Software architecture patterns hold lots of importance as they are used to solving various problems. There are different types of software architecture patterns; the Microservice Architecture pattern is one of them. In this article, we look at how microservice has developed and examine some advantages and challenges of working with microservices.
Microservices are independently deployable services modeled around a business area. This is a type of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), considering how service boundaries are drawn and independent deployment is key. Microservices also have the advantage of being technology independent. Microservices architecture is based on several collaborative microservices.
From a technology perspective, microservices represent the business capabilities they encapsulate through one or more endpoints in a network. Microservices communicate with each other through these networks, making it a form of a distributed system. They also encapsulate data storage and retrieval, data visualization, through well-defined interfaces. Therefore, the database is hidden inside the service limit.
Monolithic architecture vs Microservice architecture:
Principles of microservices:
- Single responsibility: This is one of the principles identified as part of the SOLID design model. It says that a unit, whether it is a class, a method or a microservice, must have one and only one responsibility. Each microservice must have its own responsibility and provide functionality. We can also say: the number of microservices you need to develop is equal to the number of features you need. The database is also hierarchical and in general, each microservice has its own database.
- Built around business capabilities: In today’s world where many technologies exist, there is always one that is best suited to implement a particular function. But in monolithic applications, this is a big drawback, as we cannot use a different technology for each feature and therefore have to make compromises in specific areas. A microservice should never limit itself to applying an appropriate technology stack or back-end database storage that is best suited to solve a business goal. Each microservice can use a different technology depending on the needs of the business.
- Design for failure: Microservice is one of the principles identified as part of the SOLID design model. It says that only one unit, whether it’s class, method, or microservice, must have one and only one responsibility. Each microservice must have a unique responsibility and provide unique functionality. We can also say: the number of microservices you need to develop is equal to the number of features you need. The database is also hierarchical and in general, each microservice has its own database.
Advantages of Microservice Architecture:
The advantages of microservices are many and varied –
- Independent deployability: The independent nature of deployment opens up new models to improve system scalability and robustness and allows you to mix and match technologies.
- Process Isolation: Process isolation also allows us to vary the technology choices we make, possibly mixing different programming languages, programming styles, deployment platforms, or databases to find suitable combinations.
- Improved Scalability: The autonomous execution of each microservice makes it relatively easy to add, remove, update and scale individual microservices. This can be done without disrupting the other microservices that make up the application.
- Fault Isolation: With a microservices architecture, the failure of one service is less likely to negatively affect other parts of the application, since each microservice runs independently of the other services. However, large distributed microservices architectures tend to have a lot of dependencies, so developers should protect the application from dependency failure on shutdown.
- Programming Language and Technology Agnostic: Developers can connect microservices programmed in any language. They can also connect microservices running on any platform. This offers more flexibility to use the programming languages and technologies that best fit the needs of the project and the skillsets of your team.
- Data Security: Each benefit of microservices contains and protects the sensitive data it contains. However, when developers make data connections between microservices, information security becomes a concern. Most developers use secure API to connect small services. The secure API protects the data it processes by ensuring that it is accessible only to specifically authorized applications, users, and servers.
Challenges with Microservice:
Choosing a microservices architecture can offer many benefits, but those benefits come at a cost.
- Operational complexity is likely to increase.
- New skillsets will be required by your development teams and your operational teams (including security).
- You’ll need to set up a microservice-friendly infrastructure to support your new continuous delivery process.
- Latency will necessarily be introduced by the need to traverse the network to execute a complete workflow.
Building complex applications is instinctively difficult. Monolithic architecture only makes sense for light and simple applications. The Microservices architectural model is the best choice for complex and scalable applications despite the limitations and implementation challenges.
We’ll learn more about other software architectures in other blogs.
- Monolith to Microservices: Evolutionary Patterns to Transform Your Monolith
With the ins and outs of the Microservice Architecture Pattern laid bare, including its many advantages and a fair share of associated challenges, you should be one step closer to deciding which architecture you should select for your application.