Microservices Part One: Are They the Right Move?

Architecture patterns are a much-debated topic of discussion in the software development community. Whether it’s promoting their true capabilities or contesting the requirements of implementation, you’ll find arguments for and against almost all possible patterns. This is no surprise since the architecture patterns you choose have big implications for what is possible throughout the lives of your projects. Some are stable and established, yet more rigid and limiting in the long term. Others are new, dynamic and future-ready, yet can be costly if used incorrectly. 

Discussions in recent years have focused on the pros and cons of Microservices and the move away from monolithic architectures. Whatever your stance may be, this approach is definitely growing in popularity. According to this report by O’Reilly, around half of the businesses questioned now use a microservices pattern in 50% of new developments[1]. This shows a huge shift, as businesses try to reap benefits like more flexibility, more scalability and less time to market while overcoming the associated obstacles like set-up, migration, and testing.  

Why Microservices Work For Us

If you caught our recent blog post on our tech stack, you’ll know that microservices is one of our core architecture patterns. This is because the ability to divide an application into separate services  – each with their own unique logic and purpose – is perfect for our agile development approach. Complex projects where resilience, scalability and fast development cycles are priorities always benefit from using this pattern. Another great advantage is being able to let teams focus on a particular application while the rest of the system continues to evolve.

These benefits aside, this pattern isn’t the right choice for every scenario. Small or shorter projects often don’t justify the knowledge and effort it takes to build and maintain a microservices architecture. In these cases, we’ll pick something a little simpler but that still follows the principles of a microservices approach.

Another reason we frequently use microservices is because the world is quickly moving in a direction where this approach will be high demand. The establishment of 5G will almost certainly cause a boost in them, as faster communications create a need for more resilient and scalable software solutions. 

The more microservices grow in popularity, the more accessible the approach will become. A lot of big companies are already starting to share their knowledge and provide open-source tools and libraries for others to use – which lowers the difficulties of implementation. 

So, should you leave monolithic architecture patterns behind and make the jump? Look out for our next blog post where we’ll share a few things to keep in mind when switching.

[1] https://www.oreilly.com/programming/free/the-state-of-microservices-maturity.csp

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