Sunday, September 25, 2022

Microservices – A New Approach to Software Development

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Microservices are a new approach to software development that has been gaining popularity in recent years. The goal of microservices is to make applications easier to scale and faster to develop.

Microservices architectures are built around small independent services that communicate over well-defined APIs (application programming interfaces). These services are owned by small self-contained teams which contain all the skills needed to build their service or application layer including DevOps activities like deploying code via CI/CD pipelines.

This organizational structure enables faster innovation and accelerates time-to-market for new features. It also allows teams to focus on a single area of the application thereby increasing their level of expertise. Additionally, microservices can be more easily deployed and managed in cloud environments due to their smaller size.

What is a microservice?

The Microservices architecture pattern is a service-oriented design in which applications are composed of numerous small independent service components. It’s a software engineering strategy for decomposing an application into single-feature modules with defined interfaces. These modules may be released and run independently by little teams responsible for the complete lifecycle of the service.

The term “micro” relates to a microservice’s small nature, which must be managed by a single development team (5 to 10 developers). Big applications are divided into tiny independent pieces in this approach.

Microservices - A New Approach to Software Development

What is Microservice Architecture?

An architectural style called Microservice Architecture is a structural architecture variant that helps to structurally group applications as a loosely coupled service collection. It’s an adaptation of structural design that allows you to organize apps as a loosely coupled service collection. The Microservice Architecture utilizes lightweight communications and small-scale services.

Each microservice has its own data store. When a request is made, the data store for that microservice responds to the request. The benefit of this design is that each microservice can be deployed and scaled independently.

Additionally, if one microservice fails, it will not bring down the entire application.

The Microservices approach is gaining popularity because it addresses many of the issues associated with traditional monolithic architectures.

However, there are also some challenges that need to be considered when adopting a Microservices Architecture. These include:

  • Managing the complexity of a large number of small services
  • Ensuring consistency and availability of data across services
  • Dealing with failures of individual services

Despite these challenges, Microservices offer a number of benefits that make them a compelling choice for many organizations. These benefits include:

  • Increased agility and faster time to market
  • Better scalability
  • Improved reliability

Characteristics of Microservices

Here are some general characteristics of microservices:

Multiple Components

By definition, microservices-based applications are divisible into many component services. Why? So that each of these services may be deployed, customized, and then re-deployed without jeopardizing the integrity of an application.

Decentralized

Microservices are decentralized in nature. What do we mean by that? We mean microservices are owned and managed independently of each other, without the need to wait for a central team’s approval or coordination in order to release new features.

Consequently, teams can be very small with one or two developers per team at most. This is especially true when you have many microservices because multiple services will require fewer people than if all were deployed into just one service!

Loosely Coupled

A Microservice does not rely on another service even though they might work together to provide an application feature. What this means is that it reduces tighten coupling between systems—therefore making them easier to maintain, evolve over time, test…etc. This loosely coupled architecture also gives us more resilience against outages.

Independent Deployment

Microservices can be deployed independently as well, which again, speeds up the process and makes it easier to manage when something goes wrong. You don’t have to redeploy the entire system if one service is having issues; you can just restart that particular microservice without affecting any of the others. This also helps during upgrades and rollouts since you can do them in a phased approach instead of all at once.

Faster Time-to-Market

Developing features in a microservices environment is oftentimes much faster than in traditional monolithic applications for two primary reasons: smaller codebase and less coordination needed between teams. With a microservice, your feature is its own self-contained entity and doesn’t have to rely on other services in order to be completed. This means you can develop, test, and deploy it much faster than if it were part of a larger codebase.

In addition, since microservices are typically owned by their own team, there is less coordination needed between teams when implementing new features. This leads to faster turnaround times for getting features into production.

Failure Resistant

Microservices are designed to be failure resistant. If one service fails, it doesn’t take down the entire system. Services can be designed to gracefully degrade or even restart themselves if needed. This also makes it easier to diagnose and fix problems when they do occur.

Scaling Easier

Microservices make it easier to scale your application as demand increases. By nature, microservices are small and independent which makes them easier to replicate and spin up new instances as needed. This also enables distributed processing so that different parts of the system can run on separate servers (or even different data centers).

In contrast, a monolithic application is a single large program where all the code is bundled together into a single executable file or WAR (Web Archive) file. With a monolithic architecture, there is typically one process that handles all incoming requests. This makes scaling difficult because you need to add more hardware resources every time you want to handle more traffic. Monolithic applications also tend to be slower and less agile than microservices applications.

Pros & Cons of Microservices

While there are many benefits to using microservices architectures, they are not without their challenges. One challenge is that it can be difficult to coordinate work between services owned by different teams. Additionally, debugging and troubleshooting microservice applications can be more complex than traditional monolithic applications.

Pros of Microservices

  1. The architecture of microservices empowers developers to create and deploy services without being restricted by a monolithic application.
  2. A microservice can be created by a small team.
  3. Different services can have code written in different languages
  4. Integration and automatic deployment (using open-source continuous integration tools such as Jenkins, Hudson, etc.) are simple.
  5. The documentation is simple to understand and adapt for developers, allowing a new team member to get up and running quickly.
  6. Developers may take advantage of cutting-edge technologies.
  7. The functionality is organized around the company’s capabilities.
  8. It improves the speed of web container startup, so the deployment is both quicker.
  9. Fault isolation: If one microservice fails, the other will continue to operate (although one problematic component of a monolith application can bring down the whole system).
  10. It’s quick to scale and integrates with third-party systems.

Cons of Microservices

  1. Due to distributed deployment, testing might be difficult and time-consuming. Information barriers may arise as a result of the growing number of services.
  2. The additional layers of complexity are exacerbated by the architecture, which must deal with fault tolerance, network latency, and a variety of message formats as well as load balancing.
  3. Being a distributed system may lead to inefficiency. When the number of services grows, managing and integrating all of them might become difficult.
  4. Developers must devote additional time and resources to establishing the communication pathway between the services.
  5. It’s difficult to handle use cases that involve multiple services without utilizing distributed transactions, and it necessitates coordination and collaboration between teams.

Despite these challenges, the advantages of using microservices architectures make them an increasingly popular choice for modern software development projects. If you’re considering using microservices in your next project, be sure to do your research and plan accordingly.

John Diep
John Diephttps://lastartups.com
Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: john@lastartups.com
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