Microservices framework – which one is the best?
The popularity of complex, more elaborate applications seems to continue to grow. More and more businesses want to have a platform built on a grand scale that can be divided and segregated into smaller services. Hence the huge interest in a microservice architecture. This applies not only to emerging applications but also to already existing ones. A large number of companies decide to rebuild their monolithic systems into a set of single, independent microservices.
When choosing this approach to application development, you must also take into account the need to choose the right framework. Of course, due to the unique nature of microservices, different technologies can be used depending on the type and purpose of the particular service. However, remember that this will result in greater complexity of the system, so these choices should be based on the establishments and features of the project.
Nevertheless, it is worth knowing a few of the frameworks before starting work and picking the most right one. But first, let’s recall what microservices are and how they work.
What is Microservices Architecture?
Microservices is a kind of the service-oriented architecture structural style that organizes an application in a set of individual services. This construction implies such features of them:
- independently deployable, autonomously developed and implemented using different technologies each, depending on what is the best solution;
- fine-grained and the protocols are lightweight;
- small in size, messaging-enabled, bounded by contexts and decentralized;
- built and released with automated processes;
- organized around business capabilities;
- use technology-agnostic protocols such as HTTP.
Microservices are prominent in their flexibility. Instead of a single, monolithic code, they propose building an application as a set of services. All functionality is divided into independently deployable modules that communicate with each other using API (Application Programming Interfaces). Each service has its scope and can be updated, deployed and scaled apart from the others.
Popular microservices frameworks
Having a broader view of what each of them offers, it will be easier for you to make a decision. There is a lot to choose from, so take a close look at some of the most interesting options we have listed below.
Spring Boot is the best structure for a large number of developers. It is a convention-over-configuration solution that allows creating stand-alone, production-grade Spring-based applications that you can readily run. Spring itself, is a platform that is currently the most popular Java solution. Spring makes programming faster and easier and focuses on efficiency and flexibility. It has many extensive libraries, the management of which requires developers to understand the dependencies between them. Using it alone required an external server, which allowed uploading the application and verifying its correct operation, which extended the time of configuration, startup and testing. Therefore, the Spring Boot was created.
How it works
It has all the infrastructure your applications need and uses the embedded Tomcat server. Basically, it’s a starter thanks to which you can avoid spending many hours creating a basic configuration. Thanks to the simplicity of configuration, the flexibility of operation and quick commissioning, without unnecessary external application servers, Spring Boot can constantly provide customers with newer functionalities.
Spring Boot does not require any additional tools, and we are not tied to just one technology. Creating Java microservices with Spring Boot is a great option to simplify work in an extensive programming environment. It is easy to learn due to modularity and simple to integrate with other popular frameworks thanks to Inversion of Control.
Dropwizard is an open-source Java platform for rapidly building REST-compliant high-performance web services. Collects popular libraries to create a lightweight package. The main libraries it uses are Jetty, Jersey, Jackson, JUnit, Guava, and its dedicated library, Metrics. Dropwizard was created by Coda Hale at Yammer to power the company’s distributed systems architectures – which are microservices. It started its career as a code that linked powerful libraries for writing REST web services together. It has been more elaborate since then but is still a minimalist, production-ready, and easy-to-use framework.
How it works
This framework is more dogmatic than the Spring Boot. Some components are just part of the framework and cannot be easily changed. Also, it doesn’t come with a dependency-injection container. In software engineering, dependency injection is a technique in which an object receives other objects that it depends on. You can add such an element, but the point of Dropwizard is keeping the development of microservices simple.
The framework has out-of-the-box support for refined configuration, application metrics, logging, operational tools, and much more, allowing developers to deliver a production-quality web service in the shortest time possible. It is worth considering if you use Guice for dependency injection.
Another framework to build Java-based microservices. Restlet is fully open-source and can be used under the terms of the Apache Software License. It offers numerous extensions that enable developers to save time by not writing many lines of code. It can be deployed for all major platforms, such as Java EE, Android or Google AppEngine.
How it works
Restlet aids to create faster, better and more scalable web APIs that follow the REST architecture style, thanks to strong routing and filtering capabilities, unified client and server Java API. It provides a flexible set of reusable classes and interfaces that serves as the basis for building API-based applications more efficiently.
The framework mapped to the REST and HTTP concepts can be used for both client and server-side development using the same Java API, which reduces both the learning curve and the software load.
Go Micro provides the core requirements for distributed systems development including RPC, and Event-driven communication. It is a framework for distributed systems development. It includes a powerful standard for developing web services and is purely designed for creating large and complex applications.
How it works
Go Micro summarizes the details of distributed systems. Its main features are a dynamic configuration that allows application-level configuration to be loaded from any source and built-in authentication as a first-class citizen. Authentication and authorization enable a secure network without trust, providing each service with an identity and certificates. Besides, GoMicro has a simple data storage interface for reading, writing and deleting records, and enables automatic service registration and name resolution. Service discovery is the foundation of microservices development. It also supports distributed locking and leadership, built-in as a synchronization interface.
GoMicro has a simple syntax. The architecture of the Go microservices also includes excellent testing support as it makes it easy to write sturdy tests as well as seamlessly embed them into your workflows.
Flask is a lightweight web application framework. It is designed to make getting started quick and easy, with the ability to scale up to complex applications. It simplifies design by providing a clear diagram of linking URLs, data source, views and templates. By default, we also get a development web server, we do not need to install any additional LAMP (WAMP) tools.
How it works
It has no database abstraction layer, form validation, or any other components where pre-existing third-party libraries provide common functionality. However, Flask does support extensions that can add app features as if they were implemented in Flask itself. There are extensions for object-relational mapping, form validation, submission handling, various open authentication technologies, and some common framework-related tools.
Flask is considered more Python than Django’s web framework because in common situations the equivalent Flask web application is cleaner. Flask is also easy to implement for novice developers as there is little ready code to run and run a simple application.
How it works
Moleculer has several major functions. It supports event-driven architecture with balance and has a built-in service registry and dynamic service discovery. Thanks to numerous fault tolerance functions, such as a circuit breaker, it is a less emergency frame. It has a built-in caching solution (Memory, MemoryLRU, Redis), metrics function with reporters and a tracking function.
Which microservices framework is the best?
You probably already know that there is no single best choice. Each framework offers a slightly different set of service benefits. You can use a few of them, but as mentioned above, this is less effective on very large systems and may result in decreased performance. By standardizing your microservice technology stack and selecting a framework based on your business needs, we reduce the risk of slow and poor application execution. Therefore, when choosing a programming language for microservices development, be guided by the purpose and operation of the service and what you want to achieve for the consumer.
Benefits of Microservices
Microservices offer tons of new possibilities and have many advantages. They are valued for the high scalability of individual services and the flexibility that makes the application easier to manage bug fixes and feature versions. We wrote more about it in our blog post “Introduction to Microservices. What are microservices and how do they work?”
Microservices are a promising concept that applies to many applications and takes them to a new, higher level. It is not recommended to start a microservices architecture from scratch, though. It is difficult to identify the uses of each service from the beginning, and therefore there is no best way to choose the perfect technology. Such decisions depend on the purpose and nature of the project as well as the tools you will use to develop other parts of the application. It is also influenced by the current knowledge of the development team. When outsourcing developers, don’t forget to make sure they are specialists in this field and check out their previous microservice-based projects.