this overview blog, let’s take a look at microservices and the benefits they have from a business point of view.
Let’s dive in.
What Are Microservices?
Here is the definition by James Lewis and Martin Fowler who coined the term
“The microservice architectural style is an approach to developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms.”
Microservices is a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that makes use of lightweight protocols such as HTTP and REST. This will be easy for developers to design, develop, test, deploy, modify, and maintain the web application.
Back in the day, web services were built on monolithic architecture (single code-base). Whereas in microservices, each functionality is split into a different application and all of them communicate together through an API. This way, each application can be scaled separately. On top of this, each of those applications can be built using a technology that is best suited for the type of functionality it performs.
In short, monolithic architecture has all eggs in one basket, whereas microservices architecture does not.
What Are the Characteristics of Microservices?
Here are the 5 main characteristics of microservices.
We can break the web application built through the microservices method into multiple components. This way, the web application can be deployed, tweaked, and then redeployed independently without affecting the quality
Built for business
As microservices use cross-functional teams, you can own the product as long as it lasts. In addition to affordability and scalability, microservices makes things future proof by reducing the burden of platform upgrades. Plus, only the components in need of an update have to be updated
Microservices is similar to a UNIX system (request >process >response). So, they have simple endpoints to process information and apply logic
Microservices allow fast and independent delivery of individual parts within an integrated system
Resistant to failure
Microservices can cope with failure as each project and services are independent at a code level. This way, you can allow the neighboring service to function and prevent the risk of failure
Who Can Use Microservices?
Microservices has become so popular due to the fact that companies like Netflix, Amazon, and eBay are using them. But, the truth is, small web services can also benefit from microservices.
One of the main reasons big companies opt for microservices is scalability. So, organizations of any size can invest in microservices if scalability is the primary concern.
Microservices vs API
Today, many organizations are making use of microservices to alter their web applications to scale them up and communicate with APIs.
Microservices are generally connected via APIs and can make use of the same tools and solutions that are present in the RESTful and web service ecosystem.
As a result, this will help to speed up delivery, improve agility, and scalability. Together, microservices and APIs will give you new opportunities.
Here is a video that explains the difference between microservices and API take a look.
Why Should You Opt for Microservices?
Here are some of the most interesting reasons to consider using microservices.
1. Saves cost
From a cost point of view, creating a software using monolithic or a microservices system can be the same. In some cases, the monolithic method can be more affordable. But when you deal with an evolved system, the microservice architecture will be your best bet.
Maintaining a microservice web application is affordable as each of the applications is split and it can be maintained separately. An action you implement on an application will not affect or break the other. And one of the major attractions of microservices is scalability. When your business grows, a web application that is based on microservices architecture will be more cost-effective.
Plus, with microservices, you can also save money via hosting. In a monolithic system, all the parts need to be scaled up simultaneously to meet the traffic volume as there is no way to separate them in any way. With microservices, you can make use of dynamic hosting solutions. The application will automatically scale up when there is a high traffic and scale down when there is less traffic. You can also make use of a serverless service model where you will be charged only for the resources you use. When there is no interaction with the system, the cost will be close to nothing.
2. Improves the UX
In a microservice architecture, frontends can also be built using technologies such as ReactJs, which is used by Facebook to give a good user experience. This will give you the opportunity to create a web application with a great visual design.
In general, microservices are more secure. The risk of breaking in is minimal compared to the monolithic approach. Also, in microservices architecture, the backend can be shielded from the general public thus making it secure against hacking attempts. Overall, all the parts that are vulnerable to security threats can be isolated.
4. Easy to deploy
As microservice-based web applications are more modular, you need not fuss about the time it takes for deployment. Even though it requires coordination with a service mesh layer, the payoffs will be more than you expect.
Companies using Microservices Architecture
Should You Build or Buy Microservices?
Here are some scenarios that will help you make a decision on the build vs buy conundrum.
You can build microservices when,
- You depend on the core functionalities of microservices for your product, service, or organization
- You could not find a product that meets your needs
You can buy microservices when,
- The functionality you require is not a part of your product’s core
- You found a third-party API that can add more functionality to your product
- You need a solution that will help you get the job done and you don’t want to chase the idea of a perfect solution
There are many technical aspects that play a role in the decision-making process of whether you should opt for microservices. In the end, it should come to cost-cutting and letting your team focus on what they do best and outsource the areas you are not excited about.
Also, we would suggest not to take on microservices just because other teams are employing them or having success with them. The nature of your requirements and the amount you are willing to invest should help you make a decision.
If you need any help related to microservices, our development team at ColorWhistle can help. Coupled with Microservices and API solutions, we can help you build microservices web applications that can iterate quickly, simplify deployment, and shorten time-to-market. Leave us a message or call us at +1 (919) 234-5140 to discuss more.