What is microservice architecture

Microservice architecture: concept, pattern, and essential elements for beginners

As one of the most popular software architectures, microservice architecture disrupts the way businesses implement their capabilities. Check out this article. 

When designing website applications, you need to consider software architecture. Many software development patterns have come up; however, there is a need to componentize software development systems in modules. Modularizing software systems makes it easier to concede that programmers can visualize the codebase.

Several ways imply to architect software development such as N-Tiered, and microservice architecture, etc. Amongst them, microservice architecture is one of the most emerging software architecture trends right now. It has changed the way companies creating software applications.

Software developers and companies are shifting to microservice architecture to scale their structures better. This article will go through everything you need to know about microservice architecture.

Microservice architecture: Definition & Facts

What is microservice architecture?

There is no particular definition of microservice architecture. It can be explained as a software development architecture that structures an application utilizing loosely coupled services. These modules will be developed, deployed, and maintained independently.

This microservice architecture pattern operates at a reliable and faster speed than the traditional monolithic architecture. Applying microservice architecture design, an enterprise can evolve technology stacks customized to its business capabilities.

Related article: Mobile app architecture

How microservice architecture applications can work in a real-world 

In the past few years, programmers used monolithic architecture applications to code from top to bottom as a single unit. So with no real structure for future maintenance, this monolithic architecture can cause problems. A poorly designed software solution can be a problem to debug or extend new features. In general, this monolithic architecture doesn’t work well in large projects.

With a service-oriented architecture form, a microservice architecture pattern performs as a collection of loosely coupled services. Each microservice architecture operates independently from the others or even in a different programming language.

At the fundamental level, each microservice architecture design satisfies a specific user’s needs or business requirements you’re working through. It’s a perfect software development architecture in an increasingly interconnected world. Besides, this microservice architecture can support multiple platforms and devices such as the cloud, mobile, IoT, and wearable computing. 

A usual way to execute microservice architecture applications refers to use protocols such as HTTP/REST and JSON. Offshore software development service firms believe that SaaS providers are adopting microservices into their IT solutions. Additionally, software outsourcing services and software vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, and more are implementing microservice architecture applications. Twitter, Netflix, eBay, and Amazon have also applied microservice architecture design since it helps software development with scalability and continuous delivery of its services.

What can learn from a microservice architecture pattern

1. Decomposition patterns for microservices 

Microservice architecture pattern of decomposition based on business capability

Microservice architecture is making services loosely coupled and applying single principles. This microservice architecture pattern defines services based on business capability. The business capability is a business architecture modeling that can generate value for a business. Objects of business capability are order management and customer management. 

Subdomain – one of the microservice architecture patterns

Programmers from leading offshore software development service teams often decompose an application using business capabilities. However, it can turn into so-called God Classes, which are not easy to decompose. Domain-Driven Design (DDD) means that there is a problem in the domain. A domain includes multiple subdomains, and each takes charge of different business parts. For example,

  • The core is a central element for the business sector, and it is also the most essential part of any application. 
  • Support is what business does, which can be in-house or outsourced. 
  • Generic is ideally executed using offshore software development service.
Related article: Dedicated development team vs in-house developers

Transactions/Two-Phase Commit pattern for decomposition 

Software developers can decompose a microservice architecture pattern over transactions since there are multiple transactions in the system. One of the essential elements in a distributed transaction is coordination. It will include two steps:

  • Prepare phase: All participants have to prepare to commit and announce to the coordinator that they’re ready to complete transactions.
  • Roll back phase or commit: The transaction coordinator will commit or rollback commands to all members.
Related Article: What does a project manager do in a software development process

2. Integration patterns

API Gateway for microservice architecture pattern

When a software application breaks into smaller microservices, some problems need solving, including:

  • Multiple tasks/calls for multiple microservice architectures on different channels 
  • Dealing with different types of Protocols 
  • Consumers may need a different format of responses. 

This API Getaway solves many problems from the microservice implementation, including:

  • An API Gateway is a single point of entry for microservice calls and works as a proxy service to deal with microservice requests. 
  • It can collect the results and send them back to clients 
  • This solution can develop a fine-grained API for specific customers and also convert the protocol request and response.

Aggregator pattern for microservice architecture design

Collaborating data from each microservice architecture is a must when breaking the business functionality into smaller pieces of code. Aggregator pattern addresses problems by collecting data from different services and sending them back to clients. Many software outsourcing development companies state there are two ways to solve it:

  • Composite microservices make calls to all microservice requests. It allows to consolidate and analyze data before sending it back to customers. 
  • An API Gateway partition the requests and summarize data before sending. 

If software developers apply business logic, choosing a composite microservice architecture is highly recommended. Otherwise, the API Gateway is a technology solution.

Gateway Routing Pattern 

The API Gateway requests routing information. This microservice architecture pattern implements API operations by routing to the following services. When receiving requests, the API gateway routes a map that clarifies which service will be routed. For example, a routing map can define an HTTP method and path to the HTTP URL of any service.

The chained microservice architecture pattern 

There are many dependencies for single microservices. For instance, a sales microservice has dependencies such as products and orders. The chained microservice architecture pattern helps programmers from software outsourcing development companies provide consolidated outcomes to any requests. Microservice-1 will receive requests from clients and then communicate with microservice-2 and even microservice-3. All these microservice architectures are synchronized calls.

Branch microservice architecture pattern 

A microservice architecture integrates data from multiple sources. Accordingly, the branch microservice architecture pattern is a combination of chain microservice patterns and aggregators. It allows simultaneous requests and responses received from two or more branches. Basically, brand microservice architecture patterns can invoke single or multi chains of microservices based on business logic.

3. Database architecture patterns

It’s essential for software developers to define the database architecture:

  • Services have to be loosely coupled in which can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently. 
  • Transactions enforce invariants that span many microservice units 
  • Database architecture should be replicated and shared amongst other microservices to scale. 
  • Multiple services require different data storage. 

Database architecture pattern per service 

One database in each microservice architecture must be designed to deal with database concerns. Microservice architecture API only has permission to access each database. For example, software developers can use private-table, schema, or database-server for each microservice architecture.

Shared database per service 

We have discussed that one database for each microservice will be ideal. It’s an anti-pattern for each microservice. If programmers use monolithic architecture to break into microservices, denormalization is not easy to do.

A shared database per microservice is not ideal; however, it can work well in this situation. Most software developers consider a shared database as an anti-pattern for microservices. For brownfield applications, a shared database can break into smaller logical pieces. Greenfield applications should not use shared databases.

4. Cross-cutting concern patterns

Microservice architecture pattern for external configuration 

A cross-cutting concern is one of the most popular microservice architecture patterns for programmers to consider. Each environment, such as dev, QA, prod, the endpoint URL, or configuration properties, can be different. A change in any properties will require rebuilding and redeploying microservice architecture.

In preventing code modification, an externalizing configuration can be a technical solution, including endpoint URLs and credentials. The software application should run them either at the starting point or on the process. This application can access the startup without a server restart.

Service discovery pattern

When microservices can come up with pictures, it’s essential to solve a few problems regarding calling services. Container technology helps IP addresses to allocate to the service instances. When the time changes, an application can break and require manual changes. Consumers have to remember each service URL which becomes tightly coupled.

A service instance will register to the service registry when starting a project. Two types of service discovery:

  1. Client-side pattern (eg: Netflix Eureka)
  2. Service-side pattern (eg: AWS ALB).  

Blue-green deployment microservice architecture pattern

An application in microservice architecture has many microservices. If people stop all services and then deploy an improved version, the long downtime poses a threat to business. Besides, the rollback can be a nightmare for software development engineers. Thus, Blue-Green deployment patterns can avoid this.

The blue-green deployment pattern executes to reduce or even eliminate downtime. This microservice architecture runs two identical production environments, such as Blue and Green. Green is an existing live instance, while Blue is a new version of this application. When problems happen, if one of the environments can live, the application can serve all production traffic. All cloud forms will provide solutions for executing a blue-green deployment.

5. Observability patterns

A microservice architecture pattern of log aggregation 

An application includes many services, so requests from each service often span many service instances. Each of them creates a log file in a standardized form. Thus, software developers need a centralized logging service that summarizes logs from each service. Users can search and analyze the logs. For instance, PCF has a log aggregation service that collects logs from each element. AWS Cloud Watch can also collect logs from other services. 

Performance metrics

When the portfolio goes up owing to the microservice architecture application, it’s critical to keep an eye on the transactions. Thus, microservice architecture patterns should monitor and alert programmers when a problem happens.

A metrics service gathers information and statistics about individual performances. So this microservice architecture pattern can provide reporting and alerting. There are two models for aggregating metrics as push and pull.

Microservice architecture: Pros & Cons

As a software architecture, microservice architecture has gained popularity in recent years. This microservice architecture pattern can componentize functional services into independent services. Thus, it can yield many benefits to software development applications. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of microservice architecture to structure a software application.

1. Benefits of microservice architecture 

Promoting scalability and productivity 

When offshore software development service firms have large projects, all teams have to work together. With a microservice architecture pattern, projects can be classified into smaller units. Thus, software developers can act independently with each domain logic, reducing the coordination and effort when developing custom software.

The internal structure of each unit does not matter as long as its interface works correctly. Thus, programmers from software outsourcing services can write programs in any language. Now we can select the best language for this software development architecture. Using microservice architecture helps to improve the scalability and productivity in the software development process.

Integrating with up-to-date legacy systems 

Monolithic architecture is hard to maintain for its poorly structured and tested legacy systems. Even it depends on outdated technology. However, microservice architecture works with up-to-date legacy systems to enhance the codebase and replace outdated software. Integrating with updated systems to solve existing problems is one of the benefits of microservice architecture. 

Cross-functionality 

Microservice architecture can work best for distributed systems. You are in a complex project with various divisions, a microservice architecture pattern empowers freedoms and flexibility to perform tasks autonomously.

Programmers can make technical decisions easily and quickly. So cross-functionality in the software development process is one of the best benefits of microservice architecture.

2. Disadvantages of microservice architecture

Requiring to deploy with more effort

One of the biggest disadvantages of microservice architecture is deployment requiring more effort. The microservice architecture operation often requires much effort since there are many deployable service units. Changes in any service have to be executed to interfaces so the deployment of each microservices can be possible. 

Independent testing process

Another disadvantage of microservice architecture is an independent testing process. All microservices have to be tested together, a single microservice can prevent the testing process and even deployment of others. There are interfaces to test. Besides, the testing process requires an independent process for both sides of the interfaces. 

Hard to change multiple microservices 

The last disadvantage of microservice architecture is that it’s hard to change multiple microservices. In particular, changes that influence multiple microservices can be hard to execute since it requires some coordination deployments. 

What are microservice architecture challenges for your business?

Choosing a microservice architecture brings benefits to business operations; however, it will have microservice architecture challenges for your business.

  • Operational complications are increasing. 
  • Software development teams and operational teams of businesses require new skill sets. 
  • Your business needs to have a microservice-friendly infrastructure to support workflows 
  • It’s essential to have latency which needs to traverse the network to implement a complete workload. 

These problems seem to be microservice architecture challenges that businesses might face. Requirements, new development, and deployment paradigms can add more challenges for software outsourcing service teams or even offshore software development service firms. Experimenting and refining with one or more pilot programs before implementing full plunges is a good idea. Offshore software development service teams might ultimately agree that a hybrid method such as microservices, mini-services, and maybe a monolithic, etc. This solution meets your business goals and gives chances for your team to implement new practices.

Related Article: Software development strategy

Conclusion

Have you had a sense of what microservice architecture is? And what are variations? The presence of microservice architecture can solve drawbacks of previous software development architectures. Are you ready to get some hands-on learning with other knowledge related to software?

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