Leading Microservices Frameworks for 2021

Santosh Karla | 3 min read

Microservices architecture can be considered as a development methodology where a single application is further divided into a range of smaller, independent services that execute processes with a crystal-clear interface. These services are independently deployed, need minimum management, support different programming languages, and leverage distinctive data storage technologies.

The microservices architecture is becoming a crowd-favorite among developers as more organizations are trying to build complex applications that can be handled as smaller services independently. Before jumping onto some frameworks, let’s take a look at some benefits of microservices architectures over monolithic ones:

Scalability: Since microservices are built and deployed independently, scaling the application is easily achievable.
Reliability: When a memory leak is detected in microservice, it doesn’t affect the entire architecture, making it more reliable than monolithic architecture.
Modularity: Microservices are easy to understand as the application’s components are built by splitting it into smaller parts that make the application easy to develop and test.
Security: The isolated nature of microservices protects the entire structure’s functioning even if one service stops working.

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Top 5 Microservices Frameworks

Docker and Kubernetes

Docker is a software platform that allows developers to build and deploy applications as self-contained packages called containers. Docker containers can be deployed anywhere, and each container holds the resources and configuration it needs to run. On the other hand, Kubernetes is combined with Docker to help tackle complexities when developers want to scale multiple containers across multiple servers.

Docker and Kubernetes are generally used together to give a flexible base for microservices-based applications. This light-weight combination improves the scalability of the applications as the workload increases. All components can be compiled into a Docker image and remain isolated from other microservices in the application structure.

REST

Microservices need to communicate with the other services in the architecture. REST (Representational State Transfer) is one efficient tool that allows microservices to communicate directly via HTTP, used for building RESTful APIs. The requests and Responses are handled using standard formats such as XML, HTML, and JSON.

REST is one of the most preferred choices for microservices as many of them work as web applications. The tool allows developers to upgrade to HTTP/2.0 whenever required, lowering the need for other protocols like gRPC, which is based on ProtocolBuffer and HTTP/2.0, as most microservices are stateless and modular. The REST pattern also enables the client and the server to be deployed independently without hampering other entities, allowing the code to be modified without affecting other architecture components.

Consul

Consul is used to ensuring that microservices communicate effectively with each other. A service discovery technology, Consul offers support for HTTP REST APIs and DNS. Developers can auto-generate configuration in files using a Consul template. It also performs health checks and excludes certain microservices from service discovery when the health check fails.

The Consul template can be used with many technologies, including DNS interfaces, making it a highly flexible option for microservices as flexibility is essential for a microservices architecture. While a microservices application might not need a variety of technologies initially, it might be advantageous for integrating new technologies in the future.

Spring Boot

Spring Boot is a famous Java framework for building microservices. The framework allows various extension projects under Spring Cloud to build fully stacked microservices. By offering collaborating components, Spring Boot enables large scale systems to be built using simple architectures. Another feature of Spring Boot is that it is easy to integrate with other frameworks due to Inversion of Control.

Oracle Helidon Microservices Framework

Helidon is a microservices framework developed and launched by Oracle. It is a repository of Java libraries that can be used by developers for building microservices architecture.

Oracle has launched two variants for Helidon, Helidon MP and Helidon SE. Helidon MP makes the right choice for Java developers as it is an implementation of the MicroProfile specification. Whereas Helidon SE acts as a compact toolkit that supports the latest Java SE features such as fluent styles of APIs, functional and asynchronous programming, and reactive streams. Helidon SE also supports GraalVM native images for fast startup and small footprint. Helidon’s REST framework is built on top of Netty and leverages a straightforward request routing API.

The concept of microservices leads us closer to serverless architecture, allowing enterprises to cut costs and deliver a high-quality product with excellence. The architecture churns applications, services, and products to a more reliable and modular level.

Starting with a microservices architecture can be a little challenging, but using effective technologies, frameworks, and tools will help organizations build a robust application with fewer errors and bug defects.

Would you like to discuss Microservices use cases for applications in your organization?