Microservices, micro-processes and API

What are microservices, how do they work? Purpose and use

 

Jochen Möller
27.12.2020

The more complex an application, website or software, the more error-prone it is. Since the entire application is a single coherent system, individual problems at certain points can only be resolved with difficulty, which can also have a negative impact on performance. Microservices help with these challenges. They make it possible to chain together several sub-areas from a large and complex process and thus to be able to flexibly access the individual micro-processes. Read the blog entry to find out exactly how this works and what the benefits are.

Definition: what are microservices?

Every application software or app has a specific purpose. This purpose, in turn, is achieved by initiating and fulfilling a number of processes. A part of these individual process steps can be outsourced, so that a modular and individual structure of the software is possible. The small, decoupled processes are called “microservices”.

The many small, detached microservices result in an architecture that can also solve extremely complex applications in an uncomplicated manner - the so-called microservices architecture. The microservices communicate with each other via interfaces that can be strung together as required. They are independent of one another and can therefore also be controlled separately from one another. Application software can therefore be set up completely individually and modularly; every company can put it together more or less freely.

Sounds practical and promising. How exactly does this microservices architecture work?

How exactly does the microservices architecture work?

Microservices occur everywhere in IT or in software applications. Are you looking for a specific product in the online shop using a search bar? You are probably using a microservice with it. Did you then put the product in the shopping cart? In most cases, you have also used a microservice with this.

The secret of a microservices architecture is that it normally only fulfills this one, given purpose. It is therefore very easy to replace on the one hand, but on the other hand it is uncomplicated and flexibly adaptable for the responsible developer. The microservices are interconnected by simple interfaces or protocols. This creates a kind of chain of individual microservices that the user does not notice. For him, the software or the website is the only complete application.

The individual microservices are usually hosted on different servers and operating systems. On the one hand, this has the advantage that it does not cause overload and performance losses, and on the other hand, adjustments to the respective performance can be easily made.

But not only that, microservices offer a number of other advantages. Which are these?

Use of microservices: when do microservices make sense?

Microservices are useful wherever complex or extensive applications are made available, because one of the main advantages is the aforementioned, autonomous scalability. This saves costs, minimizes downtimes and protects performance. Other advantages of microservices are:

  • Isolation of microservices from other services: Each service can be designed independently of others and implemented for the application. Resources are used better and the services can be edited independently.
  • Replaceability of services: Thanks to their independent development and isolated use, the microservices can be easily replaced or exchanged.
  • Focus on benefits: The functionality of a service is constantly being further developed in order to offer the greatest possible benefit for the user and the application.
  • When developing complex implementations: one development team per service: Each service is produced and controlled by a development team. The teams do not have to communicate with one another, because the services ultimately work through interfaces with one another without having to have common sections of code. This creates an uncomplicated and independent basis for development and optimization.
  • Small and manageable: Since microservices only serve one purpose, their size and processing effort are limited. This also makes it easy to adapt or expand the services.

The respective advantages vary depending on the manufacturer or developer of the microservices. So how do you find the one that's best for you?

EcholoN and microservices

EcholoN offers standardized interfaces and the data workflow system for the implementation of microservices. At its core, this is the API of our EcholoN framework, which can also be addressed via GraphQL, for example. In this way, standardized data can be queried and changed for the respective application, or data changes can be subscribed to as real-time updates. Microservices can be easily integrated into the existing system landscape and managed and optimized independently of it. You decide which service is important to you and which functions you need in your company. The provision can be made in the backend and any client system (Windows, iOS, Android etc.) independent of the operating system.

There is a large selection of different modules for microservices, including:

As usual, experienced and competent service personnel are available at EcholoN to help you with the selection, implementation and use. Let us advise you without obligation, the EcholoN staff look forward to hearing from you.