The Rise of Microservices

by | January 5, 2016

Microservice architecture is an emerging programming solution that major companies like Netflix, Twitter, PayPal, and Amazon are already using to improve their services. Microservices are independent processes within a larger application that communicate with each other to perform a larger overarching task. This alternative programming philosophy focuses on getting things to work correctly quickly instead of taking elegant, elaborate approaches to adding and debugging functionality. It works well for business solutions where a monolithic approach is ill-equipped to handle the immediate changes both the business and customers demand.

Microservices work well within a larger application that sports many complex features. The design notion caters well to complexity, but this can also have a negative side: keeping track of all the different moving parts can be difficult. The architecture approach also works well when the application interfaces with web apps, mobile apps, and traditional HTTP browser interfaces. Companies may find the variety in user interfaces and platforms is a powerful motivator to transition away from all-inclusive programming solutions in favor of the more versatile microservices model.

Nimble Upgradability

Microservices offer incredible upgradability potential for continuous delivery. The decoupled, modular system style of approach breaks individual features into separate components. This means the components can be worked on individually without much risk of impacting outside features. The approach lets small teams and single developers work on individual components, so they can work very quickly.

Developers that are using microservices find it relatively simple to push new code as soon as it’s ready.This means that if a customer reports a bug, the developers can immediately step in, address the issue, and push the fix. This nimble approach also means it favors speed of development, so the disjointed code can become difficult to follow and may encounter efficiency issues.

A Relationship, Not a Book on the Shelf

The microservice model works to change and adapt with a business’s needs: microservice-based platforms are an ongoing relationship concerning the development process. The quick upgradability of the platform makes it possible for developers to quickly integrate new features and fixes that end-users request as they come up. This differs from other solutions platforms that are treated as a complete product; the development team takes ownership of the software in an ongoing relationship. While this approach can work with singular-structured services, the all-in-one nature of those setups makes them less compatible with continuous delivery.

Monitoring Is Essential

Microservices rely substantially on communicating with larger parts of the same entity via platform agnostic communication standards like REST and SOAP. Additionally, each service handles its own data entry so the platform will use decentralized storage. This means that if one part of the platform is working, a specific microservice can fail because contingencies from other microservices fall apart.

It’s wise, then, for developers to build microservices with contingencies for when other parts of the platform aren’t working. However, even with fallback contingencies in place, the application will encounter problems as a whole when part of it goes down. Your company can avoid downtime using a web application load testing service that helps identify problems before the system fails. Monitoring ensures you’re aware of the hardware and software capabilities necessary to keep your business’s microservice system running at 100 percent.

Apica Product Team