How can introducing microservices into your next project make it better? There’s a number of clear, tangible benefits of using microservices for app development. But how can connecting microservices and Node.js enhance the project workflow and what business values does it bring to the project? We will explain it step by step.Before we answer the title question, let’s take a step back and answer two more basic questions: what are microservices and what’s Node.js?
Microservices, also referred to as microservice architecture, are a software design pattern which breaks up large applications into a set of small, simple applications (or services, if you will), which are highly maintainable and testable, loosely coupled, independently deployable, and organized around their business capabilities. It’s also an entire business-oriented approach to software development.
The connection between Node.js and microservices is very deep. Node was created precisely to make building apps based on microservices easier. Even its name was intended to make this connection clear – it’s supposed to convey the idea that Node apps should be made up of multiple small distributed nodes which communicate with each other to make the application work.
In other words, the relationship between Node.js development and microservices is like the one between peanut butter and jelly – they were made for each other.
That’s all great, you might say, but what’s the point of all this? Building applications is not all about technology. Some might even say that the business rationale is more important than the choice of technology. So how can introducing microservices into your next project make it better? Well, there’s a number of clear, tangible benefits to using microservices for app development, and we’ll have a look at them below.
Before the microservices architecture came along, apps used to be built as monoliths. This means that they eventually grew to be huge in size, causing chaos and problems with maintainability. The logical solution to that was to break them up into smaller chunks: microservices.
You can think about applications in terms of corporations. Big corporations, to avoid chaos, break down their structure into specialized departments, each one with clear responsibilities. The departments also know who to contact to get something outside of their direct purview done. This is how microservices work – they’re the specialized departments in the corporate structure of your app.
In a monolithic architecture, there is no clear division of labor, so people from 10 different departments can be involved in getting you an entry badge. In this paradigm, fixing a simple login issue in your application could require the developer to understand the whole application, rather than just one straightforward process.
“I get it”, you might say, “Node.js is great and so are microservices. But what’s the business value? Isn’t this just a shiny tech toy?”. No, it’s not, we would reply to your hypothetical question. Microservice-based apps build in Node.js actually deliver a lot of very tangible benefits: