Microservice architecture, or simply microservices, is a distinctive method of developing software systems that tries to focus on building single-function modules with well-defined interfaces and operations. The trend has grown popular in recent years as Enterprises look to become more Agile and move towards a DevOps and continuous testing.
Today, several enterprises are making use of Microservices to restructure their applications, scale them up and make them communicate with each other with APIs. This is helping companies to not only speed up their software delivery but also improve business agility and scalability. As Microservices and APIs provide new opportunities, they also pose challenges in achieving complete security, performance visibility and reusability.
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What is a microservice?
A microservice is a service with a design focus towards the smallest autonomous boundary.
What is a monolith?
A monolith is software whose design, information model, and interface combine multiple competing and interfering domains into one single application and data model. There is no longer consensus from users and designers of the software on terms, modeling, information design, or interface. The coupling between competing models makes future changes to the system difficult or impossible.
Should I start with microservices or a monolith?
Microservices focus on the smallest autonomous boundary for a service. If the domain is ambiguous enough or business goals volatile enough, you may wind up building modules that can be independently deployed but not run because they depend on other modules to function.
Perhaps a better question is "should I start with a single application or modular architecture?" The answer is highly dependent on the team, business, and domain maturity.
Should I use microservices?
It depends, building services as small as their autonomy allows is a different way of building services, that usually results in more of them. It affects more than just a developer, to the entire value delivery chain from concept to production. It usually involves imbuing a DevOps culture and mentality, but the ramifications stretch upstream as well.
The bigger question to ask is - is our software delivery value stream delivering its value at the speed the business needs? And if not, is the cause of our bottleneck in delivery that we don't have small enough services to align agility more closely? If so, then microservices are a good choice to consider.
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