Microservices: The future of software architecture


Microservices: The future of software architecture


Microservices architecture is a framework for future-proofing solutions when developing applications so that they can easily be updated and adapted as a business changes. A shift away from traditional development approaches, which saw businesses developing entire applications as a singular monolithic structure, microservices make it possible to split an application into a collection of loosely-coupled services.


By separating different pieces of code in a way that they can run independently but still “talk” to each other and work together, you can create a complex application from the sum of different microservices. In this way, the failure of one service will have less of an impact on the functioning of the application as a whole. With a microservices architecture, development is more iterative so you can easily update and review the implemented functionality.


It’s also more flexible because individual microservices can be developed in the most appropriate programming language based on different functionality requirements. This makes it possible to mix multiple languages and development frameworks. Developers can focus their attention on one particular module, or microservice, at a time and because each service is separate, availability is easier to maintain, even if one microservice goes down. But before I get ahead of myself, it’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with more traditional, monolithic architecture. This type of strategy is perfectly suited to some applications and certain business needs. If you’re developing a simple app with only a few features, if you’re working with a small team or if you’re creating a quick proof of concept, a monolithic approach is a way to go because everything is managed in one place; it’s simple and it’s stored in a single database. But it doesn’t work for everyone. Microservices in action Some of the globe’s leading brands – think Netflix, Uber, and Amazon – are major advocates for this approach to software development. In fact, Netflix and Amazon were among some of the earlier pioneers of microservices.


Netflix was one of the first companies to successfully migrate from a traditional monolithic architecture to cloud-based microservices architecture after realizing that the former simply doesn’t work when you’re developing a highly complex application. Netflix understood that a single issue could bring down its entire system. They were also unable to store the massive amounts of data and user information in their current data centers, which motivated them to migrate to Amazon Web Service (AWS). So they made the change. While moving to the cloud, the subscription streaming service and production company split its single, monolithic application into hundreds of smaller, more loosely coupled services.


One service stores all watched shows, one is responsible for monthly credit card payments, and another analysis a user’s viewing history in order to suggest similar shows and movies, for example. In 2020, Netflix had around 1000 microservices managing different parts of their site. This approach is also backed by the MACH Alliance, a group of independent tech companies advocating for more open technology ecosystems. Acknowledging that modern technology has evolved and continues to evolve on a daily basis, the MACH Alliance wants to help companies avoid locking themselves into a set of limited capabilities that prevent them from adapting and making changes as and when they need to. Keen for others to enjoy the same benefits as brands like Netflix, the Alliance wants to enable businesses to take advantage of the most innovative and flexible enterprise technologies available, such as microservices.


At Bluegrass, we have always worked to employ modern, stable, and secure technologies. Today, we are using cloud solutions across all our clients, and we are shifting away from relying on a single large software platform and embracing microservices. Even more traditional software platforms are embracing the trend with many now providing “headless” options with open APIs. This means that you don’t need to build your entire solution on top of the platform, but rather create a modular puzzle piece that can easily be replaced in the future without harming the overall solution architecture. As I’ve outlined above, microservices architecture provides a more componentized approach, enabling businesses to eliminate their reliance on a specific platform. Think of these connected blocks as being a bit like a puzzle. A single piece, or several pieces, of the puzzle, can easily be added, removed, or improved seamlessly, giving you longevity, agility and improving resilience and scalability across your solutions.


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