The world of IT is evolving drastically. The days when developers spent weeks, months or even years building infrastructures or working on the integration of applications are a distant memory. Back in the time, implementing the essential features in big-scale projects would require multiple personnel. However, the advent of DevOps, containers, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and more has helped minimize the complex requirements and ensured the core needs are addressed within a short turnaround time.
Established infrastructures and applications are set to undergo further change as Internet of Things (IoT) gathers pace as a mainstream technology. Because of the trends, the way system integration will work in the coming years is also set to fundamentally change.
As organizations jostle to be the first to hit the market, the first to innovate and the first, too, to adopt new technology, they are starting to rely on many applications. All of which need to work as intended.
It is the fundamental reason that applications are evolving to become microservices, instead of being all-in-one, monolithic applications.
In business philosophy, a famous quote of Greek philosopher Aristotle— “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”—has long served as a framework. As per the concept, things work better in a unit rather than in fragments. That theory, though, is flipped on its head by microservices, whose concept is the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
What Are Microservices?
Microservices are a variant of service-oriented architecture (SOA) and an approach that involves developing a single application with a suite of services, each of them running in its own process. The services are built on clearly-defined business capabilities (such as making an online payment, analyzing medical results, routing network traffic and more) and can be deployed independently. Each microservice typically involves about 100 lines of code as it accomplishes one of many tasks within a broader process.
Microservices offer superior modularity, which makes it easier to develop, test and maintain applications. They are helping boost the speed of business innovation and are opening new capabilities for enterprises.
How Does A Microservices Architecture Work?
A microservices architecture separates an application into small parts to build separate application programming interfaces (APIs) for each component that is hosted on the virtual machines. Output from one service serves as an input for another in an organization of communicating, independent services.
Within the microservices, each service discovery requires an independent database, which enables the services to be loosely coupled. This type of architecture is not only easier to manage but it is also much more cost-effective than managing a large API. Microservices are also platform- and device-agnostic, an attribute that helps businesses offer unified user experiences across platforms, including the mobile, web, IoT, fitness tracker environments, wearables, et cetera.
Microservices – The Way Forward For App Integration
Many organizations have already or started to migrate(d) to microservices. The architecture offers the flexibility to independently deploy and scale services, while it also helps improve system reliability.
For example, if an application were to receive hundreds or thousands of sign-ups at a given moment, it is possible for the authorization engine to be hard hit by the traffic. But microservices help scale up only those services, rather than an entire application. It is also worth noting that horizontal scaling would eventually help save cost on on-demand cloud resources.
Increased ROI And Reduced TCO
One of the main advantages of microservices is that they allow organizations to optimize their resources. Several teams work on the different services, which not helps in faster deployment but also helps pivot easily when the need arises.
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With microservices, teams’ code is more reusable while development time is drastically reduced. Microservices’ higher efficiency helps to not only reduce infrastructure costs, but it also significantly reduces downtime.
Decoupling services also means that companies do not need to operate on costly machines.
Easier Maintenance And Debugging
Microservices offer easy maintenance since they can be refined without the need to edit the entire suite. They also help fulfil the Single Responsibility Principle, which underlines the value of specialized services. As smaller modules undergo a continuous process of delivery and testing, organizations’ ability to provide error-free applications is greatly improved.
In the case of microservices, an entire application becomes decoupled and decentralized into services that work as separate entities. This helps reduce the impact of a failure. For instance, even when multiple systems are taken down for maintenance purposes, users would not notice it.
Right tool for right task
Another key advantage of microservices is that organizations do not need to get tied up with any single vendor. On the contrary, they have the flexibility of using the right tool for the right task. Each service uses its own proprietary language, ancillary services and framework while still having the ability to communicate seamlessly with the other services of the application.
As microservices work with loosely coupled services, an entire codebase does not have to be rewritten to add or tweak an application feature. Instead, changes can be made only to the specific service. By developing applications that can be independently deployed and tested, and by developing applications in increments, microservices help get services and applications to market quicker.
The microservices architecture market is expanding. As per a report, it is increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 percent and is forecast to reach USD 33 billion by the year 2023. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and other cloud-based solutions are contributing to the growth of microservices, which offer several key advantages for organizations. Despite the multiple advantages, microservices architecture may not be ideal for every enterprise or business given the need for robust monitoring, the need to adopt a DevOps culture, the complexity of testing microservices, designing for failure and more.