Microservice architecture, or simply microservices, is a distinctive method of developing software systems that has grown in popularity in recent years. In fact, even though there isn't a whole lot out there on what it is and how to do it, for many developers it has become a preferred way of creating enterprise applications. Thanks to its scalability, this architectural method is considered particularly ideal when you have to enable support for a range of platforms and devices--spanning web, mobile, Internet of Things, and wearables--or simply when you're not sure what kind of devices you'll need to support in an increasingly cloudy future. While there is no standard, formal definition of microservices, there are certain characteristics that help us identify the style. Essentially, microservice architecture is a method of developing software applications as a suite of independently deployable, small, modular services in which each service runs a unique process and communicates through a well-defined, lightweight mechanism to serve a business goal. How the services communicate with each other depends on your application's requirements, but many developers use HTTP/REST with JSON or Protobuf. DevOps professionals are, of course, free to choose any communication protocol they deem suitable, but in most situations, REST (Representational State Transfer) is a useful integration method because of its comparatively lower complexity over other protocols.
A traditional software company releases its flagship product maybe every few years. Each release can include hundreds of new features and improvements. Because releases are infrequent, users can grow impatient waiting for each new release and are thankful when it finally arrives. Disappointment sets in, however, when bugs are found and features don't work as expected. Under great stress and with great turmoil, an emergency release is produced and put into production (hurried through the regular release process, often achieved by skipping tests), which has still more bugs, and the process repeats with more emergency releases, leading to more frustration, stress, and disappointment. Worse yet, new business opportunities are missed or ignored because of doubt, uncertainty, and distrust in the IT department's ability to deliver value.
What makes this simple architecture so special that it is being hyped so much? Is it worth the pain and effort to shift an entire running application from monolithic to microservices architecture? Many such questions came to our minds when we started using the microservices in our projects. In this blog, we will try to cover the answers to these questions and have a deeper look into the microservices architecture and compare it with the monolithic architecture.
As enterprise business moves from monoliths to microservices, adoption and successful implementations of microservices become more evident. The goal of microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Documenting hurdles and problems for the use of microservices will help consultants, architects and specialists to avoid repeating the same mistakes and learn how and when to use (or not use) microservices at the enterprise level. The circumstance when microservices is an appropriate solution described in this article and based on the authors' work experiences, best practices available in the microservices community. However, using microservices architecture does not guarantee success to the enterprise.
A recent research says that the global market for application modernization services is poised to reach $25.6 billion by 2024, compared to $10.5 billion in 2019. This shows that organizations are willing to spend top dollar to remain competitive in their chosen domain of expertise. When companies modernize a legacy system, their objective is to preserve the business value of their legacy investment and at the same time, be agile enough to respond to constantly changing market demands. Though each of the above methods has its own benefits, one should understand the architecture of the systems before going ahead with any app modernization project. Often, the architecture of legacy systems is monolithic in nature.