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HiTech
6 minutes read

Software Microservices Explained

By Jonathan Tarud
By Jonathan Tarud
HiTech
6 minutes read

Software microservices refer to an architectural style used in software development, and the benefits of microservices have made this a popular choice in both web and mobile app development. In addition, microservices architecture has been widely adopted by businesses that want to be more Agile and implement continuous testing. 

There is a lot to learn about microservices. While this HiTech software development architecture might seem complicated on the surface, microservice architecture is a straightforward concept. In this post, we will explain how microservice architecture differs from traditional monolithic architecture, and we will also explore the product design benefits of the microservices approach.

Understanding the Benefits of Microservices: Microservice Vs. Monolithic Architecture

Before fully understanding the numerous benefits of microservices, we need to explain how microservice architecture differs from monolithic architecture. Monolithic software is built as one unit. Every service and feature in traditional monolithic architectures are interconnected, so a change to one feature affects the entire application. In some cases, making modifications to one piece of code in monolithic software requires deploying a completely new version of the software.

Microservice architecture differs significantly from monolithic architecture. Instead of being a single unit, microservice architecture relies on individual modules or services to create the greater whole. Thus, software built using microservice architecture is essentially a suite of service modules independent of one another. The differing services within the broader application could even be written in different programming languages. 

Since microservice architecture can be built in so many different ways, there is no standard microservice model that you will find in all systems. You might be wondering how it is possible to connect the independent modules that make up a microservice architecture, especially if they are written in different languages. Typically, independent modules are connected using APIs. 

The microservices architecture has been gaining popularity in the app development sector for several reasons, as we will cover shortly. First, many major tech companies, such as Twitter, Netflix, eBay, Paypal, and Amazon, have switched from a traditional monolithic architecture to microservice architecture.

The Benefits of Microservices 

Microservice architecture has many benefits that help expand business capabilities. Development teams consistently choose microservice architecture because of its:

  • Agility 
  • Scalability
  • Resiliency 
  • Tech Independence 
  • Security 

Agility 

Modern businesses rely on agility to respond to consumer demands and shifts in the market. Microservices provide an agility that cannot be matched by monolithic architecture. For example, there is little to no risk in trying new features in your software when utilizing a microservice architecture. New features can quickly be added and just as quickly removed if they are not successful with your users without ever affecting the entire system or your existing service. 

Agility is a significant benefit for businesses because it allows them to quickly address user feedback and provide a digital product that delights users without being constrained by a single technology or app development vendor. In addition, organizations that take the DevOps approach will immediately see the benefits of microservices. 

In addition, agility is also an essential part of getting a product out to market and entering the market before your competitors can give your business a lasting advantage. The microservice approach to development allows your developers to launch parts of your application as soon as they are ready without waiting for additional features to be created. 

This allows your business to validate your idea, test the market, and improve the other facets of your application without waiting for your entire project to be finished. 

Scalability 

Project management teams are always looking for solutions that scale. Microservice architecture is highly scalable due to the autonomous nature of each microservice module. As a result, development teams can easily remove, add, update, and scale each microservice without affecting the entire system. 

For example, if the demand for a particular microservice increases, your development team can upgrade that microservice or divert additional resources to it. Scaling individual microservices up and down as needed has the additional benefit of helping your organization save money on the cost of cloud server resources since you are only using the resources you need. 

Resiliency 

Applications are not infallible. Sometimes parts of an application will fail or go offline. When one part of a monolithic application fails, the entire app goes down. Microservice applications are more resilient than their monolithic counterparts. If one microservice fails, the remainder of the application’s microservices is unaffected because they are autonomous. 

However, if your microservice architecture relies on dependencies, your app could experience cascading failures. Your development team can avoid cascading failures by using a simple circuit breaker in the architecture. If one service goes offline or is on hold, the circuit breaker averts server resource depletion preventing a cascading failure of your app’s other microservices. 

Modern businesses can’t afford to have their digital products fail. User demand is at an all-time high which puts strain on server resources. Microservice apps are built to withstand the demands of modern users. 

Tech Independence 

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of microservice architecture is that each module is technically independent of one another. Therefore, using microservice architecture gives your development team the ability to connect microservices built with different platforms and programming languages to make a single product

No matter what you are building, your team can utilize all of its skills and resources. However, certain programming languages and platforms are better suited for specific tasks than others. Microservices give your developers the ability to use the most efficient tools for the job and the technology they are most comfortable with. 

Security 

Microservice architecture is far more secure than traditional monolithic architecture. As you have probably guessed already, this is due to the nature of the individual modules used in a microservice architecture. Each microservice module is separate from the others. Therefore, if that one module is compromised, the others remain safe. 

The only avenue cyberattackers can use to gain access between microservice modules is through the APIs you use to connect individual microservices. However, as long as your development team uses secure APIs, a single compromised microservice will not be able to compromise the entire system.

Cyber security is more important than ever before. A data breach can cost your business a lot more than time and money. A serious data breach can damage your brand reputation and drive customers away from your products. 

Final Thoughts 

Microservice architecture is a modern approach to software development that is quickly gaining popularity in the tech industry. If you need help determining the best architecture for your software, reach out to an app development partner. A partner can explain the different approaches to software development and help your business choose the right one for your needs. There are several benefits of microservices, and this approach could be the right fit for your business.

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