Microservices architecture has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its ability to enhance scalability, agility, and resilience in software development. However, building effective microservices requires careful planning decisions to best practices. We can gain higher agility, scalability, and resilience by splitting down monolithic apps into smaller, independent services.
In this article, we will explore 9 essential best practices for developing microservices, covering topics such as data storage, code maturity, build separation, single responsibility, container deployment, stateless services, domain-driven design, micro frontends, and microservices orchestration. Let's first understand what are Microservices?
What are Microservices?
A microservice is a small and independent part of a bigger application. The API is the way to communicate with the microservices and use their features. APIs and microservices are different things, but they work together. Microservices are not defined by APIs, and APIs are not built by microservices. They are connected, but not identical.
In other words, Microservices is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of small, loosely coupled, and independently deployable services. Each service concentrates on a distinct operational ability and can be created, implemented, and expanded autonomously. These services communicate with each other through well-defined APIs, often using lightweight protocols like HTTP or messaging systems.
Why Use Microservices?
As time passes, applications grow over time. They turn into huge beasts. One developer cannot know everything in the application. It is hard to implement new features and slow to fix bugs. Sometimes, things are done wrong because the application is too complex. Also, large applications are hard to manage because you have to update everything for one thing, even if it is small. Plus, these applications can break easily because one mistake can stop everything since it is all in one place.
Microservices architectures offer several benefits:
- Scalability: Microservices allow individual services to be scaled independently based on demand, improving resource utilization and performance.
- Flexibility: Each microservice can be developed, deployed, and updated independently, enabling faster development cycles and easier maintenance.
- Resilience: Failure in one microservice does not bring down the entire system, as other services can continue to function independently.
- Technology Diversity: Microservices allow different services to be developed using different technologies, enabling teams to choose the most suitable tools for each service.
- Continuous Delivery: Independent deployment of microservices facilitates continuous delivery and faster time-to-market.
How Do Microservices Work?
Microservices communicate with each other through APIs, They can be deployed in various ways, including containers or virtual machines. Each microservice has its own database or data storage, ensuring loose coupling and data integrity.
Each microservice can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently, allowing for faster development cycles and easier maintenance. The use of dedicated databases for each microservice ensures data isolation and improves performance.
Best Practices for Developing Microservices
1. Use Separate Data Storage for Each Microservice
One crucial aspect of microservices architecture is data management. It is recommended to use separate data storage for each microservice to ensure loose coupling and maintain data consistency. By isolating data storage, each microservice can have its own dedicated database or data store, enabling independent scaling and easier maintenance.
2. Keep Code at a Similar Level of Maturity
Maintaining a consistent level of maturity across microservices' codebases is crucial for seamless integration and effective collaboration among development teams. If one service uses outdated libraries or languages, it can become a weak link, affecting the entire system's performance and security.
It is recommended to avoid mixing highly stable and mature code with experimental or untested code. By keeping code at a similar level of maturity, it becomes easier to manage changes, perform deployments, and conduct code reviews.
3. Separate Build for Each Microservice
To enable independent development, testing, scaling, and deployment, it is essential to have a separate build process for each microservice.
By decoupling the build pipelines, you can ensure that changes in one microservice do not impact others. This separation allows for efficient continuous integration and deployment practices, improving overall development speed and minimizing risks.
4. Assign Each Microservice with a Single Responsibility
Microservices are designed to be small, independent, and focused on specific functionalities. It is crucial to assign each microservice a single responsibility. This follows the Single Responsibility Principle (SRP) and ensures that the service remains small and easy to manage.
Defining clear boundaries and responsibilities, you can achieve better scalability and independent evolution of each microservice.
5. Deploy into Containers
Containers are a natural fit for microservices, as they provide isolation, portability, and have less overhead than traditional VMs. By encapsulating each microservice within a container, you can ensure consistency across different environments and simplify deployment processes.
Containers make it easier to manage and scale microservices effectively.
6. Design Stateless Services
Statelessness is a fundamental principle in microservices architecture. Stateless microservices do not store any information about the current session. Designing microservices as stateless entities ensures better scalability, fault tolerance, and resilience.
This makes them easier to scale and reduces the risk of data loss. Individual microservices can be scaled horizontally, leading to improved performance and reduced dependencies.
7. Adopt Domain-Driven Design
Domain-Driven Design (DDD) is an approach to software development that centers the design on the core business. It is particularly useful for complex systems where business requirements are critical.
Adopting DDD principles in microservices development helps align the architecture with business requirements and promotes modularity and maintainability. By dividing the system into smaller domains, you can design microservices that reflect the real-world problem domain.
8. Design Micro Frontends
Micro frontends extend the concept of microservices to the frontend, allowing teams to build and deploy independent user interfaces. By breaking down the frontend monolith into smaller, self-contained components, you can achieve better team autonomy, faster development cycles, and improved user experience.
Micro frontends enable parallel development and deployment, facilitating seamless updates and reducing the impact of changes.
9. Orchestrating Microservices
As the number of microservices grows, orchestrating them becomes crucial to maintain cohesive functionality. Microservices Orchestration involves managing inter-service communication, data flows, and service coordination. Tools like Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, or Apache Mesos can help manage containerized microservices efficiently.
Microservices offer a number of benefits over traditional monolithic architectures, but they also introduce new complexities. Developing microservices requires careful consideration of various aspects including these above mentioned best practices points. By following these 9 best practices, you can build scalable, maintainable, and resilient microservices that empower agile software development and enable rapid innovation.
Is it possible to use the same data storage for multiple microservices?
No, it is recommended to use separate data storage for each microservice to ensure loose coupling and maintain data consistency.
How can I ensure consistent code maturity across microservices?
To maintain a consistent level of maturity, it is crucial to separate stable and mature code from experimental or untested code.
Why should each microservice have a separate build?
A separate build for each microservice allows for independent deployment and scaling.
What are the benefits of deploying microservices into containers?
Containerization provides benefits such as consistency, scalability, portability, and simplified deployment processes for microservices.
Why is statelessness important in microservices architecture?
Designing microservices as stateless entities improves scalability, fault tolerance, and resilience by enabling horizontal scaling and reducing dependencies.
What is the role of an orchestrator in microservices architecture?
An orchestrator manages inter-service communication, data flows, and service coordination.
What tools can be used for orchestrating microservices?
Tools like Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, and Apache Mesos are commonly used for orchestrating containerized microservices, ensuring optimal performance and scalability.