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All Posts 06 Sep 2019

How to build Mobile Applications using Microservices Architecture


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Are you planning to develop a mobile application? If yes, what have you considered in you checklist to build a reliable and highly available mobile application solution for your target audience?

We are reaching a so called conceptual saturation in application world, where there are plenty of entrepreneurs with lot of ideation to deliver a technology solutions. Once these entrepreneurs or start ups have surpassed the ideation phase or have validated their concept, it is very crucial to perform a survey that helps realization about a potential that these tech ideas or solutions possess.

Developing a great mobile application seek excellence in UI/UX and solution offerings. However, a crucial aspect to success is also HA and HR i.e. developing a highly available and highly reliable architecture. This cannot simply be achieved if we still follow traditional method of building an application using Monolithic Architecture.

So, what is Monolithic Architecture?

Since we learnt programming and concepts of OOPs we were kind of trained and used to put a major focus of our app or web development on code optimization. Lot of developers focused on compartmentalization i.e. encapsulation, abstraction, inheritance etc. but, we never really tried to optimize or over all code deployment.

Our primary projects code packages looked like below

So of the key issues when option for a monolithic architecture in mobile application development are;

a) Dependency driven architecture i.e. all the services are tightly coupled and hence if there is a spike in one service whole architecture needs to be scaled.

b) If we are to add any new service or improve an existing one, it become tedious as the code base grows.

c) Such architecture kind of suffocate the growth in an application as they are not experiment friendly and makes it difficult to test and implement new ideas.

d) Even if a single process is not functional it risk complete application availability as all of the services are tightly coupled.

The answer to all of this well know issues is in our approach to programming. Yes, the way we learnt to optimize the code, we could similarly optimize code deployment and over application architecture by bifurcating an application architecture into smaller independent services called microservices.

What are microservices?

Microservice are a simple light weight distribution of crucial application services that serves as an standalone component to a solution in need. Services are usually broken into business capabilities and each service is meant to perform single function. Which means, the more granular we go the better is the reliability.

Services ideally uses light weight APIs to communicate using a well defined interface. And, since these services are meant to run independently it gives us flexibility to update, deploy and scale individual service to meet a definite application need. The services are designed and defined in a manner that all of the service component are independent and only communicate with other component with a well-defined APIs.

A realistic Microservice architecture could be a way more normalized then below, however for our conceptual understanding below is how we can convert above Monolithic architecture to a Microservice architecture.

When planning to develop a mobile application with a microservice architecture business process modelling will play a crucial role in defining the architecture of the mobile application. An ideal way to approach to design a HA and HR i.e. Highly Available and Highly Reliable architecture is to define independent and simple services that are isolated from other services. This will not only benefit in a better mobile application development but also gives you other benefits as a mobile application owner, to mention a few;

Benefits of building mobile application using micro service architecture

Agility: You can structure smaller independent teams that shall be responsible to build, manage and upgrade smaller services, this will not only help you to deploy your code quickly but also help you get better throughput.

Scaling: Microservice architecture will help you team to not only work independently but also make it easy for your team to concentrate and attain to a specific application infra need.

Easy to Deploy: Since these are small services it is easy to deploy and role back. This gives opportunity to perform CI and CD i.e. continuous integration and continuous delivery giving room to try new features and experiment for good.

Re usability: Compartmentalization is always a best way to build any system, it eventually gives us freedom to build reusable components, making us more efficient.  

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