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Successfully Building Microservices Architecture

Posted on by Mohammed Noufal | Updated:
Reading Time: 11 minutes

Understanding Microservices Architecture

A microservice architecture, or microservices, is a way of structuring software systems, so a single application is composed of a collection of small, independent, and loosely coupled service units. Applications typically start with a monolithic architecture, becoming a collection of connected microservices as they develop.

The basic principle of microservices is by dividing applications into multiple tiny, interdependent components, applications can be constructed and maintained easily. Microservices still have many advantages over monolithic structures, despite the increased complexity of the architecture.

The monolithic infrastructure that most businesses currently rely on, particularly those that have been in business for ten or more years, is where the idea of micro originates. Unlike a monolithic architecture, a microservice architecture ensures that each service is unique by giving each component its own CPU, runtime environment, and dedicated team.

With this architecture, each service is independent of the other microservices and the application, allowing it to run its distinct process and communicate independently. Its ability to be split apart and reassembled makes it appealing to organizations, especially those still using monolithic infrastructures, because it guards the whole system against deterioration and better support agile processes.

This article discusses microservices and their architecture, their benefits, framework examples, and how to build them and their architecture.

Benefits of Microservices

The popularity of microservice architecture has grown over the past few years. Although disadvantages exist, it has benefits over conventional monolithic architectures.

Improved Scalability

A microservices architecture means only one service needs to be taken offline to make changes or updates to an application. Deploying new features and updates is also made simpler, thanks to scalability. By doing so, the length of deployments, their price, and the possibility of mistakes or downtime can greatly decrease.

Lower Costs and Increased Efficiency

Microservices are often more straightforward and effective than monolithic applications, meaning potential overall cost reduction. They don't need the same coordination and communication level as monolithic apps because they are self-contained. Microservices can increase efficiency and reduce the number of errors by enabling organizations to use the best technology for the job at hand.

Improved Fault Isolation for More Reliable Applications

A distributed microservice architecture allows each microservice to operate independently from one another. This means that the failure of one service is less likely to hurt other components of the application. It also means that developers can safeguard the application against a shutdown caused by a dependency failure.

Technology and Programming Language Agnostic

Developers can connect microservices written in any language when building microservice-based applications. Microservices running on any platform are also connectable. This gives you more freedom to use the programming languages and technologies best suited to the project's requirements. It also means you are not restricted to a single technology stack.

Improved Data Compliance and Security

With a secure API, developers have total control over the data that users and the larger application can access. Implementing security measures at the service level is simpler because each service has a specific task. As a result, it is simpler to comply with HIPAA, GDPR, and other data security regulations.

Faster Time to Market

Microservices can be created or modified by developers with less risk of coding conflicts and service interruptions. Teams also don't have to wait for slower-moving projects to launch their application portion because each microservice is independent.

Deployed Independently

Organizations have more control over their applications thanks to the independently deployable nature of microservices. This increased control can be a huge benefit for businesses that need to react quickly to market changes. Additionally, by using microservices, organizations can avoid the monolithic blues, which can happen when a monolithic application grows too big and cumbersome.

Microservices Framework Examples

Spring Boot With Spring Cloud

A Popular Java framework for building a microservice is Spring Boot. It offers a variety of Spring Cloud extension projects to build Microservices. By beginning with a simple architecture and a large number of cooperating components, Spring Boot enables the construction of large-scale systems. It can be used to construct systems of any size, small or large. Due to the Inversion of Control, Spring Boot integrates with other well-known frameworks very easily.

Eclipse Vert.X Microservices Framework

This framework offers support for multiple languages. Therefore, any company with Java and Kotlin developers should choose this microservices framework. Vertx is a JVM-based toolkit for building a microservice. Eclipse Vert.x is a non-blocking, event-driven system. Your application can handle a large amount of concurrency using only a few kernel threads. Vert.x enables hardware-light scaling for your app.

GoMirco (Golang Microservices Framework)

The fundamental building blocks for building a microservice in Go are offered by the library known as Go Micro. It takes the microservice architecture pattern and turns it into a collection of tools that serve as a platform's building blocks. Micro addresses the complexity of distributed systems and offers straightforward abstractions familiar to developers.

Molecular (NodeJS Microservices Framework)

An interesting microservices framework is Molecular. This framework is best if you are a JavaScript developer because NodeJS is growing in popularity. Molecular is a quick, cutting-edge, and potent microservices framework for NodeJS. It aids in the development of scalable, reliable, and effective services.

AxonIQ Microservices Framework

Axon offers both a programming model and specialized infrastructure to give the programming model enterprise-ready operational support. AxonIQ is a Java microservices framework aiding in creating microservice architectures adhering to Domain Driven Design (DDD) principles. The infrastructure of Axon is all open-sourced and is called the Axon Server.

Micronaut

Micronaut is a contemporary JVM-based full-stack microservices framework. It is used to create modular, simple-to-test microservice applications. The developers of the Grails framework, who also created Micronaut, drew their inspiration from lessons discovered while creating real-world applications, which ranged in size from monolithic to microservices, using Spring, Spring Boot, and Grails.

Lightbend Lagom Microservices Framework

A Java or Scala system of Reactive microservices can be created using the open-source framework Lagom. Instead of connecting services, you can concentrate on finding solutions to business issues. A single command creates the project, and launches your microservices, supporting components, and the Lagom infrastructure.

Quarkus Microservices Framework

Red Hat's Quarkus is a container-first, cloud-native framework for building Java applications. It is made from top-tier Java standards and libraries and is tailored for GraalVM and HotSpot. Java will become a top platform in Kubernetes and serverless environments thanks to Quarkus.

How to Build Microservices

From a software engineering and business perspective, there are many advantages to using microservices architecture as opposed to conventional monolithic architecture. When applications based on microservices need to upgrade their products or business systems, they can do so with greater agility and scalability. Therefore, you should prepare to follow the three steps listed below if you want to create a successful microservice architecture.

Step 1: Build Upon a Monolith

The development of applications is becoming much more effective and successful thanks to microservices architecture. You must start with a monolith before any application can be a part of a microservices environment. The typical application architecture is a monolithic one.

All operations are carried out as a single service in monolithic architectures. You can start identifying important features worth bundling into your application by starting with a monolith. Monolithic applications can be divided using domain-driven design. You must classify these business functions into expertise domains before breaking an application down into microservices.

Step 2: Restructure Your Internal Teams

Developing a microservice is an important step in any organization's development process and involves more than technical skills. You need to understand how the internet works and how to handle network problems and fail gracefully. There is potential for many new ideas to understand, but one that cannot be overlooked is the requirement to restructure your teams.

A software team will produce separate frontend and backend monoliths thrown over the wall if it is set up with a backend team, a frontend team, and an operations team working independently. Microservices don’t work with this kind of team structure because each service should be treated as a separate product.

Step 3: Split the Monolith To Build a Microservices Architecture

You can start breaking up your monolith to build microservices once you've defined the boundaries of your services and determined how to restructure your teams. The main ideas to consider at that time are listed below.

Using a RESTful API Simplifies Communication Between Services

Now would be a good time to start utilizing a RESTful API if you aren't already. The endpoints are where the magic happens; they receive a request, process it, and emit a response in response. Microservice architectures aim to keep things as simple as possible to avoid tight component coupling. To avoid complicating the messages sent over the network, you should again consider using simple message queue services like RabbitMQ. In some circumstances, you might use asynchronous message-based communications with an event-driven architecture.

Sort Data Into Data Domains or Bounded Contexts

A monolith might no longer make sense as a monolith is split into microservices. Microservices should be decoupled from one another so that invoices can be accessed even when the ordering system is unavailable. An event-driven architecture is useful to help synchronize data between various services.

Build Your Microservices Architecture for Failure

Each business capability can be developed and maintained more easily with a microservice architecture. You must account for the distributed nature of your system's multiple points of failure. You must be prepared to deal with slower network responses in addition to situations where a service is not responding.

Focus On Monitoring To Make Microservices Testing Easier

It takes very little to set up a test environment for an application created from a single codebase. Things are not always as simple in the world of microservices. Functional testing becomes significantly more expensive, and the growing number of moving parts makes it challenging to predict the various failure types.

Reduce Deployment Friction by Embracing Continuous Delivery

You must adopt continuous delivery as part of your shift to microservices. This will lessen the chances that a release will fail and keep your team's attention on developing and maintaining the application rather than being bogged down with its deployment. When you use continuous delivery, your service has already undergone acceptance testing before entering production.

Broker Architecture

An architectural design pattern applies to distributed software systems to create systems with decoupled parts that communicate via remote procedure calls. To coordinate communication, a broker component must forward requests, transmit results, and transmit exceptions.

Broker Architecture Roles

Client: Send requests to the broker to use the server's features.

Server: They offer their services through the broker.

Broker: Locate the proper server, send the request, and send the response to the client. The broker organizes the flow of information, including forwarding and dispatching results and exceptions. Clients can send a message to either an invocation-oriented service, a document-oriented broker, or a message-oriented broker.

Working Broker Architecture

Servers can register and unregister with the broker anytime. If a server crashes, the broker will deregister it (after a timeout). The client asks for a particular service. It sends its request to its broker in a predetermined format. The broker then chooses the best server to handle the request.

The broker can be released once the client and the server link are established and can begin communicating directly. An architecture might also contain multiple brokers. Then, these will require special communication protocols.

Broker Architecture Characteristic

  • Requests and responses between clients and servers are coordinated by a broker component.
  • The broker has information about the servers and their various services.
  • When clients send requests, the broker determines which server should receive them and routes them there.
  • The responses are also returned to the clients.

Broker Architecture Usage

  • If there are numerous suitable servers or if the availability of the servers fluctuates over time, the client-server relationship may not be fixed.
  • Server selection is based on a factor that is intricate enough to be assigned to a different part.
  • To achieve location transparency, you must be independent of the server's location.

Run the Broker

You can initiate running brokers and clients once Message Queue has been installed and some preliminary work has been done. One or more command line arguments passed to the Broker utility imqbrokerd can override a set of configuration files that govern a broker's configuration. A broker can run interactively by using the Windows Start menu or the Message Queue command line utilities, or it can be set to launch automatically when the system boots. 

Using the Broker utility imqbrokerd, you can launch an interactive broker from the command line. Alternatively, you can launch a broker from the Start menu on Windows. It is impossible to start a broker using the Administration Console imqadmin or the Command tool imqcmd; the broker must already be operational before using these tools.

An instance of a broker by default has the name imqbroker. Simply use the command imqbrokerd to launch a broker from the command line with this name and the default settings. This launches an instance of the broker imqbroker on the local machine, using the port mapper's default setting of 7676.Use the -name with the imqbrokerd command to specify a different instance name from the default. A broker with the instance name myBroker is launched by the command below.

myBroker imqbrokerd -name

Run the Service 

An application is created using a microservices architecture, where each application process is run as a service by independent components. These services communicate using simple APIs and a clearly defined interface. Each service has a single function and is designed with business capabilities in mind. Each service can be updated, deployed, and scaled to meet the demand for particular functions of an application because they are independently operated. In a microservices architecture, each component service can be created, deployed, run, and scaled independently of the other services.

Services are not required to exchange any of their implementation or source code with other services. Any communication between separate components takes place through clearly defined APIs.

Each service is tailored to a particular set of capabilities and focuses on addressing a particular issue. A service can be divided into smaller services if developers add more code over time and the service becomes complex.

Consume the Service

For many people, using a microservice can mean different things. A microservice may have clients that are scripts, web pages, other microservices, or anything else that can send HTTP requests, to name a few. Although creating one microservice is interesting, advanced users have many microservices interacting.

You need a method by which one service can call another to allow two services to communicate. You'll look at using low-level libraries that deal directly with HTTP requests to use a microservice in the beginning. They work with HTTP requests, making it possible to use them with microservices that don't expose RESTful endpoints. Then you'll discover client libraries, which are created especially to make calling RESTful endpoints easier to code. They provide a greater abstraction than HTTP requests, greatly simplifying the client code.

A service can be developed for each client library that calls the CategoryResource RESTful endpoint and then responds to the caller with the data it has just received. Your services could have just as easily created a new thread to carry out any necessary work directly, but in that case, your new thread would not be under the control of the Java EE thread pool management.

However, if the runtime's thread pool size is almost as large as the number of JVM threads available, you might experience issues. If you create threads outside the Java EE thread pool, you might use up all of the available JVM threads. Generally speaking, using the ExecutorService is preferable to create threads directly.

Build the Service

Service boundaries are characterized as the division of concerns between services. Business requirements and organizational hierarchy boundaries are closely related to service boundaries. The teams, budgets, and roadmaps for various services may be distinct.

Payment processing and user authentication services are a couple of instances of service boundaries. When compared to earlier software development methods, where all the components were bundled together, microservices are different. 

The business requirements will likely change quickly while you're building your MVP if there are no users for your application. Microservices increase management complexity and overhead exponentially. Because of this, keeping all the code and logic in a single codebase is much less work for new projects. You'll need to reconsider how your teams are set up if you're going to build microservices.

Conway's law applies to all kinds of teams and is real. You should establish DevOps teams with all the necessary skills to build and maintain services rather than using a standard team structure. You can start breaking up your monolith to create microservices once you've defined the boundaries of your services and determined how to restructure your teams.

Structuring the Code

The use of microservices has numerous advantages. Some involve how your developers can write code, while others influence your architecture. Small applications that your development teams independently create are also microservices.

They don't need to use the same coding language because when they do communicate, it's through messaging. Developers can use the programming language with which they are most comfortable. As a result, they can work more quickly, cheaply, and with fewer bugs.

Your teams' projects tend to be more agile due to the smaller applications and more narrowly focused problem domains on which they work. They can address new features, iterate more quickly, and instantly fix bugs. Additionally, they frequently discover more chances to reuse code. Microservices enhance the scalability of your architecture as well.

Monolithic systems typically require throwing more hardware at the problem or investing in costly, troublesome enterprise software. Using standard technologies like messaging and load balancers, you can scale horizontally with microservices, a necessity as more and more businesses adopt the cloud.

Microservices are an excellent method of doing so. Containerization and other cutting-edge technologies work well with cloud platforms. Microservices are well-suited for containerization since they are already compact applications with fewer dependencies. This implies that you can scale your services horizontally without writing custom code using tools like Docker and Kubernetes.

FAQ

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About the Author: Mohammed Noufal

Mohammed Noufal has worked as a senior server administrator for 8+ years. He can be found on LinkedIn to know more or connect.

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