The basic principles of microservices that will help you develop a money efficient and functional product
Today microservice architecture (or just microservices) is practically one of the most widely discussed approaches to software engineering. It is actively applied by both large corporations and small private companies. And startups should also pay attention to it.
Now namely this method of engineering is viewed by specialists as a way to make companies and their projects more agile and able to respond to the constantly dynamically changing market needs.
However, it is difficult to admit the advantages of something if you do not even have a clear understanding of what it is, right? That’s why in this article, we are going to explain to you the peculiarities of microservices and the opportunities that they can provide startups with.
What is microservices architecture
As usual, when talking about some notions, let’s start with a simple definition. But we need to warn you from the very beginning that there won’t be an entirely strictly formulated one.
Microservice architecture represents itself a special concept of building software solutions as a suite of separate services. In other words, the microservices approach can be opposed to the monolith approach as when you are developing an application, you do not need to treat it as a large multi-layered single system.
Thanks to microservices, the software that is built with the help of them is absolutely modular, which in the future may help you to reduce your expenses and save your time (but okay, let’s turn to the advantages of this approach a little bit later).
In general, microservice-based architecture is designed to help you build solutions that will fully satisfy your business needs. But the most interesting thing in this very case is that this concept itself is designed to meet your needs and it is surprisingly agile and flexible itself.
It is obvious that the needs of all the startups are absolutely different (they may be similar but they are never just the same). But the adaptability of microservices is here to reduce the gap and facilitate all the processes (when it comes to software engineering). As a result, the development process takes much less time if compared with the time required for creating monolith systems.
However, it’s worth mentioning that for developers who are used to working with other approaches it may be a challenge to get used a microservices. Now with microservices, it is obligatory to have a good understanding of the fact that you should perceive software not as just a solid product but as a group of services.
The software created using microservices does not have a single underlying code as all its services, that it is comprised of, were developed separately. It means that if you need to introduce some changes, you may work only with the services that are to be affected by the changes. The rest of them may stay untouched.
How microservices architecture works
We have just discussed that any software that is built using the microservices architecture should be perceived as a group (a complex or a suite) of separately developed small services. Being combined, they can ensure that your software solution performs all the tasks that you want it to perform and meets all your business needs that it is expected to meet.
In general, independence is one of the key characteristics of microservices. They can be easily combined and recombined with each other. You may take an application and remove some microservices, add a couple of new ones and as a result, you will get an absolutely new app that will satisfy some other business needs (maybe even the needs of some other startups, who knows). At the same time, if you want to change some microservices, it doesn’t mean that you need to rebuild the entire product.
But how is it possible to achieve the conjunctive functioning of all these services? When they are required to work together, it is ensured by APIs (so, yes, that’s the main secret of microservices-based apps).
Microservices architecture principles
It’s clear that all the characteristics of microservices architecture that we’ve already mentioned cannot but influence the popularity of this approach among both big companies and startups. But what are the core principles of this approach that may guarantee that microservices are the present and the future of software engineering?
So, these main principles are the following ones:
Software is built in strict accordance with business needs. Needs are the highest priorities and they are put in the center of the development process. For each need, there is a separate tool (or service) to satisfy it. But all these components are working together
Decentralization is the principle that is taken as a must and can’t be omitted or changed. If you prefer a centralized approach to the development, microservices are not for you
The final product has much more chances to succeed. Even if one component fails, the rest of them will continue working
The facilitation of routing is a must. The efficient work of a system is ensured by smart endpoints that are responsible for data processing and logic implementation
Microservices advantages and disadvantages
We’ve already discussed the reasons for the popularity of microservices. But let’s summarize their advantages:
Little interdependence of all the components
Simplified way of changes and updates introduction
Higher level of user-friendliness
Less time needed to find faults and errors
Less expenses required for enhancing a product
Okay, but is this approach a perfect one? Obviously, it is not so. And here is why:
Making all microservices work together may be challenging
More code lines may be needed
Application of more databases may be required
Monolithic architecture vs microservices approach
However, despite some challenges, the microservices approach is still worth being considered for software engineering.
Unlike the monolith approach, microservices have nothing in common with SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). In microservices-based products, it is possible to avoid a lot of bugs and issues that are the result of the fact that the whole system is solid. Small separate components make everything easier.
The monolith approach presupposes that developers should use some specified coding languages and companies are obliged to remain stuck to some technology vendors. With microservices, there is more freedom. Different services may be easily built by different engineers (and it happens so quite often).
If you want to achieve flexibility and agility, you should forget about monolithic architecture. Though it may have a row of its advantages, it will never let you make your solutions so easily adaptable to the changing needs as microservices can. Moreover, with the monolithic architecture, you should be ready to pay much more for updating your product and to allocate much more time for it. Why? The explanation for it is extremely easy. If you want to change something, these changes will affect the entire code.
In case you prefer microservices, some small changes will be implemented extremely quickly. It won’t cost much. And what is even more interesting for any company: it is possible to work with different engineers or development teams on the same product at the same time. The only challenge will be to deploy all the microservices together. But today it won’t be a problem for a professional.
That’s why more and more managers make a decision to opt for microservices. And it really looks like a nice option, especially for startups that are extremely interested in reducing costs and achieving better results.