A monolithic architecture for SaaS product development will inevitably be a problem for Independent Software Vendors (ISV) that have built a successful company on a self-developed solution. For them, moving to microservices can serve as the next logical step.
SaaS businesses demand robust agility, cost optimization, and finding a perfect balance between Capital Expenses (CapEx) and Operating Expenses (OPEX).
The answer to such demands lies in moving away from the conventional monolithic architecture to microservices application that improves testing methodologies through a change in DevOps architecture.
In a cloud-SaaS architecture, complex applications consisting of a collection of services and data are decoupled from the programme itself. A microservices architecture organizes an application as a collection of linked services.
Each service may be created using a distinct programming language, and each service may be tested separately. They are independently deployable and organized according to the business demands.
For instance, consider a microservices-based e-commerce platform where a business capability pivots resources to each microservice —shopping cart, product search, customer review, etc.
As a result, these services may exist independently of one other and be controlled by various teams in a predefined manner.
What are Microservices?
Microservices is defined as a business’s approach to redefining its software development. Here, small independent services connect with one other through well-defined APIs.
Each of these services is owned and operated by a small, autonomous staff. The end goal of microservices architectures is to make applications easy to scale and ensure faster development.
It drives innovation while accelerating time-to-market for new features to roll out with the product.
Implementing microservices includes development and deployment of high-end cloud-ready software applications. They must be simpler to grow, modify, and deploy the programme by breaking them down into smaller components.
SaaS companies need architecture that is…
IVS demands cloud-based architecture that is scalable and easy to combine with other comparable systems since they are hosted in the cloud. Ultimately, SaaS scalability should ensure vertical and horizontal scaling, which are examples of scaling up and down.
Scalability options for SaaS include incorporating multi-level scalability architecture, tenant-awareness, automatic data movement, workload support, software architecture and database access.
Microservices provide scalability that helps save time and money, allowing users to update to any new feature once they are available.
Businesses can leverage IVS offerings to host and back up the data that is often more secure than saving it on local disks/PCs. In a security emergency, the SaaS provider’s servers and database are protected, allowing most of the company’s data to stay safe.
Therefore, there is a need for SaaS architecture to ensure security safeguards are in place for SaaS application development. Also, it should protect users against OWASP/SAN-identified vulnerabilities while enabling controls for SaaS application identity and access management.
SaaS providers need to consider the architecture’s health that ensures secured networks and top-notch performances when end-users leverage tools and services. Such criteria are necessary to evaluate and monitor businesses’ SAAS applications.
Here, a reliable SaaS architecture is one that has all the critical components mentioned to guarantee SAAS dependability.
Why choose microservices for SaaS?
Microservices-based SaaS product development would mean executing as a separate service of your software using lightweight APIs that interact with one other.
Microservices are useful for ISVs providing SaaS that does not have a predetermined list of devices they want to serve. If you’re developing an app for various platforms, microservices will remain device and platform agnostic, allowing you to provide a consistent user experience.
How microservices can help provide such architecture for SaaS as compared to monolithic SaaS architecture
Monolithic architecture can deploy all of the services and elements at once since it is a single huge application. Its components are interrelated and interdependent, making it known as a tightly-coupled architecture.
Code may be written for each component and its connected component when using monolithic architecture.
Typically, a single jar/war file contains all of the code for your application’s multiple levels, including display, service, and execution units. Essentially, this is a single codebase that includes all of the features needed for the application.
First, let’s compare microservices vs monolithic architecture. A monolithic application is built as a single unit.
Enterprise applications are often based on monolith architecture and built-in three parts:
- Database: A database is a collection of tables stored in a database management system that uses a relational model.
- Server-side application: An application that will process HTTP requests, perform domain-specific logic, obtain and update data from the database, and generate HTML views to be delivered to a browser.
The reason why it is called a monolith architecture is that it carries a single logical executable. Therefore, developers need to build and deploy an updated version of the server-side application before making any changes to the system.
Now, let us understand…
How software development processes differ between microservices and monolithic architecture
Often, you will have large teams working on a single, monolithic architecture deployment in traditional software development processes by following waterfall or agile methods.
As compared to microservices architecture, monolithic architecture has several issues:
- A monolithic program can be considered a big ball of mud, meaning that no single developer or even a group of developers would know all of the application’s features.
- Monolithic applications can only benefit from a limited amount of reuse.
- It is relatively challenging to scale monolithic architecture based on SaaS.
- Monolithic application artifacts are difficult to deploy with operational agility repeatedly.
- You will end up with a lack of “the correct tool for the job” if monolithic systems are built using a single development stack like JEE or .NET.
It is possible to create software in a new way using a microservice architecture with cloud deployment tools, API management, and integration technologies.
You benefit from microservices that are broken up into a set of separate services that are built, deployed, and kept up separately.
The advantages of microservices are as follows
- Compared to monolithic architecture, microservcies require fewer developers for equivalent development requirements.
- Microservices architecture offers deployment independence for components, allowing for greater agility and reducing communication time across various groups and services.
- Each service is a separate deployment artifact that can be scaled separately for the other services.
- When services are built separately, developers may utilize the right framework as needed.
- Self-contained microservices may be independently deployed, requiring less time to set up and deploy.
- Getting started with the project is relatively easy for a new developer as they just need to know about a single microservice and not the whole system.
- It is only necessary to scale out a single microservice if it is experiencing a high traffic volume because too many users are making use of its features. As a result, horizontal scalability is possible with the microservices design.
Key Factors to Consider When Using Microservices for SaaS application development
There are many advantages to moving to a microservices architecture, but it also brings about major alterations. Here, we discuss a few of the key aspects you need to consider when shifting to microservices architecture.
Define your Microservices
It is best to differentiate between the functions of a business, the services it offers, and the microservices it needs. Not doing this will put you at risk of creating microservices that are over fragmented.
Using the microservices strategy will not affect this situation and ultimately keep the SaaS under-fragmented.
Creating too many microservices will have you overspending resources and largely fragmenting your software architecture. To avoid dealing with microservice trade-offs, you must have development teams for each service.
The operational management costs will be substantial if you have many microservices. And this may result in high costs which may overshadow the advantages you get from using microservices in limiting OPEX.
Aligning team structure
It is best to have your software that mirrors the working model of your teams. The teams in your organization should align with the services and arrange them to enable them to take end-to-end ownership of the whole process.
Amazon refers to these teams as “you built it, you own it” or “build and manage” teams. These are the teams in charge of all phases of software development and production from conception to execution.
You do not need more than 10 people to manage a build-and-run team as ISVs will always end up with several smaller teams in a microservice model.
Therefore, it is necessary to build an overall QA team that works with all the teams to provide necessary governance and ensure that each team’s goals are aligned with the cumulative goals of microservices.
The microservices architecture necessitates a different approach to testing, thereby eliminating the need for manual testing. As a result of the narrower scope of microservices, automated testing takes less time and is simpler than monolithic architecture.
One of the most important factors in determining the time-to-market is automated testing. Your goal to leverage advantages may fail if you emphasize manual testing.
Therefore, ensuring top-notch automated testing for every microservices must include the following.
Moreover, these tests should be set up in the shape of a pyramid-like any other application testing. This means the most unit tests should remain at the top and the least end-to-end tests remain at the bottom.
Leveraging Domain-Driven Design
Creating domain-driven design (DDD) is good to follow when using a microservices architecture. This is closely connected to designing your microservices, but it takes a step further in creating a refined, purpose-driven microservices architecture.
Your business domains serve as the basis for the design of your microservices. For instance, consider Netflix; they have different servers for their content delivery and tracking services to provide custom titles (movies and series) depending on the network country.
Consider DDD as a design philosophy representing an object-oriented model with predefined rules and ideas. Therefore, software architects can pivot to making microservice architectures easy for businesses to understand.
Optimizing Microservices Implementation
It is important to keep track of business objectives once the migration from a monolithic architecture to microservices is complete. The ISV may have overlooked some key concepts if your expectations and results vary significantly.
ISVs need to optimize and take remedial measures to ensure their microservices function at their best.
Indeed, microservices are designed to maximize performance by minimizing dependencies beyond the benefits of “loose coupling“.
Using Containers and Kubernetes
You can use containers that offer a better way to build and execute microservices application architectures. They are useful in transferring a programme from the developer’s desktop to production deployment, providing a lightweight virtualized runtime environment for the application.
Containers may be operated on a wide range of operating systems, whether virtual or real. Your application’s dependencies may be contained in a single container, making it easier to deploy.
It’s possible to run containers on a system, bare metal server, or a cloud service.
Moreover, you can also use Kubernetes to manage containers and prevent service interruptions. Kubernetes supports containers for managing microservices across many hosts throughout their life cycles.
Automated deployment, auto-scaling and rapid development and deployment are just some of the benefits of Kubernetes you can avail when opting for microservices.
Adopting the best DevOps toolset
Automating the process of creating and deploying microservices is essential if you want to get the most out of them. Therefore, you need the right set of DevOps tools that ensures efficiency.
Multiple DevOps teams may work together to build and deploy microservices simultaneously. To make things even easier for developers, microservices may be deployed on any cloud without the need to build separate code for the Microsoft Azure and AWS platforms.
The fundamental aspects of development and management will stay unchanged.
However, the technology stack you use in an application will vary based on your:
- Internal and external requirements
You can choose from the range of DevOps tools for microservices. Here’s a quick look at the possible options.
Getting the right framework
The microservice architecture may be greatly aided by using the appropriate open-source technologies. Fortunately, there is a robust open-source ecosystem of tools available to you.
For instance, you can use “Spring Boot”, one of the popular open-source frameworks to create. Moreover, here are some other frameworks you can choose from to create microservices.
- Logstash for project monitoring
- Postman for API development.
- Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) for messaging.
- Kubernetes for deployment.
Also, you can think of leveraging GitHub. Though it is not totally open-source, you can use it for version control and simplify source code management.
Ensuring Serverless API gateway
Each service in the serverless microservices architecture is written in a distinct language, framework, and framework version, isolating each other from functions and features.
These differences must be taken care of when implementing the framework. Along with it, consider the following when implementing a serverless API gateway for your microservices.
- It’s important that each service can be scaled and deployed independently of the others.
- Each instance of the service should be kept separate from the others.
- Ensure limiting the amount of CPU and memory a service uses.
- Follow a predetermined budget for your deployment.
- Keep your deployment reliable.
Serverless microservices architecture may help you meet the above-mentioned deployment criteria. Developers can submit a ZIP file containing the framework’s source code as a whole to the infrastructure for deployment and mention the performance criteria later on.
Amazon, IBM, and Google services users can migrate local operations to AWS Lambda, Azure Functions and other flagship serverless platforms.
Modular architecture for online applications enables scalability and resilience for high-load web applications. High-load online applications benefit from the scalability and robustness of modular design for web apps.
As the number of users grows, these systems must be able to keep up. Users and performance can’t be harmed by handling a lot of users. eCommerce and B2B portals worldwide could both use systems design because they have a lot of features.
As a new modularisation approach, the microservices architecture allows remote teams to work more efficiently while also increasing output. For ISVs to stay ahead of the competition, they need to be able to evaluate their data quickly, innovate, and offer new goods and services rapidly.