Microservices & APIs

Microservices provide an evolutionary design ideal for revolutionary systems when you can’t fully anticipate the types of devices that may access your system in the future. Legacy applications start based on monolithic architecture, but as unforeseen requirements surface, they’re often revamped to microservices with interoperability suplanting older monolithic architecture via APIs.

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What is a RESTful API?

RESTful API (also known as REST API) is an application programming interface (API or web API) that conforms to the constraints of REST architectural style and allows for interaction with RESTful web services. REST stands for representational state transfer and was created by computer scientist Roy Fielding.

APIs are a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software. This can be referred to as a contract between an information provider and an information user—establishing the content required from the consumer (the call) and the content required by the producer (the response).

When a client request is made via a RESTful API, it transfers a representation of the state of the resource to the requester or endpoint. This information, or representation, is delivered in one of several formats via HTTP: JSON (Javascript Object Notation), HTML, XLT, Python, PHP, or plain text. JSON is the most generally popular programming language to use because it’s language-agnostic, as well as readable by both humans and machines. 

microservice vs monolithic

Pros & Cons of Microservices

As with anything else, deciding whether or not a microservice architecture is right for your software system depends on your requirements. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the pros and cons:

  • Developers can independently develop and deploy services
  • Development team can be fairly small
  • Code for different services can be written in different languages (though many practitioners discourage it)
  • Easy integration and automatic deployment
    (using open-source continuous integration tools)
  • Easier to understand and modify for developers, thus can help a new team member become productive quickly
  • Developers can make use of the latest technologies
  • Code is organized around business capabilities
  • Starts the web container more quickly, so the deployment is also faster
  • When change is required, only the related app service is modified and redeployed—no need to modify and redeploy the entire application
  • Better fault isolation: if one microservice fails, the others continue to work 
  • Easy to scale and integrate with third-party services
  • No long-term commitment to technology stack
  • Due to distributed deployment, testing can become complicated and tedious
  • Increasing number of services can result in information barriers
  • The architecture brings additional complexity as the developers have to mitigate fault tolerance, network latency, and deal with a variety of message formats as well as load balancing
  • Being a distributed system, it can result in duplication of effort
  • When number of services increases, integration and managing whole products can become complicated
  • In addition to several complexities of monolithic architecture, the developers have to deal with the additional complexity of a distributed system
  • Developers have to put additional effort into implementing the mechanism of communication between the services
  • Handling use cases that span more than one service without using distributed transactions is not only tough but also requires communication and cooperation between different teams

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Microservices and APIs

Enterprise SaaS

On-demand, Web-hosted software. Common for business applications.

Mobile Apps

Software designed to run on a specific device: phone, tablet, or watch.

Machine Learning & AI

Leverage machine learning protocols to optimize tasks, functions and more.