With the growth in cloud and mobile technologies, there’s a new player in town when it comes to application development: microservices. You’ve probably seen microservices, containers and serverless computing mentioned across the news these past few months – and the reason is not surprising. Microservices architecture has the potential to seriously disrupt the way enterprise IT develops applications in the future.
Applications today are no longer limited by the infrastructure they run on. Instead, they can control their fundamental infrastructure technologies, turning them into services to be harnessed on demand and programmatically during application execution. Hence, the increased microservices momentum.
As a refresher, microservices provide ways to break apart large monolithic applications into sets of small, discrete components that facilitate independent development and operational scaling. The services in a microservice architecture are processes that can scale out independently and communicate with other microservices over a network message bus. Each microservice fulfills one and only one specific function for the overall application and has a carefully constructed API that other microservices use to make requests of it. Microservices typically have their own dedicated persistent state that is not exposed to others, enabling each microservice to provide its function without any information about the internal implementation of any other services — all that is required is that they have well-defined APIs that they support respectively.
The benefit? What used to take many engineers months or years to build and maintain now takes minutes. The microservice design philosophy of services only interacting via a stable, well-formed API makes this reuse and independent development possible, so engineers no longer have to update code across multiple places owned by different teams. Microservices are broadly reusable, so engineers have more time to focus on building the unique value-added capabilities that differentiate its business from competitors.
Microservices-based designs fundamentally enable faster development and deployment of highly scalable applications in the cloud, allowing for shorter time-to-production and improved efficiencies. With the tremendous potential for enabling agility and improving resiliency, one thing is for sure: we don’t anticipate microservices leaving the spotlight anytime soon.