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How do microservices communicate to each other?

Can anyone please tell me how do microservices communicate to each other.

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Posted 3 months ago


Microservices Architecture - a collection of focused and small services which, on execution develops a complete application. A single responsibility of the application which you are developing is represented by an instance of a microservice.

Microservices communicate with the help of APIs.

API - Application Programming Interface - APIs are building blocks of online connectivity. They are a medium for multiple applications, data and devices to interact with each other. Simply put, an API is a messenger that takes request and tells the system what you want to do and then returns the response back to the user. A documentation is drafted for every API, including specifications regarding the manner in which the information gets transferred between two systems.

Every microservice in order to communicate either synchronously or asynchronously with other microservices.

  • Synchronous - HTTP is a synchronous protocol. The client sends a request and waits for a response from the service. That is independent of the client code execution that could be synchronous (thread is blocked) or asynchronous (thread is not blocked, and the response will reach a callback eventually). The important point here is that the protocol (HTTP/HTTPS) is synchronous and the client code can only continue its task when it receives the HTTP server response.”

  • Asynchronous - Other protocols like AMQP (a protocol supported by many operating systems and cloud environments) use asynchronous messages. The client code or message sender usually does not wait for a response. It just sends the message as when sending a message to a RabbitMQ queue or any other message broker.”

Establishing a well-organized communication is critical in microservice architecture but is also challenging! You may face a lot of challenges related to Microservice Architecture unless you take care of the best practices.

1.Specific API endpoints- API endpoint must be provided by every microservice in order to communicate either synchronously or asynchronously with other microservices. These endpoints work on http verbs say get request, post request and delete request etc. Each Microservice has to let the other services know exactly what pattern should be followed, for appropriate routing of the request? Usually, it is a REST endpoint for facilitating synchronous communication but it could also be a WSDL endpoint for facilitating asynchronous communication. The formats of these APIs have to publish to other microservice teams so that they know how to connect to your microservice. Once the routing is published and passed on to every microservice team, then a standardized communication takes place among the system. Boosting the efficiency of the integrated software.

2.Standardized development practices along teams call for a bigger investment on a platform basis. This is where cloud-based providers come into the picture like AWS(Amazon Web Services), Heroku, Google cloud etc. Therefore, if you are planning a small scale organization and not envisioned to go for scalability anytime soon then you are better off microservice Architecture.

3.Make it a necessity to correlate calls with the help of various methods like IDs, tokens or headers. Also, when logging to locate a bug we need to make sure about correlating events across all platforms to avoid ambiguity in this stateless, independently distributed architecture.

A well-working microservice architecture is heavily dependent on the well working APIs. Which makes API performance monitoring a major component for a successful microservice architecture.

Why monitor API when we can test it?

An API test can be highly composite considering a large number of multistep that gets involved. This creates a problem in terms of frequency required for the test to take place. This is where Monitoring steps in! Allowing every hour band check regarding the indispensable aspects. Helping us to focus on what’s most vital to our organization.

API Performance monitoring is required to check if there exists any bottleneck outside the server, it could be in the cloud or load balancing service. These bottlenecks are not dependent on your application performance monitoring but are still considered to be catastrophic as they may abrupt the service for end users. It facilitates a check on the external connectivity of the software, aiding its core functionalities:

  • Back-end business operations
  • Alert operations
  • Web services

By far everyone in the tech world is aware that Microservice Architecture is useful in delivering a more responsive and agile application. Some major organizations such as Netflix, Nike, Amazon etc. have backed their performance on the basis of this architecture.

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