Before the era of web services and microservices, software engineers have always been on the pursuit to build perfect information systems and automated solutions. Trailing on old technologies have inspired new ones by adapting and improving on existing systems.
On the other hand, the adoption of new technologies by IT companies is leading to a new height of business solutions and client satisfaction. The desire for better systems combined with the command of how the web functions, gave birth to microservices and web services.
Microservices and web services have been instrumental in providing high-grade software. They are a good alternative to software solutions based on monolithic architecture, which made them so popular. Microservices architecture, however, doesn’t fit for every solution. Some solutions keep calling for web services other than microservices and vice versa.
In comparison, both microservices and web services have wide functionality. They use separate domains in contrary to the monolithic codes that use separate data storage, data model, and so on. In this article, we will be analysing the concept of microservices and web services alongside their strengths.
Microservices is a software architecture that can be used alongside web services. This method involves the splitting of large software applications into decoupled modules where microservices run unique processes and communicate through APIs. Its development can be through the use of either messaging, event-driven APIs, or using non-HTTP backed RPC mechanisms.
Microservices architecture saves the day when large applications fail or are down. If a particular service fails in communication, the overall application cannot be affected by the failure of a single module. The combination of microservices in Java, C#, Python, and mobile software development languages is possible. It can be independently deployed in service models for a business domain.
A web service is just one of several technologies that can provide services over ‘web’ or HTTP.
As a specific type of service-oriented architecture (SOA), web services represent a web application’s functionality.
It defines a mechanism’s interaction between an API and the main code by using standard HTTP protocol and universal formats of data representation such as XML, JSON, and so on.
This allows software applications developed by different technologies to communicate with each other.
Web services are not involved with frontend development. They are not connected to any development languages or user device software platforms. The combination of different web services into a single one is also possible if written in different languages and for separate operating systems, just like in microservices.
Differentiating between web services and microservices
Although microservices and web services are both development architectures for building and deploying software applications, they are different in their style of architecture, functions, structure and so on.
Microservices, in its nature, is based on an architectural style which is notable for business capabilities and priorities. It is a software modularisation approach in which large systems are divided into other smaller modules to enable the understanding, implementation, and further development of software.
Web services represent a modern architectural model of applications. It is a lightweight service-oriented architecture with interoperability. It is based on the identification of the required elements of a web services network and allows interoperability between web services.
Microservices is an architectural style built usually for business capabilities. At the same time, it can be integrated into a web service. Nevertheless, microservices can be a stand-alone service or a function that has its own database and can be implemented and deployed independently of other services.
Web services is a service provided from one application to another through the World Wide Web. As an API representation through HTTP, it is an abstraction layer that separates between a platform and the specific programming details of how the application code is really called to function.
Web services and microservices can be developed in different programming languages and tools, separating them on the bases of technology. The development of web services can be coordinated between multiple teams, but the teams must be familiar with the common mechanism of communication.
As for microservices, the services can function and be deployed independently of other services.
In web services, the Enterprise Service Bus can fail as a single point and impact an entire system. Every service is communicating through the ESB, therefore if a service slows down, it could build up traffic requests for that service.
Microservices, on the other hand, has lower errors. It could manage a memory fault better because only the microservice with a fault will be affected. Every other microservices will function continually, handling requests.