What Are Microservices and What Do They Mean for Developers?

The tech industry often sees trends come and go, and this can lead to a bit of idea fatigue for developers. Despite this, industry professionals may not want to be so quick to dismiss the recent emphasis on microservices. Microservices have become a bit of a buzzword in recent months, but that doesn’t mean that they are just a buzzword. In fact, they may quickly become an industry defining shift. Microservices actually move towards something that the software industry has been trying to achieve for some time: full compartmentalization of systems. Rather than developing consolidated, one-size-fits-all solutions, microservices seek to create component-based applications of many integrated parts. This type of development was first seen throughout the last decade as a shift towards “module-based” services, but has become even more critical to modern software development during the shift towards Software-as-a-Service.

The Challenges of Microservicing

Microservicing has long been a type of “Holy Grail” for a developer. As a natural extension of the way most systems are developed (through object-oriented programming and module-based structures), microservicing makes sense on a practical and a philosophical level. The core issues with microservicing are logistics. It’s incredibly difficult to develop well-integrated infrastructures that can work autonomously, but still integrate with each other. Each service is, in itself, a complete application, and this can vastly increase initial development time. Microservice architecture requires extremely careful planning and a more sophisticated development structure. Developers must be able to think about both the disparate parts that comprise the system and how the system will be developed as a whole.

The Benefits of Microservicing

Though a microserviced architecture does increase initial development time, it reduces development time further down the line, empowers the ability to develop separate components at different rates, and generally improves upon the user experience. In a microserviced system, organizations are able to tailor their software to their own needs rather than having to invest in custom processes or having to go with an all-in-one solution, adding value for the consumer and making it easier for developers to meet the needs of their clients. Even better, microservicing allows for a better utilization of resources, and superior scalability and efficiency. A microservices architecture can be developed scaled upwards or downwards depending on an enterprise’s needs and fits very neatly into modern as-a-service technology. 

Microservicing isn’t going to take over the world of development entirely. It is primarily useful for large schemes that incorporate many disparate elements; rather than forcing everything into a single system, developers can feel free to create a modular, microserviced architecture that can be modified on-the-fly. Microservicing also does require a different approach than traditional development and is, in many ways, more complex. It also delivers far greater levels of flexibility when compared to other more traditional methods of development. For more information about microservicing and new developments in the tech field, contact the Software Specialists today.

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