Are microservices and RESTful APIs able to offer an important real-time customer experience? A never-ending stream of real-time events flows through businesses across all industries and sectors. These events include human actions, readings from sensors, news feeds, stock ticks, interest rate changes, process alerts, workflow notifications, identification of faults and fraud, and so much more.

Such occurrences are multiplying exponentially. To improve service quality, customer experience, and business decision-making, the trick is to sense, capture, and react to these events in real time. This article will discuss the microservice vs Rest API and their pros and cons. To learn more, keep reading.

What is Microservice?

Reducing the term “service” to its parts—”micro” meaning small and “action” meaning service—is possible. Thus, a microform of action can be executed once a task is finished.

These days, software engineers structure loosely coupled services using microservices, also known as microservice architectural patterns. Every service has its unique function, much like an assembly line—a full app results from the combined efforts of all these services. 

Microservices architecture is characterized by its use of smaller components, or services, that are structured around business functions and are highly maintained, tested, independently deployable, and controlled by a small development team.

With microservices, it is also feasible to deliver complex, long-running applications. Microservice architecture has been successful because it is simple to implement, integrate, and manage. By dividing the app into smaller components, developers can focus on specific services without affecting how the larger system functions.

Microservices are not only important in software design, but they can also communicate with each other through APIs. The more complicated a programme is, the more technical debt there is. A codebase becomes a “huge ball of mud” when updating and incorporating new features becomes more challenging.

Microservice architecture (MSA) aims to alleviate this issue by decomposing your monolithic application’s logic into smaller components. You can continue using your software normally, even if a bug affects just one microservice. For instance, if your shopping cart microservice is down, customers can still look at products by interacting with your product catalogue microservice. With Microservice Training, learn how to facilitate user learning by instructing on module usage. 

One disadvantage of MSA is the increased level of design consideration it requires. For example, MSA can be a pain when dealing with requests involving multiple microservices or deciding which IPC is most appropriate for a given use case. Different microservices often have different memory and CPU needs.

The Advantages of a Microservices Framework

There are many benefits that users can enjoy with microservices, which divide the app’s functions into smaller components. To give you an idea, here are a couple of them!

Differentiated Growth — One of the greatest benefits of microservices is the way they streamline development. Because even a small team can handle development, testing, deployment, and other related tasks with a microservices architecture, it allows for a more streamlined development procedure.

Integrity — Modularity/ Integrity refers to breaking services into independent modules with their features and dependencies. This makes it easier to construct, test, and execute applications. It simplifies businesses’ challenges when developing apps using a one-size-fits-all method.

Rapid Product Launch — The Microservices architecture ensures users have a streamlined time to market by speeding up code creation, testing, debugging, and deployment with plenty of quality assurance. Beyond that, instead of waiting for the entire system to be tested immediately, you can receive feedback early and improve your app faster.

Fully Autonomous Deployment — It is possible to deploy services separately because they are distinct. You will not be crashing the entire app every time you change it. For example, when you want to enhance an app, you can break it down into smaller components called “microservices” and focus on improving those. Upon completion, you can deploy it without redeploying the entire application.

Integrating Without a Hitch — You can easily improve your app’s features, functionalities, and security by integrating microservices with various tools and tech skills.

Ability To Scale Up Or Down — A loosely coupled approach is the foundation of microservices architecture. It entails dividing the data access layer, database, and business logic. Microservices also have the advantage of being easily scalable and typically created and launched separately.

Increased Versatility — Flexible microservices are another benefit. Microservices let you implement components and services using languages, frameworks, libraries, and more. Develop cutting-edge services to make your app secure and feature-rich.

Maximized Efficiency — Incorporating a distributed development methodology that separates tasks helps you increase organizational productivity. This method aims to divide big tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.

Solid Safety Measures — Compromises and failures are not fatal to a microservices architecture. An application’s many services communicate; a service’s failure could be due to a server outage or a cyberattack. The whole application will remain operational if a service fails in a microservices architecture because all other components will keep running smoothly.

Efficient Upkeep and Debugging — In terms of ease of maintenance and debugging, smaller services are better. Dev takes a little time to examine the full service and identify problems.

Cons of Microservices Architecture

Although microservices are an effective method that can provide many advantages, there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of.

Intricacy — It usually takes a team of specialists to complete the numerous processes involved in migrating from traditional architecture to microservices, affecting the development and deployment of the entire application.

Conflicts Over Compatibility — Issues with backward compatibility would arise with new software versions.

Issues with Latency — Increased latency and connectivity-related problems might be the result of several networks.

What are Rest APIs?

One way to connect to RESTful web services is through a REST API, an application programming interface that follows the REST architectural style. REST stands for “representative state transfer.” 

You might be wondering why you should use Rest API. Why? Because REST is more of a set of guidelines for architecture than a set of rules or protocols. Many different paths exist for API developers to take to adopt REST.

However, a RESTful API returns the resource’s current state to the endpoint or requester. JSON and HTML receive HTTP data. If you want people and computers to read your data, use JSON.

A REST API Metadata, authorization code, cache details, and cookie information are also in HTTP request headers and parameters. Request and response headers contain HTTP connection and status code information.

Benefits of REST APIs

First, look at REST APIs and see how they stack up regarding benefits and performance!

Speed — Businesses and users benefit from APIs’ lightning speed. They streamline workflow by enabling agile operations and reducing customer friction. Online shoppers should consider how easy it is to check availability and place orders.

Enhanced Efficiency — Excellence, ingenious answers, and streamlined operations all contribute to increased productivity. By leveraging APIs, developers can quickly add additional features without building them from the ground up. This helps businesses and customers, freeing up a tonne of time that can be better spent on other important tasks.

Encourages Creativity — Innovation is king in today’s business world, where competition is heating up exponentially across all industries. Additionally, consumers have ever-evolving demands, and companies are under constant pressure to improve how they meet them. Application programming interfaces (APIs) facilitate innovation by streamlining processes and saving efforts.

Facilitate Teamwork — Due to heightened security concerns, it is more difficult than ever before for businesses to ensure uninterrupted communication and connection. It used to be a problem, but APIs have solved that. Now that APIs are available, businesses can improve connectivity by facilitating team members’ communication and collaboration.

Made it easier to scale — Are you a company that is expanding? The next step is to use a technology stack that can expand with your company. When you integrate APIs, you pave the way for endless possibilities to expand your business in the future. You can manage enhanced data, expand the number of catalogues, extend your products, and competently handle security risks with its help.

A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service — Is providing your customers with an exceptional experience your goal? Then, picking APIs is the way to go. Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow consumers to communicate with brands and voice concerns about problems, interests, and preferences. Businesses strive to improve their services in response to customer feedback, leading to a better customer experience.

Solid Safety Measures — One strong method to improve security is to use APIs. The reason is that API calls send small data packets to the server rather than creating a direct connection to the browser, which subsequently returns responses. That way, your app will be safe from harm.

Minimized Expenses in IT — Developing an app requires a substantial financial outlay. Tools, technology, skilled app developers, and many other resources are required. If you’re shocked to hear that you can now avoid spending a fortune on all these things by developing an app with an API and adding features without breaking the bank, you’re not alone.

Cons of REST APIs

Application programming interfaces (APIs) have advantages and disadvantages like anything else.

Endless Purposes — Because APIs have many useful features and characteristics, businesses will probably use them too much. The likelihood of an organization struggling to manage multiple APIs running on their services, endpoints, and dependencies increases. Limiting API usage, keeping tabs on data, and ensuring security could be challenging for them.

Too Much Dependence on APIs — If you depend too much on APIs, your application may need help to perform well on its own. It doesn’t matter if your app is bug-free; the API will still impact its performance if it finds an issue. This means that your app’s data is also vulnerable to attacks on the API.

The Security of APIs Varies — The fear that organizations experience when considering the use of APIs stems from the fact that there is no guarantee that all APIs will be secure. To begin with, that is businesses’ primary worry when utilizing APIs. So, pick your API wisely; otherwise, your app might be open to hacking.

How are microservices and APIs different?

A more detailed comparison of microservices and APIs follows. The API is a legally binding document that describes end-user service use.

  • A microservice architectural pattern divides a large application into independent services.
  • Microservices have APIs so users can directly interact with them. Consider the API a microservice interaction contract that offers multiple ways to interact with the service.

However, microservices are built differently to meet their needs. Here are some microservice uses:

  • This service could perform CRUD operations on customers and events in a database.
  • Allow data collection, processing, and return. Based on event or customer data, the microservice returns the needed information.

The previous example shows that a microservice is more than an API. Multiple microservices that exchange data via APIs can form an application. Microservices can abstract their functionality and define logical borders for application responsibility to simplify software maintenance.

Conclusion

Despite widespread use in modern web development, APIs and microservices remain the subject of misconceptions. One must first dissect an application into its parts to understand how microservices function. REST APIs connect these separate microservices as the glue or link that holds everything together.

Some or all of an API’s components may be microservices. Microservices, on the other hand, have many potentials uses for programmers. Each app service can communicate with the others and share data thanks to an API that links them all together. Separately scaling each service allows you to respond to fluctuations in demand for individual product features and functions.

Author

Suneel, a Technology Architect with a decade of experience in various tech verticals like BPM, BAM, RPA, cybersecurity, cloud computing, cloud integration, software development, MERN Stack, and containerization (Kubernetes) apps, is dedicated to simplifying complex IT concepts in his articles with examples. Suneel's writing offers clear and engaging insights, making IT accessible to every tech enthusiast and career aspirant. His passion for technology and writing guides you with the latest innovations and technologies in his expertise. You can reach Suneel on LinkedIn.