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What is microservice architecture?

Microservice architecture is an approach within software development that focuses on building loosely coupled, independently deployable components which ultimately come together to make one complete service. Rather than having one monolithic product, microservice architecture allows developers to build independent parts of a complete product that won’t affect or counteract each other. 

The single-function modules communicate over well-defined APIs and are owned by self-contained teams. They form a collection of services that make up one application. Microservice architecture is often found within Agile and DevOps approaches, as quick, efficient, and multifaceted development can take place via the model. The approach allows rapid delivery of complicated applications and allows complex projects to be dealt with in a manageable way.

In this blog, we are going to dive deeper into the topic of microservice architecture and what it entails. 

How is microservice architecture used?

To understand what microservice architecture is, it is helpful to look at how it is used in real-life software development. 

AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google Cloud Services are two great real-life examples of how microservice architecture is used. Both of these services offer different modular components that can run independently of one another. Both options use containers to build the microservices, allowing a quick build and seamless deployment. 

Google Cloud state that they specifically use microservice architecture in the following environments: 

Media content 

A complex website that’s hosted on a monolithic platform can be migrated to a cloud-based and container-based microservices platform.”

Website migration

Using microservices architecture, images and video assets can be stored in a scalable object storage system and served directly to web or mobile.

Transactions and invoices

Payment processing and ordering can be separated as independent units of services so payments continue to be accepted if invoicing is not working.”

Data processing 

A microservices platform can extend cloud support for existing modular data processing services.”

As you can see from these examples provided by Google, microservice architecture is used to keep the software working efficiently, without delay, and without over-complication. It allows complex servers to provide efficient service without their own complexity getting in the way, meaning they can keep up with the demands of a modern digital market.

Characteristics of microservices 

In order to work in the way that they do, microservices must meet the following characteristics:

 

Autonomous/Independent 

Each component microservice needs to be autonomous from all the rest so that updating, deploying, and changing do not cause any negative knock-on effects on the other services. 

Failure resistant 

As microservices make up a complex network of components in any one application, they need to not crack under pressure. If one component fails, it is important that the others stay intact to provide the necessary service to users. This is why microservices must be autonomous and only communicate via APIs. 

Specialised for business 

Each service within a microservice architecture needs to be specialised for a unique purpose within the business it serves. Having separate, specialised components allows the entire architecture to be as productive as possible for a wide audience. It increases the scope of a product and makes it more worthwhile for users. 

Decentralised 

Microservices are held under decentralised governance as developers involved in the approach try to produce useful tools that can be made use of by others to solve similar issues. Microservice architecture also favours decentralised data management.

The benefits of microservices 

There are lots of benefits involved with microservices and that is why we are seeing microservice architecture becoming more and more popular as the years go on. It is an approach that is stealing the main stage within software development and that seems to be a trend that will continue long into the future. 

To be more precise, some individual benefits of microservices include: 

Speed 

Throughout the project lifecycle of a microservices product, small independent teams work on their individual components. This means that the project’s progress can move more quickly and efficiently than large complicated teams working with Waterfall practices, for example. A product developed via microservices architecture can be delivered from a software development company to a client speedily. 

Scalability 

Scalability is a big topic within software development right now. In our modern climate, we want our businesses to grow and flourish. As such, we want digital practices that can do the same. Having a product built via microservice architecture means it is much easier to adapt and advance the product as the business needs to change and grow itself. The autonomous service structure also means that you can do so without disrupting what is already existing. 

Fault isolation

Due to the autonomous structure, any faults or bugs that occur within one of the components are held in that one position. This makes testing and fixing much easier for the software development company in question. Isolated problems mean less disruption for users too. 

Easy deployment and integration 

Microservices allow continuous deployment, improvement and integration. Improvements can be rolled out frequently and it is much easier to test things out in a microservice environment. There can be a “fix as you go” attitude in this architecture as the development team can react to the product’s live usage and fix any issues accordingly as they go. In such a fast-paced market, this is an advantage as your product can be launched and used while still technically in continuous development. The model is also easier to integrate with third-party services. 

Small development teams

As the development can be done independently from component to component, small development teams can be used. Smaller teams can make for better communication, clearer collaboration, and even budget-saving measures. A microservices team approach is very simple and effective at the same time. There is nothing overcomplicated or confusing here. 

Overall, microservice architecture is a practice with a bountiful advantage. The approach has a lot to offer developers, clients, and users of the end product. It is fast, efficient, failure-proof, and perfect for today’s modern tech market.

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