While every business and personal brand is vying to secure the top place in their market, the age of digitalization has opened up a whole new front for them to win. And now businesses are hell-bent on developing custom software solutions that can give them a competitive advantage. And there are many ways to achieve these solutions. One such popular way is microservices.
They are referred to as the better, agile, and yet simple version of the traditional, and monolith softwares which had service-oriented architecture. But to avail a wide range of benefits, developers, and businesses are now opting for the latest and more effective option; i.e. microservices.
But sometimes implementing microservices is not enough, if you want to get maximum returns on your investment or yield results beyond expectations, you go to imply microservices best practices.
In this article, we are going to have a look at some of these microservices best practices categorically so they can help you plan, design, develop, deploy, and maintain a secure and reliable software system.
The tips discussed below are also suitable for new adopters to help make an easy transition from traditional monolithic to microservices framework.
“Big companies are doing it” is not the reason to adopt microservices architecture and its best practices. You have to determine on your own whether your project requirements demand the use of microservices or not. Whether its implementation will be beneficial or not. If you are using this approach, then you must also ensure that your application is easily divided into subsections of microservices and can still retain its core features and functionalities.
Transitioning from monolithic to microservices will be a challenging process and its impact would also be just limited to the development team. The stakeholders too have to invest their time, money, and expertise whenever required to make a smooth transition. Although the developers who are both implementers and the user of the process, would be facing significant disruption due to this transition.
Even if you are not transitioning, stakeholders and clients have to get involved in the development process considering every functionality will be developed separately with this approach. So, back-and-forth communication is going to happen multiple times.
The development teams working on microservices should act independently as their respectively assigned microservice will act independently as well. Therefore each team must possess the necessary skills and tools to create, launch and maintain that microservice all by themselves. Working on a microservice doesn’t mean your team must also be micro, it should be big enough to manage all types of operations independently, and that too without wasting any time in communication.
Sometimes developers create microservices that are either too big or too small. If you go too big, they won’t be microservices anymore, so no benefits from that one. And if they are too small then you would have a drastic increase in your operational costs, which would eventually outweigh the benefits.
But once you clearly differentiate between the microservices and business functions and develop accordingly, there won’t be any problem.
Your microservices should cover single-bound context, have high cohesion, and have to be coupled loosely.
You have to design microservices to be domain specific. They should possess critical details of their respective domains and domain-specific models. Attaining a domain-driven design means making sure that your microservices are covering a single-bound context.
In addition, if your microservice has to focus on a single responsibility by design; i.e. to perform a single function very well then it can be said that your microservices have high cohesion.
And having loosely coupled services means that your microservices rarely depend on each other.
You must design an API gateway that can manage the requests, responses, authentication, and throttling for microservices so they do not have to call each other directly. API gateway also allows you to redirect the traffic from the API gateway to an updated version whenever any changes are done to your services.
Implementing DevSecOps best practices is probably the best option to secure your microservices framework. Having a distributed structure makes microservices susceptible to attack vectors. But DevSecOps adopts a different approach to provide security to the microservices in comparison to the one used for traditional frameworks.
In microservices, every service must have a repository that can provide easy access and can also keep 5the version control logs clean. It can be helpful whenever you are implying a change that might have the potential to break other services.
To adapt the framework and get started as soon as possible, developers must set up the development environment for the microservices as virtual machines.
If you do not want to break any callers and still wanna protect against the breaking changes then you can do it by implementing rigid contract tests. And for every user query, API-calls-based backward compatibility is enabled in response. Moreover, you can also create production-ready applications faster.
Everything you pick for your project must be suitable to fulfill your requirements. Similarly, pick the database that can fulfill the needs of your microservices. To match the data requirements, you have to customize the infrastructure and database and then use one for every microservice. If you have a framework where every service can be managed independently while they work in cohesion with other services with the help of a service mesh then you have truly got yourself a robust framework.
Deploying each microservice separately can save a lot of your time. Even during maintenance or an upgrade, it’s easy to coordinate with multiple teams. It’s unfair if a single service could get an unfair amount of resources behind it when other services are dried up because of a lack of resources.
It is highly recommended that every service must have a dedicated infrastructure for hosting. It can save the microservice from the faults of other components which is extremely beneficial in fault-tolerance and fighting off an outage.
We talked about deploying the microservices independently but how can you achieve it? Well, the answer to that lies in this section. You can do it by containerizing your microservices. In this way, the shortcomings of one microservice won’t affect another because it is hosted on a separate container. And you know what else containers have to offer that goes hand in hand with the objectives of microservice architecture? It’s interoperability and platform independence.
The primary goal of a DevOps model is to enhance the efficiency of your development process by automating it. And the automation of DevOps workflows can be obtained easily with the help of automation tools such as Jenkins that streamlines CI/CD processes.
Microservices must ship their logs in a standard format and a centralized logging system is best for it. It also allows you to save these logs discreetly from each other. In comparison to the monolithic structure, this system can manage errors and find the root cause quickly. Additionally, you can monitor the availability of the resources and identify the compromised resources to maintain security with the help of an advanced monitoring solution.
Using microservices frameworks can help you manage your applications in a better way but the real challenge is transitioning from monolithic to microservices architecture. The implementation approach might indeed vary from one use case to another but its best practices are fundamental.
Moreover, the objectives will always stay the same. That is, to be an independent, distributed, and loosely coupled framework meanwhile constituting DevOps to automate the development process and increase its efficiency.
I hope you have found what you came looking for in this article. I have to agree that there are many more advanced microservices best practices out there. But the ones we discussed in this blog are pretty basic and yet very effective. I hope this has been helpful to you. Thanks for reading!