Java microservices architecture is the new trend in town. A survey revealed that almost 70% of businesses have adopted or are thinking of adopting it for their development projects. The method follows an approach where a monolithic system is divided into small, manageable parts, and each part has a specific purpose. Java is the popular choice among developers for the effective implementation of microservices.
Enhancing flexibility and scalability is the major advantage of microservices in Java architecture. A study found that companies using microservices have increased their release frequency by 60%. All of their development cycles have not only become faster but also more efficient. This would surely give businesses an edge over their competition.
However, it’s not just the benefits that all microservices have to offer. There are some challenges as well. Maintaining data consistency, complicated interactions among services, reliability and many more factors must be taken into consideration when you opt for microservices architecture.
Here, in this article, you will get to know what is Java microservices, its architecture along with its pros and cons.
What are Java microservices?
Java microservices architecture is an approach to software development that includes breaking down a large monolithic app into small and independent services. The independent services perform specific functions. They use message queues, HTTP or other lightweight protocols to communicate with each other over a network.
Java microservices make the components of the application loosely coupled and highly modular. This makes the development, testing, deployment and scaling of these services easy. The same can be said about their updates and maintenance. As a result, the speed of development and deployment increases.
Because of its object-oriented programming model, strong support for parallelism and concurrency and a large array of feature-rich libraries, Java is preferred by developers for building microservices architecture. Lightweight frameworks like Spring Boot that provide an opinionated approach can be useful for creating Java microservices.
In short, a scalable and flexible architecture is facilitated, thanks to Java microservices. It can help developers maintain complex apps with great efficiency and agility.
Java microservices architecture patterns
The architecture of Java microservices is a combination of various types of patterns. Let’s discuss them.
- Microservices Architecture
The aim behind designing the microservices architecture is to build a set of small, self-contained and independent services that work together to deliver the functionalities of an application.
Although every service is assigned a single responsibility, they often have to communicate with each other using lightweight protocols like SMS and HTTP to fulfil specific business requirements. In the architecture, microservices discover each other dynamically.
- Service Registry and Discovery
As we saw, in microservices, the discovery of services is dynamic. All the services in the architecture as well as network locations are registered in a central database also known as the service registry. It is widely used for keeping tabs on all services of the architecture. The discovery process requires you to enter the query in the registry for available services.
- API Gateway
An API gateway acts as an entry point for clients. Multiple microservices become accessible with the use of a unified interface, facilitated by API gateway. Its capabilities include cross-cutting concerns, rate limiting, security, routing and composition of requests.
- Circuit Breaker
Whenever a service or network failure occurs in the system, it is necessary to prevent it from spreading out to other services. A circuit breaker is the one tasked with this responsibility. It is kind of a safety net that detects failures and blocks the affected areas temporarily. This helps the system work properly until the problem is resolved.
- Event-Driven Architecture
Subscribing to the events and publishing them is the way to communicate for services under event-driven architecture. Such a communication is called asynchronous. The microservices are loosely coupled which helps increase the resilience and scalability of the system.
You can containerize the app and its dependencies into portable and lightweight containers. Containerization makes the deployment and management of microservices easy for developers. The containers provide a consistent runtime environment.
Orchestration is used to automate various operations like scaling, managing and deploying containers. Kubernetes is one of the popular orchestration tools that offers features like automatic scaling, load balancing and discovery.
Java microservices pros
Since the Microservices architecture consists of services that are small, separate and self- contained, they are easy to scale. Instead of scaling the entire app, when the situation demands, you can just scale up or down the services. This not only simplifies managing the changes but also reduces the costs.
Working with microservices provides you flexibility as each service in this architecture can be built, launched and scaled independently. This enables the developers to make necessary changes to the services without affecting the functioning or performance of the entire application. It also allows the team to introduce new features and versions of the app quickly to the market.
Microservices architecture is regarded as a resilient system because even if one service fails, unlike traditional monolithic software, it doesn’t bring down the entire application. Because every service in the architecture is self-contained, the problems are isolated and recovery from the failures can also be made very quickly.
When microservices are built and organized around the business capabilities then it helps improve the modularity. So, in the time of need, developers can easily modify certain parts of the system without affecting the entire system.
Microservices are designed to be able to adapt to changes easily. With trending markets and shifting customer behaviors, businesses need their software systems to be flexible and agile. Quick development and deployment cycles are the forte of the microservices.
- Technology diversity
As every service in a microservices architecture is built and deployed independently, each of them might need a separate tech stack for their development. This allows the use of a variety of programming languages, frameworks, tools, libraries and more resources in the creation of a single service as well as overall application. The use of diverse tech stacks eliminates all the dependency concerns and also makes the rolling back changes easy.
The use of diverse tech stacks eliminates all the dependency concerns and also makes the rolling back changes easy.
- DevOps enablement
Microservices architecture indeed offers a lot of benefits. It makes the implementation of DevOps practices more effective. The monitoring, testing and deployment processes can be automated effortlessly due to it.
- Improved fault isolation
Because every single function of your app is developed and launched independently, it becomes easier to identify where things have gone wrong. In a traditional monolithic system, a single fault can cripple the entire system because everything is interconnected.
But in microservices everything works independently, so whenever an issue arises, it only affects the code of a single service and not the entire application. In this way, the errors are isolated to specific code sections only. This also helps in making quick changes to your code.
- Ease of understanding
When every functionality of your app is built and works independently, developers will not have a hard time understanding them in future for making upgrades or maintenance. Microservices keep everything separate which simplifies the architecture. Hence, it becomes easy to understand.
- Smaller and faster deployments
Since every functionality is separate, microservices are a set of small codebases loosely coupled. In a monolithic software where everything is intertwined, the codebase becomes big and messy which makes the deployment difficult. But with a smaller codebase, the app can be deployed quickly. Microservices also allow you to apply continuous deployment.
Java Microservices cons
- Data consistency
When you are working with multiple independent services, it is complicated. Especially when microservices best practices suggest you have a separate database for every service. This gives way to data inconsistency. Because when your app has various databases, changes made in one would not reflect in another. You have to make those changes manually in every database and service.
- Communication between services is complex
When every service is independent, it becomes difficult to manage requests that are traveling between their modules. As a solution, developers sometimes have to write an additional piece of code to avoid any disruptions. When remote calls start experiencing latency, complications will arise.
Therefore, developers must ensure that communications and coordination between microservices are seamless. To achieve that, you need to ensure that every service works with different data formats and that you implement effective messaging protocols.
- Deployment complexity
Microservices architecture is basically a suite of services bonded together with a loose thread. Deploying multiple services at a time is not going to be a piece of cake. You need special expertise and resources to tackle the task. Because every service that is built independently uses different languages and tech stack. So, you need all those tech stacks and the expertise needed to use them for deploying and managing these microservices.
- Testing complexity
Testing every independent service might take a significant amount of your time. And again as was the case with deployment complexity, you will need different kinds of expertise and technological resources to test different microservices. In addition to that, you have to create an effective testing strategy and based on that, test every service in an isolated environment.
Different services will have different weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Hence, their security requirements will be different too. This would make the task of securing the microservices very challenging. You need to apply robust functionality in microservices functionality in microservices and protocols to make sure that every microservices in the architecture is secured properly.
- Debugging will be tougher
Every functionality in microservices has its own set of logs. So, you will find that every service will have a series of logs and developers have to go through every log, and believe me there will be a whole lot of logs from where you have to find what went wrong.
- Not suitable for small projects
Microservices are convenient for large projects of large companies. If it is implemented for a small project then the companies will be stuck at handling complex orchestration of microservices instead of quickly creating and deploying the application.
As we saw in this blog, there are a lot of benefits to using microservices architecture for your application. Although there are some disadvantages to the use of microservices, it’s nothing that cann’t be avoided with strategic planning.
All in all, Java microservices architecture is an approach where you build a software system as a suite of small services. Here every service will be running on its own and perform functions by communicating through lightweight mechanisms. Leveraging this strategy may help your business develop and deploy large and complex apps easily.