- Microservices offer modular, independently deployable components that enable rapid development, scalability, and flexibility in building complex applications.
- The latest microservices trends include serverless computing, service mesh, event-driven architectures, Kubernetes, DevOps practices, and Artificial intelligence operations (AIOps).
- Companies with complex, rapidly evolving applications benefit most from adopting a microservices architecture.
Microservice implementation can benefit development processes in many ways. Still, it is not for everyone. As long as your product has few features, microservices are an excellent option. However, as your app gets bulkier, things may slide into chaos and turn what was supposed to make your life easier into another headache. To some extent, this resembles lambda implementation, meaning one service works perfectly fine with only one, not dozens of functions.
Is microservice architecture good for your company? That’s what we’re going to nail down. We’ll also look at the differences between the two architecture types, what you can expect from microservices, and how to implement microservices.
Acropolium is a trusted software agency, creating effective solutions for startups, small and medium-sized companies, and enterprises for 20 years. Three of our startups grew into unicorns, four of our clients entered the Fortune 500; and five have been working with us for over ten years.
We constantly help companies conquer microservices, whether they’re looking to refactor their existing monoliths or start with modules from the get-go. We’ll be happy to walk you through it, too.
Latest Trends in Microservices
Let’s consider which microservices trends are improving complex solutions’ efficiency.
- Serverless web app architecture automatically scales and efficiently uses resources for individual functions or microservices. At the same time, developers can focus on writing code and not managing the infrastructure.
- A service mesh allows you to handle service communication, providing centralized control and visibility into complex interactions.
- An event-driven architecture enables real-time responsiveness and decouples components. This facilitates the integration of new services and functions.
- DevOps practices enable automated testing, deployment, monitoring, and scaling. So you get the flexibility and reliability you need to successfully implement microservices.
- Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that automates containerized applications’ deployment, scaling, and management. Thanks to it, you can efficiently allocate resources and simplify scaling.
- Artificial intelligence operations (AIOps) provide process improvements that help you identify and solve problems faster and optimize productivity.
Implementing Microservices vs. Monoliths
Implementing microservice infrastructure means using one microservice for one set of functions. It must be isolated from other services and designed without dependencies for loose coupling. That means every microservice must have its own technology stack, irrespective of other app components.
Monolithic architecture is just the opposite.
Though different, all monolithic components are interconnected and share a single code base and tech stack. They exemplify tight coupling, leaving no room for deviation.
The Pros and Cons of Microservices
According to a survey, 85% of companies are modernizing their applications to a microservices architecture. No wonder the global microservices architecture market will reach US$ 6.84 billion in 2027, with a CAGR of 16.33% during 2021-2027.
Are microservices worth it? Here’s why some sing the praises of this architecture:
- Microservices can be load-balanced.
- They can be scaled on a case-by-case basis.
- Microservices stay unified with message brokers or REST APIs, even if they “speak” different programming languages.
- You can reuse some portions of microservices architecture for your other projects and plan for would-be service versions from the very beginning.
- Changes are easier to make within the module that needs improvement than in the whole app.
But at the same time, adopting such a decentralized architecture does have its cons:
- You have to put in plenty of planning to get started with microservices.
- Modules may become a pain to manage when you have lots of them.
- Your teams have to work in disconnected environments and contend with information barriers.
- Multiple APIs and configuration management tools may spell trouble for a small company.
- Log analytics and performance testing require more resources than when using monoliths.
The Pros and Cons of Monoliths
One way to avoid those headwinds is to keep going with a monolith. Here’s how it can benefit your projects:
- Bundled functions are a breeze to build, access, and maintain.
- Deployment time gets shorter as you roll out one unit, not a mishmash of multiple services.
- QA processes are streamlined with monolithic apps.
- You can save money on API implementations.
- Onboarding new developers to join your team in the middle of a project is easier than getting them clued in on microservices.
Is this compelling enough to stay with or switch back to monoliths? Before you make that decision, consider their drawbacks too:
- Big monoliths can grow into a tangle of lines of code that’s impossible to straighten out.
- It isn’t uncommon to have trouble scaling a function that shares a code base with other functions.
- When some part of a monolith is down, you need to retest the entire code after tuning that small part up. It’s expensive and time-consuming to modify a tech stack when it’s set in a monolithic stone.
- Challenges are inevitable if you want to containerize a monolith, which may shut down your project from service discovery and other features.
Demystifying Microservices vs. APIs
You can’t compare microservices to APIs because they are two different things. Take a travel planning app.
If it were developed using microservices, different modules would be coded for tours, itineraries, accommodation, and flights. So, if users were about to explore weekend getaway options, they’d only interact with one part of the system, not the entire app.
And then there are APIs. These are tiny pieces of software hidden from the end user’s sight to make sure an app works properly at the data level. They connect different applications or different parts of the same application, governing data request and return processes.
In the microservices context, APIs are how one module of an app interacts with another. They are internally embedded into an app infrastructure through a single gateway to oversee the following:
If one service can request data from a different service What data types it can fetch The result that each service can return as a response to a request
When you go for microservices, you typically build them with the REST API framework. Besides requests and results, it adds an extra security layer to your modules. That’s because REST APIs set the rules for data exchange and authentication that all microservices must follow not to expose information that isn’t supposed to be public.
Benefits of Microservices Architecture Implementation for SaaS Companies
Implementation of microservices is still a choice for many multi-tenant SaaS products. According to Statista, 54% of respondents using microservices rate them as very important for organizational operations, and another 40% consider them important.
And here’s how microservices architecture implementation can benefit your SaaS solution.
Scale at any time
Scalability is microservices’ claim to fame. If you were to pump more resources into just one of your app’s features, microservices architecture would make it a snap. You wouldn’t be compelled to bother scaling up — as you would with a monolith — but fine-tune any of your product’s components horizontally. Microservices allow for unparalleled granularity, which is great for upping the ante for a service that does well.
Stop overusing resources
Load balancers work like a charm for microservices. And setting one up behind your project can save you money. By balancing workloads, you can prevent your app’s components from tapping into more computing resources than they actually need and reduce the costs of keeping them up and running. This also helps maintain your backend infrastructure and integrations.
Deploy and debug with ease
Although monoliths are usually faster to deploy, microservices boast piecemeal rollouts. That means you can get one module live (whether or not other modules are already rolled out), which is impossible with a monolithic app. This flexibility is then passed on to change management. If some part of your software flops, you can troubleshoot it without getting your hands dirty when retesting other components. Besides debugging, microservices also simplify updates and improvements.
The modular approach can ensure the highest availability of your SaaS product, especially when implementing microservices architecture using AWS, Google Cloud, or other cloud platforms. The reason for this is that microservices help prevent the spread of a security problem. With zero-trust technology between your modules, you can be sure an affected service on AWS or elsewhere absorbs and contains the impact. That’s why other services can still be available while you’re addressing the problem with just one faulty part of your product.
Future-proof your architecture
Software architecture shouldn’t be walled in. When developing a product, you never know when new tools may come out, packed with more value for your app than your existing tech stack. And it won’t matter when you use microservices. They don’t require you to stick to specific programming languages and technologies but allow you to update your tech stack whenever there’s a valuable addition to it.
Double your efforts, not duplicate them
When there’s a monolith behind your SaaS app architecture, you’re building functionality into it and leaving it there forever. But when you go for microservices, you can take some code out of your modules and put it to good use for other products with similar logic. You don’t have to lay the foundation again. This is a great way to leverage what you’ve already created and develop new products on top of it.
Each microservice can focus on a specific aspect of the single- or multi-tenant SaaS application. For example, it can be user authentication, data analysis, reporting, or payment processing. Thus, you can offer users the option to choose and pay for the desired services according to their requirements. At the same time, they can mix and match individual services to create the perfect solution. Such cost-effectiveness can attract more customers.
Improve data analysis and analytics
Each microservice generates and receives certain data related to its functions. Thanks to this, the platform allows you to analyze data at a more detailed level and create personalized statistics with portraits of end users. You can also bring in artificial intelligence algorithms to discover patterns, trends, and correlations that would be difficult to identify in a monolithic architecture.
How to implement microservices architecture?
Microservices: how to implement? If you’re deeply curious about vetted practices, stay tuned.
Often, the planning stage determines whether you’ll win or lose with microservices:
- Define logical divisions for each microservice (i.e., how many modules your monolith can be chopped up into, where they start, and where they end).
- Determine what each microservice will be used for and put this down on paper. This will help you avoid unnecessary code changes and logic-related issues later on.
- Take a step back to look at what parts of your monolith can be touched up before splitting it into microservices.
- Think of how many more developers you need to effectively distribute responsibilities so that one team can focus on one service.
Design and development
With loose coupling in mind, you need to select an architecture design pattern that fits your application. It must be based on a clear understanding of how your services should interact, including what data they can request from each other. You can then pick a synchronous, asynchronous, or hybrid communication pattern.
Another great tactic is to develop an auxiliary framework for your would-be microservices to ensure:
- Infrastructure state management
- Consistent data processing
- Exception management and monitoring
- Version control
- Pertinent database queries
This framework can serve as a consistency layer beneath all your microservices. It can help you optimize the amount of code and infrastructure maintenance as your product takes shape.
At this stage, you should:
- Implement separate databases and schemas for all microservices
- Optimize storage for every database so that it’s focused on one service
- Determine how and what data each module can access
- Embrace polyglot persistence
You can opt for relational or NoSQL databases, depending on what makes a better fit for the data your app needs to store.
Whether you’re implementing serverless microservice architecture or making your way with containers, you want to:
- Ensure you have the right tools at hand (Terraform, Helm Charts, Docker Compose, etc.)
- Think one at a time while deploying each microservice independently
- Automate the process with specialized deployment scripts
- Eliminate dependencies and availability issues by setting up multiple instances
Testing and upkeep
Once your microservices are deployed, these practices are to be followed from day one:
- Get started on decentralized monitoring and automated testing across your builds.
- Aggregate log data to see the whole picture and bet on auditing changes.
- Constantly monitor program execution processes.
- Establish a maintenance plan covering service access control, improvements, and updates.
Implementing Microservices with Acropolium
When it comes to software architecture, standardized processes, and aligned teams are your adhesive. And this is what Acropolium is known for. As well as for legacy software modernization.
At Acropolium’s SaaS department, we know how to implement microservices infrastructure with multiple programming languages and can help you migrate from your monolith. We’ve mastered code refactoring skills while decomposing huge single-tenant monolithic apps into the smallest functional multi-tenant modules. That’s why there’s no unmanageable monolith for us.
Let’s look at examples of our software solutions with microservices implementation.
Accounting Software Solution
The client needed a highly-functional accounting SaaS that would meet the needs of small and medium-sized companies and enterprises. Our multi-tenant solution allows users to easily create invoices using templates and generate reports. Also, it supports payment by credit cards, bank transfers, and Stripe.
We built a SaaS MVP in just five months. Convenient UX allows minimizing the number of steps for the user to 5 clicks, including entering the website. The conversion rate from the free demo to the paid plan is 30%.
Biotech Enterprise SaaS
The customer turned to Acropolium to create a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) for remote device management. It was essential to reduce the costs of auditing all incoming assets, their certification and labeling, quantity and quality control, and to improve communication between customers and suppliers.
The developed software helped the company increase sales by 65%, improve loyalty by 75%, and attract 30% of new customers.
Operational Command Software Development
The client had a slow, buggy video surveillance and operational management solution for industry, government, and aid organizations. It was necessary to display in real time, protecting confidential data. We also integrated digital communication devices, GPS trackers, and IoT devices into the system.
Today, permanent monitoring of objects and interdepartmental, territorially distributed systems are available. Specific units deal with the matter in an emergency.
Microservices are a great choice for SaaS solutions, as this architecture allows you greater scalability, easy deployment and debugging, economical use of resources, minimized downtime, etc.
However, things are never lightning-fast with microservices. Tradeoffs and backfires are unavoidable unless you invest enough time in planning, documentation, test automation, and deployment standards. But we won’t let distributed systems cast a haze over your products just because you’re taking the sub-optimal approach.
Acropolium is a certified IT outsourcing vendor that develops complex solutions based on microservices. And it won’t hit your development budget, as we work on a subscription basis, with monthly payments.