The concept of microservices architecture has been around for quite a while but it is only in the recent years that it has become a trend. Almost all major and successful companies in today’s world are building their applications using this form of architecture.
The Need for Microservices Architecture
Traditionally, applications used to be built around a single large code called the Codebase, which contained codes for every single aspect of the business. This was called the Monolithic Application.
As businesses grew, their customer base increased and traffic to the website increased. Users, who found the application useful, often demanded additional features or improvement to the application. These changes had to be brought about by making changes to the application codebase. The entire code would have to be changed to make a small change to the application.
For every individual business aspect of the application, different teams would have to be employed to make changes to the code. It was getting increasingly difficult for the individual teams to bring about the changes while keeping their code compatible with the codes of every other team. This eventually hampered the smooth functioning of the application.
This challenge has been tackled by the use of Microservices Architecture.
What Is Microservices Architecture
Microservices architecture allows businesses to keep the code simple and easy to maintain. It is fundamentally different from a monolithic architecture in that it consists of a number of independent modules that can perform a specific assigned task, built around a business domain.
These independent modules work together as a single module in the application while carrying out their individual tasks. Any modifications to the application can be made by changing the code related only to that particular task.
There is no centralized database in this kind of architecture. Each service or independent module can be independently tested, developed, and scaled according to the needs of the business.
Each of these services can be maintained, improved, and worked upon without impacting the other services and teams.
Take the case of an online shopping cart application while you shop. When you open the application, all you can see is a website offering you a list of the items to buy from. But behind the scenes, there are applications to accept customer payments, for verifying inventory, customer services, etc.
The whole application is a set of services. All of these services are seamlessly brought together using Micro services Architecture. The well-defined operations and interfaces are parts of a single -function module.
Also Read about: IoT and Microservices Architecture
Microservices Architecture in Everyday Life
The American entertainment company Netflix was one of the foremost adopters of microservices architecture. Netflix’s implementation was extremely successful and today it has almost 40% share of the internet consumed worldwide. It developed and launched multiple services with great speed, scale, and flexibility. Amongst other industry giants who followed suit were Amazon, Uber, Twitter, and eBay and each of them has proved that microservices worked for them.
Salient Features of Microservices Architecture
All applications built using the concept of microservices architecture will have certain characteristics:
- They are divided into a number of individual components; each assigned a specific standalone task.
- Each of these functions can be updated or even deleted without affecting any other components.
- They can be sent over via clouds and data centres.
Advantages of Microservices Architecture over Monolithic Architecture
1) An application in monolithic architecture was difficult to scale. When an individual segment required scaling, the entire application had to be scaled accordingly. This often proved to be an unnecessary waste of time and resources.
Microservices Architecture in contrast, allows specific individual modules to be scaled independently.
2) Monolithic applications can become very complex as they grow in feature and functionality. The overlapping codes of various teams eventually affect the quality of the codebase, thus compromising the quality of the entire application.
In microservices architecture each team independently looks after a different microservice, thus reducing an adverse impact on any other services.
3) Monolithic applications have a single codebase with all development teams working in an intertwined way to update any single area of service. There is no clear ownership of the data by any team.
In microservices architecture, every team that is in charge of a microservice module is free to modify and monitor the data as per the requirements of the application.
4) Monolithic applications require a change to the entire application in order to alter the language or technology of an individual service.
Microservices Architecture allows only that particular microservice that requires a modification of language or technology to be altered.
Ashwin Patil is a passionate content marketer who writes on technology, tech trends, tech reviews. Also, I work with people, organizations and the community to deliver solutions which are driven by Big Data, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Deep Learning & Artificial Intelligence.