Microservices are the modular approach to build software architecture for custom ecommerce platforms to keep up with ever changing market demands. Microservices are small modules or services with unique base code, loosely coupled, connected together via RESTful API's. such a group of individual modules comprise a large application that's easy to update, scale and deploy. Although traditional or monolithic architecture could address basic essential needs, it hinders your ability to adapt fast and move with the market’s ever-changing requirements because all the services are integrated as a single application, tightly coupled and interdependent. Microservices architecture due to its decentralized system provides you the extensibility to integrate new technology stack, frequent deployments and increased scalability that leads to seamless customer experience. Microservice architecture is the present trend that many organizations are likely to invest to pivot fast as their customers' needs evolve. Netflix is one of the pioneers in microservices implementation, decided to go with microservices in 2009 because of scaling issues and it remains so to this day, serving up to 200 million subscribers worldwide. Many modern technology companies like Uber, Facebook are also microservice companies under the hood.
Let us discuss how the implementation of headless microservices will enable fast, flexible and responsive architecture to keep up with market demands,adapt quickly to Growing competition, new strategies, and advancing customer expectations fulfilling your overall business objectives.
A modular software architecture approach to build applications with multiple modules or services called microservices work together connected through API's. Each module in the application have separate base code and repository, are hosted on a seperate server, have its own database and management system. A microservice is a small application that has its own responsibilities serving a specific task like shipping, marketing,products etc and can be easily replaced, independently developed and installed, as a part of larger software application composition. Microservices architecture with its decentralized system allows greater flexibility to upgrade or scale any of the services without affecting the rest of the application.For Instance, a particular microservice like Products is getting huge traffic and we need to add more servers. It can be done easily and the isolated service can be scaled up without touching any other service. Microservices enable organizations to overcome bottlenecks of a monolithic or traditional architecture where all the services are tightly coupled, interdependent,housed together in the single code base, using the same server and Database and all resources.
Advantages of microservice architecture over monolithic
Easy fault isolation
Since the modules in microservice architecture are loosely coupled,occurance of fault in any of the service does not affect other services in an application. For instance, a memory leak in one service will only affect that single service. On the other hand, all the services in monolithic architecture are tightly coupled, any issue in one service leads to complete application rundown.
Flexibility to adapt new technology stack
Microservices architecture provides freedom for developers to choose programming languages, framework for each service. Different microservices can be built with different languages, framework, OS etc. This eliminates dependency with a single technology stack and provides flexibility to adapt new, better technology stack to build new service or upgrade existing service. Whereas monolithic architecture allows only one technology to build an entire application, limiting the adoption of new technologies. For example, changing a framework or language is quite challenging, developers have to rewrite an entire application in a new language or framework which is extremely resource consuming both in terms of time and cost.
In microservices architecture, all these services are developed as separate independent modules. Thus, teams can be divided to work independently, For example, a UI team, an inventory management team, a product management team etc which helps them to change and update making it easy to scale application.Monolithic applications are difficult to scale when various modules have incompatible resource requirements.Since there is a single codebase accommodating all services, teams cannot work on different modules, independently making continuous deployment hard.
Continuous development and deployment
Microservices architecture allows each module to be developed and deployed and scaled independently. The services in microservices do not share the codebase of other services. Thus continuous development and deployment of large, complex applications is easy. In monolithic architecture, since all the services are interdependent, even for updating a single component the entire application has to be redeployed thus frequent updates in the application are challenging.
In microservice architecture, the entire application code is breaked into small modules which makes it easy to understand, implement changes quickly and correctly. On the other hand,monolithic applications with large and complex code, difficult for developers to understand and manage.
headless is one version of the microservice approach which enables 'decoupling' of the front-end layer (the customer-facing storefront)and the back-end (where business rules and logic live) thus transforming a monolithic structure into two separate layers connected via APIs. This separation empowers organizations with the control to customize an experience that best suits your customer across touchpoints.Some traditional eCommerce platforms or tightly coupled monoliths can be evolved by adding in an API layer to offer the core functionality of their back-end services and more flexibility in UI design claiming to provide a 'headless' solution. Headless is the cost-effective approach to take advantage of flexibility with fewer changes to your existing systems.you can also introduce a headless CMS to use your website architecture to support omnichannel commerce such as mobile apps, points of sale, and social media platforms.
Headless microservice architecture, a modular approach for custom e commerce platform
In headless microservices architecture, each module in the backend exists as a separate independent module and is loosely coupled. whereas in headless solutions only frontend and backend are decoupled and offer customisable front end with backend services interdependent and unscalable. Headless microservices eases you to quickly swap core application microservices or third-party solutions in and out as customer expectations and business requirements evolve. With a headless microservices architecture, you can rapidly add microservices to implement new experiences or add functionality required in a new geographical market as needed. The extensive development and customisation limitations of headless solutions are no longer an obstacle, allowing you to create innovative stand-out experiences for your customers.
A common challenge for embracing headless microservices architecture is expensive replatforming which requires dedicated teams to develop and maintain. building an entire e-commerce application in microservices architecture in-house is only viable for an enterprise with complex needs like Amazon. However there are some microservices you can build in-house with Amazon elastic container services (ECS). This is a service that allows you quickly scale or manage docker containers on a cluster. Amazon ECS maintains the application's availability, allowing users to scale containers when required.
Microservices allow for rapid deployment and scaling of the business to meet specific requirements. Microservices enable us to overcome limitations created by monoliths.
Microservices can be implemented without need to undergo complete transformation. A compelling solution for retail and e-commerce agility is possible through an incremental approach known as strangler pattern, making it easy to adopt microservices in existing systems gradually as needed without disrupting your operations.
A headless, API driven approach is cost effective, most preferable for business as an alternative over microservices. Many brands are seeking advantages of headless solutions that could not only scale with their growth but provide flexibility for customisation.
A monolithic architecture is excellent when tackling standard processes and issues for businesses with simple requirements or those looking to launch eCommerce for the first time.