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Mar 23, 2020

Decoding Microservice Architecture – How Good Or Bad Is It For Your Business

What's Inside

To be effective in fulfilling your goals, you must break them down into little tasks and then spend most of your time working on the task in front of you, instead of being overwhelmed by the enormity of the big goal.” ― Sunday Adelaja.

Well, microservices do not typically follow this ideology. However, while creating Enterprise Applications, this is the ideal principle to follow. 

Why am I saying this! Is the traditional monolithic architecture no more workable for enterprises to build applications? 

The Camunda research report revealed that almost 63% of enterprises are adopting microservices web application architecture these days. But still many businesses out there are unsure whether it is profitable for businesses to implement it or not. 

This is why I thought of sharing a detailed guide on this trending microservices architecture. 

Here are what you’ll find in this article for microservices architecture.

Let’s get into the details. 

1. What is Microservices – An Introduction

What is microservices architecture? How microservices work? Do you need to follow any special microservices design principles? Let me explain in simpler words. 

Microservices is a software or application development process. And this process emphasizes on devising single-purpose modules with specific interfaces and operations. 

Rather than building an application or software as a whole, the entire functionality set is split up into unique processes. And then, each process is devised (both designed and developed) as an independent service. Lastly, by combining all the microservices together, a complete and efficient application emerges. 

As you might have guessed already, development complexity significantly reduces with this practice. Also, your business gets the opportunity to adopt new technologies and processes. This helps your business to stay competitive in today’s market. 

2. Issues You’ll Face with Monolithic Architecture 

The traditional way of building applications is monolithic architecture. Usually, a solution built on monolithic architecture has the following things.

  • A server-side application
  • A client-side user interface
  • A database

All the application functions are managed and served in one place. 

Even though this is the traditional way to build software, it comes with several drawbacks. 

  • While scaling up a monolithic application, things become pretty complex to understand. So, managing a large pile of complex code is hard. 
  • Suppose you want to make some changes to the application functionality. Doing so becomes kinda complicated in a monolithic application. The changes might affect the rest of the code. And as a result, the application might become a faulty one.
  • This approach comes with the limitations of scaling components independently. You always have to scale the whole application. Scaling a single component independently here is not possible at all. 
  • Adopting new technologies in a monolithic application is a huge burden. You always have to start working from scratch.

3. How Microservices Addresses the Issues of Monolithic Architecture

Microservices architecture addresses the issues you face in a monolithic application. And this is another reason behind its immense popularity. 

Let’s see how the features of microservices architecture tackle the problems of monolithic architecture.

Flexibility

This advanced type of architecture is pretty flexible. You already know that in a microservices application, the entire functionality is divided into multiple smaller unique processes. And each process is crafted separately, as an independent service. 

So, the software engineers have to deal with the comparatively fewer codebase to develop a single process. Thus, managing and making any changes in the codebase for a single module is pretty easier for the developers. 

Also, different services can be built using different technologies. So, adopting new technology or upgrading the tech stack for a particular module is not a big deal for the coding experts. 

This flexibility is a major advantage of microservices over traditional monolithic architecture. 

Scalability

In a monolithic architecture, you can’t scale the individual components. You always have to work with a large pile of code. And you have to scale the entire application. Microservices make this issue a breeze.

In a microservices application, you can easily deal with individual components. If needed, you can scale each component individually. As such microservices are of smaller size, caching is much more effective in this process. 

Faster Development Process 

The code volume is significantly much less in a microservice. So, even if new developers join your team, they can easily go through the entire codebase and understand it. Thus, the knowledge transfer session is not ‘eternally’ longer! Your development team can be productive right from the start.

Also, the IDE is much faster here. And the codebase is maintained well. Thus, all these factors considerably make the application development process much faster. And the reduced development time always fascinates organizations. 

Developing Complex Applications

Building an application or software as a whole is always a complicated process. Managing a large pile of code is not a cakewalk. And monolithic architecture does exactly that. So, building an application with complex functionalities is an onerous process in a monolithic approach. 

In the microservices approach, you have to analyze the entire feature set of the application first. Then, you can split it up into multiple smaller and independent processes or components. Now, your job is to devise each process independently which is much easier. 

Depending on the requirements, you can choose different tech stack to build individual modules. There are no limitations in technologies here. So, devising complex applications becomes a breeze with the microservices architecture. 

Easier Deployment

When you make any changes in an individual component, you have to redeploy it. In the monolithic approach, any changes in the code might hamper the entire codebase. And the application might become a faulty one. This is surely a huge problem for web application developers.

In a microservices architecture, updating an individual process is possible. And it is easier too. Only redeploying the updated component won’t hamper the rest of the codebase. Thus, the application will work perfectly fine. No wonder why web developers today are showing great interest in building web applications with microservices architecture.  

Reliability

As each component is developed individually in microservices, the applications are much more reliable. If one module shows some glitches, the entire application doesn’t get affected. The web experts can work on the individual module and fix it without hampering the rest of the application functionality. 

4. How to Increase Your Business Value with Microservices architecture? 

So far, you’ve got to know how microservices are addressing the issues of monolithic architecture. And why microservices have got a separate fanbase among the web developers worldwide. 

Now, I’m going to discuss the business benefits of adopting the approach that microservices uses. While creating feature-rich web applications, how microservices become a big help- I’m going to highlight that now. 

But before beginning, let’s clear whether we’re on the same page or not. The microservices do not refer or define any specific technology, or tools, or processes. Rather, it focuses on how you’re completing your goals and objectives. 

The sooner the work processes are automated, the faster the delivery will be. For any businesses out there, this is the ultimate truth. 

Now, faster delivery doesn’t mean you can deliver just anything! I mean delivering something with buggy components and technical glitches is not acceptable. So, in terms of what they deliver, the applications have to be consistent and reliable too. 

While analyzing the business value of microservices, the focus will be on two aspects – development speed and reliability. 

Let’s talk about development first!

Development Speed 

Doing more in less time means higher productivity. Higher productivity ensures increased sales. And increased sales means augmented business ROIs. And what can be more important than higher ROIs for a business!

  • Agility is one of the most-wanted features of microservices architecture. With it, businesses can craft and deliver more frequent and newer products, features, and functions. 
  • The comprehensibility of microservices is pretty high. Undoubtedly, it simplifies development planning along with increasing the accuracy levels of a task. Also, the new resources can easily understand what’s going on in a process and cope up with it. 
  • Microservices allow independent deployability of processes. So, prototyping, developing, and delivering individual business components is easily possible here. 
  • The use of different technologies ensures all your business goals are achieved. 

Reliability

Now, it is time to discuss it from the perspective of achieving business goals. Let’s find out:

  • Independent manageability of microservices reduces scheduled down-times.
  • With microservices, greater efficiency is assured at lower infrastructure costs.
  • The replaceability of the process components is easier with microservices for businesses.
  • A business scope can change at any time. With microservices, adapting to these changes is much easier. 

Thus, microservices offer great benefits and add value to your business.

5. How Globally Popular Organizations are Using Microservices Architecture?

Microservice based architecture brings revolutionary benefits to enterprises. And this is why big names like Netflix, Uber, Spotify, etc. are leveraging the power of microservices architecture. 

Here I’m going to show you some of the best microservices architecture examples. 

Netflix

Previously, Netflix was following traditional monolithic architecture. But to cope up with its rising demand, Netflix moved to microservices in 2009. 

The concept of microservices was not clearly defined back then. So, the engineers devised an open-source technology to offer the best Internet-based television network. Thus, deploying a pile of code daily to provide the necessary support became a breeze for the Netflix developers.

Here, you need to keep in mind that Netflix has over 193 million subscribers. And it offers almost 10 billion hours of TV series and movies to its subscribers. So, providing support to this huge database is not a cakewalk. Indeed microservices architecture saved Netflix from the great pain!

Spotify

Synchronization becomes easier with independently scalable components within a system. And the Spotify owner was looking for something exactly like this to prevent massive support failures to more than 75 million active Spotify users. 

In a microservices architecture, if one module goes down, it doesn’t affect the entire application. This is what benefitted Spotify. The Spotify users won’t be affected even if multiple services of Spotify fail simultaneously.  

Uber

Most of the startups start their venture with a monolithic architecture. And Uber was no exception to that. When it was about only the UberBLACK service, monolithic was good. But with time, it started to grow. 

With Uber’s rapid growth, the developers switched to microservices for better results. Now, Uber uses multiple trending technologies and frameworks to improve the app’s overall scalability. Today, Uber has more than 1300 active microservices. No wonder why we all love Uber’s excellent and instant service!

6. Best Technologies and Microservices Frameworks to Build an Application

With microservices, you can indeed use different languages or technologies for diverse services. However, adding multiple programming languages in the tech stack can raise the overall performance overhead. So, you have to standardize the tech stack while choosing the programming language. 

Depending on your business requirements, you should choose the right microservices framework. Make sure the language you choose

  • Provides support for automation
  • Highly observable
  • Allows decentralization of components
  • Offers consumer-first approach
  • Provides support for continuous integration
  • Modeled around business domain
  • Allows independent deployment.

Here is the list of the most popular languages for microservices development.

Language Microservices Frameworks  Benefits
Java
  • Spring Boot
  • Spark
  • Restlet
  • Dropwizard
  • Annotation syntax is easy to read
  • Offers more value in readability
  • Offers a user Interface, model components, and connectivity to back-end resources
Node JS Microservices Node JS is built either using IO-bound or CPU-bound code. 
  • Attains enhanced productivity
  • Reduced overall development cost
  • High performing applications
Python
  • Bottle
  • Flask
  • Nameko
  • Falcom
  • CherryPy
  • Prototyping is faster and easier
  • Ensures compatibility with legacy languages like ASP and PHP
  • Utilizes web protocols and software to remotely manipulate objects
C++ Developers use REST SDK. It is a cross-platform library that runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux to implement the C++ microservices with less code.
  • An object-oriented language that supports developers compile portable programs faster
  • C++ Microservices library offers a dynamic service registry based on the service layer
  • Loose coupling between service providers and consumers
  • Extensible and reconfigurable systems
  • Software components reuse
.NET ASP.NET
  • Built-in support for building and deploying microservices using Docker containers
  • You can mix the .Net microservices with applications written in Java, Node JS, or any other languages.
  • .Net microservices can run on all leading cloud platforms.

7. When Should You Opt For Microservice Based Architecture?

If you’ve reached this far while reading, I can safely assume that you’ve got an idea about microservices architecture. Now, should you always follow this approach while crafting an application or software? Or are there some special cases where implementing microservices will be beneficial? 

To deal with a microservices architecture, simple architecture knowledge is not enough. Without proper microservices expertise, making a microservice application is very risky.

Splitting an application’s functionality and dividing responsibility sounds interesting. But, in reality, implementing this approach is pretty hard without the right experts. So, for startups, with a small team, implementing microservices is a bit tough. To build a lightweight and simple application, there is no need to implement microservices.

If you want to build a scalable and complex application, microservices is the right choice for you. When your application requires multiple module development, you should follow this approach. 

  • Planning to grow your team?
  • Need a piece of your platform to be extremely efficient?
  • Need independent and quick service delivery?

If your answer is yes to all the above-mentioned questions, opt for microservices. However, make sure you have the right skilled resources to adopt this architecture. 

Wrapping Up

According to experts, the future of microservices leads us one step closer to the serverless architecture. This extensive concept applies to churn products, applications, or solutions to a more granular and modular level. 

So, building a feature-rich application with a wide range of functionalities becomes easier with microservices. If you’re looking for experts to hire to build microservice applications, get in touch with us. 

Pratip Biswas

Pratip Biswas

Founder, Unified Infotech

I am an Entrepreneur and a Tech Geek with more than 1500 successful projects launched. I share my experience through my love for writing and help other entrepreneurs reach their business goals.

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