Getting Started with Microservices Architecture
Why Do We Use Microservices Architecture
Traditionally, applications are developed as a single unit or monolith in software development. All components are tightly coupled, and changing to one component threatens to have rippling effects throughout the code base and functionality. Long-term maintenance is a significant concern and can hinder developers from rolling out updates quickly.
Microservices will have you assess that monolith and break it into smaller, more maintainable applications. Each application will relate to a subsection of the larger project called a domain. We will develop and maintain the code base per application as independent units. Typically, microservices are developed as APIs and may or may not interact with each other to complete operations being carried out by users through a unifying user interface. Typically, the microservice architecture comprises a suite of small independent services, which communicate via HTTP (REST APIs) or gRPC (Google Remote Procedure Call). The general notion is that each microservice is autonomous, has a limited scope, and aids in a collectively loosely coupled application.
Monolith Vs. Microservices
Let’s imagine we need to build a health facility management web application. We need to manage customer information, book appointments, generate invoices, and deliver test results to customers. As a monolith, this can be developed as one application, with one front end talking to one backend, database, and deployment environment. We might use a few third-party API integrations for payment and email services. This all-in-one architecture has been the de facto standard, and frankly, it works. This project architecture is simple, easy enough to scope and develop, and is supported by most, if not all, development stacks and databases. Attempts to extend functionality might have ripple effects through multiple modules and introduce new database and security needs.
Let's conceptualize the same application with microservices architecture. During the design phase, we seek to identify the specific functionalities for each tranche of the application. This is where we identify our domains and subdomains and scope standalone services for each. For example, one domain could be customer management. This service will solely handle the user account and demographic information. Additionally, we could scope bookings and appointments, document management, and payments. Microservices require us to properly scope the flow of operations that involve multiple services playing a part. Properly orchestrating these service conversations is critical to having a seamless system and adequately replacing a monolithic approach. We then must introduce various design patterns and approaches to implementing our code and infrastructure. Even though we break potentially complex operations and workflows into smaller and more perceivable chunks, we end up in the same position where the application must carry out a specific operation and the original requirements.
Benefits of Microservices
One of the biggest benefits of using microservices is scalability. With microservices, individual parts of an application can be deployed, scaled, and updated independently. This makes it much easier to scale specific areas of an application as needed, rather than having to scale the entire application at once.
Another advantage of microservices is resilience. Because each service is independent of the others, the failure of one service doesn't necessarily mean the failure of the entire application. This makes it much easier to ensure that an application remains up and running, even in the face of unexpected disruptions.
Microservices also offer a great deal of flexibility. They can be written in different programming languages and deployed on different platforms. This allows teams to use the tools and technologies they're most comfortable with, and makes it easier to adapt to changing technologies and trends.
In addition, microservices are typically smaller and simpler than monolithic applications, which makes them easier to understand, test, and maintain. This can save a lot of time and resources, and makes it easier to identify and fix bugs or make other changes.
Learn Microservices Design Patterns
Are you a developer who needs to fully understand the different patterns and benefits that they bring to designing microservices? If yes, then this book is for you. Microservices Design Patterns in .NET will help you appreciate the various microservice design concerns and strategies that can be used to navigate them.
In conclusion, microservices offer a number of advantages over traditional monolithic approaches to building applications. They are scalable, resilient, flexible, maintainable, faster to develop and cost-effective. For these reasons, microservices are becoming increasingly popular among software developers and businesses alike.