Microservices architecture is emerging as an important approach for building distributed mission-critical applications. In spite of this, most of the software development teams are nowadays too eager to embrace the microservice architecture in their project. However, there is no precise definition for microservices, so some people think it is a new architectural style, but some of them think it is a similar kind of service-oriented architecture (SOA). In reality, microservices are the natural evolution of the SOA, but it has certain common characteristics that differentiate it with the SOA. In the forthcoming paragraphs, let me walk you through some of the advantages and disadvantage of microservices.
Microservices consists of a collection of small, independent services in which each service handles a single business functionality. Firstly, each service can be developed and maintained by a small development team. Hence, even if a new developer joins the team, it will be easy for them to understand the code base as well as the business context. Secondly, microservices are independent of any specific programming language, so developers can choose their own technology stack while building or upgrading the application. Thirdly, microservices prefer letting each service has its own database. As a result, data management is decentralized in this architecture. Finally, microservices can be deployed independently because simple services are easier to deploy, and since its autonomous, are less likely to create system failures.
Though microservices have a myriad of good characteristics, it has some disadvantages as well. First and foremost, it introduces a lot of complexity into the application because there are more moving parts in the microservices architecture. In addition, any changes in one layer that needs to be communicated with all dependent layers or services should be designed in such a way to support the backward compatibility. Moreover, the company should have mature DevOps culture before deploying any services into the production environment. In addition, maintain the data consistency between the services is a bit complex, but we could achieve eventual consistency where possible. Lastly, testing the entire application becomes cumbersome as it depends on multiple services in the backend.
To summarize, microservices architecture is not a silver bullet because it introduces numerous issues into the application. However, this architecture is really useful when we build a large scale application which has more complexity. Therefore, choosing the microservices architecture is fully depends on the type of application that you want to build. If you still are not sure when to use microservices architecture, please leave a comment below, or send me an email.