Let’s face it: as apps (literally) run the world, our dependence on them has also steadily increased. Whether it’s to order a quick weeknight dinner or for fixing your car, there’s an app for everything – and it promises to give you results stat. From a consumer level, our smartphones empower us to do so much more and make so much possible. There’s no doubt that this on-demand app generation is here to stay (at least for a while) and consumers are savvy about innovative ways on getting their daily duties done.
Likewise, a treasure trove of opportunity awaits businesses in this sector. Irrespective of the industry you specialise in, there’s an app that can make your goods/services more accessible for your consumer, while making life easier for you overall. As for the tech industry, agencies are replete with projects on building intelligent apps that are versatile enough to function across any platform, and powerful enough to withstand lapses lest they happen.
However with increasing consumer demand and expectations, agencies are under pressure to deliver digital products that truly stand out in the marketplace – and make their respective clientele stand out in the marketplace too. Today’s business landscape is competitive as it is fast-paced, and the slightest shortcoming is enough to push your customers over to other brands.
So how can businesses produce great value for customers while leveraging on revenue, via the everyday digital product? Enterprise software development Sri Lanka is one such IT market that focuses on local as well as international demands for superior quality digital products that customers want to return to, while giving business their ultimate ROI. Many methods exist; from the manner in which a project is managed to the calibre of teams that are used in creating the product, there are many solutions that help foster the kind of expectations you have for your brand in the long run.
Just as there are project management methodologies, there are app development methodologies that not only sustain excellent product features, but also offer business owners the autonomy to do so much more, including but not limited to cost reduction and scalability. So how do microservices make it possible?
Starting off, microservices are defined as independent components that are consolidated to build an app. Unlike its monolithic counterpart (traditional app development architecture that’s based on a single programming framework, and consists of everything present under one server and database system) each component via a microservice architecture functions independently to create a working app that can conveniently be tweaked for better performance or scalability.
This means that a microservice-based app can have multiple servers and databases for faster output and stronger leverage, especially for apps on a larger scale that are used across a plethora of devices and operating systems. Many leading global names have long since jumped into the microservice bandwagon, especially once they expanded and realized that millions around the world were depending on their services, or when failure from a single server caused excessive downtime and a potential loss of sales. No matter what the reason was, the decision to eventually move over to the more flexible microservice option also presented a host of other benefits that made it a win-win situation for both entities – the business as well as the consumer.
From Amazon to Netflix, there’s a reason why microservices are so well renowned today. Here are some of the more common advantages of microservices architecture, although many of these advantages can eventually influence other areas to improve their business functions too (think better revenue and cost reduction through more reliable infrastructure that’s maintained by multiple teams across the world).
Since the umbrella concept of monolithic architecture is absent, all the components that constitute your microservice-based app aren’t dependent on the health and functionality of their fellow components. This means that if one component crashes, the others can continue to work without any hindrance while it is fixed. Additionally, fixing and troubleshooting is much faster and easier to do so. While monolithic systems will need to be fixed across the grid even if a single component is faulty owing to complete dependency, the adoption of multiple programming languages and component autonomy in microservices will only require troubleshooting to be done for the faulty component alone.
In turn, troubleshooting done across monolithic-based apps also leads to less crashes in the long run. It’s not surprising for updates done to apps be glitchy, instead of resolved. Under monolithic architecture, the intricate dependency between each and every component increases the likelihood of a single glitch to spread across the grid, rendering the entire app unusable as a result. What’s more, the adoption of multiple programming languages and development frameworks can make troubleshooting all the more convenient, as opposed to the lack of flexibility that’s presented by a single language monolithic system.
As elaborated above, the same advantages extend onto developing and deploying the app in the first place. In the case scenario pertaining to development, there’s no need to depend on a single team of developers to get the job done. This can be risky in the long run, considering the fact that many unforeseen circumstances and other hindrances could cause your dedicated team to lag in their duties. Maintaining multiple teams that each have a smaller set of responsibilities can adhere to deliverables that are easier, faster and even cheaper to achieve.
Similarly, deploying in smaller and shorter batches makes overall implementation more successful, as the app can then be tested step-by-step on whether it is a workable product or not. Deploying an app or software in one go can have its drawbacks, with complicated changes being the biggest one out of all. It is a well-known fact that fixing bugs earlier rather than later in the app development lifecycle is much easier, especially since a lot of other processes would’ve already compounded in between. With microservices, working in smaller batches and subsequently testing them is very much possible, thereby guaranteeing optimum app success post-implementation.
As your company or product portfolio grows, so does your app. Likewise, if you are aiming to reduce your product line or the services you offer, you need to downsize your app as well. Owing to its independent component qualities, microservice architecture makes scaling your app all the more easier and affordable. What’s more, the usage of multiple programming languages can provide versatility for anyone to add on or remove components as you go, thereby making your app stay on par with prevailing trends as well as demands.
Another incredibly crucial point that microservice architecture touches base on is Agile project management. As many advocate the use of this ‘people over processes’ approach to getting work done in the software and app development industry, the foundation of microservice architecture complements Agile methodologies, thanks to its focus on independent goals and shorter timelines. Again, this closely ties in to deployment as well, since delivering a working product is much more beneficial than lengthy processes which may take months if not weeks to complete.
This isn’t a direct advantage of microservices, but the architecture is such that it leads to further business benefits, simply due to its versatile qualities. Owing to its flexibility in using multiple programming frameworks and teams for more independent consolidation, microservices enable companies to outsource significant portions of their work. In turn, this leads to incredible cost savings as high quality digital deliverables are now being produced at a lesser cost.
This also presents a more practical advantage; as numerous teams handle specific duties across multiple servers and borders, this provides your company’s app the leverage it requires to interact with local markets much more quickly and efficiently. This is particularly beneficial if you’re looking to expand to a different region, or to different countries all together.
Just like any other app development methodology, microservices can follow some basic principles to produce the results you desire. There’s no exact protocol though, so you’ll need to decide which actions will be most suitable in relation to the unique context that constitutes your business.
Starting off, gathering all your team members for a discussion on how your proposed app can be developed is crucial to determining the technicalities that will be involved in doing so, in the future. This can ideally be done from the very infancy of your app development phase, particularly the initial phase that deals with gathering information and ascertaining the exact objectives and features your app will carry.
At this point, there is a chance that microservices may not even be required in the first place, as only apps of a larger scale and on an enterprise level are best suited to such an architecture. This is also something you need to confirm. If microservices are eventually your best bet, here are some questions you can pose to your team members, for better insight.
Microservices architecture is a powerful process to create high-performance apps that don’t just deliver to your consumers, but also to your business objectives. Comprising of a user interface, servers, databases and a host of other components that are independent from one another, microservices are several notches above its conventional monolithic counterpart, owing to a number of positive reasons.
The advantages range from cost savings to faster troubleshooting, and they also extend onto other areas that further make business all the more lucrative. Firstly, being able to develop, deploy and troubleshoot your app in a manner that is far more efficient and hassle-free than monolithic-based apps is a big plus. Since the components all function independently, simply adding, removing or altering that particular component is enough to create an update. Otherwise, every single component will have to be changed since they are all deeply interconnected and bound by the same programming framework.
Microservices are also innately more adept towards adhering to Agile development methodologies, as its smaller, bite-sized duties and shorter timelines allow for faster turnarounds and implementation. Since Agile pays prime focus towards deploying working products over prolonged development timelines, your consumers can now be satisfied with a functional app that adheres to their needs within a shorter period of time. Shorter project timelines also allow for bug fixing at an early stage, as opposed to bulky deployments that later present complex bug fixing procedures because it is just too difficult to troubleshoot much later on in the process.
Last but not the least, the adoption of multiple teams handling smaller projects across a variety of frameworks present companies the opportunity to outsource such operations. Contrary to popular belief, technology outsourcing isn’t just a means to cut costs; with something as diverse as microservices, it is even more beneficial to outsource your development operations because your app will be hosted across multiple global servers and databases. What’s more, if your aim is to expand to international markets, hosting servers and databases locally can speed up app development and maintenance, while also rendering faster data retrieval and overall better performance for local users.
Before you set out to initiate microservices for your own app, getting all your team members involved in the process is integral to ensure that everyone is on the same page, well before development begins. Asking questions pertaining to individual responsibilities, remote work and server/database maintenance are all crucial to get the ball rolling.