Microservice-based architecture has become a popular topic of discussion in recent time but should we use it just because it is in trend and everyone is talking about it? In this blog, I am going to explain the advantages of adopting microservices.
Challenges with a monolithic codebase and benefits of microservices:
Monolithic architecture is the traditional model where every component is assembled and tightly coupled in a single unit.
Imagine if you are using a program that did a lot of different things at once in a single app. Sometimes, when programs get too big, it can slow down the process or have problems. So, we can take this big program and break it into smaller parts like authentication, payment, product, order service, etc. Each of these smaller parts can focus on solving a sub-problem really well. When we put all these smaller parts back together, they work together like a team to create a great product that works really well and looks seamless, just like we use Amazon or Twitter.
When a company wants to make sure its product is suitable for the market, it might try to add more features to it. But if all the people working on the product are trying to change the same code simultaneously, Now think how many merge conflicts in the codebase will happen which can slow down progress and make it harder to get the product ready for the market.
So, when a company grows and its product grows, if they don't adopt microservice-based architecture and works on a single monolithic application, it will reduce the overall development and deployment of the product. That is why companies started using microservices to make their products lean and fast. Breaking down a large monolith into smaller services can have another benefit.
The microservices architecture is a software development approach that involves breaking down a large application into smaller services. Each of these services works independently and communicates with each other to form a single application.
Since each microservice is independent and doesn't depend on any other service, we can use a specific tech stack for each microservice that best suits the needs of that particular service. For example, one microservice might use Golang with MongoDB because the team working on it has expertise in Go and knows that MongoDB will work well for their needs. Meanwhile, another team working on a different service might decide to use a different programming language like Java or Python because it is more efficient for their particular system. By using the right technology, we can improve the overall performance of the entire application.
Deployment and release:
Each team can work on their own service and deploy it whenever it's ready. They don't have to wait for other parts of the application to be ready before they can release their own service. This is different from a monolithic application, where all the different parts of the application are tightly linked together. In a monolith, if one team is ready to release their part but another team isn't, the entire deployment process will have to stop and wait for the other team to finish. This can cause delays and slow down the deployment process. With microservices, each team can work independently and release their own service without affecting other services.
If a microservice stops working for some reason, the overall product will still keep functioning. This is because the other microservices will continue to work even if one of them fails. Therefore the end user's experience will not be drastically affected if one part of the product is not working. For example, if the email microservice goes down, users may not be able to receive emails, but they can still use the other parts of the product. This is called fault tolerance.
Flexibility in choosing technology stacks:
Since each microservice is independent, one microservice can change its technology stacks, such as the programming language or framework used, without affecting other services. As long as the API structure remains the same, the other microservice can still communicate with it in the same way as before. This means that each team can choose or change its tech stack without thinking about another team. For example, if a team was using Postgres as their database but found that MongoDB would be more cost-efficient for their service, they can switch to MongoDB.
Approach to divide a product into microservices:
So, how can we determine the most effective way to divide a product into microservices? Generally, a good approach is to divide the product feature-wise. For example, if a company wants to build a live streaming platform, they can divide it into different features such as live streaming, authentication, payment flow, subscription, and notification system. Each of these features can be handled by a separate team that is responsible for developing, updating, and maintaining the service. This allows each team to focus on its area and make sure that everything works smoothly. Although, dividing a product into microservices is subjective and depends on various factors such as the nature of the product, the team's expertise, and the business requirements, etc. However, the ultimate goal should always be to create a lean and smooth overall product that fulfills the need of users.
In conclusion, Using microservices is a popular trend in software development but it doesn't mean that the monolith approach is wrong, if an organization is functioning properly with the monolith, then sticking to simplicity is good unless they are facing any problems with it.
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