What are Microservices?
Microservices are an important and exciting part of cloud computing and application building. To understand what microservices are, it’s important to look at what they allow developers to do.
Using microservices architecture, developers can build an application that consists of loosely connected smaller services. This contrasts with the classical approach of building an app as a monolith.
What are Microservices – What Do They Do
Microservices communicate with one another through REST APIs. An API or application programming interface is the set of rules that governs communication between various microservices. REST refers to representational state transfer, which grants greater communication flexibility to basic APIs.
Microservices can also communicate through event streaming and message brokers. The latter term refers to software that translates a message that is transmitted between microservices written in different programming codes.
Within an application, microservices can be grouped by business capability.
What are Microservices – Main Benefits
Developers have a lot more freedom when they work with an application built on microservices.
First of all, they can use different programming languages for the various components of the application.
Updates and any necessary tweaks can be carried out easily. You don’t have to take the whole app apart. You only need to work on the one microservice that requires an update, while the rest of the app remains unaffected.
Using microservices reduces waste and downtimes as components can be scaled independently.
Microservice Architecture vs. Monolithic Architecture
Applications built on monolithic architecture are easy to develop, deploy, and manage as they are based on a server-side system. The problem is that such apps are highly dependent in terms of programming language and framework.
Microservices architecture is better as it allows developers to integrate microservices at will using APIs. Every function of the app has its own service and container, and the programming language becomes irrelevant.
Microservices Architecture vs. SOA
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and microservices architecture sound pretty similar, yet there’s a subtle difference between the two.
SOA refers to the standardization of communication protocols between network services at an organization level.
Microservices architecture concerns a single app.
What are Microservices – Practical Uses of Microservices Architecture
Each function is governed by its own service so developers can work independently. If you want to change a line in a code, you can go ahead and do it. You don’t need consensus for that and you don’t have to put everyone on hold while you do it.
Microservices are loosely coupled between them and this offers higher security and stability. You can locate an error much easier and contain it.
If you compare monolithic architecture to microservices architecture, it becomes obvious that the former is more restrictive and cumbersome to use. An application built on monolithic architecture requires a large relational database to support it.
Every component, or every function, must draw upon a common technology stack. This is very frustrating to developers when a certain function could very well use its own stack and database.
What are Microservices – Microservices Architecture
No wonder developers are so enthusiastic about microservices architecture. Those who already use it say they will invest more time and money in microservice architecture, according to a recent survey.
The opinion of those who are just learning about microservices architecture is even more telling. 55% say they will be moving away from monolithic architecture in the next two years.
Microservices architecture seems to be the way of the future, at least for now. Its main advantage over traditional monolithic architecture is that it has greater scalability.
A developer has much more freedom to improve upon one single function without disrupting the work of other teams working on different components.
Microservices – Additional Resources
- Amazons AWS – Implementing Microservices on AWS
- Google Cloud – Microservices Architecture on Google App Engine
- IBM Cloud – Use a microservices architecture to develop cloud-native mobile and web applications.
- Microsoft Azure – Microservices architecture style
- Oracle Cloud – Learn About the Microservices Architecture