The world of software development is rapidly evolving, with innovations and approaches being adopted to make the process more efficient.
Microservices architecture is one of these new approaches being integrated with the process of software development and deployment.
What is microservices architecture?
Microservices is a granular architectural pattern that separates portions of an application into a small self-containing services. By definition, microservices are a service-oriented architectural style that focuses on loosely coupled yet independent components of software-related by context.
According to author Chris Richardson,
“Microservices – also known as the microservice architecture – is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of services that are
- Highly maintainable and testable
- Loosely coupled
- Independently deployable
- Organized around business capabilities
- Owned by a small team”
According to a study by IDC, it is estimated that “90 percent of all new apps will feature a microservices architecture to improve the ability to design, debug, update, and leverage third-party code.”
Considering the benefits of transitioning to a microservices architecture, this is no surprise. Microservices architecture is advantageous in many ways:
- Continuous delivery
- Lower risks
- Increased productivity through automation
These benefits, however, can only be leveraged if the architectural style is adopted properly with the right tools and elements.
There are certain guidelines that firms and developers can follow to make sure that the transition is smooth. Here are a few best practices for microservices architecture that you can follow:
#1 Identify and categorize business capabilities
The best way to plan out the microservices architecture for your product is to first identify your business capabilities and divide your services based on the same. It can be done based on the niche that you wish to build the software in. A Customer Relationship Management software, for example, will have multiple aspects to it including
- Lead capture
- Lead retrieval
- Lead management
Each aspect can be developed separately. You need to identify services that your business provides which are independent of each other yet loosely connected.
The next step then is to plan out a software component for each of these. This will help in providing a direction and a blueprint for your microservices architecture, simplifying the process and avoiding miscommunication.
#2 Automation is your friend
Automation is the key to simplification. Infrastructure automation in case of microservice architecture can help simplify the complexities of development and operations.
Modern cloud infrastructure and AWS systems have paved the way for smarter solutions in a microservices architecture. There are a lot of tools that can automate various aspects of microservices orchestration.
As Eric Knorr, editor-in-chief at IDG enterprises points out, “At hyperscale, large investment made in automation always pays off for both developers and operations.”
#3 Keep a separate data management system for each service
Detailed documentation and logging are necessary to avoid any miscommunication throughout the development process.
A separate database must be kept for each microservice to ensure that any modification within a microservice’s database does not affect other independent microservices. For instance, changes within the database for production should not affect the delivery database.
According to James Lewis, Principal Consultant at ThoughtWorks, “Letting each service manage its database, either different instances of the same database technology or entirely different database systems is preferred in a microservices architecture. It’s an approach called Polyglot Persistence. “
Checks at regular intervals, however, can be done to ensure that the databases are updated and in sync and there is no duplication of any kind. This should be a key part of your microservices testing strategies.
#4 Utilize the best of REST
A standard microservices architecture is usually built using RESTful APIs. Each service is linked to the other through an API gateway. The REST API of service, post-production can be used to invoke the other service through its REST API.
Optimal use of REST APIs can help simplify the link between components. API definitions are used to build software under microservices. REST APIs eliminate the need for more tedious SK frameworks since HTTP calls are enough.
Moreover, API-Security standards such as OAuth2 and OpenID Connect can be used to secure your software. Spotify uses Google API for all securing all its production-related resources stored on Google Cloud. Changes are made and deployed accordingly, making the process much simpler and quicker.
#5 Monitoring is a priority
Constant monitoring is required while working with this style of architecture. It is a complex system focused on quick and efficient, yet continuous delivery. When high performance is a focus, any glitch or slip-up can lead to malfunctioning and loss of profit.
Hence, firms must invest in tools that aid in constant monitoring of the development and maintenance of each service. Detailed metrics on end-user triggers, API calls, traffic management, etc. should be obtained.
These metrics should then be stored in a central location in the form of comprehensible reports based on raw data. Monitoring microservices thoroughly can allow for constant, speedy changes and delivery.
#6 Build individual teams for services
As it happened in the case of Amazon, manual hand-offs between departments lead to redundancy that ultimately leads to its major shift from the monolith to microservices.
Each team should be responsible for their services using a separate build independent of the team building another aspect of the overall software. The handoffs between services, if and when necessary, can be done virtually.
Each service-oriented team should thus be small, nimble and focused. The complexity and maturity of code at each level must be equal. The skill set of the teams also have to be at par with the requirements of each service.
The future of microservices holds a lot of innovation including machine learning.
These practices will help make the transition to this architectural style smoother thus making way for businesses to further introduce innovations into their systems.
Either way, for a majority of firms, the monolithic style will be a thing of the past.
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