There are simple services like API development. Then there is web application development. Finally, there is microservice development – which brings together everything else.
Microservices enable developers to structure applications as a collection of loosely coupled services. Each of these coupled services can be implemented to execute modular business capabilities. For instance, front-end operations, logistics, accounting, etc. working together in an ERP environment.
Microservices is largely centered around new-age development practices like DevOps, APIs, Containers and Cloud Infrastructure. This infrastructure enables developers to create independently working services, which can be easily replaced as and when the services are deployed in real-time.
Moreover, microservices allow programs to be deployed using a wide-range of popular programming languages, software platforms, hardware equipment, databases, etc. that best suits the business requirement. The end result of all these benefits is rapid scalability without cost barriers. There are also other benefits like code reuse, improved fault isolation, fortified security, a cross-functional team culture and so on.
All said it is not easy to implement microservices in application development. A fair idea of how the application should work with too many loosely coupled components within it is necessary.
Microservices Implementation – A Herculean Task
Despite its benefits, implementing microservices without prior planning and the right selection of architectural style will lead to pitfalls. Retreating from a wrong choice can prove to be expensive in terms of time and resources.
To help you sail through microservices implementation and avoid common pitfalls, we have compiled some experience-based advice.
#1 Choosing the Microservices Architecture
The Microservices Architecture is like the foundation upon which the entire software application or business process is built. The right choice of architecture will also pave the way for long-term success of the software. The architecture will help in holding together all the components and ensure that they work seamlessly together and also in individual silos.
The freedom with which developers can independently develop and deploy services is reliant on the choice of architecture. A wrong choice of architecture will also restrict the smoothness with which each service can communicate with each other.
#2 Ignoring Loose Coupling
Loose coupling is the very nervous system of microservices. It is what differentiates microservices from the traditional monolithic model. Loose coupling ensures that each and every service in microservices is connected and reliant on each other. It also helps change or remove on service without affecting every other service.
In the words of Chris Tozzi, DevOps analyst for Fixate IO, “If you’re not distributing apps into independent services, you might as well still be running a monolith.”
Loose coupling reduces the risk of other components within the service malfunctioning or stopping to work altogether when a change is made to a single component.
#3 Missing To Create Organization-wide Awareness
End of the day, it is people who implement microservices. It is an organization-wide exercise that requires extensive coordination and collaboration. Also, microservices is DevOps based with the ultimate goal of digital transformation and automation. The DevOps personnel must be made aware of the benefits that adopting microservices will bring to the business in the long-term.
This helps create awareness of the goal that the application as a whole and each of the modular components working within it will achieve for the business. Without such knowledge, there is a high possibility that DevOps personnel will adopt microservices without being aware of the underlying business objective leading to implementation errors.
#4 Being Too Granular In Approach
In microservices, quite often, the competitive advantage also translates into a curse. All the systems can work independently in silos. While this helps perfect each one individually, it also increases the time span required to test and approve each service.
Further, when the application runs into errors, identifying the service which is causing the issue could be difficult. This largely happens if the organization is not good at creating high-quality code that is free of bugs and errors.
So creating an internal culture where modern and bug-free codes become necessary to avoid pitfalls in microservices implementation.
#5 Choosing on-premise data centers over cloud
Today, cloud has become the synonym of storage. On-premise servers and data centers are relied upon by businesses operating in specific industries with specific needs. To make the most of microservices, there is a necessity to choose cloud over on-premise data centers.
Cloud helps scale the components included in microservices as and when needed without being restricted by the capacity limits of on-premise data centers. Cloud connectivity also ensures that all the components are able to respond and exchange information with each other seamlessly. In other words, cloud is integral to successful microservices implementation.
Bringing It All Together
DevOps is fast becoming the default business process for tech companies. It delivers a range of benefits including lower costs, fewer bug instances, no vendor lock-in, etc. Microservices has emerged as a best practice for application development since it helps agile applications made up of several independent components working together.
In fact, it is the success of companies like Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, SoundCloud, etc. that has made microservices so popular in application development. But, implementing microservices in application development is no easy task. There are several crucial steps involved, each one critical to the long-term success of the application.
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