Nitor Infotech Blog
Nitor Infotech is a leading software product development firm serving ISVs and enterprise customers globally.

Picture this – your enterprise is building a brand-new web or mobile application. What is one of the first items on your checklist that you need to get done with? It is naturally architecting its back-end.

The conventional approach of building the backend of an application was a monolithic one. Historically, developers preferred the monolithic architecture patterns to implement applications. Mind you, in terms of software, historically means just a decade or two ago.

However, these later became problematic since applications started getting larger and more complex.

Fast forward to 2024, microservices are enriching the tech landscape, bringing speed, control and a scalable and flexible way to create software. In this approach, a monolithic application is broken down into smaller services that are bundled and deployed independently. This makes applications simpler to build, easier to expand, and easier to scale.

With this blog series, we are going to help you take a closer look at Microservices and its architectural patterns. Our first blog of the series answers the following questions:


What are Microservices?

Microservices is an architectural approach of building an application as a small suite of services, each running in its own process. It uses mechanisms like HTTP APIs or message brokers that allows processes to communicate with each other.

With Microservices, you can build fully automated and independently deployable applications using different data storage technologies, all while having minimum centralized management (orchestration) of services.

Now, let’s try and understand why we need microservices.

Why do you need Microservices?

With the rapidly changing business environment, the last two decades have seen a massive advancement in the adoption of technology. The last decade particularly brought forth a unique challenge for organizations, i.e., to scale.

Businesses today want to expand their reach to grow. To maintain a competitive edge, they need to come up with new features quickly. At the same time, their application also needs to adhere to the basic requirements like availability, reliability, and better performance (low latency).

Typically, we observe the following two-front challenges-

  • Business Challenge: Plan and roll new features continuously to achieve a robust application for your users.
  • Technical Challenge: Design an application that will help the business achieve its goal for which, the application needs to be scalable, loosely coupled, reliable, and available, and still have better performance.

Building Microservices can help enterprises overcome these challenges. Let us now look at the unique characteristics & attributes of Microservices that make it possible to build a scalable architecture of any application.

What are the top 6 attributes of Microservices?

Microservices are typically characterized by their top 6 fundamental yet interesting attributes:

Top 6 attributes of Microservices

1. Cohesive Functionality

Each service in the microservice ecosystem should be fine-grained with a well-defined service boundary. It is a practice of defining a service boundary based on the domain/sub-domain of an application. Additionally, it should also be noted that services should not be overly fine-grained as it may lead to an operational nightmare.

2. Independent Codebase

Each service should have its codebase and select the technology of implementation as per its need. With an independent code base, each service can be built and tested independently,. Thisnot only simplifies the deployment but also makes it easier to modify the code base when the application needs to be updated.

3. Private Data / Database per Service

Each monolith application has a centralized database at the center of its functionalities. A centralized database often becomes a scaling bottleneck. Moreover, the same database is often used for various activities like Create-Read-Update-Delete (CRUD) operations, reporting, logging, etc.

Typically, the application may need various databases based on its use case. The core of microservice architecture revolves around the principle of “You Build You Maintain”.

This essentially means each service should have its own separate database. The data exchange across different services takes place either through HTTP (REST/SOAP) or Service Brokers.

4. Loosely Coupled

Each team can build its technology stack, define its development roadmap, release cycle, etc. using the “You Build You Maintain” principle. It overall aims for all services to be loosely coupled with each other and have no overlap or tight integration.

5. Independently Deployable

Each service can be deployed independently, making it possible to roll out changes without affecting the existing clients or other services. Having a well-defined versioning pattern is required to keep the clients compatible and to provide a smooth migration to the desired version of the service.

6. Stateless and Self-Bootable

Each Microservice should be able to boot itself into a valid state at any time without having tight dependencies on other services or to past data. Microservices should be able to scale out horizontally at all times based on processing needs. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid having a locally stored state such as local file stores, local DB, caching, etc. Instead, you can store any state in a centrally managed data store to ensure any state is consistently shared between load-balance and auto-scaling setup.

Now, let’s look at how you can get started with microservices.

How can you get started with Microservices?

Unlike monolithic architectures, where all components are tightly coupled, microservices break down the application into smaller, independent services that communicate over a network.

This allows teams to deploy, scale, and update parts of the system independently, leading to faster development cycles and more resilient applications.

To get started, here are the steps you need to follow:

Steps How to Get Started with Microservices

Fig: How to Get Started with Microservices

  • Step 1: Understand the Basics: Before diving into microservices, it’s essential to understand the principles behind them. Each microservice should be self-contained, with its own data storage and business logic. They should be loosely coupled, meaning changes to one service shouldn’t impact others. Communication between services is typically handled via RESTful APIs or messaging queues.
  • Step 2: Define Your Service Boundaries: Identifying the correct service boundaries is crucial. Services should be organized around business capabilities, each representing a specific function or domain within your application. Steer away from creating services that are too granular or too large, as this can lead to complexity or negate the benefits of microservices.
  • Step 3: Choose the Right Technology Stack: Selecting the right set of technologies is vital for building microservices. You’ll need a language and framework that supports RESTful API development, such as Node.js with Express, Spring Boot for Java, or Flask for Python. What’s more, consider containerization tools like Docker and orchestration platforms like Kubernetes to manage your services.
  • Step 4: Implement DevOps Practices: Microservices thrive in a DevOps culture, where development and operations teams collaborate closely. Implement continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to automate testing and deployment. This ensures that your services can be deployed quickly and reliably.
  • Step 5: Start Small and Iterate: Begin with a single microservice that encapsulates a core piece of functionality. This allows you to learn and adapt your approach without overcommitting resources. As you gain confidence, you can gradually decompose other parts of your application into microservices.

Well, transitioning to microservices is quite a journey. It requires careful planning, a willingness to adapt, and a commitment to learning. Via these steps, you can set a solid foundation for a microservices architecture that will serve your organization well.

Implementing a Microservice architecture can be very complex if it is not properly designed. Incorrect/ faulty design is a single point of a disaster of Microservice Architecture. And, with this blog, we have tried to walk you through the various tiers of Microservices Architecture, its attributes, implementation options, and a brief on tools and patterns that can be used to deploy a scalable architecture.

Now that you are acquainted with the modern software wonder that is microservices, you will be pleased to know that many organizations such as Netflix, Uber, Spotify, etc. have successfully implemented this technology and it has given them great flexibility to roll out new features quickly. Hopefully, this helps our endeavor to get you onboard the microservices bandwagon.

We hope you found this blog useful.

In our next blog, we will dive deep into thefollowing elements:

  • Advanced architectural patterns
  • Quality benefits, risk management
  • How AI is a part of Microservices

Write to us at Nitor Infotech to learn more about Microservices.

Upgrade your IT legacy systems with secure microservices and agile app development.

subscribe image

Subscribe to our
fortnightly newsletter!

we'll keep you in the loop with everything that's trending in the tech world.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Accept Cookie policy