This Microservices tutorial starts by helping you understand microservices architecture and best practices for designing them.
*Have you ever wondered, ****What is *Microservices and how the scaling industries integrate with them while building applications to keep up with their client expectations?
To get an idea of What is Microservices, you have to understand how a monolithic application is decomposed into small tiny micro applications which are packaged and deployed independently. This tutorial will clear your understanding of how developers use microservices to scale their applications according to their need.
In this tutorial, you will learn about the following:
Why Microservices?What Is Microservices?Features Of Microservice ArchitectureAdvantages Of Microservice ArchitectureBest Practices To Design MicroservicesCompanies Using Microservices## Why Microservices?
Now, before I tell you about microservices, let’s see the architecture that prevailed before microservices i.e. the Monolithic Architecture.
In layman terms, you can say that its similar to a big container wherein all the software components of an application are assembled together and tightly packaged.
Listed down are the challenges of Monolithic Architecture:
Figure 1: What Is Microservices – Challenges of Monolithic Architecture
Inflexible – Monolithic applications cannot be built using different technologies Unreliable – Even if one feature of the system does not work, then the entire system does not workUnscalable – Applications cannot be scaled easily since each time the application needs to be updated, the complete system has to be rebuiltBlocks Continous Development – Many features of the applications cannot be built and deployed at the same timeSlow Development – Development in monolithic applications take lot of time to be built since each and every feature has to be built one after the other**Not Fit For Complex Applications – **Features of complex applications have tightly coupled dependencies
The above challenges were the main reasons that led to the evolution of microservices.
Microservices, aka Microservice Architecture, is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of small autonomous services, modeled around a business domain.
** Figure 2**: What Is Microservices – Microservices Representation
In Microservice Architecture, each service is self-contained and implements a single business capability.
Consider an E-commerce application as a use-case to understand the difference between both of them.
Figure 3: What Is Microservices – Differences Between Monolithic Architecture and Microservices
The main difference we observe in the above diagram is that all the features initially were under a single instance sharing a single database. But then, with microservices, each feature was allotted a different microservice, handling their own data, and performing different functionalities.
Now, let us understand more about microservices by looking at its architecture. Refer the diagram below:
Figure 4: What Is Microservices – Microservice Architecture
Different clients from different devices try to use different services like search, build, configure and other management capabilitiesAll the services are separated based on their domains and functionalities and are further allotted to individual microservicesThese microservices have their own load balancer and execution environment to execute their functionalities & at the same time captures data in their own databasesAll the microservices communicate with each other through a stateless server which is either REST or Message BusMicroservices know their path of communication with the help of **Service Discovery **and perform operational capabilities such as automation, monitoringThen all the functionalities performed by microservices are communicated to clients via API GatewayAll the internal points are connected from the API Gateway. So, anybody who connects to the API Gateway automatically gets connected to the complete system
Now, let us learn more about microservices by looking at its features.
Figure 5: What Is Microservices – Features Of Microservices
Decoupling – Services within a system are largely decoupled. So the application as a whole can be easily built, altered, and scaledComponentization – Microservices are treated as independent components that can be easily replaced and upgradedBusiness Capabilities – Microservices are very simple and focus on a single capability Autonomy – Developers and teams can work independently of each other, thus increasing speedContinous Delivery – Allows frequent releases of software, through systematic automation of software creation, testing, and approval Responsibility – Microservices do not focus on applications as projects. Instead, they treat applications as products for which they are responsible Decentralized Governance – The focus is on using the right tool for the right job. That means there is no standardized pattern or any technology pattern. Developers have the freedom to choose the best useful tools to solve their problems Agility – Microservices support agile development. Any new feature can be quickly developed and discarded again## Advantages Of Microservices
Figure 6: What Is Microservices – Advantages Of Microservices
Independent Development – All microservices can be easily developed based on their individual functionalityIndependent Deployment – Based on their services, they can be individually deployed in any application Fault Isolation – Even if one service of the application does not work, the system still continues to functionMixed Technology Stack – Different languages and technologies can be used to build different services of the same applicationGranular Scaling – Individual components can scale as per need, there is no need to scale all components together## Best Practices To Design Microservices
In today’s world, complexity has managed to creep into products. Microservice architecture promises to keep teams scaling and function better.
The following are the best practices to design microservices:
Figure 7: What Is Microservices – Best Practices To Design Microservices
Now, let us look at a use-case to get a better understanding of microservices.
Let’s take a classic use case of a shopping cart application.
When you open a shopping cart application, all you see is just a website. But, behind the scenes, the shopping cart application has a service for accepting payments, a service for customer services and so on.
Assume that developers of this application have created it in a monolithic framework.Refer to the diagram below:
Figure 8: What Is Microservices – Monolithic Framework Of Shopping Cart Application
So, all the features are put together in a single code base and are under a single underlying database.
Now, let’s suppose that there is a new brand coming up in the market and developers want to put all the details of the upcoming brand in this application.
Then, they not only have to rework on the service for new labels, but they also have to reframe the complete system and deploy it accordingly.
To avoid such challenges developers of this application decided to shift their application from a monolithic architecture to microservices.Refer to the diagram below to understand the microservices architecture of shopping cart application
Figure 9: What Is Microservices – Microservice Architecture Of Shopping Cart Application
This means that developers don’t create a web microservice, a logic microservice, or a database microservice. Instead, they create separate microservices for search, recommendations, customer services and so on.
This type of architecture for the application not only helps the developers to overcome all the challenges faced with the previous architecture but also helps the shopping cart application to be built, deployed, and scale up easily.
There is a long list of companies using Microservices to build applications, these are just to name a few:
Figure 10: What Is Microservices – Companies Using Microservices
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Companies need to be thinking long-term before even starting a software development project. These needs are solved at the level of architecture: business owners want to assure agility, scalability, and performance.
The top contenders for scalable solutions are serverless and microservices. Both architectures prioritize security but approach it in their own ways. Let’s take a look at how businesses can benefit from the adoption of serverless architecture vs microservices, examine their differences, advantages, and use cases.
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The software industry has come a long journey and throughout this journey, Software Architecture has evolved a lot. Starting with 1-tier (Single-node), 2-tier (Client/ Server), 3-tier, and Distributed are some of the Software Architectural patterns we saw in this journey.
The majority of software companies are moving from Monolithic architecture to Microservices architecture, and Microservices architecture is taking over the software industry day-by-day. While monolithic architecture has many benefits, it also has so many shortcomings when catering to modern software development needs. With those shortcomings of monolithic architecture, it is very difficult to meet the demand of the modern-world software requirements and as a result, microservices architecture is taking control of the software development aggressively. The Microservices architecture enables us to deploy our applications more frequently, independently, and reliably meeting modern-day software application development requirements.
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We have been building software applications for many years using various tools, technologies, architectural patterns and best practices. It is evident that many software applications become large complex monolith over a period for various reasons. A monolith software application is like a large ball of spaghetti with criss-cross dependencies among its constituent modules. It becomes more complex to develop, deploy and maintain monoliths, constraining the agility and competitive advantages of development teams. Also, let us not undermine the challenge of clearing any sort of technical debt monoliths accumulate, as changing part of monolith code may have cascading impact of destabilizing a working software in production.
Over the years, architectural patterns such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Microservices have emerged as alternatives to Monoliths.
SOA was arguably the first architectural pattern aimed at solving the typical monolith issues by breaking down a large complex software application to sub-systems or “services”. All these services communicate over a common enterprise service bus (ESB). However, these sub-systems or services are actually mid-sized monoliths, as they share the same database. Also, more and more service-aware logic gets added to ESB and it becomes the single point of failure.
Microservice as an architectural pattern has gathered steam due to large scale adoption by companies like Amazon, Netflix, SoundCloud, Spotify etc. It breaks downs a large software application to a number of loosely coupled microservices. Each microservice is responsible for doing specific discrete tasks, can have its own database and can communicate with other microservices through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to solve a large complex business problem. Each microservice can be developed, deployed and maintained independently as long as it operates without breaching a well-defined set of APIs called contract to communicate with other microservices.
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The shift towards microservices and modular applications makes testing more important and more challenging at the same time. You have to make sure that the microservices running in containers perform well and as intended, but you can no longer rely on conventional testing strategies to get the job done.
This is where new testing approaches are needed. Testing your microservices applications require the right approach, a suitable set of tools, and immense attention to details. This article will guide you through the process of testing your microservices and talk about the challenges you will have to overcome along the way. Let’s get started, shall we?
Traditionally, testing a monolith application meant configuring a test environment and setting up all of the application components in a way that matched the production environment. It took time to set up the testing environment, and there were a lot of complexities around the process.
Testing also requires the application to run in full. It is not possible to test monolith apps on a per-component basis, mainly because there is usually a base code that ties everything together, and the app is designed to run as a complete app to work properly.
Microservices running in containers offer one particular advantage: universal compatibility. You don’t have to match the testing environment with the deployment architecture exactly, and you can get away with testing individual components rather than the full app in some situations.
Of course, you will have to embrace the new cloud-native approach across the pipeline. Rather than creating critical dependencies between microservices, you need to treat each one as a semi-independent module.
The only monolith or centralized portion of the application is the database, but this too is an easy challenge to overcome. As long as you have a persistent database running on your test environment, you can perform tests at any time.
Keep in mind that there are additional things to focus on when testing microservices.
Test containers are the method of choice for many developers. Unlike monolith apps, which lets you use stubs and mocks for testing, microservices need to be tested in test containers. Many CI/CD pipelines actually integrate production microservices as part of the testing process.
As mentioned before, there are many ways to test microservices effectively, but the one approach that developers now use reliably is contract testing. Loosely coupled microservices can be tested in an effective and efficient way using contract testing, mainly because this testing approach focuses on contracts; in other words, it focuses on how components or microservices communicate with each other.
Syntax and semantics construct how components communicate with each other. By defining syntax and semantics in a standardized way and testing microservices based on their ability to generate the right message formats and meet behavioral expectations, you can rest assured knowing that the microservices will behave as intended when deployed.
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In this video we will see what is microservices architecture and why developers are prefering this architecture over monolithic architecture.
The architecture is explained in simple way using day to day life example.
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