What are microservices?

Microservices is an application architecture approach in which small, autonomous services interact with one another through a shared fabric. Each service is a separate codebase, communicating with others using APIs (Application Programming Interface). 

Each microservice hosts its own datastore. The granular functionality of microservices enables businesses to scale up without having to allocate a large sum of their resources. 

Why use microservices

Unlike monolithic architectures in which all aspects of the software/app operate as a single unit, microservices decentralize all software components and data, allowing businesses to experience unparalleled scalability and flexibility in their tech stack. 

Microservices remove the bottlenecks of a monolithic architecture by dividing a large application into smaller, decoupled parts, with each part having its own realm of responsibility. To address a user request, a microservices-based application can engage many internal microservices to create the response. That means businesses don’t need to worry about long outages anymore. 


Migrating to microservices unlocks a host of other opportunities for businesses including:

Enhanced scalability

This is perhaps the most tempting reason for businesses to adopt microservices architecture. The capacity of each component to run independently makes it easy to add, remove or scale individual microservices. On top of that, when an individual component is being affected by any kind of change, other microservices that comprise an application are able to work with no disruption.

Increased agility

Microservices architecture is an ideal way to create a better customer experience. Loosely coupled microservices ensure quicker app development and rollout, enabling companies to ‘fail fast’ and adhere to their agile product timelines. 

Imagine your business owns an online shop. Using a microservice-based architecture, you will be able to minimize your time-to-market product launches, boosting your productivity and creating a seamless customer experience.

CI/CD monitoring

From a developer’s point of view, a significant benefit of a microservice architecture is its capacity for autonomous deployment and monitoring through what is called CI/CD (continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment). 

Developing can be faster as each app has its own CI/CD cycle and teams can develop their products without having to interfere with other teams/apps.

Monitoring can also be implemented for each app/service to give a better observability for each component.

What is API gateway in microservices?

The API gateway approach makes communication between a client’s application and microservices straightforward. It’s opposed to client-to-microservices direct communication architecture, in which a client app makes requests directly to microservices. 

Since businesses need to use more than one microservice in their tech system, they have to handle multiple calls to microservice endpoints in the direct method. An intermediate level (gateway) can solve the complexity issue, providing each client with an API that best serves their requirements. 

How do microservices communicate with each other?

Because microservices are decentralized, they interact with each other on the network level, using an inter-service communication protocol.

  • If the client is required to wait for a response to their request, a synchronous protocol like HTTP/HTTPS is used for communication.

  • If the client usually doesn't wait for a response to their request, an asynchronous protocol like gRPC is suitable for the communication between microservices. 

When to use microservices

As you see more businesses replacing their legacy architectures with microservices, you may wonder if this is the right step for your company too. Use microservices for your business if:

  • Your existing monolithic architecture falls short of providing you with the required agility to compete in today’s digital market.

  • You have a growing customer base and need software solutions that support you run at scale.

  • You have lost your customers because your website/app was temporarily inaccessible to customers due to a bug in your monolithic architecture. 

  • You operate across physical and digital channels and need to maximize your omnichannel flexibility in sales, promotions, etc.

  • You’re able to establish partnerships with service providers that have already integrated with the software platforms of many clients.

To know more about microservices and their benefits for your business, check out Talon.One’s ebook, “The A to Z of Microservices Architecture.” 

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