Getting Started with Microservices
This article addresses key aspects to aid your decision-making on creating Microservices and determining if this composable architecture is currently necessary for your business.
When contemplating microservices architecture and application modernization, the initial consideration is whether breaking down the application/solution/business into smaller components is feasible. This involves assessing factors such as the ability of the solution to function independently, meaning each service can operate autonomously, fulfilling a singular task.
A fundamental Microservices principle is that each service should fulfill a single task. Violating this rule can lead to API management challenges down the road. The goal is to design services that function independently, avoiding aggregation or coupling, ensuring each service operates autonomously.
The primary inquiries to consider when constructing a Microservice include:
- Is it still independent?
- Does it still perform one task only?
If you affirmatively answer these two questions, you are following Microservices’ developer experience best practices. Yet, there are scenarios where communication between two or more Microservices or other application types becomes necessary. Occasionally, you may need to retrieve information from a different context where your Microservice lacks direct access.
This scenario is less than ideal in Microservices. If one service is unavailable or provides an unexpected response, the reliant service may receive incomplete information or exceptions in the code. Often, the missing data is critical, and without it, your entire service might be unable to fulfill its task. To prepare for such situations, you need to create artifacts capable of addressing these challenges.
When evaluating Microservices, you must ensure that they are aligned with your business needs—functional requirements and defining the service's behavior are crucial. Additionally, when evaluating non-functional aspects like usability, scalability, and performance, it's vital to consider how the service will operate, whether synchronously or asynchronously.
The primary methods for establishing communication between services are:
- HTTP requests between services
- Messages (queues and topics)
- Event-based communication
When creating your service, it's crucial to decide if the sender expects an immediate response upon request (synchronous) or if it can wait for the recipient to process the message and reply later by publishing it in another mechanism, like a queue (asynchronous).
If you have a synchronous service relying on another, and timely data delivery from the latter is crucial for execution, achieving high performance between these requests becomes necessary. Otherwise, this could lead to a poor digital experience, timeouts, or other exceptions.
When a Microservices architecture is designed using messages, queues, and topics, their communication becomes asynchronous. After one Microservice finishes its task, it publishes the result in a queue or topic. Subsequently, another Microservice waiting for this result can take it and perform its own task. This approach enhances the independence of the service, preventing it from being tightly coupled to all parts of the system, unlike a conventional or monolithic application.
You may be wondering, “Why should I consider using Microservices for my business?”
Microservices are beneficial when creating a system that requires composable architecture for flexible scaling, independent deployment, continuous delivery, or involving multiple teams. They offer a straightforward and reliable way to expand your business and achieve legacy modernization.
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