28 Essential Tips for Building Microservices | Dreamfactory

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Building microservices

A recent study showed that 55% of businesses believe they have less than a year to innovate before they start to suffer financially and lose market share. In a world where the digital consumer expects a personalized experience and real-time access to information on any device of their choosing, 12 months might be too long. Implementing microservices as a business strategy enables companies to keep pace with customer demand in the never-ending competition to gain market share. Here are 28 expert insights to help you get started on the right track building your microservice architecture.

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1 – View microservices as products, not projects. Adopting a product view establishes clear ownership of the product. 

2 – Design the microservice architecture for independent deployment. These independent deployments result in quicker release cycles of days not weeks.

3 – Only build new a new service if it provides clear value. New services must be justified to avoid building an overly complex set of services that increase maintenance overhead.

4 – Avoid data sharing between services. Sharing data breaks the rule of decoupling, and puts the system at risk for data corruption. 

5 – Keep implementation details out of the API design. The API is a contract whereby it is the consumer’s responsibility to implement functionality based on this contract.

6 – All services in the API architecture should serve a single purpose. Intermingling disparate functionality in service makes them harder to understand, document, and maintain. 

7 – Follow domain-driven design. Keeping the focus on the business problem helps ensure the service meets the true needs of the user.

8 – Use continuous deployment to enable quicker customer feedback loops. Quicker customer feedback means companies can improve their products and keep pace with customer demand.

9 – Build the API architecture with monitoring and troubleshooting in mind.

10 – Use standard and easy-to-understand naming conventions. Standard naming conventions enable developers to get started with the API rather than spending hours wading through documentation.

11 – Prefer centralized logging over individual logging. Maintaining separate logs makes it difficult to identify commonalities in events and errors. DreamFactory comes with the popular ELK stack for logging and reporting on API traffic.

12 – Use event-driven architecture to reduce the impact of high-polling services on the system. An event-driven architecture follows an asynchronous approach vs. an asynchronous approach. 

13 – Create an API gateway. With so many consumers relying on the API the entry points continue to grow just as quickly as the API. Providing single-point access to the network of services makes it easier to secure the system. 

14 – Use OpenID or 0Auth 2.0 for authentication.

15 – Build teams around microservices. Assigning a dedicated team to each microservice helps build expertise in the domain in which the service works.

16 – Implement different data stores for each microservice. Doing so ensures services perform independently while operating in cohesion with other services.

17 – Deploy microservices separately to prevent services from competing with each other for the same resources.

18 – Make APIs backward compatible. New changes should be tested in the context of the consumers to ensure the change does not break functionality in the consuming system.

19 – Use the circuit breaker pattern in the API architecture to achieve fault tolerance. When an external call takes too long to respond, use a timeout and provide a standard error response.

20 – Avoid making services too small as they provide little value and create an overly complex infrastructure. Over time, this web of nano services can become burdensome to maintain.

21 – Have the appropriate expertise on the team. Implementing a microservice architecture can be complex thus having team members with prior experience can help minimize challenges during implementation.

22 – Simplify communication between services using RESTful API. With DreamFactory, developers can turn SOAP calls into a live, fully documented REST API.

23 – Understand the cultural shift required for implementing an API architecture. API-led development may be a difficult transition for those coming from a code-first background.

24 – Start small to allow for learning and to minimize the chance for significant errors. Especially when converting from a monolith, don't try to tackle every feature at once. 

25 – Select the right application. Applications that make a high volume of calls may not be the best candidates for microservices. 

26 – Pay attention to security vulnerabilities in the architecture.

27 – Use a client code generation tool to automatically generate clients for the API.

28 – Support parallel development to test a new implementation without negatively affecting the existing user.

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Getting Started With DreamFactory

An API architecture is a technology that helps drive business strategy. It is that technology empowers companies to remain agile and quick to respond to ever-changing customer requirements. Start a 14-day free trial to see firsthand how DreamFactory's low-code platform makes API development a breeze.

Related reading:

5 Reasons You Should Be Using Microservice-Based Architecture