“We are in no hurry; you can take time to develop the product (software)?”
Have you ever heard these lines from any top management professional of a company?
And the reason is simple.
The technology, its environment, and the people using it tend to change swiftly. And if the product can’t reach the market in time to make the right impact, then it’s better not to invest in it.
Microservices architecture is an architecture principle in which various functionalities of an application that may correspond to different business capabilities are deployed as independent components. So, in order to scale, change, or improve functionality, you don’t need to scale/change/improve the entire application, which is the case with a monolithic architecture.
In a monolithic architecture, the whole application is developed on a single codebase, and all the functionalities are packaged in a single file that is deployed on the server.
Microservices architecture is a variation of Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) in which the output of service can be the input of another service. In SOA, services communicate with each other, which can include simply passing the data or the complex task of coordinating an activity.
Let’s understand this with the help of an illustration and discuss different scenarios when using Microservices architecture or Monolithic Architecture.
Illustration: You are getting an ERP software developed. It contains various modules such as Accounting, CRM, Sales, Administration, Supply chain, and Inventory.
You have an industry-first Accounting idea that you want to introduce in the market ASAP.
Microservices Architecture – You can focus on getting the idea developed and enter the market with an ERP software that only has Accounting functionality to start with. You can get the overall product developed in phases that are independently testable and deployable.
Monolithic Architecture – You need to develop the whole application first before entering the market since adding the new functionalities later will require writing the code again, re-deployment, and testing the whole application. Doing changes in the code may induce bugs in the previous programming and hence regression testing is required. This would increase the downtime of the application. Hence, it is better to get everything developed in advance.
Takeaway – Microservices architecture help you unleash innovation with faster time-to-market. They enable innovation at the scale and agility needed to disrupt the industry.
Now your Accounting functionality is popular and you want to scale it to make it available to a larger group of users simultaneously. You want to deploy it on more servers.
Microservices Architecture – You can easily scale Accounting functionality by deploying it on more servers without the need to scale other functionalities.
Monolithic Architecture – If you want to scale Accounting functionality, you need to deploy the whole Monolith application on more servers, which means scaling the complete application and all functionalities. This would take more time to deploy and test.
Takeaway – Microservices architecture provide on-demand scalability. A business often needs to scale a particular service quickly where it sees increased usage due to the rapidly increasing needs of the consumers, and microservices architecture is perfect for such a task.
There is a sales functionality that you want to add to your application, but it can be developed only in a specific coding language.
Microservices Architecture – You can easily integrate and deploy the desired functionality as an independent service, and test it separately.
Monolithic Architecture – If the coding language of the desired functionality matches with which your application was originally developed, great! You can add the functionality to your application. However, you will need to deploy and test the whole application again. But if the coding language isn’t the same, then sadly you won’t be able to include the desired functionality in your application and you would be forced to stick with the old technology/language.
Takeaway – Applications built on Microservices architecture are flexible and adaptable. You can utilize the best functionalities of the latest coding languages/platforms to build different business functionalities.
After a couple of days of market launch, you found that there is a critical bug in the Sales functionality that is causing the app to collapse. You want to fix the bug without the customers knowing it since your reputation is at stake.
Microservices Architecture – You can fix, re-deploy, and test the Sales functionality only, while the other functional components of the application will keep running independently.
Monolithic Architecture – To fix the Sales functionality, you would need to fix the whole code and re-deploy the application. This would result in downtime leading to loss of customers and your reputation.
Takeaway – Microservices architecture provide improved fault isolation and quick resolution. Failure of a single functional component can be easily isolated and quickly resolved, without the whole application being affected.
After adding many functionalities to the application, you need different teams to work on various functionalities, so they can utilize their specific skills and finish the task in hand faster. You can’t afford only a single team at a time to be working on the application.
Microservices Architecture – Since it deploys loosely coupled decentralized components corresponding to different functionalities, different teams can work to develop various functional components simultaneously.
Monolithic Architecture – You can’t allow different teams to work on the same codebase simultaneously since the code changes might collide, greatly impacting the application quality and availability.
Takeaway – Microservices architecture accelerate turnaround time. Any changes/additions in the application can be done quickly by the individual teams working on different components of the application simultaneously.
A word of caution…
Opting for Microservices architecture offers a lot of advantages to businesses. But when choosing Microservices, it is important to be well prepared to manage a fast-paced environment, in which rapid provisioning and app deployment is a mandate!
Since you are opting for incremental development and continuous delivery, the product managers looking after the development need to be very agile themselves. You should have access to the right talent to make the most out of the Microservices and keep up with the provisioning. The capability to rapidly deploy new functions and then do robust monitoring of each functionality separately to ensure that the entire application is working optimally is a must.
At UNTHINKABLE, we have gone a step ahead! We have built, and are continuously updating rich libraries of decoupled reusable technology components that we term as ‘Technology Extension.’ They enable us to build and deploy incremental software functionalities at a 2x faster speed than traditional software development methodologies.
Know how we helped a gamification company to transform the concept of a Chinese open-face poker game in the form of mobile apps in just a matter of a couple of months. Click here.
Being technology agnostic, UNTHINKABLE gives you access to a cross-functional team of professionals having expertise in different technologies and domains, so you can be in the best position to utilize Microservices architecture. To know how we can transform your idea into a workable software solution at a surprisingly fast pace, drop us an email at email@example.com
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