Web Services and Microservices. Which to Choose and Why?


Recently microservices have become a truly revolutionary solution in software development. Indeed, microservices solve many of the problems encountered in using monolithic architecture. Despite this growing popularity of microservices and active criticism of monoliths, there are still adherents of the classical approach to software architecture. As practice shows, in some cases, it is better to use the old and well-known web service approach. Click here if you want to know more about the difference between microservices and web services. In this article, we will take a look at these approaches.

Web Services Concepts

A web service is one example of a service-oriented architecture. Its feature is the definition of mechanisms for the interaction of the API with the codebase, using data formats such as JSON and XML. SOAP and RESTful web services are the two main types of such software architecture approach. The advantage of such an approach is the ability to combine them even if they are developed using different technologies. 

Here are several technologies used today:

  1. HTML is a markup language for web pages to present information to users;
  2. TCP/IP is a data transfer protocol that is perceived by almost any network equipment, describes a method for transferring data from a source of information to a destination;
  3. UDDI is a cross-platform XML-based application. Used to distribute descriptions for searching and integrating them with other systems;
  4. XML is a markup language used to process all kinds of data, on the basis of which other protocols for exchanging information, such as SOAP.

What are Microservices? 

Microservices are a type of software architecture that is distributed across different domains. Each of them has its own functional task that can be performed with any technology stack. Although blocks communicate via RESTful services, they are autonomous. In case of failures affecting one block, this will not ruin the performance of the entire system as a whole, compared with a monolithic architecture.

(alt = “architecture structure example”, source = https://habr.com/ru/post/280786/)

Similar But Different

Firstly, microservices are modules that shape the structure of an application through loose coupling between each other. Whereas web services are a different type of UI that is accessed over the network using protocols.

Secondly, microservices are divided according to business logic into smaller functional units. And the architecture of web services can take on more tasks. By the way, considering an online store, a microservice can take on one task of registering users, while a net service can have all the functions for interacting with a database.

Overall, microservices can be part of web services. They are associated with the development of a separate part of the application. 

What is the Difference Between API and Web Services?

API is a ready-made package of functions that can be used in other software solutions. This is code that can be interconnected with the code of another application through network protocols and other technologies. According to Forbes, ‘APIs enable companies to more easily build products and services that would otherwise take too long to build’.

The services approach is one of many API representations that use the HTTP protocol to establish connections with third-party software.

How to Choose Between Microservices and Web Services?

Microservices, crypto and so on are the top topics of the last few years. However, I can convince you that choosing a software architecture approach is as easy as choosing between the Best Crypto Hardware Wallet.

Indeed, both solutions have a large number of advantages over the monolithic approach. They provide flexible management, resiliency, and reliable performance. The first ones are chosen based on the ability to easily scale, easily update the code and use a wide range of programming languages, operating systems, etc. However, here are some reasons why the services approach might be a better solution:

Going back to the structural diagram of the microservices architecture, each of them is associated with a separate database. As the number of units grows, so does the number of data sources. That is why, when sending a large number of user requests at the same time, several services will be involved at once. This can overload the server.

Whereas net services have less impact on the server and are more reliable and resilient

Quite often, companies are moving from a monolithic architecture to other ones. This is a good practice, but it is not always easy to split into functional components for microservices. In this case, web services will be an excellent integrated solution.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right architectural solution for your product is very important, especially at the beginning of the software cycle. Both approaches described in this article are modern and agile compared to monoliths. Nevertheless, the choice should still be based on an understanding of the business logic of the application, the technology stack, and the qualifications of the development team.

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