Benefits of Microservice Architecture
Microservice architecture provides considerable benefits to businesses today. Microservice architecture is defined as “functional system decomposition into manageable and independently deployable components” (Schroeder, 2020). Businesses today struggle to deliver quality services to their customers, namely because they are trying to service these needs in an impractical way. They use an architecture known as a “monolith”, meaning simply that they use a single code base, one technology stack, and one deployment procedure. It’s much easier for developers -- they feel that this singular code base can be scaled much easier and they can run it much easier. Unfortunately, these “benefits” come at a great cost for applications in need of high scalability such as webshops.
The following graphic produced by RevBug visually illustrates the transformation that occurs from monolith to microservice architectures. Visually, monolith designs complicate the architectural approach needed to evolve separate components and services.
The consequence, as we’ve observed in several webshops, is that this singular monolith codebase makes it difficult for developers — they are simply uncertain if what they implement will literally compromise what they deploy. Development tools are overburdened, it takes hours to refactor, test and build. Businesses can’t respond to rapid changes and development of their customer base. Customers need products fast and if businesses can’t keep up they will not survive.
The following is a catalog collected from BigCommerce that, like many other sources, confirms the evidence behind the obsolescence of monolith architecture:
- Customisation leads to complications
- Responds to new market trends is slow
- High dependency leads to single point of failure
- Updates need a lot of testing before going live.
We have experienced increasing dependencies and single points of failure often, and this is a risky endeavor. We generally do not recommend a tightly focused architecture that will hinder performance, response to market trends, and reduction of updates to the ecommerce platforms. Consider this: when a new ecommerce version is released, the company needs to update the entire frontend and backend at the same time. When an error occurs customers face the challenge of mitigating these problems throughout the entire codebase. This will certainly slow down their response to customers and affect their business altogether. Worse yet, customers complain more often and go to a service provider whose services actually work.
Microservice architecture requires the following conditions to be enabled:
- Each microservice handles one resource (clients, products, carts) or one use case (checkout, registration)
- It enables separation and independent evolution of: code base, technology stacks, scaling, features and integrations
- Each services has its own code repository (thus maintainable for developers – startup takes seconds, testing and deploying minutes at most)
- Microservices can develop without affecting other services
One interesting benefit of microservice architecture, say, for businesses is the implementation of features without harming other services. Consider the following: updating cart capabilities, such as integrating recommendations and additional price offerings without compromising general cart functionality. The diagram below illustrates the distinct and separate capabilities required by a webshop in comparison with typical monolith designs. This is a tremendous advantage to make sure that changes are limited to a certain section of the whole solution without interfering with everything else.
When businesses move towards microservice architecture they experience a number of benefits including reported in a study conducted by IBM which included more than 1200 IT executives, senior management, and developers from a wide range of mid-level companies:
- Greater customer satisfaction
- Better security of company/customer data
- Faster time to market/responding to changes in the marketplace
- Improved application quality/performance
- Greater flexibility to scale resources up or down
- Improved employee productivity
- Improved application security
So what exactly is preventing companies from acquiring these benefits?
- Talent with this expertise is expensive and difficult to find
- Security is tough to understand
- Complexity of learning about microservices
- Internal data management geared toward monolith application development
- Lack of modern infrastructure needed to effectively run microservices
- Difficulty predicting performance in production environments
- Difficulty integrating cloud in on-premises environments
- Difficulty assessing which applications will benefits from refactoring to microservices
- Insufficient internal expertise in DevOps or agile practises
- Uncertainty regarding time and costs involved for building applications
Businesses ready to make this transition towards microservice architecture are surely moving towards significant benefits and improvements with their overall enterprise as well as executing their general objectives.
At Sly AG, our focus is to decouple these complicated applications and services in order to speed up and generally strengthen these modules so that they provide functions isolated from one anothers. We first need to know how tightly coupled these modules are and what the significant benefits are at the earliest iterations. Through consultation, Sly intends to learn more about how your architecture is and where decoupling will happen first.
Let’s get started. We work closely with customers to achieve their ecommerce objectives. René Hämmerli, our CEO, has long since worked with customers that seek to enhance and improve their ecommerce services. Our experience shows that customers using microservices have reported a huge gain in simplicity, efficiency and responsiveness to the changing ecommerce landscape. Please contact us today for a simple 30 minute session to learn more about microservices and how Sly can help you enhance your ecommerce objectives: firstname.lastname@example.org or +41 (0) 44 552 72 72. If you would like to have coffee with us, feel free to visit us in Zürich Oerlikon.
See you soon!