Unlocking the Potential of Microservices Architecture in Software Development – Pros & Cons, and Insights into Its Adoption

Microservices architecture is continuing to gain rapid popularity in the current fast-paced software industry. It has become the go-to software development model for many organizations, thanks to the flexibility and scalability this architectural style brings to the table. In contrast to traditional monolithic architectures, microservices architecture offers a host of other advantages to developers. However, it comes with some challenges too. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the microservices architecture in more detail, and its potential in developing enterprise applications through some real-world examples to understand the future direction for software architectures.
The global microservices architecture market size is projected to reach $8,073 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 18.6% from 2019 to 2026.
– Allied Market Research

Monolithic vs. Microservices Architecture - A Comparison

The conventional monolithic architecture, which has been the standard for decades, is a software architecture style where all components of the system are combined into a single, tightly coupled process. In other words, the entire system runs as a single unit, with all parts dependent on each other. The monolithic style allows faster debugging, easier code sharing between teams, and enhanced agility to adapt to change. However, with this convenience comes more complexity also in swapping and integrating services.
On the other hand, in the microservices approach, each service is a self-contained unit that can be independently deployed and scaled. Applications are built as a collection of small, independent services that communicate with each other using well-defined APIs. The smaller, simpler parts of the applications can be managed and changed more easily, and it allows greater flexibility for the developers – one of the biggest advantages of the microservices style. Here’s how Monolithic vs. Microservices Architecture looks like:
monolithic vs Microservice-Architecture

How Developers Can Benefit from Microservices and Some Downsides

Trends suggest that organizations are becoming increasingly open to embracing the microservices architecture and this transition is driven by the need for increased agility in software development.
When deciding which architecture to use for a given project, the microservices architecture is often presented as an attractive option due to its ability to enable organizations to be more agile and flexible in their development process.
While the numerous advantages make microservices a desirable option over a traditional layered architecture when developing complex applications, there are some downsides to using microservices too.

Pros and Cons of Adopting Microservices Architecture

Pros Cons
Compared to an SOA or layered architecture, the microservices style provides greater flexibility and scalability by decoupling monolithic services into smaller, more manageable units. Deploying and monitoring these individual service systems can get quite complex and translate to additional resources and costs.
Providing each component with a single responsibility and complete autonomy, combined with the power of container technologies, can greatly improve scalability, resilience, and maintainability. Scaling individual services may lead to data-related issues. Ensuring consistency across the system can be difficult inter-service and inter-communication can become a challenge unless the organization can support an efficient system of communication between teams.
Microservices architecture is particularly advantageous in scenarios that require businesses to rapidly deploy products, such as when responding quickly to customer requirements or external pressures. Often, this rapid development may lack the required levels of quality checks and testing, and the system may experience snags making the overall process more complex. An organization’s technical considerations should include carrying out a thorough analysis of performance metrics before making any final decisions.
Running each service on its own cloud instance, developers can take advantage of features such as automated provisioning and scaling to ensure high-performance levels. The advantages of the cloud come with associated costs.
A Closer Look into Adopting Microservices
Microservices can become a powerful tool to modernize solutions and complete projects on time and within budget when used appropriately, using the right software development approaches, and understanding the design patterns.
Let’s take a closer look at Microservices, understand the various aspects of adopting it, and see how the industry is leveraging this software architecture style to create radical applications.
Core Components of Microservices
A high-level architecture for microservices typically consists of four core components:
  1. A container platform that allows services to be deployed,
  2. An API gateway that handles the traffic coming into the system,
  3. A service registry that stores the metadata of each individual service and helps route requests between services,
  4. And individual services that can be written in different languages or technologies depending on requirements.
Key Software Development Approaches for Microservices
When developing a microservices architecture, it is important to adhere to some key software development approaches. These include breaking down the application into independently deployable services, API-centric design, designing for failure and scalability, event-driven architectures, segregating data models, and embracing automation.
Additionally, it is also important to ensure that the microservices are loosely coupled with each other through well-defined service boundaries. And that each service adheres to best practices such as using Domain Driven Design (DDD) that focuses on breaking down and structuring business domains into separate services and components based on domain logic. This approach helps in dividing large applications into manageable components to increase efficiency and reduce complexity.
eShopOnContainers – A Microservices Reference Application by Microsoft
eShopOnContainers is a full-featured cloud-native microservices reference application produced by Microsoft, in partnership with some leading community experts. This application is built to showcase using .NET and Docker, and optionally Azure, Kubernetes, and Visual Studio, to build an online storefront.
The distinct microservices of the application includes services responsible for authentication and identity, listing items from the product catalog, managing users’ shopping baskets, and placing orders.
Commonly Used Design Patterns
There are various design patterns that can be used for a microservices architecture. Some of the commonly used design patterns include –
  • Gateway Aggregator Pattern – useful for aggregating multiple microservices calls into one API call
  • Circuit Breaker Pattern – helps components manage unreachable services
  • Saga Pattern – allows for long-running business processes to be broken down into atomic steps and distributed across a network of services
  • CQRS (Command Query Responsibility Segregation) Pattern – permits communication between write and read models to be managed separately.
  • Event-driven architecture – assists in decoupling components in a system and allows them to communicate using events.
Role of the Cloud in Microservices
Cloud computing platforms have had a significant influence on the development of microservices architecture. The scalability, speed, and cost savings provided by cloud providers make them an ideal platform for hosting microservices applications.
Cloud platforms also provide built-in support for container-based deployments, which is essential for running applications using the microservices architecture. Additionally, the automation capabilities of cloud providers allow developers to rapidly spin up and tear down services as needed, providing agility and flexibility for application development.
A Case in Point: How Spotify Redefined Music Streaming with Microservices
The popular music streaming platform Spotify is able to offer new features and a seamless experience to millions of its users – thanks to microservices.
Spotify embarked on a journey to transform its monolithic application and moved to microservices. The success of this step can be seen in the agility with which Spotify has been able to make its mark in the music streaming market – rolling out new features and functionalities to augment user experience effortlessly without affecting the performance of their system.
Microservices has enabled the developers at Spotify to experiment and come up with new innovations and test these ideas in isolation to the rest of the system.
Likewise, Uber Eats, Netflix, Amazon Alexa, Dropbox, and Twitter have successfully implemented this, serving as an inspiration for developers looking to create similar solutions.

Summing Up

While the microservice architecture offers numerous benefits such as improved scalability and flexibility – thus facilitating innovation, an organization must carefully consider factors such as team skillset or customer needs before deciding to adopt Microservices.
The use of microservices requires a significant amount of planning and coordination. The organization must assess its capabilities and weigh the pros and cons of microservices against service-oriented architecture (SOA) or layered architecture when deciding which is best for their specific application development needs. With the right support and guidance from experts, an organization can ensure a smooth transition to the microservices architecture.
KANINI’s expertise in Product Engineering has been helping businesses across industries, including healthcare, banking & financial services, and manufacturing with innovative and cutting-edge software and applications, by implementing modern development practices. We analyze your current system architecture and identify areas that could benefit from a microservices approach before moving on to development, testing, deployment, and continuous monitoring and maintenance. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner and help you with architecting and developing containerized and microservice-based .NET Applications.
Contact us  to know more about how we can be a part of your digital transformation journey.

Sudheendra Hebbar
Sudheendra is a seasoned Application Architect and works for the Product Engineering Practice at KANINI. He has 17+ years of experience in designing and architecting applications, using Microsoft and Azure technologies, and implementing agile development practices. His focus on a client-centric development approach and proficiency in requirement gathering translates into delivering business value through successful technical solutions.
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