6 years ago

Why Use Microservices?

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Microservices have become one of the most talked-about subjects in the world of application development. This is because microservices seem like a perfect fit for cloud applications and environments, and this can very well help companies and organizations with their digital transformation initiatives.

Every developer has always aimed to reduce the code that they write by having functions that may be reused in another application. These reusable functions will have to be loosely coupled. Microservices works on the same principle, where it allows for loosely coupled services to make up an application.

If that sounds like service-oriented architecture, then that is because it is. Microservices is an SOA approach that allows you to come up with independently deployable and flexible services, which will form parts of your enterprise application. Each of these services will be independent of other services and may even be written in different programming languages. Yet, you still have a fully functional enterprise app.

The beauty of it all is that if you have another application that would need a similar feature or service as one of your existing applications, you would not have to write everything from scratch. You can just reuse the service that your existing app is currently using.

What are the reasons for you to use microservices?

For one, development time is drastically cut. Different teams will be working on a different part. So rather than waiting for one to finish before starting, your development teams can just work on their own particular microservice and then have it all work together once everybody is done.

And because each microservice is independent from the others, you can write it in the programming language that you are most expert in. What’s more, using containerization, you can easily scale each component up or down. This will help you reduce overall cost. This means that microservices are framework agnostic and they would be using APIs to communicate with each other.

Done right, it can improve the scalability and reliability of your software. It is also very easy to deploy and reuse, and changing one microservice would not necessarily affect the others.

Each microservice would also need to be secured individually, which means that each component of your application is secure, making your application inherently protected.

Additionally, microservices provide the following benefits:

  • Greater resiliency
  • Allows for rapid growth
  • Keeps things simple
  • Perfect for “software as a service” and “platform as a service” environments


What are the disadvantages?


You would not be able to do automated testing, or at least not as easily as before because each microservice would have its own runtime and it might be different from other microservices. You also have no central logging and monitoring might take a longer time than before.   Moreover, it might be costlier to run distributed systems. With microservices, each component will be having its own database, making transaction and database management more complex.

The good news is that these pain points are eclipsed by the benefits of using microservices. What’s more, you can deploy tools and automation to help address these hassles.

Photo courtesy of Kristian Bjornard (Flickr).

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