In today’s fast changing market adoption to change is paramount. It doesn't matter how big a company or business is. If they are not quick to adapt to changes, then they can face disruption very soon. One example would be how Nokia which was a leader in the mobile market is now almost non-existent.
Microservice architecture allows companies to leverage rapid development. Also, it allows them to try out things which are cost-effective and maintainable. Big giants like Amazon, Netflix, Twitter and PayPal have embraced this architecture and gained huge benefits. According to Camunda research, 63% of companies are using this architecture with improved employee efficiency.
What business benefits can one get from Microservice architecture?
Close to business models - easier to understand
One big advantage of this architecture is its ability to map to any business models. For example, a business owner may not understand what repositories and singletons are. But when you talk about services which send emails or do Invoicing and stuff, it will resonate with him.
You can almost compare Microservices like Lego blocks. You break down the entire business into smaller parts. Once you have identified those, you build services for that which are your Lego blocks. And, when you join all the Lego blocks, you get a wonderful output.
Faster time to market for new services and features
Microservice architecture allows better maintenance and development of new services or features. Let me give you a real life example to explain. Let’s say our video application wants to build a new recommendation engine. It is going to try out different algorithms to do AB testing and figure out what works best for the end user. Also, there is a need to add a new payment method to the application using some new Payment gateway.
Based on the requirements we are looking at adding a new service which is going to handle the recommendation of videos. Also, there needs to be some changes required to the Payment related service as well. Because these services are independent, the development will happen without any conflict. And, they can have completely different release cycles. This helps the development team to focus on the recommendation engine without disrupting the work on the new Payment gateway implementation. And, it also helps increase the efficiency of the development teams and get more work done.
So, we can even see that this architecture helps in reacting to trends, and allows faster time to hit the market.
Right use of technology for business needs
One more strong point of this architecture is that it allows you to compose a solution with different technologies. For example, we have a Monolith application built in PHP. It’s not the best way to put in place a Machine Learning algorithm for the recommendation engine that we spoke about, right? We would prefer to have this thing done using Python or Node. This is the power of having a Microservice architecture. Your solutions are always built using the tools best fit for those requirements. You can have services like Comments which might be running on a NoSQL solution. And, you can use an ACID compliant database for your payment related stuff where transactional guarantees are more important.
Better fault isolation
It doesn’t matter how good the development team is, errors are bound to come. Even Gmail was down for quite some time. So, it is important to reduce the risk when code goes to production. When working with Monoliths, dependencies get created inside the codebase. One part of the code interacts with another part of the code. And when errors happen in such situations, the impact is big.
But Microservices are small pieces and so if one goes down, it doesn’t mean everything will go down with it. If your email Microservice is down, the reset of the application can still work. This way, Microservices provide more fault isolation.
Easier to test components
With a Microservice architecture, the scope of testing becomes easy like development. You only need to test stuff which has changed. Rest of the modules are independent and hence chances of them going wrong is unlikely. This ensures smaller test cycles and hence faster turn around time.
Now, because development is rapid and frequent, delivering value is quick and easy. In this kind of architecture we can have many moving parts. Each of them is like a container which can be deployed on its own. And the strategy to deploy an individual container can be different as well. And that’s where automation in delivery or what we call Continuous delivery comes into picture. It’s a fancy word to automated deployment of your code. It allows faster code deployment to add value to the product. And it also increases the confidence to ship code to production.
These are my views on the Microservice architecture. I have seen a lot of benefits in doing development using this architecture. It has improved my approach to building better solutions. It also helps in getting the most out of smaller teams. They can focus on doing individual pieces of applications. And, the quality of the application is maintained as well.
Share your thoughts and experiences about this architecture. Let me know how it helped you in providing scalable solutions.