Anzhela Sychyk January 27th, 2020

How Does Microservice Architecture Work?

The microservice architecture becomes a more and more popular approach to building new applications. In fact, microservices are a very burning topic in the world of software development.

If you are not familiar with this architecture, then this article is definitely for you. Down below, you will find all the essential information that will help you to understand what microservice architecture is and how it works. Let’s get started so that you can be on top of the latest software development trends. 

What Is Microservice Architecture?

It is a method of creating software that breaks a monolithic system apart. With microservices, you can create separate modules with their own interfaces and operations.

Microservices architecture examples become more and more widespread, and this approach gains exceptional popularity in today’s software development world. So, if you want to create an application, you can collect multiple services altogether, and they will interact through HTTP or TCP protocols.  

Main Characteristics of Microservice Architecture

For understanding this software development approach, let’s explore the main characteristics of microservice architecture. 

1. It has multiple components. 

With microservices, any application or other software is built from separate component services that can be deployed, tested, and fixed independently from other services. Respectively, it will be impossible to damage the integrity of the whole app. Thus, this method is very convenient to use, as instead of fixing and redeploying the entire app, you can do it with the functions that need to be fixed.

2. It has easy routing.

Unlike many products on the IT market, apps created with microservices have a simpler routing. Thus, it is easy to receive requests, process all of them, and respond to them quickly and effectively. 

3. Microservices are decentralized.

The microservice architecture embraces lots of modern technologies and platforms, so it also requires a decentralized system of data management and governance. It’s opposite to a monolithic system with a unique database. Thanks to this technology, each service has a separate, independent database at its disposal. 

Advantages and Pitfalls of Microservices

Here are some of the benefits of implementing this approach for software development: 

  • It allows creating and deploying separate independent services.
  • Even a small team can tackle this development approach.
  • Different languages can be applied to write code for various services.
  • The microservice architecture allows easy open-source integration, as well as automatic deployment.
  • This approach is easy to understand, and developers can modify microservices quickly and cope with tasks more effectively.
  • Quicker deployment. 
  • There is no need to adjust a whole app, as it is possible to fix and deploy only particular services to save time; 
  • Even if one service fails, others will keep working properly. 

Though microservices tend to be a convenient approach to software development, some challenges appear as well. Among them, there are the following cons: 

  • Testing microservices can turn into a very time-consuming, difficult, and tedious process;
  • The architecture is quite complex, as such aspects like load balancing, network latency, and error tolerance have to be solved;
  • With a growing number of microservices, it can get more difficult to manage the application;
  • Additional resources have to be channeled at establishing effective communication between these microservices. 
  • It’s harder to maintain the proper safety of the transaction and distributed communication. 

How Does Microservice Architecture Work?

Now that you know what the microservice architecture is and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this software development approach, let’s look in detail how it works. Below, you can find the key components needed for creating an application with microservices. Let’s dig a bit deeper and explain each of the points. 

1. Clients

There are different types of clients, as well as different devices used to perform various management options, like searching, configuring, and so on. It is what the architecture starts with. 

2. Identity Providers

Once the requests are received from these clients, they are passed through several identity providers. They authenticate these requests and communicate them to API gateway and then to other internal services. 

3. API Gateway

Another integral part of the microservice architecture is the API gateway. It serves as the point where clients can request a specific microservice they need. It’s important, as clients can’t request a particular service directly, so an API gateway acts as a mediator in this case. It comes with several advantages:

  • A possibility to update a specific service without letting clients know;
  • A possibility to message not web-friendly protocols;
  • It is a cross-functional option that can provide a high level of data protection and load management.

4. Messaging Formats

There are two main messaging formats for services to communicate through. These are synchronous and asynchronous messages. In the first case, clients wait for the service response. At the same time, microservices utilize representational state transfer based on HTTP protocol. In the second case, protocols like AMQP can be applied so that customers don’t have to wait for the service response. 

5. Databases

Each microservice has its own unique database. It can be updated through the corresponding APIs. 

6. Static Content

It can be applied to storage (usually cloud-based) after the successful service communication. Then, the content will be delivered right to the clients through CDNs. 

7. Management

Here is another component that is common for the microservice architecture. Management is integral for keeping the services balanced and identifying and resolving failures. 

8. Service Discovery

It allows detecting the communication route between services. It includes all the services listed where nodes are placed. 

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, microservice architecture is a beneficial approach to software development. Although there are pros and cons of such a method, it’s advantages make this architecture type worth your attention and closer examination. 

By considering implementing the microservice architecture for your next application, you can get more effective results within a shorter time. Trying out new technological advancements is imperative for any business development, and the microservice architecture is definitely an approach that you should explore more and implement for your company.

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Anzhela Sychyk

I'm a Market Researcher and Technical Writer at TheAppSolutions. I like to learn new things about modern technologies and share knowledge through value-added content, helping entrepreneurs build businesses in a more effective way.

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