What is microservices?
Microservices are a software architecture method focusing on developing a system as a set of small services. Instead of having one heavyweight application with all functionalities, many functional entities are delivered as lightweight microservices. They can be developed, tested, deployed, and maintained independently.
Microservice architecture speeds up the delivery of even the most complex software. Microservices can be scaled separately—that is, more computing resources can be assigned to a user login app when you expect more orders. Moreover, a new microservices-based application can be developed immediately and independently (e.g. in response to new business needs or opportunities) without affecting the existing services' life cycles or release schedules.
We can shortlist the benefits of microservices as:
- Microservices architecture enables independent development and deployment.
- Simpler for developers to understand and modify—more isolated and less dependent functions are easier to track.
- When some modification is required to a specific part of the application, only this part will be changed, not the whole application.
- Microservices are easy to scale and integrate with other (third-party) services.
- Even if one microservice goes down, the next one will work—although with a potential risk to the stability of the application as a whole.
Microservice architecture features
The main characteristic of microservices architecture is software built from multiple components (services). Each service can be modified and deployed independently, so there is no need to change the whole application, only the component. Microservices focus on business priorities—cross-functional teams do not have one specific aspect on their agenda but the entire project. Decentralization is another essential feature of microservices architecture, especially when discussing administration and data management.
Read more about the differences between SOA vs microservices.